September 11, 2017
The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon
by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee
Illustrated by Susanna Chapman
Do you want a book about NEVER GIVING UP? This is for you! Bobbi Gibb is a girl in the 1960s. All she wants to do is run. But others try to stop her, her father even says “Girls don’t run!” That doesn’t stop Bobbi. For her first race, she disguises herself as a boy, wearing boy tennis shoes and covering her hair with a hooded sweatshirt. Midway through the race, she had been spotted and the men running the race replied “We won’t let anyone throw you out; it’s a free road.” So Bobbi took off her sweatshirt and finished the race!
An inspiring biography of one person who wanted to change the world, who wanted to follow her heart.
Use this at the beginning of the school year as you build community and discuss hopes and dreams! Bobbi Gibb will definitely inspire your students to never give up and to follow their dreams!
November 21, 2016
by Duncan Tonatiuh
Looking for a great folktale?
This picture book explains the creation of two volcanoes found 40 miles southeast of Mexico City. Expand your teaching to show where Mexico City is on a map, and show photographs of the two volcanoes. Itza is known as “la mujer dormida” and is an inactive volcano. Popo sits next to Itza and has errupted as recently as 2013.
Catalog blurb: Daughter of the emperor, Izta has no desire to marry a wealthy, powerful man like she’s supposed to. Instead, she has her eye on Popoca, a warrior. Izta’s father agrees to allow the marriage if Popoca can defeat Jaguar Claw, the ultimate enemy.
This book would be great to teach
- Problem and Solution
- Beginning, Middle, and End
- Context Clues (there are a lot of Spanish words in this book that are not directly defined)
November 16, 2016
We Are Growing by Laurie Keller
The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat
These books are for you Mo Willems fans! Mo Willems is not adding any more books to his 25 Elephant and Piggie books, but he is working in collaboration with other authors to make similar funny books. These new books are in the “Elephant and Piggie Like Reading” series. Each book starts with a brief intro from Elephant and Piggie and then goes into the hilarious tale written by the author. They still feature dialogue completely in speech bubbles, but each book does offer more than one character. They are written with the same humor that will get kids laughing.
We Are Growing is a great book to teach comparative (adding -er) and superlative (adding -est) adjectives. (i.e. tall – taller – tallest). Each blade of grass has a special trait claiming “I am tall! I am the tallest!” “I am curly! I am the curliest!” But the last piece of grass cannot figure out what makes him special, what makes him unique. Well along comes a loud buzzing noise…you know what this is! And suddenly everyone is back to being the same, but the last blade of grass does determine what his special trait is.
The Cookie Fiasco: How do you share three cookies with four friends? GREAT FRACTIONS LESSON introduced in such a funny way. Hippo has a nervous tick of snapping things when he is feeling overwhelmed. Eventually Hippo has snapped the cookies into enough parts for everyone to share equally. So funny, and such a great intro to any fractions unit!
Use these books to teach:
- Character Traits
- Being Unique
We Are Growing might be a good choice when setting goals for the school year — but that may be a bit of a stretch.
November 16, 2016
by Mark and Rowan Sommerset
Sheep is bored. Sheep comes across something that looks suspiciously brown, but looks delicious. Sheep tries to convince Turkey to eat this substance. Spoiler alert: Poor Turkey!
But Turkey doesn’t learn. In the sequel book (I Love Lemonade) Turkey is convinced he will NOT be tricked again and tries to trick Sheep. But, somehow, Sheep turns it back around on poor Turkey! How clever!
YOU HAVE TO READ THESE BOOKS! They are even better when read aloud!
- Context clues
- Teaching dialogue with speech bubbles
- Persuasive writing
- Character Traits
May 4, 2016
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!
April 6, 2016
I Wish You More
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
This is a great encouragement book if you notice your students are struggling with too much on their plates. In simple text, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld wish their readers more happiness than sadness, more good times than bad.
Sample from the text:
I wish you more ups than downs.
I wish you more hugs than ughs.
I wish you more Woo-Hoo! than WHOA!
Reading this blurb from Tom Lichtenheld’s blog just made me love him more than I already did!
“When Amy and I work together, it’s impossible (and pointless) to distinguish Artist from Writer. We both come up with words and we both come up with visuals, so a book gets the full benefit of whatever talent we can collectively muster up. This is why our book covers never use designations such as “written by” or “illustrated by.””
For this reason, this book might be a good book to use to discuss collaboration and working together. Share Lichtenheld’s blog post on NerdyBookClub’s blog (linked here)
I Wish You More Activity Kit
Amy Krouse Rosenthal Author Website
Tom Lichtenheld Website