Woodland dragon project gets kids reading
Spring is a time of excitement and boundless energy for students. Sunshine, recess and playtime often take precedent over more sedentary activities like reading.
“I wanted to figure out a way to energize our whole school around the idea of reading,” said Woodland Elementary Principal David Warning. He found it when the Lacey Spring Fun Fair was looking for parade entries from schools. “In discussing the idea with our leadership team the concept of a reading dragon developed and grew.
Staff soon challenged students to start reading and they did so…voraciously! Depending on the grade level, students could earn dragon “scales” for their efforts either by the book or a certain amount of time they read. The various scales were made of colorful cloth which students got to “feed” to a dragon scale box at the front office.
“It’s such a great project since kids usually lose their motivation to read this time of year,” said first grade teacher and former school librarian Jeanne Dees. “The energy around reading has been amazing through the entire school!”
One of her students, Sage, said he has already read over 1,000 minutes for the project, earning 10 scales. “It’s pretty cool..I got to read and we all get to be in the parade.”
The dragon has grown from an idea into a 70-foot creature with thousands of scales. He was unveiled at a school assembly a few days before the parade at St. Martin’s University where the school won “Best Group” award for their entry.