Inside the middle school English classes, the 6th grade and the 7th graders have put away their tri-fold posters, recalling fondly the hustle and bustle of this celebration of reading. This event took place in front of the 1st-floor library, with different books and colorful posters on display for all to see.
The posters took much time and care to create. Each student had to pick a book to explore their “big idea” question with. After completing the novel, every pupil created their own tri-fold poster with crucial information about the book, with characters, plot, setting, conflict, theme, and the answer to their “big idea” questions. Then, the last step was presenting in front of other people – upperclassmen, as well as other 6th and 7th graders, came to give feedback and enjoy the presentation.
6th grader Elsa gave her own input. “It was pretty fun… I enjoyed that some of [my] friends… and others knew the author of the book [I chose], so we talked about the author. Plus, I thought I talked about the book well, and fluently.” Elsa was also able to get the better of some difficulties she faced during the event. “One of the challenges I [faced] was that I had to present my tri-fold to my brother, which was a little embarrassing because I don’t talk a lot with him. I was pretty cold and tired, but I got to meet with other people that I wasn’t that close to. Good and bad things, I guess. The whole fair was still enjoyable, and I enjoyed talking about books with my friends.”
Ms. Butcher shared: “A reading fair is a great way for students to present their books to a wide range of people. It’s awesome to get other students involved.” She also acknowledged that there were certain setbacks that inhibited the event from reaching its full potential. “There were still many challenges, especially COVID. The event was supposed to be this gigantic fair, but restrictions meant it couldn’t be that. It was outside – which was great, but it was also cold, rainy, and windy… the posters kept flying everywhere. So, there were definitely challenges with the environment, and also with making sure the students got their assignments done on time.”
Although this event had many challenges, both the supervisor and the students celebrated the triumph of the fair. Ms. Butcher adds, “I think it was really successful. The kids had a good time sharing with their peers, and they got to express their feelings about the books [they read]. Again, I wish it could have been longer, and that more teachers could be involved, but overall, it was a success. I am extremely tired, but I am happy to support the DIS… and the community.”
A number of restrictions made it a very different reading fair for the students and participants. However, there was still a resounding consensus that this year’s festivities were a success. Students tried their best, and had a special time sharing what they’d learned with the community, while everyone else left with a smile.