The title of this post is the title of a new book that just came out. Donalyn Miller is also the author of The Book Whisperer. I could listen to her all day.
The day before Reading in the Wild arrived from my friends at Amazon, I posted on Facebook how grateful I am to be able to read. Later in the day, I assigned a journal page to my fifth graders and the prompt was "Free Write." Sometimes I give actual prompts with topics, but sometimes I just let them write about whatever strikes their fancy. My only requirements are that they write their first and last names, write the complete date, copy the prompt down onto the journal paper, and fill up the lines printed on the page as a minimum.
Free Writes are revealing. I learned that one fellow is taking Hunter's Safety classes. I heard about sports games. I found out who was headed to St. George for the weekend. Happily, THREE students chose to write about READING! I did not suggest this topic. I didn't suggest any topic!
A girl wrote: "I am reading a book called Dork Diaries number 2 (then she goes on, and on with the plot summary...). She didn't fall off the beam but I wish you could see the picture. It is so funny. She is holding on for dear life but she is not falling off! Oh, I love these books so much. I am just really into them. There are six books but one of them is where you write your own journal and there is another one that I don't have. I read number one and now I'm working on two. These books are soooo sooo good. You should read them too." This was a 3.5 page journal entry! I would say this child reads in the wild.
Next a boy wrote: "I love reading. To me, reading takes me into a whole new world taking me places I haven't seen. First I started with Narnia. Those stories were awesome. Next I got interested in the Percy Jackson series. That was better than Narnia. Now I am reading The Heroes of Olympus series. They are super thick, and they weigh my backpack down when I ride my bike home, but it is a very good series with Demigods and monsters killing each other. After that I am going to read the Alex Rider series. The first book is Stormbreaker. I read some of that book and a stormbreaker is a tablet like thing and it makes learning way fun." That was one page in his handwriting. I would say this child has a reading plan!
Another girl wrote: "I am going to write about a book I am reading. I read a book called The Land of Stories. I really enjoyed that book because I like fantasy. I think it is a good book that everyone can read. I got it at a book fair. I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. I thought that it was a really boring long book but it ended up being a great book. I also went to the library and got the book The Candy Shop War. My mom was telling me about it and said she wanted to read it. So I went to the libary and got the book for her to read. I am going to try to read it too. I am so excited to show my mom the book I got. I was looking all over for it at the library. I also read a book called The Boxcar Children. I thought it was a really good book. My grandma has the whole series. I am so happy. I hope I can read all the books. I love to read. I hope when I grow up I can publish lots of books. Maybe I could publish a series of books if I try. I might even be a famous author. I read so many books because it is so interesting about the main part. I am going to start a new book on mystery. I wonder if I can find so many books on mystery. I started on some book called Goosebumps but I don't really like those scary books. I like to try mysteries and biography. Every night me and my family read scriptures. I like listening to every word in the Bible. Every night I write in my own journal and I read it over again and again. Writing is also part of reading too. I write my own stories and I really like them. I read one of my stories to my mom. I could tell she liked it. I read and write everyday because I love to. I think it is one of my talents. I am reading Harry Potter which is a pretty good book. I thought it would be boring but it is so mysterious. Mom has book #1 and book #2 and book #3 and book #5 and book #6 and book #8 but she doesn't have book number 4 or 7. I probably should get that at the library. I am on book number 2. I want to get all the way to book number 8 if I am not in college at that time. I am so happy that I know how to read. But what I am really excited about is reading The Candy Shop War. It seems like a great book. I want to write even more. I am so excited for book fair because maybe I can buy the second book of The Land of Stories or maybe The Candy Shop War. I have so many choices to choose and I am so excited."
This was four full pages, People! Not only does she have a reading plan, she has a plan for college! Please allow me to plagiarize one of her sentences to conclude my post.
I am so happy.
11 hours ago