how to a make a super reader cape

there is a lucy calkins unit in the kindergarten units of study for reading, called “Super Readers Have Super Powers”.  this unit can obviously be used in kindergarten classrooms, but it can also be used by first grade teachers.

super reader capes
when teachers college put together the units of study, they intentionally left gaps in the year.  while they hope that you teach the units intended for your specific grade level, they also wanted the flexibility for teachers to double back if they have a struggling group, or to use some of the “if, then units” depending on the needs of those specific students.

in this “super readers” unit, kindergartners are introduced to the many strategies that readers need to use when they are learning to read and having to decode unknown words.  there are so many cute lessons in this unit, but the kick off dubs all the readers with super powers and they are told about a super hero called “super reader”. there is even a lesson on multisyllabic words being like the kryptonite for readers and that true super readers must not be stopped by the kryptonite words.

like most units in the lucy units, a celebration occurs at the end to highlight all that they have learned.  making the cape was NOT part of the celebration, however many of us in our school created these “no sew” capes.

½ yard of felt for each cape.
contrasting felt to be used for the letter, or star or insignia on the back of the capes.
fabric glue or iron on interfacing.

step 1:
cut rectangles (we made each cape ½ yard in length) and left the width as is

step 2:
cut the slits along the top. these will be used to weave a ribbon or the contrasting felt strip along the top to tie the cape closed when being worn.

measure down about 1 inch from the top to begin your slits. make 1-2 inch long slits every 2 or so inches apart.

step 3:
make and cut your insignia that will be attached via fabric glue or iron on interfacing to the middle back of your capes.

you will see the sample cape has a star, but for our classrooms we decided to make the first letter of each readers’ name (see photo).  other ideas could be a shield, an eye, etc.
super reader capes

step 4:
gift each super reader in your classroom with their new super reading cape.  host a celebration and invite parents, or classroom buddies or another grade level to visit so your readers can show off their new capes and reading skills.

happy reading!
jessica & laura & melissa

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