Readers’ Advisory with the Wheel o’ Fun

IMG_8150BookendsCindy: Last week I found this gem in a local, artsy thrift shop. The bright colors attracted me like a hummingbird to a flower, and I couldn’t resist giving it a spin and listen to the clicking slow down as the wheel came to a stop. I wanted it, but the deal was closed when my sister-in-law gave me the idea to put book choices on the wheel and take it into school. The owner gave me a discount since I was taking it into my library (she is a retired teacher and knows how much of our own paycheck we spend each year in our classrooms). SOLD!

Give reading a whirl!

IMG_8151I decided to use “What Should You Read First This Year?” as the Wheel o’ Fun’s first question and I typed up a list of genres and formats, printed out multiple copies, and cut them apart and taped them on the wheel. I added some Minion reading and books stickers for some visual interest (free choice spots) on the wheel and put it out at open house last week at Macatawa Bay Middle School in Holland, Michigan.

The Wheel o’ Fun was an instant hit and a popular attraction all night as families walked through our library. Younger siblings got in on the fun, and some parents were forced by their teens to spin the wheel, too. It was a nice ice-breaker and gave me a chance to highlight parts of the collection, talk to the students about what they’d read this summer, and show them the variety of choices that await them this fall if they are new to our building. IMG_8144Of course, I’m not going to hold the students to the suggestion the wheel provided, but the Wheel o’ Fun and I will keep showing them that there is a variety of reading choices available to them. Give reading a whirl!

(And, no, I’m not going to have this on display every day . . . the clicking would drive me mad eventually, but we’ll pull it out for variety and we’ll re-label it for other uses in my middle schools during the year too. I’m going to get my money’s worth and have fun doing it!)

Lynn: Cindy is just plain brilliant, don’t you think?



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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