Book Buddies: Sharing the Love of Reading
One of the most exciting ventures for my 6th graders is partnering with a kindergarten class as book buddies. Each year my students are paired with a child from Mrs. Copeland's kindergarten class as a "book buddy." With their partners they share the joy of reading while mentoring a younger child and developing a deep bond.
At the beginning of each school year the pairing of my homeroom students with children from Mrs. Copeland's class is completed. It is interesting to note that some of the 6th graders are reluctant at first. It usually only takes one or two meetings with their book buddy before they realize the value and benefit of sharing their time with these young readers. Nothing like being considered a rock star by a 5 year-old!
Most of the kindergarten students at our school arrive already knowing how to read, which makes the process so much fun. While the 6th graders will often read to their partners at the first meeting, it is usually the second or third encounter that the kindergartners are wanting to read to their 6th grade book buddies. The endeavor is fascinating to watch and it is so wonderful to witness my sweet 6th graders step up and make a difference in the lives of these eager 5 year-olds.
In addition to reading books, we have also worked on numerous projects together. The activities always involve reading (and occasionally math). The shift in activities from week to week helps to keep our time interesting and a little unpredictable for the students. Over the course of the year we have written letters together, built gingerbread houses, created artwork, investigated the idea of pi, read National Geographic (introduction of serious nonfiction text structure), conducted science experiments, and been on treasure hunts. All of which include and foster a love of reading. I highly encourage a reading partnership with students from a younger grade. I know that the time my students have spent with Mrs. Copeland's class this year has made quite an impression on both my 6th graders and more importantly, the precious kindergartners.
Have a wonderful week-