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    book pass
    By Mary

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    Try a book pass. Put the desks in a circle, and give each boy a book (you need to run to the school library before you do this). Give them a sheet that says "Books I Want to Read" at the top. Model how you select a book--read the back cover, flip through it, read the reviews, etc. Then ask the students to do that with the book in front of them. After a couple of minutes, tell them that if the book they have in front of them interests them, they should write down the title and the author. Then pass to the right. Same thing with the second book--look it over, if you like it, write it down. It will take the entire class period, or close, to let each boy see each book. Pass to the right about every two or three minutes.

    This works best as a silent activity. It's impossible to read and talk at the same time. I find that if I don't enforce the silence rule, I have kids who are just having a good time in a circle and couldn't care less about the book in front of them. So I make this a silent activity.

    If the boys all read on about the same level, bring 18 books at that level. If you have different levels, you need to bring different levels. I usually do three circles at once--low, middle and high, because I firmly believe that kids need to read at their level, but one circle works, too.

    When you go to the library as a class or as individuals, the list of books they want to read should accompany them. That way, they have the anticipation of finding the book, and will (hopefully) actually be looking forward to reading it, because you've piqued their interest.

    You can do book passes I don't know, four or five times a year, if you like. It's also a great activity to do on days when you need to keep them busy and academically engaged, but you don't want anything to grade.

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