Read Across America Day Ideas for a Reading Celebration

March 2nd is one of my favorite days in the classroom!  One of my main goals as a teacher is to instill a love of reading and a love of books in my students.  Read Across America Day is so important to us, because it's a day for us to celebrate that love of reading.  We use the day to do all things related to reading and just have fun with one another by reading together. My school lets us dress as our favorite book character, and we can have volunteer readers come in to read to our students.   I have been meaning for years to create one resource that contained all of the activities for a fun day of reading celebration, and I finally got around to it this year!  So, here are some ideas of activities that you can incorporate into your classroom, too!


Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

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Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Last year, I dressed up as Darla from What Should Darla Do?  It was so fun being Darla, but I almost wasn't able to get the pink out of my hair!  (If you have blonde hair, beware of temporary colors like this.  It will stain your hair!  My hairdresser had to get it out.  Haha!) Many of my students also dressed up.  My favorites were Junie B. Jones and Warren from Junie B. Loves Handsome Warren.  They were so cute!  Our P.E. teacher also dressed up as Junie B.  and came down to chase our very own Warren.  It was so fun!


Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

When students come in, I would already have these BINGO boards printed and on their desks, along with the bookmarks below.  As they read, they will color the box that they completed.  They can complete this when you have them do independent reading throughout the day.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas



Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

One of the first activities to complete will be this bookshelf craft.  As they read books throughout the day, they will write the title of the book on the spines of these books.  This would make the cutest bulletin board!  They would be so fun in your classroom library!


Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

I do different read alouds throughout the day.  I wanted students to have some sort of response to reading that was a review of previous skills and strategies taught.  The character portrait printable is perfect for reviewing describing characters.  Students draw a portrait of the main character and label the character with character traits.  The Dot is a great read aloud for this or any story about an artist!

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

This activity is one of my favorites!  I feel like when I do running records to students, they forget to go into more detail about the setting.  Setting Construction is a fun, hands-on way to practice describing the setting.  You could laminate the mats or put them in sheet protectors for easier clean up.  After reading a story, students will construct the setting with Play-Doh.  They will love getting to build!

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Since it's a reading celebration, you have to have party hats!  After a read aloud, have students describe the problem and solution from the story on these hats.  They can then cut out the hat and attach it to a sentence strip.  Make it into a party hat they can wear around the school!

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

One final review of skills is with this party balloon craft.  Students will describe the major events from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

I wanted to students to have another opportunity to have some hands-on fun with STEM.  Before this next activity, you may want to read a story related to STEM.  These two above are great ones, and in the digital slides, I embedded the story, Boxitects.  After the story, they will be given their own STEM challenge in which they will have to construct a reading fort for their bear using Q-tips and tape.  This is a fun one!  The digital slides contain a slide with the challenge instructions for students to see.


Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas


Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Last year, I started incorporating book reviews and recommendations into their independent reading.  This made all the difference!  They loved getting to share their favorite books with their friends, and it got them even more excited about book shopping!  You can have them fill this book review out after reading a book independently and then share with a friend.  I even hung these up in my classroom library for students to reference while they were book shopping.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

I also had to include a response for nonfiction text, which my students were obsessed with.  After reading a nonfiction text, they go on a fact finding mission for the most interesting facts from the text.  Afterwards, have them share their finding with a friend.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

After a read aloud and around snack time, you can do this activity: Popping Up a Good Read.  Have students fill out this template and paste to a paper lunch sack.  (There is also a nonfiction response included.). Fill the bag with popcorn and put students into groups.  Give one of the students these discussion cards to guide the discussion over the book read.  This is a fun want to incorporate a book club and snack into your day.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

At the end of the day, I wanted students to have a certificate to take home to share with their families about what a fun day we had.  You can also make this into a portfolio to store all of their activities from the day.  I just took a large piece of 12x18 construction paper and folded it in half.  I then stapled the sides to make a portfolio with the certificate attached to the top.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Like I said earlier, I have included slides for the day.  You can use these to guide your day if you are teaching in-person.  If you are virtual, you can also use these to guide your day.  The reading response slides are also in there and ready to assign to virtual students.  Below are a few of the 27 slides that are included.

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas

Thank you so much for reading about how we celebrate reading on Read Across America Day.  It's such a special day in our classroom!  You can click any of the images in this post to check out the Rowdy for Reading resource.  I would love to hear how you celebrate reading in your classroom!  Happy reading!

Read Across America ideas for school and reading celebration ideas
















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