Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: Using Book Raffles in the Classroom

Using Book Raffles in the Classroom


As a teacher, my number one reading goal is to help students develop a love for reading. I want to help my students find the book that they can't put down. I want them to be so engaged in books, that they can't wait for independent reading time! 

One way that I get students excited about books and reading is through book raffles. A book raffle always leaves my kids excited and begging for more.

There are three different types of book raffles that I use in the classroom...

First to Read a New Book


I love to add new books to our classroom library throughout the year. As I learn more about this specific group of students, I look for books that meet their interests. When I get a new book, I show the whole class. I read the summary on the back cover for them. Anyone who is interested in being the first to read the new book is given a raffle ticket. I draw a name and that person is given a specific length of time (determined by the length of the book, but usually a week or two) to read the new book. If the book is especially popular, I will draw another name when the first student finishes the book. Otherwise, it gets put into the class library and anyone can pick it.


Kids love this! Wanting to be first is a natural human desire. Kids are also quite competitive. So I have kids sitting on the edge of their seat in anticipation of the right to be able to read a book. What could be better?!! 

First to Read the Next Book in a Series

I read to my students every single day while they enjoy their snack. I love using this time to introduce my students to different series and authors. After I read a book, my students are dying to read the next book in the series! I always set it aside. Any student who is interested in reading the next book is given a raffle ticket. I draw a name and that person is given a specific length of time (determined by the length of the book, but usually a week or two) to read the new book.


Again, kids are excited to be the first to read the book and I am so excited that I have encouraged them to try a new series! It's a win!

Student Gifts


I love to give my students books. I give them books for Christmas and books for an end of year gift. But I don't just buy 24 of the same book. I like to collect Scholastic $1 books or use my Scholastic coupons to get a collection of various titles. This type of raffle does cost some money, but I would rather spend money on books than silly trinkets.


With this type of raffle, you can give out tickets during the week prior. Whenever you see students on task, participating or helping one another- you can give them a ticket. I still give each student a few tickets on raffle day, but students with more tickets will have a better chance of winning their first choice book at the raffle. By doing it this way, you have a fun behavior incentive program for right before a holiday break or at the end of the year. That's a win!

You don't have to have students earn tickets. You can always decide on a ticket amount to give each student. With this method, every student will have the same chance to get their first choice book. 

On raffle day, I place the books around the classroom and give students time to check them out. They can read the back cover and/or flip through the book. After every student has had time to preview the books, they can put their tickets in the container in front of the books they want. They can put all of their tickets in for one book or spread them out. I leave that up to them, but I do reassure them that EVERY student will win exactly one book!


I go one book at a time and choose a winner. If a student has already won a book, they can decide to keep the first book or trade it for the second book. I do require my students to clap and cheer for each other! I encourage the winner to jump up and coming running up to get their book like a contestant on The Price is Right!

After I have chosen a winner from each container, I am left with the books that were traded back. Every student who has not won a book yet will put one ticket into a jar and I will draw for the books one at a time.

After everyone has a book, I do allow them a few minutes to trade if they want.

Then I give them an assignment or task while I go around the room and write an inscription in the front cover of each of their books. This makes the gift more personal!


Book raffles are so fun and simple! Get your students excited to read a book by making it a raffle!

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2 comments:

  1. Fantastic ideas! I love the idea of a book raffle, I think we could take this even further and go school wide. Thanks :)

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  2. Great ideas.There is not doubt it will encourage students more in their reading purpose.In my opinion we must spread this ideas all over the school.

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