What Do You Do With a Problem?

October 18, 2016

by Kobi Yamada

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A young boy is plagued with a problem–appearing as a black cloud–that won’t go away by worrying about it or avoiding it; it only grows bigger. The boy finally finds the courage to face the problem and learns its secret: It contains an opportunity to learn and grow.

Talk about problem solving with your students using this lesson plan.



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)

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

Wild About Us!

March 14, 2016

Wild About Us
Written by Karen Beaumont
Illustrated by Janet Stevens

Book blurb from catalog: A group of animals at the zoo share the unique characteristics they like about themselves and one another.

This book would be great to help teach:

  • Differences
  • Acceptance
  • Building a Classroom Community
  • Positive Body Image

Excerpt from the book: “I’m Warty Warthog!  Can’t be who I’m not.  I am who I am and I’ve got what I’ve Got.  I have tusks!  I have warts!  But5 I like what I see!  In my own special way, I’m as cute as can be.  Yessirree!  We are all the way we are all meant to be!”

Don’t Throw it to Mo

March 3, 2016

Don’t Throw it to Mo

by David Adler

***Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award 2016*** (Best book for young people)

Book blurb from the catalog: Even though Mo Jackson loves football, he is kind of clumsy, and no one will throw the ball to him. Mo will have to find a way to help his team in spite of no one throwing the ball to him.

Teaching growth mindset to your students?  Mo is a great example of a boy who simply doesn’t give up.  Mo is the smallest player on his football team.  Coach Steve uses him as a decoy for most of the plays.  But, Mo doesn’t complain; he just runs down the field and no one throws him the ball.  That is, until the final play of the game!  Spoiler alert—Mo wins the game with an amazing catch!

Use this book when teaching goal setting, growth mindset, analyzing character traits (there are some bully players in this book as well), and when setting up a classroom community of diverse learners.

Each Kindness

March 19, 2013

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson teaches kids about kindness–how each kindess ripples out bigger and bigger.

Now it’s your turn to tell about a kindness you have done.

Day 1:  Think about a time you did something kind for someone.  Remember this doesn’t have to be something HUGE.  The smallest kindnesses sometimes make the biggest differences!

  • What did you do?
  • Why did you do it?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How did it change something for the person who received the kindness.

Try and write at least 5 sentences about your experience.

Don’t Laugh at Me

October 9, 2012

Don’t Laugh at Me
by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin

Cover image for Don't laugh at me

Format: picture book, hardcover

A picture book on tolerance (and also a popular song), Don’t Laugh at Me shows various reasons why we are all different and the pleads with the reader to not laugh at them.

Great resource for beginning of the year when building classroom community, and also to begin the discussion on bullying.

Comprehension strategies: metacognition (thinking about your thinking), Visualizing

Lesson Ideas: Rhyming, Tolerance, Bullying, Empathy