Reading the Goldfinch nominated titles gives the kids (and me) such a great experience with some of the best, current picture books out there. They serve as a springboard for art projects, website and author exploration, reading strategy practice, great talks about books, and a lot of laughter! To introduce the students to the award, I used the same approach with each grade, but differentiated for each level. Here's an overview:
When they came in, I showed them a picture of a Goldfinch, and we talked about the state bird of Iowa. I then talked to them about what the Goldfinch Award was and what it meant for them. We talked about voting and how THEY were going to help choose the winner for the state of Iowa.
I told them for practice, we were going to look at the winners from the last three years, talk about what we liked about them, and then vote on our favorite of the day. First, we read I Feel a Foot by Maranke Rinck. Kids immediately were participating in the guessing game of the book and exclaiming over the wonderful details. At the end, kids talked to a partner and then to the class about why the book would have gotten their vote (this is a great opportunity to ask kids to explain their thinking and offer support). We repeated this again with Boss Baby by Marla Frazee and Dewey There's a Cat in the Library by Vicki Myron. I ended the talk about Dewey with the IPTV clip about Dewey. It is a short three minutes and the kids LOVE seeing the real Dewey. In the end, I had the kids vote on their favorite. I keep a tally on the board of the different classes' votes so they can see how their votes matter in the end.
|Previous Goldfinch Winners|
|Previously nominated books|
Second graders followed a similar format to first grade. They had a more complex review sheet and added a word or phrase to our Goldfinch chart on their own. See an example below. This review sheet asked them to identify the beginning, middle and end of their book, as well as rate it. I got the top part of this review sheet from Rachel Lynette in Teachers Pay Teachers (thank you Rachel!) and added the bottom half myself.