What is a Book Walk and How To Create One

Ever had that spark of curiosity about diving into the world of book walks but found yourself in a bit of a head-scratching moment, not quite sure where to start or what it’s all about? Well, good news! Bringing the magic of a book walk to life in your classroom or library is surprisingly straightforward. The best part? Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’re not just creating a one-time experience. You’re setting the stage for a literary adventure that can keep unfolding for years. Imagine the joy of knowing you can recycle your bookwalk materials and sprinkle a bit of literary enchantment on your space whenever the mood strikes. Ready to embark on this bookish journey? Let’s dive in!

Take your students on a visual adventure with an exciting book walk this year.

What is a Book Walk?

A book walk is like a gallery and gives your students the opportunity to appreciated the illustrated work in engaging books you include in your classroom library.

So, what’s the deal with a Book Walk, you ask? Think of it as a stroll through a gallery, but instead of art pieces, we’re immersing our students in the world of books!

It works best with picture books or books with lots of graphics, like a graphic novel. During this book walk, imagine your students wandering around the room and soaking in every page of the book.

It’s a genius way to sprinkle some movement into your reading sessions. For those students who find it impossible to stay rooted in their seats, this could be the magic solution.

Plus, it’s the perfect recipe for shaking up the reading routine. It’s like saying, “Hey, learning and reading? They’re not confined to just your desks!

How to Set Up a Book Walk

Now, let’s talk about turning book walks into a reality with the setup and the behind-the-scenes! Trust me, it’s simpler than whipping up your favorite recipe. Here’s the lowdown on making it happen:

Step 1: Cut

First things first, you’ll need two copies of your chosen book. Now, brace yourself for a daring move. Grab one copy and, yes, cut those pages out. I know, it might sound like a literary sacrilege, but fear not, it’s all for the greater good.

Make copies of the book pages to frame or hang for your engaging book walk.

Step 2: Reinforce the Pages

Let’s show those liberated pages some love and care. You’ve got options here. You can slide them into plastic sheets, give them a sturdy backing, or even place them in elegant picture frames. The choices are endless, but my pro tip: reinforce them in some way to ensure they’re ready for their spotlight.

Step 3: Place the Pages

Time to let your book pages shine! Spread them out strategically, whether it’s across the classroom, a library takeover, a hallway extravaganza, or any large space you can commandeer. Lay them on the floor like a literary carpet or tape them to the walls for a visual feast.

And there you have it – ta-da! Your stage is set for the grand book walk spectacle.

Now, a little librarian wisdom is coming your way. Let’s talk real quick about copyright. While you can’t play Picasso with the book pages (no scanning or enlarging, sorry!), feel free to jazz up the surroundings with supplementary activities or intriguing nuggets of information. It’s all about keeping the magic alive while playing by the rules.

What Books Should I Use for Book Walks?

Now, let’s talk about the stars of your book walk show. Choosing the right books sets the tone and keeps the excitement alive. Here’s the scoop on selecting your book walk companions:

For the ultimate book walk experience, lean towards books that have plenty of illustrations. Picture books are the MVPs here with those vibrant visuals. After all, it’s a bit challenging to keep the “walk” in book walk if the pages are drowning in text, right?

A gripping plot is another key to a successful book walk. You want your students eagerly strolling to the next station, hungry to see what happens next in the story. So, think of stories with strong plotlines that keep them on the edge of their literary toes.

Now, consider the age factor. If you’re dealing with budding readers, maybe opt for a wordless book that lets their imagination take the lead. For the older crew, don’t be afraid to spice things up with a chapter book, pasting those initial pages for a taste of what’s to come.

Though, a word of advice I have learned over time is to start with picture books and gradually venture into the realm of longer text pages. You have to build that buy-in before jumping all in!

Here are a few books I suggest using for book walks:

What Should Students Do During Book Walks?

Now, let’s unravel the art of questioning during your book walks with your students. This is your toolkit to ignite those literary discussions and enhance those ever-important literacy skills.

To kick things off, I display thought-provoking questions to guide my students through the book walk. Whether it’s on the board, a poster, or even a handy worksheet, the questions set the stage for an interactive reading adventure.

I like to enhance the book walk experience by placing questions right where the action is. If you’re feeling tech-savvy, throw in some QR codes leading students to online questions or engaging activities, turning the book walk into a multimedia spectacle.

Before the literary exploration begins, it’s cover preview and prediction time! Gather your students, take a peek at the cover, and let the predictions and inferences flow. What tale do they think will unfold? What subtle hints does the cover drop about the book? Oh, and let’s not forget the author spotlight to take a moment to appreciate the creative genius behind the words.

Now, let’s unveil some of the magical questions that bring your book walk to life:

  • What do you see on the page?
  • What do you think is happening?
  • Is the picture whispering something to you? Perhaps a secret message from the author?
  • What do you predict will happen next in this literary adventure?
  • And for those unfamiliar words, what’s your take on what they mean?

These questions are your compass, guiding your students through the story’s landscape and nurturing those crucial literacy skills.

Let’s Walk the Walk with Book Talks!

Phew! We’ve covered quite the literary ground! You’re now equipped with the keys to unlock the world of book walks in your classroom or library. A dynamic activity that gets students interacting with books in a new way and looking forward to reading new books with excitement.

You don’t have to hide this activity away for a typical library visit or class. I have used book walks for all kinds of special occasions like field days, author visits, or the cozy warmth of family reading nights. You could even elevate the experience by pairing the chosen book with a craft. Now, that’s the perfect recipe for a delightful blend of learning and fun! So, go ahead and take those first steps into the realm of book walks. Watch as the magic unfolds in the hands of your eager readers. Happy walking and reading!

Save for Later

Remember to save this post to your favorite reading Pinterest board for when you are planning your book walks for your students!

One Response

  1. Where was this stuff years ago? What a great idea for picture walk alternative. And really it is almost exactly what we do when looking at a book to read (or those college classes). You know look at how many pages, and then the print, oh and lets not forget to see how it is going in the middle of the book. Thanks for sharing this approach. Now about the book pages being removed from the cover. For some reason every so often someone decides hey lets get rid of books in the library or classrooms that old or seem outdated (It cracks me up when administrators decide (yes I am one of those, but still a teacher at heart) books should go). They seem to ignore the fact that the book is always a favorite of a class (judging a book by the cover?). Suggestion before weed and toss what if you use these picture books for the book walk? If you have several repeat copies let each class have a shot and then switch. Okay so lets look at the same and different process, as in how are things the same or different now when compared to what is happening in a book walk.. Hang in there teachers, assistants, and others; always thinking, sharing, and doing what is best for kids.

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