Read Across America Lesson Plan

 Encourage your students to celebrate their favorite authors during Read Across America Day by submitting stories, artwork or a short film honoring his or her favorite authors to MY HERO. 

Read Across America Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO


Students watch the following two films about heroes who bring books to those who may not otherwise have access to books to read. Then read one of the stories about Luis Soriano Bohorquez and his Biblioburro. (One story has text and audio, one story is in Spanish and the other story is in French) before considering the discussion questions. 


Biblioburro: The Donkey Library

Producer: Valentina Canavesio

Luis Soriano, a teacher in the small town of La Gloria, Colombia, travels on the back of his donkey, bringing with him books for children of the rural communities.

Velo Visionaries - Alicia Tapia

Kristin Tieche

In Episode 3 of Velo Visionaries, we talk/ride with Alicia Tapia, creator of Bibliobicicleta, a free library on wheels that can be found weekly in The Panhandle in San Francisco.


Learn more about Luis Soriano Bohorquez and his traveling Biblioburro Library.

One story is available in text with audio allowing students to listen as they read along. One story is in Spanish and another in French, allowing students to practice reading a foreign language or for those students whose native language is Spanish or French. 


Luis Soriano Bohorquez

By: Ryan from San Diego

Luis Soriano Bohorquez started the Biblioburro Library in the mountains of Colombia. This story has text and audio, allowing students to listen as they read. 

Luis Soriano Bohorquez (español)

By: Ryan from San Diego

This story is in Spanish.

Luis Soriano Bohorquez (French)

By: par Ryan de San Diego

This story is in French. 


Discussion Questions and Activity

1. Both Luis Soriano Bohorquez and Alicia Tapia created a mobile library to bring books to those who may not otherwise have access. Why is this important?

2. Who else works to bring books to those who do not have access to books? Do some research and share their story with MY HERO.

3. Are there people in your community or area of the world who do not have access to books? What can you do? Create an action plan and get others involved. 



Enjoy this short animated film that celebrates the magic and joy of a reading adventure.

Appropriate for all ages. 


Binding Adventures

Mikylah Spangenberg

June and Timothy Watts are late for their train. What will the rest of their adventure entail? (4:10 minutes run time)


BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY tells the story of the beloved PBS children’s series "Reading Rainbow," its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading through television. Two seconds into the bubbling synth sounds of its theme song will have a child of the 1980s or ‘90s exclaiming “Reading Rainbow!” Such is the beloved nature of the classic children’s literary television show that introduced millions of kids to the wonder of books.


Butterfly in the Sky [excerpt]

Brett Whitcomb & Bradford Allen
Tells the story of the beloved series "Reading Rainbow," its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading


Students read the following stories about inspiring authors who are heroes to those who have read their books. 

Ask students the question: Who is your favorite author?

Have students write a story about their favorite author including  why the books written by this author are important to them and how this person is inspiring.

Students share their story with MY HERO using the Create program. 


J.K. Rowling

By: Lauren Gibbons

J.K. Rowling, bestselling fantasy writer of the Harry Potter series, created an inclusive world by showing the discrimination faced by "mudbloods" (magician students who born to only one or no magician parents but have just as much magical power).

Margot Lee Shetterly: Shining a Light on Hidden Figures

By: Shannon Luders-Manuel
Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race."

Toni Morrison

By: Demeshia from St. Louis

Toni Morrison was an award-winning novelist whose stories helped people of all races understand the black experience. For young adults, this includes her book "The Bluest Eye."

Judy Blume

By: Celia
Judy Blume: her novels depict life's problems with insight and gentle humor.

Malala Yousafzai

By: Anne Flythe

Malala Yousafzai's memoir "I Am Malala" shows girls in the U.S. and abroad that their voice is important. Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Harper Lee

By: Kenya from Marathon
Harper Lee is the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel of the South.

Listen and Read Along: Story with Text and Audio


Erin Gruwell's students did not all have access to books. Learn about the effect reading The Diary of Anne Frank had on her students and how that book inspired her students to write about their own lives. These stories were published in a book titled "Freedom Diaries".


Erin Gruwell

By: Annie Merkley
Erin Gruwell continues to inspire educators and students around the world with her compassion and wisdom.

Maya Angelou

By: Mayandra from San Diego
"How important is it for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" (Maya Angelou)

Harriet Beecher Stowe

By: Tara from Connecticut
Harriet Beecher Stowe was a writer most famous for writing "Uncle Tom's Cabin", which exposed the injustice and inhumanity of slavery in the 1800s.


Discussion Questions and Activity

1. Erin Gruwell's students were inspired by The Diary of Anne Frank. What book has made a positive impact on your life or inspired you? 

2. Who is your favorite author? Consider writing a story about their life and why their books have been important to you to submit to MY HERO.

3. Why is it important for all people, regardless of race, gender or religion to see themselves in stories they read?

4. Recommend a book or author to a peer. Ask others for a recommendation and keep reading different genres and authors. 



Students analyze the portraits below of author heroes.

Who is your favorite artist? Consider creating a portrait of them to submit to the MY HERO Art Gallery. Please include a paragraph about why this author is important to you. 


Maya Angelou

By: Sergio Benenson

Ernest Hemingway

By: Ben Heine

Mark Twain

By: Robert Shetterly

Alice Walker by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly
Alice Walker, African American author of Color Me Purple, painted by Robert Shetterly

Stories and Art About Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel

By: Elaina Esteban

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) is a Hero to This California High School Student

Dr. Seuss

By: Tina

This story about Dr. Seuss is available in text with audio, allowing students to Listen as they Read Along. 

The Imaginary Book

By: Alex T

Dr Seuss

By: Matei from Toronto


Laura Nietzer

The Read Across America lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Organizer created on 2/13/2020 11:30:20 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 3/20/2023 1:33:56 PM by Laura Nietzer