Our 5th Annual Book Bazaar and Breakfast on Friday, March 15th ended a period of 6 weeks in which students were challenged to read 1,000 books. In the end, our Kindergarten through 5th-grade students read a total of 1,487 books, far surpassing that goal. “The Book Bazaar is an amazing event that we hold here at WCA that emphasizes and reinforces a love of literacy in our students,” explained Lower School Principal Michelle Flanagan, “This six weeks before the Bazaar allows us to raise the standard on our students’ reading and literacy, because, as is always the case, reading begets reading.” The event creates a fun, museum-like feel, which includes not only the fantastic presentations offered by each grade, but also some of the elements of a real museum that give the parents a well-rounded feel: there is an area for parents to take a break with a small cafe area by the lunch service window, and a ‘gift shop’ –the Book Fair which had been in the library all week moved into our cafetorium with the Book Bazaar. The Book Fair provides an opportunity for parents to purchase new books for their kids to encourage their love for reading, which has been fostered the prior six weeks in leading up to the event.
Each grade from Kindergarten through Fifth gave a presentation on books that they had read in the six week goal period in preparation for the Book Bazaar. In the earlier grades, as you will see from the Kindergarten’s dynamic display of the pirate life, and 1st grades’ emphasis on the ‘Pete the Cat’ book series, the emphasis is more thematic. As the students progress in age, the presentations become more individualized expressions of experiences they had reading specific books.
The kindergarten students presented information they learned through the literary exploration of pirates. The students read fiction books such as The Pirate of Kindergarten and How I Became a Pirate. The students enjoyed comparing/contrasting several books as well as learning about characters, setting, and plot. Students wrote messages in a bottle and shared their thoughts on what would happen if they became a pirate. Even Head of Administration Rob Campbell got into the act by walking the plank! ARG!!!
The First Graders are shared their love of reading and creativity through various projects based on the books of Pete the Cat by the author James Dean. Each student read different Pete the Cat books and created a project based on their favorite book, and identified and recorded story elements from those books. As a class, they wrote their own version of Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes and even had a set of Pete the Cat’s footprints to lead our visitors to their tables.
The 2nd-grade class read books about Sitting Bull called The Boy Called Slow and Sitting Bull: The Dakota Boy and learned about the Lakota Indians. They constructed a replica of a Lakota Indian Reservation and made an Indian weaving project and Indian cornmeal cookies. The students also wrote and presented a compare-and-contrast paragraph on the Lakota creation story versus the Biblical creation story.
Each of our 3rd-grade students read a non-fiction book from the “Who Was?” series that was in an area of interest that they uncovered in the reading challenge period. They wrote a book report about their book and created a tri-fold display to reflect the book and the facts and people that they studied, wearing costumes that represented a character in their book. The 3rd graders were very eager to discuss their book while presenting their projects to our attendees!
The 4th and 5th Grade students each selected a favorite book they had read during the 3rd quarter and received a list of 20 different ways in which to creatively present their book to the class, with an inventive visual that would help bring each book to life. Afterward, the students created a float for our annual ‘Parade of Books,’ where the students parade a wagon that contains elaborate models of scenes in their books through the halls and into the Book Bazaar. They presented their projects in costume, as one of their favorite characters from their books. The students develop every language arts area through this project, including public speaking, listening, and critiquing skills…and they have a great time doing it! This project brings each student a strong sense of pride and accomplishment!
Please enjoy the slideshow below of some of our favorite scenes from the Book Bazaar!
Mrs. Flanagan and the Lower School students would like to thank our office staff, our custodial staff, and Mrs. Doran, for helping to make this reading event, in conjunction with the Book Fair, entertaining and successful! We thank our teachers, who inspire us to excel every day, in everything we do. And most importantly, we thank you, our parents and guardians, for supporting us in all of our reading and learning adventures. Through the time of publishing of this article, the Book Fair week resulted in book sales of almost $2,000, a substantial percentage of which comes back to WCA to buy needed books for our classrooms through Scholastic.