Mock Caldecott 2016
I love this time of year.
The Mock Caldecott has become an annual K-4 tradition at my school. We’ve tried it a number of different ways, as you can see in these posts: Mock Caldecott 2015 Mock Caldecott 2014 Mock Caldecott 2013
Here’s how we’re running things this year.
Week 1: I introduce/remind students about the Caldecott – what it looks like and what it is for. We watch the previous year’s announcements, and read a past winner. We also make sure to put every past winner face out – it’s awesome to see those books get checked out like crazy once we start talking Caldecott.
Weeks 2-6: The reading and evaluating begins. Over the course of a few weeks, I read all the books with students. I like to read two stories back-to-back so students are able to compare and contrast.
After we read, we discuss the books. This is often the best part, when kids notice all sorts of interesting things. I like to ask the basic question, “What’s something you noticed in the illustrations?” to get the ball rolling.
With K-2nd grade students I do a simple “give this book a 1, 2, or 3” for the illustrations. 3rd and 4th grade students will respond by posting a comment on our library blog:
Week 7: Voting. I tried this last year, and thought it went well. We review all the books, then students head to the voting booth. I create a ballot with pictures of all the books and students circle the one they feel is the strongest. The book with the most votes get the medal, and those that were close behind get honors. I announce the Mock Caldecott winners to all classes.
Follow-Up: After the actual Caldecott winners are announced, I show the video to students, and we read the winner.
I’m always trying to find the right balance between replicating the Caldecott process, yet also making it streamlined enough for kids as young as 5. I try to keep the big picture in mind (reading and thinking critically about some of the best books of the year) and not get too bogged down in “Is this how the Caldecott committee does it?” details.
Here are the books we’ll be reading and evaluating for our 2016 Mock Caldecott:
Are you doing a Mock Caldecott where you are? Any tips to share?
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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