So, just about every year, I think to myself, “I want to do a Mock Caldecott!” Then….I don’t. This year, however, the stars aligned and two of my librarian friends happened to start talking about how THEY wanted to do a Mock Caldecott on Facebook, so we all decided to do it together! Here’s what we did and what I might change next time –
- First, we selected a grade level to work with. 2nd grade seemed like a good choice. They are always up for a good read aloud and they have a little more flex time in their schedule.
- Next, we picked our books. We used this list from KidLit experts, Colby Sharpe and John Schu (my heroes!). We did switch A Poem for Peter with Before Morning, but other than that, those were the books we used. We got the books from our school library shelves, the public library, and in a couple of cases…Amazon.
- Time to visit classes. I taught an intro lesson to my 2nd graders about what we were doing. We talked about the Caldecott Medal. They learned about the criteria that the committee uses to evaluate the books and then came the fun part…to introduce the list and to tell them they were going to see if they could predict this year’s winner! I read Ideas Are All Around and talked about how they were going to rate the books. They each got a reading log with the book titles and a rating scale for story and pictures. We kicked it off in November and I told them we would wrap everything up by announcement day in January. My other librarian friends were doing the same thing (basically) at their schools.
- I divided the books up by our 2nd grade classes (we have 4) and then left it up to them to read and rate the books. Sometimes I would do the read aloud, but for the most part, they read the books and rotated them around the grade level on their own. I sent emails and checked on them throughout so that they would remember to read the books and not wait until January.
- At the beginning of January, I sent out a form I made for students to use to input their ratings. This was a simple Google Form. You can take a look at it here.
- We added up the totals and then selected one winner and three honor books per class. We shared our winners on our Mock Caldecott Flipgrid so that the other schools doing this could see our results and we could see their results. We protected the Flipgrid with a password.
- On the morning of the actual announcement, I recorded the Caldecott announcement using Screencastify. That afternoon, I showed it to each class. Kids were so excited to watch the announcement and even though we did not predict the winner, we did read Radiant Child as one of our choices and we did predict some of the honor books.
I LOVED this Mock Caldecott lesson! There are some things I would do differently next time. For example, I would do a percentage on the book ratings. I know my math was not perfect or totally fair this time around. There were some kids who did not hear some of the read alouds (they were absent or whatever) and so they did not rate the books they did not read, but yet they rated other books, so naturally, some books got more points than others just because more kids rated them, if that makes sense.
One class got so into it, that the teacher used it to jump start a writing lesson where they wrote and illustrated an original story; read them to the class; rated them and then selected a classroom “Caldecott.” Love that idea and might encourage the others to do it too! Then, you could have a little author event where you do book signings and such…so fun!