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Pound Ridge Elementary Readers Share Opinions and Recommend Books

 second grader holds up her book review in front of a wall filled with books At first glance, it may have looked like Pound Ridge Elementary School second graders were working quietly and independently at their desks. With headphones on and eyes glued to their screens, both of Laurianne Lugo-Hart’s cohorts were deep in concentration. What a closer look reveals, however, is that students were sharing reading recommendations with each other, one by one. 

“In this book, Mr. Putter wants a cat that is old like him,” Zoe told her classmates via Google Meet. “Mr. Putter went to the pet store but there was a problem. At the pet store they did not have cats. They only had kittens. Will Mr. Putter find an old cat? If you want to find out how this story ends, you will have to read it yourself.”

Although Lugo-Hart’s class is split into two cohorts across the hall from one another, she found a way to bring them together with this activity.

“My two second grade cohorts got to share, via Google Meet, their opinions about books,” Lugo-Hart said. “During this share time, students recommended books to each other by reading what they wrote about their book and telling classmates a lesson they learned from reading it.”

Students followed a simple sharing structure that they filled in with details specific to their books. The reports read like letters starting with “Dear Reader” and introducing classmates to the main characters and the problem in the book they read. They closed the letter with a valuable lesson learned.

“It’s a really good book because it teaches you books can take you places,” said Henry.

“It is a really good book because it teaches you to never give up,” said Brooke. “I hope you love this book as much as I did.”

“It’s a really good book because it teaches you that it’s ok if you don’t win,” said Silas.

After each presentation, students shared a picture they drew depicting something from their book and teachers and classmates gave them a round of applause.