August 22, 2011

I Don't Have a Square to Spare!

Imagine the reaction of a class of 30 fifth and sixth graders as I pass a roll of toilet paper around the room and tell them "Take what you need."
Some of them won't even take the roll, others want to exactly what they are going to use the toilet paper for. I just tell them to take as much as they need. Some take 1, some take 10... I myself took 4. Once everyone has their ration of TP, I hold mine up and tell them that for every square they took, they have to tell the class a book they read this summer or a book they are looking forward to reading this year.  After sighs of relief and giggles, they are ready to talk about books! I shared my reading squares:
1. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, I read this book over the summer.
2. Bigger than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder, I read this book over the summer.
3. I am looking forward to reading Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger
4. Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

1 of my students read the entire Hunger Games trilogy this summer and she has a bad case of Katniss Fever. To my shock and horror, a third grader shared that she had read Breaking Dawn this summer. Really? You go, girl! Most of the boys were looking forward to Darth Paper, The new Super Diaper Baby and the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

This was a very fun way to get kids talking about books! If you give it a try, stop back and let me know how it went! If you have other great ideas for starting the school year, post a link to them in the comments!
One of my very favorite references to toilet paper in tv history. Can you name the show?


  1. I've used this to get to know students. Each square = a fact about them, but never thought to use it for books. Very cute!

  2. BTW I know the show and LOVE that episode. My sister and I still say it to each other every time we go to a public restroom together;)

  3. that would be Elaine, on Seinfeld!

  4. Great idea! Alas, the first week of school has passed us by, but I'll definitely think of another way to use it. :)

  5. Definitely stealing this. Great icebreaker fir my fifth graders! Thanks!