Stick and Stone

March 17, 2016

Stick and Stone
by Beth Ferry; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

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Blurb from the catalog: Stick and Stone are both lonely until Pinecone’s teasing causes one to stick up for the other, and a solid friendship is formed.

This book is great to teach:

  • Bully prevention (When Pinecone is teasing stone, stick stands up for stone instead of being a bystander)
  • Building Classroom Community
  • Friendship
  • Theme (this would be a quick mentor text for any unit on theme, but it would be an easy mini-lesson read-aloud for the 3rd grade theme unit)

Whose Hands Are These? A Community Helper Guessing Book

March 16, 2016

Whose Hands Are These? A Community Helper Guessing Book
by Miranda Paul; illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell

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Blurb from the catalog: Rhyming text offers readers clues for matching busy hands to the correct community helper including cooks, farmers, scientists, mechanics, physicians, and teachers.

Who doesn’t love a guessing book?!  Use this book for two skills: learning about community helpers and practicing rhyming words.  Readers get clues about the community helpers, with an extra bonus that the community helper rhymes with the text right before the statement “These hands belong to…”

A perfect addition to the Kindergarten Community Helpers Social Studies unit!

Pair this book with the Community Helpers app ($1.99 in the app store) and our Community Helpers books found on our school’s My Capstone Library.

My Teacher Is a Monster

March 16, 2016

My Teacher is a Monster
written and illustrated by Peter Brown

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Book blurb from the catalog: Bobby is convinced that his teacher, Ms. Kirby, is a monster, until he runs into her at the park one day and realizes she has another side to her as well.

Lesson ideas directly from

Add this book to your Peter Brown Author/Illustrator study.  Add Peter Brown to your author/illustrator studies that you do if he isn’t already one of your featured authors/illustrators!

Lesson Germs from Judy Freeman:

  • What would you like your teacher to know about you so he/she understands you better
  • Make your own paper airplanes, test the aerodynamics (incorporate into a science unit)
  • End of Year project: Write My Favorite Teacher was _______________ because _____________.  Fold the note into a paper airplane.  Have students throw their paper airplanes at their favorite teachers.  Make sure the outside of the airplane clearly states to OPEN BEFORE THROWING AWAY.  Teachers will then be filled with joy from the note as opposed to being angry from having a paper airplane thrown at them.


Dare! Weird! and Tough!

March 16, 2016

series by Erin Frankel; illustrated by Paula Heaphy

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This series is an amazing read-aloud series for your classroom when building classroom community or for classroom communities that are having troubles with bullying.  The three books are intertwined in that each book tells the story from a different girl’s perspective.

Weird–Louisa–“the one being bullied”

Dare–Jayla–“the bystander”

Tough–Sam–“the bully”

Teacher’s Guide

  • In particular, take a look at p10-11 of the Teacher’s Guide called “I Think It Means…” Students learn that what the characters are saying aren’t exactly what they always mean

Links on Bullying

Why are there Stripes on the American Flag?

March 16, 2016

Why Are There Stripes on the American Flag
By Martha E. H. Rustad; Illustrated by Kyle Poling

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Blurb from the catalog: Discusses the history of the flag of the United States and the importance of showing respect to the flag as a symbol of the nation.

The third chapter of this nonfiction picture book is all about the Pledge of Allegiance.  Do you have students who are struggling to understand what the Pledge is and what it means?  Read this book to help young students understand some of the tougher words and the meaning of the Pledge.

This book is a perfect read aloud for the Kindergarten and 1st grade Social Studies units on American Symbols.

Other books in this series (that we will soon have in the library—they are being processed now):

  • Why is the Statue of Liberty Green?
  • What’s Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Other books in this series that are available from the public library:

  • Can We Ring the Liberty Bell?
  • Can You Sing the Star Spangled Banner?
  • Is a Bald Eagle Really Bald?


Coming Home

March 16, 2016

Coming Home
by Greg Ruth

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In this nearly wordless picture book, the boy waits and watched until finally being reunited with his mother, who is coming home from her deployment.

Add this book to your list of wordless picture books.

Need ideas on what to do with wordless picture books? Read this from Scholastic.

I will definitely be using this book to introduce the concept of Veteran’s Day next year! It is a great discussion starter for young students to talk about military personnel and the emotions that go along with a deployment.

Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights

March 16, 2016

Glow: Animals with Their Own Night Lights
by W. H. Beck

Blurb from the catalog: The author joins world-renowned photographers and biologists to present a collection of images and information about animals who have the unique ability to glow, scientifically known as bioluminescence.

Set on all-black pages, these bioluminescent animals really stand out (though that is possibly because the photographer used flash).  Through the book, students are taught the word bioluminescence by repeating the meaning of the word and showing examples.  Bioluminescence is used by animals in different ways: to hunt, to attract, to trick, to lose an enemy, etc.

When read with just the larger font, the story moves quickly and is easier to read.  Each page also has a smaller font explaining and giving an example of how the bioluminescence is used by the creature.

A great text for student independent reading as well as for a teacher to read aloud.