Elementary 13-14‎ > ‎


Working in a cooperative literature study group, second graders discuss the book Horrible Harry’s Secret.


Onekama Elementary celebrates March is Reading Month


Any visitor to Onekama Elementary School this month could tell that books have been raised to celebrity status school-wide. Even student lockers got into the action, as students decorated their lockers to resemble the covers of their favorite books.

During the month of March, students and teachers at Onekama Elementary found creative ways to honor “March is Reading Month” with activities, lessons, guest speakers, field trips and distance learning experiences designed to encourage students to dive into reading.

Kindergarten classes participated in a reading challenge as well as special reading-themed dress up days, including “Read My Shirt” day, dress like your favorite character, and more.

First grade students participated in their fourteenth annual “Camp Read-a-Lot.”  In honor of March is Reading month, each year students in Mrs. Niederstadt’s class are invited to bring in their camping gear to join in an afternoon of reading and snacking fun. In addition, first grade students took a field trip to Pizza Hut in celebration of reading their six-month reading goals for the Book It Program, followed by a visit to the Manistee Public Library.

Second grade students spent the month studying author’s techniques and then applying it to their own writing. Students wrote and illustrated their own bare books. Students also strengthened their reading skills through guided reading lessons and literature circle study groups.

In the third grade, students participated in a month-long author study, celebrating the life and works of Dr. Seuss.  In addition to reading, writing and rhyming like Seuss, students enjoyed special Seuss-themed dress up days.

Third graders also had the special opportunity to participate in an interactive virtual field trip in the school’s distance learning room. The program, titled “Egg -Citing Animals and Egg-Speriments” was offered by the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center in Ohio. The program combined science and literature in an engaging presentation, using the works of Dr. Seuss as an inspiration.

Onekama fourth graders traveled back in time to learn about life on the prairie as part of their Reading Month celebration. Students read Patricia MacLachlan’s award-winning novel Sarah, Plain and Tall and participated in classroom activities related to the novel.

In the fifth grade, teacher Bonnie Brown used Reading Month as an opportunity to involve her students in the 2014 IditaRead Challenge.  Students chose and tracked mushers and their sled dog teams through all the Iditarod race checkpoints (975 miles) from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.  All students attempted to read 975 or more minutes through the month of March as well as track their mushers’ progress through the race.  The project incorporated reading, math, geography, and science throughout the race.  Students enjoyed learning about Alaska and the Iditarod by watching videos and live events online at Iditarod.com, tracking the weather, calculating time and distance, learning mushing terminology and the history of Alaska, and learning facts and trivia about the last great race. 

Activities in all classrooms were created with the goal of helping students learn strategies for becoming capable readers, as well as generating an excitement in students for the act of reading itself by introducing students to quality literature.

Arlee, Hailee, Kennedy and third grade teacher Sally Catanese dress a little bit wacky on Wacky Wednesday, honoring Dr. Seuss.

Third grader Grace shares a Dr. Seuss story 
with her classmates.

   Above: Senator Booher came to Onekama Elementary and read to the students in Kindergarten and First Grade
   Left: Kirk Beeman, a fifth grader at Onekama, tracks the progress of an   musher as part of his class’s Idita-Read competition.
Above: Mrs. Bennett's students dress as their favorite characters. More on Mrs. Bennett's page.

(Above) Fifth graders Kelton Fink, Sara Bromley and Moriah Fowler conduct research 
as part of their class Idita-Read Challenge.

(Above) Kindergarten Student proudly show the books they wrote.  They read them aloud during Reading Month. Additional Photos linked from Mr. Kudlack's page.

The first grade classroom was transformed into a camp site during Camp Read A Lot.
Additional Camp-Read-a-Lot photos are linked Mrs. Niederstat's index page.