I have pondered this question for a while now and I believe that as a classroom educator it might be a difficult task! Not only difficult but take up quite a bit of time and a lot of planning for differentiation. I could see doing this an individual reading project, rather than a whole class situation. Possibly with my upper level readers who successfully read many books in a short amount of time, as an extension activity.
I am actually kicking myself for not utilizing this idea as my after school activity for the year. I have chosen to specifically focus on vocabulary in my after school program and this would have been a fun activity to incorporate. I did this over the course of the first semester and this would have been plenty of time to complete a mock Newbery.
In most of my research on doing a mock Newbery I noticed a theme, and that theme was that most of the people doing these mock Newbery’s are reading clubs and libraries. Which enlightened me to realize that my thoughts about adding this as a classroom activity were somewhat supported within my research. These clubs meet to perform their mock Newbery, to decide if they can predict the year’s Newbery Medalist.
Honestly, I would love to take part in one of these mock Newbery’s myself! I live in such a rural area that there isn’t a library that has programs such as this, but I certainly wish there were. I am finding that I have more time to read now that I am finalizing my class work within my college classes and this would be the perfect way to add more “reading for myself” time.
All in all, I personally wouldn’t add a mock Newbery to my classroom activities but I could see that it would be a fun activity for our school librarian or a local public librarian to include in their programs for the year.