This week, we were asked to read Travis Jonker’s Mock Caldecott blog post and Mr. Schu’s 20 nominees for the 2018 Caldecott award and post about our thoughts. Personally, I think creating a mock Caldecott award in the classroom would be so much fun! I can imagine that this would engage students and create some great memories. This would be best for grades 2nd through 5th due to the level of comprehension and knowledge of making educated guesses. A mock Caldecott award would work best for Elementary students since they are focused on images and how the story relates.
I would imagine that a mock Newbery award would be difficult simply due to the amount of literature you would have to cover with your students. That being said, it might be good for a small handful of students who are accelerated readers or for a class read that the teacher guesses might be a Newbery award winner.
Some problems that I foresee happening with this activity would be finding the books that you would like students to read and vote on. Teachers do have a lot of resources to look for books but you never know if the libraries can get a hold of the book. This could always be solved by working with the librarians at the school and public libraries to see what could be done. I can also foresee students struggling to vote on books if they do not have clear criteria. As Travis Jonker stated, the guidelines for these awards are not kid friendly so the teacher would need to break them down enough for students to understand while also looking at the correct material.
As for challenges, I think the largest one would be picking and voting for students. I struggle with this so I can image they would.
After reading Mr. Schu’s list of 2018 nominees, I was excited to see that I had already read a few of these books! The top three books that I would still like to read from his list are…
This House, Once written by Deborah Freedman
A Boy, a Mouse, & a Spider: The Story of E.B. White written by Barbara Herkert, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Red & Lulu written by Matt Tavares
Honestly, all of these books seem like great books. I think having a mock award for the class would be fantastic and it would help students get excited. I do not know very many students that would not want to guess and see if they get it right. It would also be fun to surprise the students with a pizza party while they watch the reveal.
I went and took a look at Mr. Schu’s 2020 list our of curiosity. My top three for this year that I will be looking for are….