Our elementary school PTA hosts a two-week read-a-thon for the students. The past few years the theme has been Dr. Seuss so we coordinate it around Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2) which is also Read Across America Day. I have been lucky to help with the Dr. Seuss reading weeks for the last 3 years.
Students track their reading minutes for two weeks. The top grade and the top student in each grade receive prizes. All the students are rewarded with a Dr. Seuss Carnival Celebration at the end of the two weeks. The Cat in the Hat from our local PBS station (KBYU) attends our carnival.
FREE PRINTABLE DR. SEUSS STYLE READING LOG
Here is a sample of the reading log with details specific for our readathon.
I made a blank sheet that you can add to or use it like it is. There is also a version with 4 post card sized hats on one page.
I drew this hat inspired by the Cat in the Hat. This is available as a Free Printable to be used for educational purposes only in homes or classrooms. Please do not repost this image (or any others on this site) without permission. See this printable and more Dr. Seuss printables here.
Accelerated Reader ChallengeThis year we held an assembly read-a-thon for 45 minutes for all students in the gym.
They could take Accelerated Reading (A.R.) tests on laptops on the stage to correlate with the 'Read the Most Coast to Coast' National A.R. Challenge the same day. We showed the number of words being tracked nationally up on a screen. We had 20 laptop stations set up and kids lined up to take tests for an hour.
Nearly 600 students sat on the floor trying to quietly read. We handed out large Tootsie Pop suckers as they came in the door to help them stay quiet and enjoy a treat at the same time. I've blurred some faces to protect privacy.
I spotted one child reading Dr. Seuss and holding The Cat in the Hat.
Dr. Seuss Style Flash Mob
At the end of the read-a-thon one teacher stood in the middle of the room as I turned on the music and she started to dance. 10 seconds later, more teachers and a few PTA moms joined in the middle of the room and started dancing with a few coordinated moves ('Can Can" kicks and "The Wave" with books + more). Quickly, the students jumped to their feet and started dancing along too. The entire room was a dance party dancing to the tune of Black Eyed Peas "I've Got a Feeling" song. The words were changed to "Gotta Keep Reading, cause this book's gonna be a good book!" See a sample of this song on YouTube.
Click here to see a short video on Instagram. The sound is not good. I will post a better clip soon.
When watching the video back I spotted several kids who just sat on the floor and kept reading in the middle of the dance party. They were so into their books. I love that! I'm not even sure they realized the Grinch was up by the stage.
School Dr. Seuss Decorations
Our PTA created Dr. Seuss character cutouts with Dr. Seuss quotes and hung them throughout the hallways. The large truffula trees each represent a grade to track reading minutes. At the end of the first and second week of the read-a-thon, a small Dr. Seuss character will climb the tree representing the minutes read. The first tree says ‘Whoville’ and represents our preschool and special needs classroom.
I made a few Truffula Trees too out of tissue paper and foam pool noodles or black plumbing foam.
Principal Stuck on Reading
Our principal is a good sport. He got ‘Stuck on Reading’ for our school read-a-thon. These photos are from 2014 but we will be doing it again with our new principal on March 12.
In the middle of the two week read-a-thon we asked students to bring their reading logs back to check in. If they have been reading, they got a piece of duct tape and got to tape the principal to the wall during lunch time.
He read several Dr. Seuss books while the kids added tape.
We used a white painters outfit so his clothes wouldn’t get ruined. He also wore the red and white stove pipe hat like The Cat in the Hat.
See how he is standing on a stack of books? Once he was taped well, we took the books out and let him hang there. Truly ‘Stuck on Reading.’
VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE DR. SEUSS BOOK
We had five posters for popular Dr. Seuss books and asked the kids to sign their name and vote for their favorite. I attached a cover of the books (from a bulletin board set) and a marker hooked to yarn so they could sign. The kids had fun doing this while only 2-4 could be trying to tape the principal at a time. It was also Fox in Socks Crazy Sock Day so there was a lot of energy buzzing around the read-a-thon for the day. (What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Leave a comment below.)
Does your school do a read-a-thon? What kind of things do you do to motivate your students? Have you ever had a read-a-thon at home?