A number of you run Mock Caldecotts at your school, library, book club, car pool…wherever 15 or so are gathered in the name of picture books. I hope you will share your results right here in the comments. I think many of us would love to know HOW you conduct the reading, discussion, and voting.
Here is how I have hosted a Mock Caldecott Committee with my second graders.
I probably don’t do anything much different from others who run Mock Caldecotts. We look at the criteria, show some books that seem to especially meet each criterion, then look at current books that appeal to me and to other reviewers. (I look at a lot of journals to find out what other people are loving.) I usually throw in a few which have not been as well reviewed, but that I think second graders would love. (This year it’s Big Mean Mike.)
I print off the criteria–the official ALSC language and a translation into second gradespeak. We talk criteria for a bit and I keep the discussion firmly linked to them. I read the Caldecott books from August to December in a casual, reading aloud way. I keep them in a basket which is labeled “Caldecott Possibilities.” By the time we get to December, there are too many to talk about, so either I choose about ten or they vote on ten. (When I started writing this blog, I used our list as the class’s list for the most part.)
Then, I read each book again, first with no words and then with text. They take notes as I read and then spend about five minutes taking further notes. Then we drag our chairs in a circle and talk about that book, following the CCBC book discussion guidelines. I usually present the book for less than 30 seconds just to start. We start with what we appreciate and then move on to concerns. I ask them to return to their notes and assign a 0-10 rating scale. Repeat with each book.
About halfway through, I randomly assign a child to be the chair of the committee and another to present the book to the group. Some years I have them prepare in advance for this job, usually I just take them by surprise. They never ever disappoint.
On the Wednesday or Thursday before the announcements, we vote. We follow the procedures set out by ALSC and vote until we have a winner and 2-5 honor books. It is very very important to count the votes one at a time, on the board. Counting is when they start to realize the power of the second and third place votes. (first gets 4, second gets 3 and third gets 2) They add up.
I will post my class’s results in the comments.
We want to hear yours. I especially want to hear about the emotional responses your committee had to the procedure and results.