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Read Across America in July

A little extra encouragement to pay attention to their surroundings can help provide rich fodder to a young imagination. Offer more opportunities for kids to look, imagine and think!

For Younger Readers

Pool by Jihyeon Lee (Chronicle Books, 2015) is a wordless picture book that tells the story of a young swimmer who dives deep into his imagination while swimming in a crowded pool.

Discuss and explore:

The publisher provides advice on How to Read a Book with No Words, using Pool as an example. Stimulate kids

For Older Readers

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes (Wordsong, 2013) explains in verse how Gaby uses her imagination to help her cope with tough times at home and starting a new school.

Discuss and explore:

An Educator Guide by the publisher provides discussion questions and activities. Author/educator Kristen Remanar offers additional classroom ideas for using the book to guide imaginations.

In The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday, 2011) two student magicians are pitted in a battle of imagination at a mysterious circus that only appears at night.

Discuss and explore:

The Night Circus Readers Guide offers topics and questions for discussion. Encourage readers to spend time discussing the details of the book Q&A with the author.

Engaging Readers of All Ages

Pretending to be someone else activates imaginations and exercises language skills. Have students talk about the expression issues, and come up with ways they can communicate their new understanding.

Older students can take the idea of walking in someone else write a narrative about a day in the owner's life or try this similar video-based lesson from PBS Learning Media.

Additional Resources

Responsive Classroom has ideas for Fostering Imagination

Imagination: The Forgotten 21st Century Skill? from Scholastic includes books for kids that talk about imagination.

Find tools and support to help foster the creativity of kids in your own community at the Imagination Foundation

Watch talks on the creative spark from this TED playlist.

Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Supporting Pre-Service Teachers
Welcome to Supporting Pre-Service Teachers! This group is for educators who work with and support pre-service teachers. Pre-Service and Early Career teachers will also benefit from joining this group. Mentors and cooperating teachers are strongly encouraged to join! Notes of encouragement, sharing of resources, good articles, and venting is welcome too. This group is solutions driven - the goal is to find realistic solutions to support our pre-service and cooperating teachers and address any concerns and questions that come up.

Illinois Education Matters
Illinois Education Matters is a network for all practitioners in education - IEA members and non-members. This effort is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, tools, resources, and information on grants, conferences / workshops, etc. Imagine this as your one stop for all connections. If you have joined our group, please message me - letting me know that you joined. I do not get any information telling me you joined. Our membership is so large, it takes me forever to go through and see our new members. Thanks for your help. You can also join other active groups on edCommunities. Several IEA members are facilitators for edCommunities. Check out and join their groups, if interested. Mary Ann Rivera - Illinois ESPs Mary Jane Morris - Illinois Education Matters IEA Jillian Huber - Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th Jim Grimes - Higher Education Amy Kappele - Early Childhood Development & Education

Secondary Literacy
Do you want to inspire your students to think critically, to analyze works, and to use their imaginations on a daily basis? Do you want to explore ways you can integrate reading into writing curricula and writing into reading curricula in your high school classroom? Join us at the Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th group to share, explore, and discuss ways for teachers of all content areas to link these two important life skills together in order to help students get the most out of themselves every day.

Our Read Across America Online Store is Open!

Visit to purchase stickers, bookmarks, pencils, mugs, hats & more. We have all you need to create a memorable RAA celebration.


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Download the Read Across America 2017 Recommended Books Poster here (PDF).

Click here to download the 2018-19 Read Across America Resource Calendar and Poster!



Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based resources designed to launch young readers. It's for parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Coming in 2019...

National Arts in Education Week
September 8-14, 2019

American Education Week
November 18-22, 2019

Coming in 2020...

NEA's Read Across America Day
Monday, March 2, 2020

National Teacher Day
May 5, 2020

National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 4 - 8, 2020