A favorite weekly event in my classroom is Literary Salon. A couple of kids bring in baked treats, I provide juice, and a bunch of the kids do prepared readings from books they are reading or have recently finished.
We all love it. Yes, they love the treats, but they also genuinely love both reading aloud and listening to each other. Every child participates. Because they prepare the readings ahead of time there is none of the halting-stumbling-over-words that occurs in round-robin reading (which I hate and never do). Some of the best readings come from some of the weakest readers because they’ve taken the most time to prepare.
One lovely result is that children become intrigued by the readings and eagerly go off to find the books in question to read. The cross-pollination is delightful! With the introduction of our blogs we’ve been able to podcast these events. So far we’ve done two. Please do check them out here and here. (And comment please — the kids are so eager for comments!)
Yesterday we did a very special Literary Salon. Poet Natasha Trethewey had come a few weeks ago to inspire the children to write Amistad poems. And yesterday they recited those poems to her. You can see their poems here and hear their recitations here.