Several years ago, I found a wonderful post on Jessica Meacham's site about bags students could take home with books and other materials for sharing with families. I teach in a high-poverty area, and many of my students do not have books at home to share with their parents, siblings, and other relatives. Each kiddo takes home a book every night, but I wanted something a little extra that was a) motivating and that b) put a lot of books in my students' hands. This was the beginning of our literature bag program.
Since each pack includes many books (sometimes as many as seven or eight), my students have to get a parent's permission to check them out. In the four years I've used these, I've only had one pouch and one book lost! You can grab my permission slip (in English and Spanish) HERE.
After a couple months of school, I introduce my students to literature bags, which I display in an awesome book organizer I got through a DonorsChoose.org grant from Lakeshore.
Each one of my literature bags is in a School-to-Home Organizer from Lakeshore. (Again, I got these through a grant... Love DonorsChoose!)
I created cards to go into each School-to-Home Organizer, and numbered the pouches. Some of my bags have books that are in Spanish, and I've noted that with star stickers so my students know which ones have bilingual texts in them.
The pouch has two sides... One contains the books (which you can see when the organizer is closed), and the other contains the contents card and a thin composition book.
The contents card has a brief note to parents with a list of titles included in the pouch, so parents can check the contents before returning it to school. There are also a couple of writing prompts and suggested activities (which are basically the same for each literature pack... I also have math packs with similar cards and other ideas). Parents and students can write in the composition book and/or draw a picture. I don't require this (or participation in the literature bag program as a whole), but almost all of my kids and their parents participate.
These are just a few of the books in the Ocean Life pack. You'll see each is labeled with the literature bag number as well as my name and school.
My students L-O-V-E these packs, parents always have positive feedback about them, and best of all, it gets families reading together. What's not to love about that?!