Objective: Students will write book recommendations for peers.
Objective 1: Students will put LEGO bricks in ABC order.
Objective 2: Students will make words with ABC LEGOs.
Objective 3: Students will match upper and lowercase letters.
Objective: Students will “build” original poetry using LEGO bricks.
Set Up: I was lucky enough to find a big bucket of Duplo LEGO at a tag sale. I mod-podged words onto the blocks. Kids use the blocks to build poetry. We take pictures of poems they create.
Objective: Students will identify words that can be spelled with the given letters.
Objective: Students will identify words that begin with a specific letter of the alphabet and will communicate those words through writing and illustration.
Objective: Students will put letters in ABC order or make simple words with them.
Set Up: To set up this center, I put out a center sign and fabric letters, although you could use any sort of letters. Students work alone or with others to put the letters in order or make words.
Alternatives: Use any type of letters! Foam letters, blocks, glitter letters, stickers
Objective: students will use library resources to answer a trivia question.
Set Up: In my library, I have an “answer alien” who asks the question of the week and also serves to collect answer slips but you could easily use any container in place of this. I post a new question each week and I copy and cut up answer slips to keep next to the answer alien, along with a center sign. Students can use any library resource to answer the question. They write their answer and source on an answer slip and submit their answer slip for a chance to win a prize.
Objective: Students will read independently.
Set Up: This is always a choice in my library. I don’t even have a sign for it because students just know they can always read anywhere they’d like (within reason of course!). I don’t do any set up for this apart from creating a library space where students can feel comfortable to stretch out and read. I have students who sit at a table to read, lay on the rug, or sit in bean bags to read quietly. I always have a fair number of kids who choose to do this activity during all of center time and I have some students who work at a center for a bit and then go read independently.
Alternatives: students use whisper phones, fun glasses, or other props as they read
Objective: Students will find and share interesting facts using library resources.
Set Up: To set up this center, I put out a center sign and colorful cards for students to write their facts. Sometimes, I give students a specific resource (iPad app, website, database) to work with but often I say any resources we have talked about are free to use. Students explore library resources and when they find something interesting they want to share, they write the fact and source on a Did you know? card. Students then decide which part of the library is most appropriate to display their card.
Objective: Students will read silently or aloud with a stuffed animal book buddy.
Objective: After reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, students will “make their mark” by creating an original dot artwork.
Set Up: I cut out 4×4 squares of computer paper for the Dot drawings. Then I cut 6×6 squares from construction paper for “frames”. After students finish their dots, they pick a frame color. They tape the dot illustration paper on the construction paper frame. I usually laminated the art and display throughout the year. This is one of my students’ favorite centers!
Objective: Students will work collaboratively to create a library alphabet book.
Objective: Students will put books in call number order.
Set Up: I link Shelve-it to my school website for easy access for students. Students choose the type of call numbers they would like to work on (fiction or Dewey) and the level of difficulty. I have also used this center as a group center by projecting it on my interactive whiteboard.
Grab a free Shelver! Center sign from TPT below!
Objective: Students will work collaboratively on a jigsaw or floor puzzle.
Set Up: I set out a jigsaw or floor puzzle along with books that match the topic. For more details about my puzzle center, please see my blog post below.
Grab a free Puzzle Center Sign at TPT!
Objective: Students will make creepy carrots based on the book Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.
Set up: To set up this center, I first cut orange paper scraps into a variety of carrot shapes. I put out the orange carrots, green scraps, markers, glue sticks, and kid scissors. Students used the materials to create their own creepy (or not so creepy) carrots. They could tape their carrots anywhere in the library.
I have used variations of this center where students draw creepy carrots or create them using Drawing Pad on an iPad.
Grab a free Creepy Carrot Center sign from TPT using the link below!
Objective: Students will create art-inspired poems using Storybird.
Set Up: Storybird is a website that offers visual storytelling and describes itself as “a platform for writers, readers, and artists of all ages.” Sign up for a free account and you will be able to choose artwork to use as inspiration and write stories or poetry.
For this center, I introduced Storybird to students and then put Storybird poetry up on the Smartboard so they could write poems in small groups.
Objective: Students will create found poetry using the Word Mover app.
Set Up: The Word Mover iPad app was created by ReadWriteThink.org. Students create poems based on words in a word bank. Students can choose to use a random word bank, a word bank from a famous work (America the Beautiful, I Have a Dream, and others), or enter their own words. Words can be moved around, backgrounds can be changed to reflect the mood of the poem, and poems can be saved to the photo library.
Objective: Given a visual prompt, students will write original poetry.
Set Up: For this center, I cover a table with butcher/bulletin board paper. I post a picture on the table or in an acrylic frame to show a theme and give visual inspiration. Student will write poetry related to the theme, add illustrations, add on to each other’s poems, etc.
Variations: have students write and draw favorite characters, book recommendations, illustrations in a specific artist’s style
Objective: Student will choose a Library Pictionary topic card, draw the topic, and let other Students guess the topic based on their drawings.
Set Up: I set this center up with topic cards, several mini whiteboards, dry erase markers, and erasers. Students decide who will go first. The first student will choose a topic card and do their best to illustrate the image on the whiteboard. Other students will guess what the topic card said based on the illustration.
Objective: Students will write reasons they love the library on a heart.
Set Up: I use a basket of pre-cut paper hearts, markers, and a center sign explaining what students will do. Students write one or more reasons they love our library on a heart. I use the completed hearts to create a bulletin board to advocate for the library by showing all the reasons the students love being in the library!
Objective: Students will “microblog” about various library topics.
Set Up: I use laminated sentence strips and dry erase markers posted in a designated area. Students use the blurbs to answer specific questions, give book recommendations, share library news, and ask questions. They learn to participate in a microblogging community, respond to and address others, and be responsible for the information they share.
Objective: Students will assist with library jobs.
Set Up: When I have jobs students can assist with, I set up this center with a sign and whatever materials are necessary to complete the job. Jobs include: pencil sharpening, stapling, sorting, shelving, putting on label protectors, checking book orders against the packing slip, and many other things. Students love being responsible for what is happening in the library.
Objective: Students will build a crossword puzzle based on a specific library topic.
Set Up: For my game board, I use a large oil-drip pan from an auto store. I created magnetic letters using craft foam and magnetic tape but you could also buy a used Scrabble or Scrabble Jr. game and add magnets to those letters. I post a library-related topic each week and begin the crossword with that word. Students think of words related to the topic of the week and add their words to the crossword.
Objective: Students will create a book spine of a real or made-up book and include the correct call number.
Grab a free Book Spine Center sign at TPT using the link below!
Objective: Students will create original poetry using magnetic words OR Students will create original stories using magnetic words.
Set Up: I use an oil drip pan but any magnetic surface will work for this center. I made my own magnetic words by cutting out and laminating words from magazines but you can also order magnetic poetry kits online. During poetry month, I use this as a poetry center but during other times of the year, students use it to create stories.