If this is your first visit to our hop, we are reading Kelly Gallagher's book Readicide. Take a peek at our thoughts and leave us a comment. I would love to hear from you.

Chapter 2, Endangered Minds

Kelly Gallagher made a couple of points in chapter two of Readicide that really hit home with me.

The Importance of Knowledge Capital.

According to Gallagher because our students are not reading a wide variety of texts their knowledge capital is very small. Today’s students do not know what is happening in this world. Gallagher’s example was al Qaeda. Remember the book was published in 2009. He had students who did not know what al Qaeda was.

Now you may not expect 5th graders to understand al Qaeda, but exposing them to a wide variety of reading material will certainly help them improve their knowledge capital. But how do we expose them to the type of reading that adults do, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites? I really do not have the time to implement this into my class. And I am not sure what is appropriate for 5th graders.

However a few years ago I started showing the news during our snack time.  We have a late lunch so the kiddos bring in a snack. We take 5 to 10 minutes to eat our snack and I turn on CNN Student News. The class really gets into this and when a good discussion develops we run with it, so it sometimes takes much longer than 10 minutes.  I am thrilled at how engaged they are and I always learn something.  I think this is a great age appropriate way to expose the class to current events and the rich vocabulary that accompanies it.

There is a Dearth of Interesting Reading Materials in our Schools.

Dearth? Not a word that I use every day, I even looked it up to make sure I had the correct meaning. It means lack.

So what is interesting to a 5th grader? That is the question of the day. I do not think 5th graders know what they love to read yet. I remember when I was in 5th grade. Our school had just added a new library. My classmates were reading mysteries. I did not like mysteries. Yet today, I love mysteries. So as educators I think we need to expose our students to many different types of literature.
To help with this Gallagher recommends a book flood zone. Since I love garage sales adding material to my class library has been easy. My problem is finding room in the classroom for all the books. ;) 

Hop on over to The Big Kids' Hall and see what she has to say about Readicide.

Interested in joining in? Here's our schedule. We'd love to know what you think!


  1. Loved your post! You brought up some fabulous points. I think your news idea during snack time is honestly genius! How have I not thought of this before? This was just added to my list of must-do's next year. Also, I completely agree that our kiddos don't quite know what they enjoy reading yet. Book floods are the perfect way to begin exposing them to multiple types of reading material and allow them the choice to pick what they want.

    The Organized Plan Book

  2. Do you get CNN Student News through a tv channel or the internet? I think it is a fascinating concept to introduce. We have struggles with technology in my town as we are extremely rural. (Think: 200 miles to the nearest mall).

    When I was in 5th grade, I remember liking this book called "Face on the Milk Carton" and also Number of the Stars. I liked anything history related. In my experience now, I think 5th graders LOVE anything to do with animals and paranormal mysteries (ghosts, big foot, aliens). I think if they respect you too, they will love almost anything you introduce them to. I always get goosebumps at the end of the year when a kid mentions something we read in a book or learned about in the beginning of the year. It's better than winning an oscar knowing that they actually remembered something I spewed!

    Great blog, looking forward to what you have to say about Chapter 3!

    The Whimsical Teacher

    1. I get CNN Student News through the internet. I bookmarked it so it is easy to find. I do monitor it a little, example if there has been a shooting we do not watch it.

    2. I get CNN Student News through the internet. I bookmarked it so it is easy to find. I do monitor it a little, example if there has been a shooting we do not watch it.

  3. I have the same problem - not enough room for all the books! Not a bad problem to have. Love the idea of CNN student news during snack time. The students don't even realize they are building background knowledge.

    Quinnessential Lessons