The Caldecott Medal is awarded every year by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children. It’s like the Oscars for picture book illustrators. So, having a Mock Caldecott voting party is like hosting an Oscar party where everyone fills out their ballots before the show begins. Kids and adults love to share their opinion and make their predictions. This year’s Caldecott winners will be announced on Monday, February 2nd.
How to Host a Mock Caldecott with your Students
- Pre-select 10-20 books for your students to review. If you’ve read a lot of picture books during the year, students can help brainstorm the list. Or, look at some ideas from this Bookopolis compiled list, this Goodreads list, and this Horn Book list.
- If you have time, read a few past winners to the class and talk about what made them so good.
- Spend 30 minutes a day for 5 days that students can rotate through all 10-20 books in small groups. (The amount of time needed will depend on the age and reading level of your students. For younger grades, you could read 1-2 books a day to the class over 1-2 weeks.)
- Ask students to write a few notes about what they liked about the illustrations and/or the story in each book. And, give each book a rating (1-5 or 1-10 stars) after they read it to help remember which they liked the best.
- Use a kid-friendly tool like Bookopolis for students to track their ratings and reviews.
- Ask each student to rank their Top 3 favorites in order – give 3 points to #1 choice, 2 points to #2 choice, 1 point to #1 choice.
- Add up the points for each book.
- Announce the winner and do a group read aloud of the winner.
- Compare your class pick with the Caldecott Medal Winner on February 2nd.