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Our 2021 Mock Caldecott Program

Soon it will be November. Around these parts of the school library world, November means Mock Caldecott.

I’ve talked about it in the past, but it seems like every year we’re tweaking things. Here’s a quick summary of how we’re Mock Caldecotting this year at my K-3 elementary school.

Week 1

  • I introduce the Caldecott. I show the honor and the medal. I explain it’s given for the best illustrations. I talk about how it’s chosen. I explain that soon we’ll be reading books that might win and our school will be choosing our favorite.
  • We read a past winner. I’m reading Kitten’s First Full Moon with kindergarten, This is Not My Hat with 1st grade, Beekle with 2nd and Officer Buckle and Gloria with 3rd grade. When finished, I ask students why they think it won. Discussions about art ensue.
  • We watch the most recent (2020) Caldecott announcements to get a feel for what it’s like:

Weeks 2-4

  • We read two books back to back. After we finish each one, I ask students if anything stood out to them about the illustrations. Discussions about art ensue.
  • After reading the two books, students pick the one they thought had the best illustrations. For K-2 it’s a show of hands, for 3-4 we are going to try voting via a google form – this is just an informal “Which of the two had the strongest illustrations?” vote. The official vote comes in week 5.

Week 5

  • We review all the books. I remind students that the Caldecott Medal is an award for the illustrations. K students get a ballot with pictures of each book on it. They circle their top pick. 1-4th grade students vote via a google form

After

  • I add up the votes. Most votes gets the medal, the next closest batch of vote getters receive honors. I announce the winners to students!
  • Fast forward to Monday, January 25, 2021. I show the 2021 Youth Media Awards video to students. Did any of our Mock Caldecott picks get awards?

Here are the books we’re reading this year (be sure to check out the Mock Caldecott list on Goodreads, the discussion list at Calling Caldecott, and the Caldecott predictions at A Fuse #8 Production for more ideas):

How do you Mock Caldecott? Leave advice in the comments.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. This is great! So simple. I need something new in my new space, and I think this is it! Thank you for sharing your picks for this year too!

  2. Thank you for sharing. Very helpful!

  3. We’re doing this K-2 as well. We’re doing five books: Lift, Honeybee, We Are Water Protectors, In a Jar, and The Oldest Student. I think. I could be persuaded :-) It is reassuring that we have two in common. Thanks for collecting sources in one place!