I spent the whole day in my media center, surrounded by reading caves for Read Across America Day. As you all know, March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and this year was the 50th anniversary of The Cat in the Hat.
This is my media center with reading caves. Everything you see here was built by teachers and their minions on Thursday afternoon. In the foreground is the circus tent, with the Mulberry St. House behind it. Beyond that you see the houses of the Three Little Pigs, and behind that, the Wardrobe that leads into Narnia. In the very back is a starry night campground.
Right behind the Mulberry House is Hogwarts, and you cannot see the pirate ship behind that. Also invisible, beyond Narnia, is Mr. Tumnus’s cave, and to the right, out of the frame, is a beach and under the sea.
Here are some young Gryffindors reading inside Hogwarts. You can see the portraits in the stairwell. Behind the camera is the Great Hall, and under that is Slytherin’s commons room. I took the opportunity to dress up as Snape and snarl at children all day. A couple of kids actually, and correctly, addressed me as “Professor Snape.” I also identified every redheaded child as a Weasley, although I think only one was old enough to get it.
It was pretty amazing day. Kids would go nuts when they saw the transformation of the media center, and we’d give them five minutes to explore before settling down to read for about fifteen minutes. There was room for two classes at a time, although I think with a little judicious placement we could have handled three at a time.
Everyone’s favorite of the day was Mr. Tumnus’s cave. It was very cozy, and the way they used the actual shelves was quite witty. Believe it or not, that was a conscious design decision on the part of the young ladies who put it together Thursday afternoon.
All in all, a very good day. Everyone’s reaction was so positive that we decided to leave everything up until Monday afternoon. Many wanted to leave it up all week, but it shuts down the media center, as you can imagine, and we just can’t be closed that long.