Book Pass: An Introduction to the Classroom Library
Introduce students to your classroom library and get them excited to start reading!
- Grades: 6–8, 9–12
This activity will help familiarize students with the books in the classroom library. This will enable them to choose independent reading books that match their levels and interests later on.
- Familiarize themselves with the books in their classroom library
- High-interest paperback books from your personal classroom library
- Copies of the Book Pass Log (PDF), one per student
Set-Up and Prepare
- Make a class set of the Book Pass Log (PDF).
- Pick out high-interest paperbacks from your classroom library collection. These books should be popular, but not necessarily new. Don't include any books you will be reading together as a class.
- Divide students into small groups (between 4 and 6 students). If you are already familiar with students' reading levels, try to group students by similar reading levels.
- Arrange desks and chairs in circles (one for each group of students) with a different book at every seat.
Step 1: Explain the activity and review the Book Pass Log (PDF) with students as a full class.
Step 2: Divide students into their groups and instruct each group to select one member as the timekeeper. The timekeeper will need to keep track of time while still participating in the activity.
Note: Students should be able to sample each book that is passed around in the circle. If you have 4–5 people in a group, each pass should be 3 minutes; for 7–8 people, each pass should be 2 minutes. If there are fewer than 4 people, place 2 books at each person’s seat. The timekeeper should allow at least one minute for the group to fill out the Book Pass Log (PDF) for each book.
Step 3: To start the activity, students should pick up the book at their seat and preview it by looking at the cover and reading the blurb on the back cover. Then students should begin reading on the first page.
Step 4: After 2–3 minutes have passed, the timekeeper for each group will say, “Stop.” Students should then write the title of that book on their Book Pass Log, list the pages they read, and write a few comments about the book and whether or not they would like to read it at some point.
Step 5: Once the comments are written, the timekeeper should say, “Book pass,” and all students should pass their book to the right. Students should then repeat the whole process again: Preview the book, read for 2–3 minutes, then stop and write comments.
Step 6: Once students have previewed each book at their table, have each student pick one of their own comments and share with their group.
After the Activity
The Book Pass activity and logs can be used in a number of ways throughout the year.
- Have students hang on to their logs and try to read all of the books they found interesting throughout the year.
- Collect the Book Pass Logs after the activity to review. Use what you learn about students' interests to make new selections for the classroom library or to make book recommendations for individual students.
- Repeat the Book Pass activity once students have finished reading the books they logged, or whenever you bring in a large number of new classroom library books.
- Encourage students to try the Book Pass Preview when browsing books at the library or bookstore.