After rereading Reading in the Wild this summer, I got the idea to have my students create reading timelines of important moments in their reading lives to help me get to know them better this year as readers. This has been one of my favorite launching activities, I've ever done! The students were super excited about creating their timelines and the book discussion it generated was simply amazing! From talks of Brown Bear, Brown Bear to Because of Winn Dixie and The One and Only Ivan, all my students were excited to share their favorite books (even my nonreaders!).
I started off with this picture of me reading a book about Fraggle Rock at around 3 years old...
Here's the assignment directions I gave:
(Special thanks to Education Layne for the free template)
I discussed how I "read" Are you My Mother? before I could even read by memorizing the main line. I talked about how the first author I ever met was Gail Gibbons and she signed my copy of The Milk Makers. I gushed over my Lois Lowry favorites Number the Stars and The Giver. And I talked about how Goosebumps was the first series I really became obsessed with! Lastly, I shared how Maniac Magee was my favorite book in fifth grade and it was the first book I chose to reread on my own.
I gave my students time in class to brainstorm their own favorite books and the stories behind them. Then they finished the timeline as part of their first reading homework assignment.
Here's what my fifth graders came up with...
Can you use this in your class?
You can download a PDF version of my Reading Life Timeline directions and template from my Google Drive. I can not take credit for the original timeline since that was created by Education Layne.