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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March is Reading Month Based on a Candyland Game Theme

Inspiring kids to read can be achieved through a month-long challenge
during March is Reading Month. For every class reaching the Candy
Castle the reward is to participate in a school-wide game day (or 1/2

One idea is to use a game theme. As a school, a variation of the
Candyland game board will be hung around the school walls. This is
especially easy since the Candyland game board is made up of colored
rectangles. If not a school-wide activity, certainly this could happen
as a classroom activity.

Then, weekly bookmarks are handed out to students. Each piece of candy
is colored in for every ten minutes of reading. At the end of the week
the class minutes are totaled and then the class game piece is moved
along the school-wide game board. Or, if in individual classrooms,
each child would move his or her game piece.

To spice up the school-wide game board it is especially snazzy if the
Candyland game board characters are scanned and enlarged. This can be
done by scanning the images and then using a projector to show them on
a wall or using a document camera, and then draw around them with
black marker. Using pastel chalks is an excellent way to color the
pieces. The older children can help with this activity.

A book jog is another way to encourage reading. Kids bring in used
books from home that they would like to exchange. For every book that
a child brings in, he gets a ticket to exchange for a different book.
Create a path by taping rectangles of colored paper through the
library and around the halls. Next, lay out all of the books that have
been brought in along the path. Children travel the path looking for a
book. At the end of the path the child exchanges their tickets for the
books. By using the ticket method children can leave with as many
books as they brought. In honor of the book jog, everyone should wear
jogging suits for "Jog into Reading."

In addition to the game, theme days can correspond to the various
characters such as:

Wear Red for Dr. Seuss' Birthday and play the games on the Dr. Suess website
Wear a funny hat in honor of Lord Licorice
Wear Green in honor of St. Patrick's Day and Mama Ginger Tree
Dress as your favorite fairy tale character in honor of Princess
Frostine & King Kandy
Nutty Hair Day in honor of Gramma Nutt (a favorite of all kids is to
come to school with crazy hair!)

Inspire kids to read by bringing a challenge to your school or class this year.

Download the supplemental pages, such as the recording sheet bookmarks
from the download center within the Mastermind Group of Educators
website at

Join Kathy and a group of educators dedicated to improving student
learning through literacy and technology in the Mastermind Group of
Educators for continued support,
resources, book discounts and community in educational technology.

Kathy Cothran is an elementary media specialist committed to helping
teachers engage students through the uses of technology. Her vast
teaching experience ranges from preschool through Master's level
education classes. For years Kathy has been a "Gadget Girl." She loves
technology! Tie that to her extensive teaching background and she has
been able to interest, invigorate, and inspire children and teachers
to use technology in a rich, exciting manner.