Notes to my RAP teachers

Now that I’ve made it through organizing my 63 Read Around the Planet connections, I sent an email to my teachers on preparation. I haven’t done this before. Usually I trust to the email and my coordinators to make sure everything goes well. But this year I wanted to check up on the process a little more carefully. Here’s what I sent. Feel free to use it with your teachers if you want. (The interaction ideas are copied from the teacher packet.)

Greetings teachers,

By now you should have received an email with your partner information and date & time for Read Around the Planet. It came from Please let me know if you didn’t receive it!

Communicate with your partner teacher
Please take some time in the next week to email or phone your partner teacher to let him/her know what you are planning.

Preparation Information
The teacher packet is online here:
If you printed the one from the match email, please get this one instead because it’s newer and has more lesson ideas.

In particular, these ideas below can be used to increase the interaction – so it’s more than just two presentations and then Q&A.

Increasing Interaction

  • Ask your partner class questions related to your presentation as you go through. I.e. presenting state symbols: “What are your state symbols?”
  • Ask your partner class to guess something (i.e. who do the biography dolls represent).
  • Make statements about your class and have your partner class decide if they are
  • true (touch nose) or false (touch shoulders).
  • Share riddles for your partner class to solve.
  • Give the other class something to print and fill out (i.e. lyrics to a song and fill in the blanks).
  • Have your students dress up as a book characters and have the other class guess whom you represent.
  • For middle or high school students, have your students perform with the other class acting as judges.
  • Create a Mad-Lib for your partner class to complete.
  • Teach the other class something – a local saying, a local dance, how to make some local food, how to draw a book character, etc.
  • Research your partner class’ town and create a presentation about similarities and differences that you learn. Prepare questions about facts or news items that you find interesting or are curious about.
  • Play Wheel of Fortune with phrases, nouns, or sayings from your town or school. (This one should be 3rd grade or higher and watch the time!)
  • For older students – middle or high school – write a story about characters who journey between your town and you partner class’ town. Share it during the RAP connection. (If you really want to get creative, use a wiki to write collaboratively and then meet in the videoconference to present it.)
  • Play twenty questions. Be sure to review the rules of the game before you begin and give a clear idea of what they will be guessing. Example: You will be able to ask us 20 “yes” or “no” questions in order to figure out our mystery Dr. Seuss’ character.

As always, you can get assistance from me or your school videoconference coordinator.

What are your tips for keeping organized for Read Around the Planet and supporting your teachers? Please comment!

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