Tips for Teaching Book Care

I always like to start the school year off by teaching book care to my students.  I  like to think that if they know how to treat their books with respect I have more chance of them being returned the same way they were loaned out!
I'm going to share with you some tried and tested lesson ideas, books and resources that I love to use.

Lesson Ideas
Hands on lessons are always a student favorite. They're fun, they're engaging and they get the message across. They usually take a little more organization, but you will hopefully have most of these things laying around your classroom or library.
My absolute favorite lesson to teach the lower grades is: 'Library Do's or Don'ts'
This is what you will need:
2 boxes that say 'do' and 'don't'

 Then, I have a bunch of items that represent book care do's, such as:
- Book mark
- Library bag (this depends if you use them in your library)
- Library card
- Hand soap (to represent washing your hands so they are nice and clean before reading)

And of course, items to represent book care don'ts, such as:
- Food
- Drinks
- Markers
- A toy dog (to represent a pet)
- A baby doll (to represent a baby sibling playing with your library books.) Whenever this one comes out, the students all laugh and squeal with delight!

I place all of the items inside my 'mystery bucket', and choose one student at a time to come out and take a lucky dip out of the bucket.

Then they must decide whether the object belongs in the 'do's' or 'don'ts' container.
If you're running short on time, you can have hold each item up and choose individual students to answer whether it's a book care 'do' or 'don't' instead of calling students up.
The students love this activity and it always seems to stick with them.

Another hands on activity that I love to use is my Book Care Do's & Don'ts Matching Cards.
I laminate these and store in mini zip lock bags. I make up enough for students to share 1 between 2. It's a quick and easy activity for students to consolidate their knowledge. A bonus is the activity is reusable, so you can pull it out for all your classes year after year!

Books on 'Book Care'
In addition to hands on lessons, I like to read students stories about book care. My favorites are:


1. Read It, Don't Eat It by Ian Schoenherr- This is a cute book about book care. It focuses about things you should and should not do with your library books. It's quite short- which is great if you're running low on time, or can always be extended with some of the tricky words in there (deface, delete, censor).

2. Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book by Karen Casale and Cecilia Rebora-   Oh this book is great! Perfect for 2nd & 3rd grade in particular as they really seem to love the 'secret agent' theme running through this book. This one is a little longer, and I absolutely love it.

3. Manners with a Library Book by Amanda Doering Tourville and Chris Lensch - This book shares with the students the basics of book care in a really straight forward manner. Best for Prep/Kindergarten and 1st Grade.

4. Splat the Cat and the Library Book by Rob Scotton- This one does not go through the basics of book care, but it's still a fun story about returning your library books on time. Who can resist Splat the Cat really?

Resources and Posters on Book Care
When teaching my book care unit, I like to have a bulletin board with posters on the topic that I can easily refer to while I'm teaching. I typically use my posters from my book care unit.

I also have a few go to no prep printables that I like to use for the lower years. I typically will copy them in a half size (two to a page) to save on paper and have my students complete them using mini clip boards.

At the end of the unit I always like to make copies of my Book Care bookmarks and hand these out as a little reminder.


All of the items (and more) are available in my Book Care Pack found HERE. Or you can also grab this resource as part of my 'Library Skills Bundle' available HERE.

I am always looking for fun and new ideas to mix things up, so if you have some great book care tips, feel free to share them in the comments.


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  2. Thank you! These are great ideas! I've purchased the Library Skills bundle and I can't wait to use this!


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