How do you get struggling readers excited to read? Throw a reading party. That’s right! Who doesn’t like parties and celebrations?Students approach it differently when reading fun and turn it into a celebration instead of a task. They have more willingness to try reading and participating in activities they usually wouldn’t. Make sure to differentiate the activity for them and pair them with a reading buddy or have them at your small group table having tea with the teacher while the others read independently.
How does that party look like? I don’t have much time to prep stuff to make reading fun, nor have the money to invest. Here are a few tips for your “Book Tea Party:”
Our Alice in Wonderland Tea Party was focused on the reading comprehension strategy” Tea Party” how does that work?
This strategy is called “Tea Party” because students pretend they are at a tea party, mixing, listening, talking, and discussing. To use this strategy, distribute index cards or task cards to each student with a phrase from the text written on it. On Thursday, you will have access to the resource I made for my class for this tea party available on TPT https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrss4success
In our Tea Party, we used numbered task cards to differentiate for our grade level (first grade) with paragraphs from the story. I asked the students to begin the tea party by moving around the room, listening to other students’ phrases, and sharing their own. Allow students to discuss for about 10-15 minutes, or until the discussion dies down. At the first-grade tea party, I chose a theme to go along with the genre we were studying. Our theme was Alice in Wonderland. Because I enjoy room transformations, especially literary ones, I transformed our classroom into a miniature wonderland.
If it is not your desire, this strategy can be used with different grade levels and not necessarily with room decor. You can have the cards with phrases ready for the kids to read around the room, making predictions and finding out what the book is about for older students. We used it with a twist.Writing portion:You can have students writing I think statements or predictions about what they read or use the writing prompts from the resource I made to keep things simple.
Materials used and where to find them. I reused school butcher paper I had saved from other classroom decorating events to craft the mushrooms backdrop.
I repurposed the flowers from an old bulletin board.
I crafted the Deck of cards men from butcher paper and construction paper.
Teacups, saucers, backdrops were from Amazon. Parents donated from my wish list.Girl’s hats and table cloths – dollar treeBoy’s hats- oriental tradingThen, ask students independently, or in a group, o write “I/We Think” statements. These statements are the students’ predictions of what the text will be about.
Another way to do a literacy celebration is:
1- gather books from your classroom library and your school library. This activity is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with your school librarian. Gather the genres your standards are focusing on this week.For example, my curriculum focuses on Fairy tales this week. However, we have studied fiction and non-fiction, so I can also add some of those books as a review. This way, I will offer a variety of titles for my scholars to engage. 2- On each table, set up: table cloths with your book party theme colors, the books, prompts/task cards, any hats or aprons for the kids to wear, a genre trifold so your students can check the genres they have read, and discuss them with their partners.3- A party asks for treats: No money, no problem. Depending on your budget, you can get non-allergen crackers or cookies available at your local dollar store, along with a bottle of water or juice box. You may have a station for the treats or have it at their table if individually wrapped. Let me know if you have more questions about it. I’d love to help!