Celebrating Reading in Grade 4
During the first semester, Ms. Haas’s fourth graders enjoyed listening to Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo during their time in the library. Near the end of the novel, the characters hold a party. The students and I immediately agreed: Once we finished the book, we’d re-create the party to celebrate!
Just before our winter break, we held our event, feasting on the snacks and drinks described in the novel. One student said she could, “taste the sorrow” in our ‘Littmus Lozenges’. During the party, students wrote letters to author Kate DiCamillo asking her:
- When you were a kid, what was your favorite book?
- What good books would you recommend?
- What was your favorite book to write?
- Why are you an artist?
While writing, students discussed other favorites by Ms. DiCamillo, such as the Mercy Watson series, and they pulled them off the shelves to read. We sent our letters off, along with some photos of the shindig. Although we hope to receive a reply, the real importance lies in the celebration of our shared experience of a wonderful story.
Heidi Long and Laura Jean Moore
Media Literacy Teachers
About Gillispie School: Gillispie is an independent toddler through Grade 6 school in La Jolla, CA. We believe that learning is a journey in which children are active participants. Our students partner with teachers to further their academic, creative, and social growth, and we balance a child-centered approach that does not rush childhood with well-researched academic programs that demand higher-level thinking. Click here to learn more about our school.