The Noisy Paint Box

May 10, 2016

by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Mary Grandpre

Award Alert: Caldecott Honor 2014

During Dr. Seuss week I used this book on Wacky Wednesday to teach about abstract art, an idea that some think of as “wacky.”  Having earned the Caldecott Honor, the illustrations vividly paint a portrait of Kandinsky and his journey to creating abstract art.

Supplement this book with examples of Kandinsky’s abstract art as well as other abstract artists.

Use this book to teach

  • Onomatopoeia
  • Synonyms

See other lesson ideas here from the publisher.

  • Using Senses
  • Writing Descriptively
  • Phonemic Awareness — listen for the /b/ and /p/ sounds
  • Syllables


George Ferris’ Grand Idea: The Ferris Wheel

May 10, 2016

by Jenna Glatzer

Talk about grit and determination!  George Ferris has them both! Mr. Ferris had an idea (the Ferris Wheel), and he did not let any obstacles (and there were many!) get in the way of making his dream come true.

For teachers who want to emphasize the concept of grit and perseverance, read this book!


Last Stop on Market Street

May 4, 2016

Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña
pictures by Christian Robinson

Book Blurb: A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Award Alert–This book got THREE!

  • 2016 Newbery Medal (for the words)
  • 2016 Caldecott Honor (for the pictures pictures)
  • 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor (given to an African American illustrator)

Needing to teach the life skill of helping others?  This is the book for you.

Needing to get students thinking about being selfless?  This is the book for you.

Just need a book that will get kids thinking?  This is the book for you!

Surf’s Up

May 4, 2016

Surf’s Up 

by Kwame Alexander (Newbery Medalist for 2015)
illustrated by Daniel Miyares

Guest post from Mrs. Doss, Literacy in Action teacher leader:

“This book speaks to the heart of reading engagement and the kind of joy a person can experience with text! Two frogs, Bro and Dude, have very different views on books. Dude thinks books are boring and would rather spend his day surfing at the beach, but his best friend Bro is hooked in a book and can’t seem to put it down. Bro is leaning in to a book that has him hooked. All the way through his reading, Bro keeps making small comments, which creates a strong curiosity within Dude.”

Read this book with (we have these at Lowell):

  • The Best Place to Read by Debbie Bertram
  • The Best Book to Read by Debbie Bertram
  • Victricia Malicia, Book-Loving Buccaneer by Carrie Clickard
  • How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
  • A Book by Mordicai Gerstein
  • How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson
  • Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

What other books do you read to teach reading engagement and the joy of reading? Leave them in the comments below!