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June 15, 2012

How to Make Your Classroom Library More Muchier

Written By: Pam Margolis
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How to Make Your Classroom Library More Muchier

Did you ever hear the Alice in Wonderland quote “You used to be much more…”muchier.” You’ve lost your muchness”..? Well sometimes, classroom libraries can lose their muchness. Classroom libraries can often be a hodgepodge of old and new books: some missing covers, others containing spilled coffee stains, crayon markings, or even missing pages. Often the teacher must build the classroom library on her own or with limited funding. Thanks to garage sales and thrift stores, many teachers are able to develop and maintain suitable collections.

Books, however, are not the only items that belong in the classroom library. Have you ever thought of adding items to supplement the reading materials? Supplemental items in the classroom can give the reader room to express their creativity further and also enhance the story. The following supplemental items can make your classroom library more “muchier”.

Items to Make Your Classroom Library More Muchier

Puppets: Simple sock or finger puppets are an easy way to capture or redirect a child’s attention. The puppet can read the story or can be used to enhance or allow the reader to make up their own story.

Flannel Board: Are your students tired of reading the books currently in your classroom library? Give them a flannel board and characters from their favorite stories and let them retell The Three Little Pigs their own way!

Apron: Aprons are not just for protecting your clothes from messes. Aprons can house small props that can be pulled from pockets during the reading of a book. A jungle themed apron might accompany Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or The Jungle Book!

Props: A little imagination is all that is necessary to make props to supplement a story or a book. A book about animals necessitates holding a stuffed monkey or a lion. A book about a crocodile encourages holding a shoe box painted to look like a crocodile. A book about a woman who eats too many things could incorporate an old woman’s mouth cut open to allow the reader to feed her these items: shells, small stickers, pebbles, a cow, etc. Two stories that work well for these kinds of props are No Biting Horrible Crocodile by Jonathan Shipton or the There Was an [Old] Lady Who Swallowed titles.

There are many more items that can be included in a classroom library. It just takes a little imagination and perhaps a trip to your old sock drawer to enhance your library and to make it more “muchier”. What will you do?

 
About the Author
Pam Margolis has a Masters in Library and Information Science and is certified as a Library Media Specialist and in Elementary Education. She has experience as an educator, researching, designing, and implementing curriculum materials. Pam loves books and social media, and in her purse can be found with a book, a cup of coffee and her iPhone. She blogs at www.unconventionallibrarian.com.

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  • Julie P.
    June 15, 2012

    Great ideas. I have stuffed animals in my library but the rest! Thanks!

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  • Tara
    June 15, 2012

    Great ideas! I’m in third now, but my first graders would have loved puppets and aprons! Anything to get them excited about reading!

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  • Leah Demain
    June 15, 2012

    I love this idea of making my library much more muchier! I want to add a felt board for retelling stories , what a great way for young children to express their comprehension! I also saw a reading tent, that looked like a tepee. I would love this for my library as a quiet reading spot.

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