Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Getting Kids Excited about Reading with the Book Genie—with FREE Download

This is a guest post by Richard Giso, an occasional contributor to our blog. Click here to see his earlier posts, and check back here on our Classroom Literacy blog frequently to see if he's got a new post up! You could also check out his blog, called Mr. Giso's Room to Read, in which he writes about fun classroom activities, behavior management, and classroom management.

A Visit from the Book Genie

Hi again, it’s Rich from Mr. Giso's Room to Read sharing with you a great idea to foster a love of literacy among your budding readers. It’s a visit from the “Book Genie.” To plan a special visit, follow these directions.

    1. Surprise your students due to good behavior, doing their homework, introducing an at home reading program, etc.

    2. Shop for a genie lamp. eBay and Amazon are great online sites to check.

    3. Buy a new book to be added to your classroom library as a book gift from the Book Genie. Wrap the book.

    4. Using my downloadable stationary (available at the bottom of this page), write a letter from the Book Genie to your class celebrating something they did well. Let them know as a whole class reward, the Book Genie has decided to visit and leave a book. Attach the note to the book.

    5. After your students leave for the day, place the Genie lamp with the wrapped book somewhere noticeable. The next morning, act all surprised, read the note and the book.

    6. Add the book to your classroom library. Keep the lamp in your class. Move it around periodically as the Book Genie can come back for a visit any time with a new book! This idea promotes both a love of literacy and offers an incentive for your class to follow rules and act cooperatively as a team.

    Note that you can have a Book Fairy instead of a Book Genie. In fact, my former first-grade colleague and good friend, Jill shared this idea with me a few years ago. She had a fairy statue that she used in her classroom. The children love it. I’d love to hear all about your adventures, should you try this idea.

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    I'm a proud teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience. I began my teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at the Bates Elementary School in Salem, Massachusetts. Since then, I have taught fourth grade for eight years. From there, I moved to a job as a reading coach under the Reading First grant. Having missed my true passion—having a classroom of my own—I returned to teaching as a first grade teacher for the next five years.

    Now I've moved to the Carlton Innovation School, also in Salem, Massachusetts, where I am ready to begin my first year as a member of a team of four teachers that teach grades one and two. In addition, I teach undergraduate and graduate students at Salem State University. My courses involve literacy, children's literature, and elementary education. My educational interests include early literacy, effective reading interventions, and positive classroom climates.

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    To download the Book Genie stationery, click the image below!

    Book Genie Stationery