Getting Children Started with Reading Response Journals: Kevin Henkes Boxed Set GIVEAWAY

August 15, 2011

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Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: Boxed Set Lilly and Friends Box of Fun by Kevin Henkes

Why we love these books:

Kevin Henkes’ series about Lilly and her friends is charming, witty, funny and true to life. Both adults and children can relate to these remarkably “real” characters. From Lilly and her friends, children learn lessons about how to treat others, while also building a little self-esteem of their own.

During our series on Reading Response Journals, we will be stocking the classroom and home with great children’s literature for read alouds and independent reading. Let’s get your children reading Lilly and friends . . .

Reading Response Journals: mini-lesson 2


  • inexpensive spiral or reading response paper.
  • pencils, colored pencils, crayons or markers
  • books, books, books
  • reading response strip: I like the part about ___________________.
    • Print Reading Response Prompts FREE: Reading Response Strips
    • Just a few prompts to get you started during the first few months. I’ll add to these choices as the weeks progress.

mini-lesson 2: I like the part about __________________.

1. Read aloud

  • I read aloud to the children every day.
  • Often, I pick the book to teach a specific literacy concept.
  • Other times, I select a book related to our theme studies.
  • Sometimes the children pick! This day Miss Enigma picked the book Katie and the Dinosaurs by James Mayhew.
  • Before I began reading, I told the children I wanted them to keep an eye out for their favorite part of the story, “Today you are going to pick your favorite part of the story. When the story is over, we’ll each share our favorite part.”

2. Reading Response

  • I like the part about _____________________.
  • For homeschool, I write these reading responses on small strips of paper for my children to copy.
  • In the classroom, I write these reading responses on a sentence strip and post it for all of the children to copy.

Reading Response Journal, MacGyver, age 8

Reading Response Journal, Miss Enigma, age 4

3. Organization

  • For homeschool, these reading response strips can be run on card stock. As the reading responses are introduced they can be added to a book ring. (I’ve made these for you, if you’d like to print them for FREE.)
  • In the classroom, I laminate a large sheet of chart tablet paper so I can use it over and over again. Every Monday, I introduce a new reading response. I lead the class through a read aloud and shared writing experience, modeling how to complete the new reading response.

4. Independent Reading and Response (throughout the week)

  • At the beginning of our reading block each day, I read aloud a book and review the reading response of the day.
  • Each day, the children select a book for independent reading time.
  • The children read quietly for 15 minutes.
  • Each child completes the assigned reading response and draws a corresponding illustration.

5. Adaptations

  • Allowing younger children to illustrate first, helps them brainstorm and collect their thoughts before writing.
  • If you are teaching children third grade or older, they may not want to do an illustration. Older children tend to naturally transition out of drawing. That’s a good time to move them into an inexpensive spiral notebook.
  • As the weeks progress, I will introduce double entry reading responses in which the children will have to explain their reading response. Example: I like the part about ___________________. I like this part because ________________________.
    • Don’t worry about this now. We’ll come back to it later.
  • Additionally, as the weeks progress and the children become familiar with three or four reading responses, I introduce FREE Choice Friday. Each Friday the children can select any reading response they’d like.
  • Miss Enigma, age 4, is invited to join us for reading time; however she is not required to complete the assignments.

Life with Jeannine

We’re GIVING AWAY one Boxed Set Lilly and Friends Box of Fun by Kevin Henkes.

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Are you currently reading a book? What is your favorite part? Around here picture books count! Let’s face it, Mommies don’t get a lot of free reading time. (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Thursday, August 18, 2011

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Friday, August 19, 2011. Check back it might be you!

In case you missed it:

Reading Response Journal mini-lesson 1: How to Introduce Reading Response Journals

Giveaway Day

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin August 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I have been reading a lot of books trying to get ready for the up coming school year. Picking books for Sept. and getting those Journals ready for the pre-K kids.

amber August 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I just finished reading Mister Dog to the kids for bedtime. My all time favorite Little Golden Book from when I was a kid.


Stasia August 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I am reading Charlotte’s Web aloud to my boys. So far their favorite part is when Avery cracks the rotten goose egg.

Tara August 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm

We’re reading a biography about Robert E Lee.

Julie August 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I really should do reading response journals with Bear. I’m reading Don Quixote, but not very far in. My favorite part is when he arrives at the inn in chapter 2 and imagines it as this big castle. It’s quite humorous how deranged he has become from too much reading:)

Ellie August 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’m reading The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin. My favorite part is his descriptions of the Galapagos, especially the tortoises! With the family, we’re reading the series of books about Harry the Dog. We love how cute Harry is!

Natalie August 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I am currently reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. My favorite part is all the jokes about the big computer corporation because I work for one.

Tiffany August 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I am finishing up The River by Gary Paulsen with the older one. I read various picture books with the younger one both before nap and bed. I am personally re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia.

Alice August 16, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I just finished “The Lost Dogs” which is about the pit bulls that Michael Vick had when his fighting kennel was discovered and what happened to them. My favorite thing about it was the amazing stories of love and dedication from the people who gave those dogs a second chance. It was very inspiring.

SnoopyGirl August 18, 2011 at 8:33 am

I am currently reading the FIAR Vol. 1 teacher’s manual along with numerous children’s books. I just love them and dread the day my kids will outgrow them! Our favorites are the Skippyjon Jones series, the Hungry Caterpillar and Frog and Toad. Oh and did I mention the Minnie and Moo series. Oh I could go on and on. LOL! From Minnie and Moo Go Dancing, my favorite part is when Moo eats a bite of hamburger not realizing that she is Beef, as her friend Minnie soon reminds her. That book is a hoot!

Jessica August 18, 2011 at 9:02 am

We have been reading the preschoolers bible at bedtime & The Boxcar Children as a read aloud. My curriculum consist of LOTS of reading this year.

Gretta August 18, 2011 at 10:17 am

Our 8 year old is reading A Boy & His Baseball, our 10 year old is reading The True story of Annie Oakley and I am reading Missional Mom…we love books at our house!

bamagv at aol dot com

Adriana August 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

The youngest is learning to read VERY quickly, so we are reading a lot of “The dog sat on the mat” type stuff :)

Kala August 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Right now my kids are really into the Berenstain Bears books. This set looks great!!

Kelly Kellum August 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

My son, Tanner, has been loving the “Sheep” books by Nancy Shaw…Sheep on a Ship, Sheep in a Shop, Sheep Out to Eat. On Tuesday we actually made a trip to two different libraries and quite possibly checked out the lot! :) We love reading! The Reading Response Journals look great…so fun and a great way to get them to expand on what they’ve read.

Michelle T August 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

We are reading through the Little Princess. Their favorite part so far is when the girls woke up and their dirty & cold attic room was transformed into a luxurious & warm haven!

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly August 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Missed the deadline but I’m reading one of your recommendations: Your Child’s Strengths

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