Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jarrett Krosoczka Reading Experience

Jarrett Krosoczka Reading Experience

In April 2011, many second graders at a local elementary school participated in the Jarrett Krosoczka Reading Experience - a really fancy name for an author study.  But, I would like to think this isn't your ordinary author study. The reading experience was designed to allow students to read many books by Jarrett Krosoczka and engage them in up to FIFTEEN higher level thinking activities based on Bloom's Taxonomy.  The activities range from creating a punk song based on a nursery rhyme (after reading Punk Farm) to writing a letter to your lunch lady thanking her for all her hard work (after reading Lunch Lady).  There is even an option to send Jarrett a postcard, to replicate how he sent postcards to reach publishers.   I thought about saving this post to celebrate Jarrett Krosoczka's birthday in December...but this Reading Experience would be an excellent way to engage Jarrett Krosoczka fans over the summer!

The JKRE (this acronym almost didn't work) is already complete and available for download right now for FREE! All you need to do is to print it out and pick up the books at the library.  The printable packet includes an activity page and all the necessary activity sheets.

Click on image to download the activity packet.
I was a guest reader in three classrooms during the week long JKRE. 
In this photo, I got to read, Baghead, one of my favorite books
by Jarrett Krosoczka.

Here are samples of work from activities:
This was a campaign speech a student wrote after reading
Max for President.  
A Punk Farm Concert Poster.
The teachers also felt it was important for their students to learn about the very talented person who has created all of these wonderful books.  The students watched book trailers, videos of how Jarrett Krosoczka created his artwork, and visited the Lunch Lady Website during the week to see exactly who Jarrett is, and how he makes his books.  This part of the JKRE was what allowed them to see Jarrett Krosoczka as a real person, and helped them to make a connection to him as an author.  They loved seeing his studio, how he does his artwork and getting to see his dog!  Here are few of my favorite videos about Jarrett Krosoczka that they used:

Comments from the classrooms that participated in the Jarrett Krosoczka Reading Experience were as follows:

- The students were racing to get the Lunch Lady books in the morning.
- Many students were choosing to take books out to recess.
- Two months later, at the end of the year, students were still checking out Lunch Lady books from the school library, and the librarian ordered more graphic novels based on their love of this series.
- The JKRE was developed for second grade students but it was spotted in first grade classroom once they heard about how much fun students were having.

Thank you Jarrett Krosoczka for creating books that kids love to read!  Also, thank you to the very special teachers at our local school who took this idea and put it into action in their classrooms.

Jarrett's Bio from his website:

photo c. Steve DePino
Jarrett J. Krosoczka used to be a goofy kid that liked to draw.  Now, he is an award winning published author/illustrator with many books to his credit.  Growing up in Worcester, MA Jarrett drew relentlessly and always had a cast of characters that he wrote his stories for.  In 9th grade, Jarrett won a contest with The Worcester Telegram and Gazette and for the first time - saw his work in print.

This sparked a fire within.  He went on to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, after being initially rejected.  It was in his senior year that he received his first illustration job for a national educational publisher.  Then, six months after graduating RISD, Jarrett carried his portfolio into New York City and landed a contract for his first book. He immediately ran to a pay phone to share the good news with his grandparents.  Good Night, Monkey Boy was published on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett has since been busy producing more picture books - including Baghead; Bubble Bath Pirates; Annie Was Warned; Max for President; Punk Farm; Giddy Up Cowgirl; My Buddy Slug and Punk Farm on Tour. With the publication of Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute and Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians in July of 2009, Jarrett has embarked on the new journey in his career - that as a graphic novelist.

Jarrett has been chosen by Print as one of their 20 top new visual artists under 30 and has had his work short listed by Newsweek, USA Today, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times, among others. His books have landed on numerous recommendations lists, including the Texas 2X2 list and the IRA/CBC Children's Choice Awards.  Jarrett's Punk Farm and Lunch Lady Series are both currently in development as feature films.

With new picture book projects, as well as new Lunch Lady Books on the horizon, Jarrett is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, MA where he resides with his wife and daughter and their pug, Ralph Macchio.


1. Jarrett Krosoczka Online - Studio JJK Website, Twitter, Facebook
3. Jarrett Krosoczka Draws Lunch Lady - YouTube
4. Video Interview of Jarrett Krosoczka at SDCC 2010 - YouTube
5. Lunch Lady Promo from RandomBooks - YouTube
6. Jarrett Krosoczka makes a school visit - YouTube (Great video - talks about start of his career)
7. More Krosoczka videos on YouTube
8. Jarrett Krosoczka's Vimeo Channel - Great Video with Tomie dePaola!
10. R.Michelson Galleries - Lots of great pics of his artwork
12. Lady Lady Comics -  Follow on TwitterWebsite (with activities), Facebook
13. Screensaver from RandomHouse - Punk FarmMax for President
15. Rock Stars of Reading from Just One More Book - Part 8 Krosoczka School of ArtPart 9 Digital
16. Happy Birthday Author Birthday Post with Birthday Memory and Photo
17. Birthday Present for his 14th Birthday - JJK Blog
18. 10th Anniversary of 1st Book - JJK Blog


  1. I love the idea of the "expeience"! (Sounds much more exciting than "author study".) Looooove it. And I like giving kids a chance to be creative and choose how they respond to books. Jarrett is a ton of fun. Thanksfor sharing!

  2. Wow that sounds like it was a lot of fun! Thanks for including the activity packet. There are some really good ideas in there.

  3. Thanks for the positive comments! Please share with everyone you know!


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