Mock EJK Award Lesson Plans & Materials

The in-person and virtual Mock EJK Award Toolkits provide guidance for a group activity in which you and your students discuss, evaluate and together make a decision about what eligible books most successfully meet the criteria your group has created for your award. 

The toolkit is based on the real Ezra Jack Keats Award process, which honors outstanding authors and illustrators whose books, in the spirit of Keats, celebrate the diversity of our culture and depict children from the widest spectrum of ethnic groups around the world.


Our experienced group leaders report this activity provides a real sense of community as well as developing your groups’ reading, comprehension and communication skills. You’ll find a list of additional benefits listed in each kit.

Adaptable for Children of All Ages

This toolkit can be adapted for use with children in grades K – 12 in schools, libraries, community or homeschooler groups.

The process is based on a number of actual in-person Mock EJK Award programs and we invite you to modify each version to best serve your needs.

Virtual Learning

The Virtual Kit was designed to support remote learning situations, and created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It includes all the same components and information as the in-person kit.

As we are all in discovery mode, we’d enjoy hearing about your experiences running a Mock EJK. We hope to update our toolkit periodically and we might be able to add some of your tips!

Subjects covered in this kit include:

  • A suggested process and lesson plans to run your Mock EJK Award
  • A timeline based on a typical academic calendar
  • Sample criteria and a sample voting process
  • Ideas for producing your remote Award Ceremony
  • Background materials about Ezra Jack Keats
  • An outline of the real EJK Award process
  • Art project ideas and clip art to use with your group
  • A Mock EJK Award Medallion for your use
  • Sample social media posts and graphics


Let us know if you plan to do a Mock EJK. We’ll send you info, connect you with others doing Mock EJKs, and send you a list of eligible books.

Sign-Up Form


Print out materials to customize your displays and social media.

Mock EJK Medallion (pdf)

Mock EJK Sign

EJK Clip Art (pdf)

Hi-Res Clip Art Images

We’d enjoy hearing about your experiences running a Mock EJK. Please email We hope to update our toolkit periodically and we might be able to add some of your tips!

Thank You

Special thanks to the following for their creativity, commitment to advancing the appreciation of diverse children’s literature in the classroom, for sharing their expertise and for making this toolkit possible.

From the Friends School of Baltimore:

  • John Scott
  • Andy Hanes
  • Mary Kelly
  • Frances Morrissey
  • Diana White

And to:

  • Caroline Ward, Youth Literature Consultant
  • Chris Carter, Teacher, NYC Department of Education

And to our kit reviewers:

  • Matthew Bower
  • Anna Brannin
  • Josie Bustos
  • Wendy Clark
  • Maria Estrella
  • Catherine Mangan
  • Christine Nassar
  • Montana Rindahl
  • Anjie Trusty
  • Ally Watkins
  • Roberta Woodruff