I started thinking about reading bags when one of our amazing substitute teachers gave me a bunch of her teaching materials. (She's a retired Kindergarten teacher) She had tons of stuffed animals and books. I put them up to display in the classroom and then decided they needed to be used.
One of my big concerns with starting reading bags was that they wouldn't get returned. I teach preschool, so my 3, 4, and 5 year olds aren't going to remember to return the book bags, so the responsibility would be on the parents. I sent home a letter explaining how book bags would work and asked parents to sign and return if they wanted to participate in this program. I had about 75% of my class return their forms.
I kept our first set of book bags pretty simple. Just a stuffed animal and book in a bag. The next round of book bags will have retelling activities and other literacy extensions to go with the book.
Here is my first set of book bags:
1. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
2. If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
3. If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
4. If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff
5. If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
6. Clifford The Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell