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Mock Caldecott Program
By examining past Caldecott medal recipients and honor books, students are introduced to American Library Association's (ALA) criteria for selecting Caldecott books. Students will then apply ALA's critera while examining new books. Exploring the art, how the art relates to the text, and the how the pictures help the reader predict what the text will be. Once the entire class has examined the new books, students will vote on their favorite and a class tally recorded. Recorded information will be converted into graphs for hallway display.
Goals & Objectives:

1. Motivating students to read a wider variety of books

2. Reinforces emergent reader skills by predicting the text using the picture-walk approach.

3. Group/Class collaboration

4. Understanding the Caldecott selection procedure

5. Understanding bar graphs and connection to real life data

Materials & Sources:
  • Previous Caldecott Medal and Honor books
  • Potential Caldecott books
  • Boxes or milk crates
  • Caldecott posters
  • Caldecott "Terms and Criteria" downloaded from ALA's website ( )
  • Caldecott Medal/Honor labels (from ALA Store) Generic labels (for school selection) Colored labels for spine labels

This versatile and fun project facilitates collaboration between the Library Media Specialist and the classroom teacher. In addition to challenging all reading levels, it incorporates math concepts.

Tip: The project timeline can be stretched beyond the official winner announcement date.

To start: locate 20 to 40 past Caldecott medal/honor books from your collection and setup a display to create interest. See picture. Meanwhile order new picture books and supplies. For suggestions try books recommended by the Alan Country Public, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Children's Librarians website.

Tip: Hold a small reserve fund to purchase 'overlooked' books that actually win the Caldecott Medal and/or receive honors. Create a rotation schedule and begin circulating the tub of past Caldecott books, followed a week later with the tub of this year's potential Caldecotts. After the class has examined all of the new books, students vote on their favorite, a class tally taken, and recorded. Be sure to collect all of the tallies and keep secret! When all participating classes have submitted their tallies, set up a display to announce the classroom winners as well as the official winners. See picture.

Tip: Use brightly colored spine labels to ensure new books are not inadvertently shelved. Upon completion of program have potential Caldecotts prominently displayed in the library to foster continued interest.


1. Number of classes participating and displays created.

2. Teacher interviews:

a. How popular was this program? Did this program generate excitement for reading?

b. Were all students involved? If not who did/didn't participate?

c. Was the study of predicting text by examining pictures successful for reluctant readers?

d. Do students now examine books with more appreciation?

e. Have you noticed an increase in picture book selection?

3. Student interview:

a. Did you like this program?

b. Did you like judging books?

c. Do you read more picture books?

4. Library statistics examining the popularity of potential Caldecott winners
Website by Data Momentum, Inc.