Reading Museum

All during the first week of school, we spent our time in activities to get to know each other better.  During our second week, we continued, but with the focus of getting to know each other better as learners.

So on Friday during Reader’s Workshop, we held a Reading Museum.

The idea was simple, really.  Each reader in our room–including me!–set up an “exhibit” that told something about themselves as readers.  Then we went around to each exhibit (after having a quick conversation about expectations–you have to act a certain way in a museum, after all) to see what each person laid out.  We made connections to other readers’ books and asked questions we had, too.

Once we were finished, we debriefed on what we had learned during this activity and how it would help us in the future.   What a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon!

Check out some pictures from our museum:

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Have you ever been a part of a Reading Museum?  What books would you put in your exhibit?  We chose books that we liked, that we’ve read over and over, that someone read to us when we were little, etc.  We’d love to hear about your selections!  Leave us a comment, please! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Reading Museum

  1. Wow, 5th grade, I love this idea. I was actually part of a reading museum once a long time ago when I was working in a different school district. I was working with a building principal friend to lead the first staff meeting of the year. We decided to host a reading museum and asked every grown up attending (60 people!!) to bring their reading museum pieces. It was really interesting and enlightening to see how grown ups saw themselves as readers. I also did participate and remember exactly what I brought: On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder, PEOPLE magazine and a “teacher book.” If I participated now, I would still bring the Little House book, but would also bring a Magic Tree House book (because that is what my daughter and I are reading….one after another, after another after another…!) a newspaper (I love reading a hard copy of the newspaper everyday, and my ipad (because I love to browse for books now and download what I want when I want it!). Wow, I have changed as a reader!

    • Can we invite you to our next Reading Museum? I know that the class would love to see your exhibit. And hey–you may have even changed again! Thanks for your kind words, Mrs. Sisul. 🙂

      • Hey 5th grade,
        Bridget started a new series this weekend, The A to Z Mysteries. Holy cow, she is hooked! She is turned on to MYSTERIES! I like them as well, so it will be fun to see if she hooks into other mystery series I used to enjoy. Mr. Sisul and I started talking about Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys tonight at dinner!

  2. I love this idea — the Reading Museum and the chance for the students to respond to other’s exhibits. Do the kids have to bring their own items from home? How does this work with your reluctant readers — those who really read independently, especially at home?

    • Thanks for your reply, Anne! Yes, they bring their “nightstand” books from home–unless they don’t have them (or some who forgot them) and then they can use anything from our classroom library or the school one. The great thing about the museum is that the whole thing is just that we get to know each other as readers–they way we are right now. I give them a list of suggestions of what to bring, too, so there are lots of ways to join in: the first book they ever read, a book someone read to them when they were little, their favorite book, a book they’ve read over and over again, a book from a series they like, etc. I haven’t ever had anyone who was reluctant to join in, and also never had anyone say anything negative about any books that other readers put out in their “exhibits.” In general, we have a very welcoming, accepting community in our classroom, so my students did really well with it. I think that’s key, though–you have to have built the trust among your students first, so they feel safe to join in. Are you going to try it? It’s a nice idea to do it more than once during the year, too, to see how readers change. 🙂

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