Friday, August 9, 2013

Bookmark Freebie and Picture Books

Yesterday was the last day of summer school, and I could not be happier!  I love teaching, but I am ready for some time off!  Today, I have a bookmark to share with you. It was one of the projects my summer school friends completed.

Let me explain two things that prompted me to create the bookmark.

  1. I may have mentioned that the summer school program in my district is focused on literacy.  Students who would benefit from extra literacy instruction over the summer are invited to attend.  This year, I had friends who are entering fourth grade but reading anywhere from 1.5-2.5 years below grade level.  
  2. One of the things all students in our district are required to do is keep a reading log over the summer and turn in the log and a reading project to their new teacher in September.  The projects are quite varied in both type and level, so there is something on that list that every child would be able to complete.  
Now, here's how they come together.  My summer school friends, for the most part, are not independent readers.  They are not picking up a lot of books over the summer.  Many are struggling writers, as well.  So, the tasks of keeping a reading log and completing a reading project without any teacher guidance is a daunting one.

To ease the pain, we read A LOT of fun picture books this summer, both together and independently.  We even did a mini author study of Margie Palatini's books.  Three favorites were Lousy Rotten Stinkin' GrapesBedhead, and Piggie Pie!  All were major crowd pleasers!  

Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes is a fun twist on the Aesop fable The Fox and the Grapes.  Great problem/solution story.  Reading all these picture books gave my friends a nice start on their summer reading logs. I know they now have something to turn in when they go back in September even if they don't read another book all August.   Fingers crossed they will!

Then, there was the issue of the required project.   I wanted them to independently reflect on a book of their choosing and have a simple, completed project to take home and turn in with their reading log.  My goal was to keep it simple considering the range of reading and writing abilities.  To accommodate all, I created a very basic bookmark.  The front has room for title, author, and an original illustration.  On the back, there was space to tell their favorite part (and why!) as well as their favorite character and why.  Finally, at the bottom is a little space to tell what their illustration on front shows. I made a model bookmark using the book A Bad Case of Stripes so they could see just what to do.  Here's some of what my friends came up with:

They aren't perfect, but I can tell you a lot of little kid heart and soul went in to getting them done. Below is a picture of the form I made. Remember, I wanted to keep this simple and easy.  The picture is crooked, but I promise the printable is not. 

Each friend was given a copy of the form to draft.  After revisions, mostly trying to get them to add more information and proofreading, they were given a copy I had printed on card stock to do a final copy. When they finished, we folded the paper in half and glued it together.  To finish it all, we hole-punched the top and added some ribbons.

You can print out your own copy of this bookmark by clicking HEREI have added this bookmark as my first item on Teachers Pay Teachers.  You can still download it for free by clicking HERE! I think this would also make a great center activity.  Just print it out on plain paper and once your friends finish it, they can just fold and glue. You don't have to put the ribbons on top. It would also be a good back-to-school activity where they could create a bookmark to share with the class telling about their all-time favorite book.

That is all! :-)


  1. Thanks for the freebie! I love the way your bookmarks turned out. That one kiddo really captured Bedhead. :)

    The Teaching Thief

  2. Thank you for the free bookmarkers! I will probably be using them in my guided reading groups!

  3. These are very cute! Thanks so much for sharing! I think I'm going to use these with my brand new 3rd graders in Sept. to EASE into our monthly book reports!

    1. Yea! Glad you all like the bookmark. It's a quick, easy, and fun project!