We Found a Hat

October 18, 2016

by Jon Klassen

Image result for we found a hat jon klassen

Two turtles. One Hat. They found it together. So who should get it?

Great story about friendship, empathy, and sharing. What do you do if two people find one object? Who gets it? Is it right to go get it yourself if the other person is not watching?

Teach right and wrong with this great story!


My Two Blankets

April 28, 2016

My Two Blankets

by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood

Diverse Children's Books: My Two Blankets There's a Book for That

This book comes highly recommended by our former ELL teacher, now professor at USF, Mrs. Riddle!

Blurb from the catalog: Cartwheel moves to a new country with her aunt, and although everything is strange, including the language, her old blanket of words and sounds comforts her. Then Cartwheel meets a friend who introduces her to new words and sounds, and eventually Cartwheel creates a new blanket of language.

Kobald uses descriptive metaphors to explain how Cartwheel feels in her new country:

  • “When I went out, it was like standing under a waterfall of strange sounds.”
  • “I wrapped myself in a blanket of my own words and sounds.”

Use this to teach:

  • Metaphors
  • Building friendships/relationships
  • Understanding other cultures and others’ differences
  • Building classroom community

Read this book in connection with:

  • One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
  • The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman
  • Dear Whiskers (chapter book) by Ann Whitehead Nagda
  • Inside Out and Back (chapter book written in prose) Again by Thanhha Lai

Stick and Stone

March 17, 2016

Stick and Stone
by Beth Ferry; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Click for more information on this title

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)

Diva and Flea

January 4, 2016

Diva and Flea

by Mo Willems

Mo Willems is at it again!  And no, it’s not an Elephant and Piggie book!

His latest book, The Story of Diva and Flea, is a chapter book illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi.  As I read it I kept thinking how it is a great book to read aloud to kiddos to teach or reinforce the growth mindset!

Diva is a fancy little dog who lives in a fancy apartment in Paris, France.  Flea is a stray cat who goes wandering throughout the city on his daily adventures.  The two meet in Diva’s courtyard and they both teach the other something great about their lifestyle and each has to act “brave” while trying new things they never though were possible.

Needing to teach grit? Growth mindset? Just want a great read aloud?  Check this book out!

Good for all ages! Grades 1-5, could even be used in Kindergarten!


December 21, 2015


by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

In a kid-friendly way, Amy Krouse Rosenthal shows how great friendship can be.  The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld show a rectangle, a triangle, a square, and a circle (the friends) illustrating what author dictates.

If your class is having a hard time getting along, this book would be a great read aloud to get students thinking about what friends do.

There is one page that would be great for idioms: bent out of shape.  The illustration really hits it home!

Flight School

December 11, 2015

Flight School

by Lita Judge

Penguin has the soul of an eagle and wants to fly.  But, as we know, penguins cannot fly.  Penguin shows up to Flight School anyway and listens to the lessons of Teacher.  All of the other birds learn how to fly, but Penguin does not.  Teacher figures out a way to make Penguin fly and he tethers Penguin to himself and allows Penguin to feel like the wind.  Penguin is ecstatic; he got to fly!  The funny ending has Penguin bringing his friend Ostrich to Flight School and says “My friend Ostrich has the soul of a swallow” to which Teacher responds “Gulp”. 🙂

Building classroom community?  Setting goals?  This is the book for you!  Help teach your students that even though others are different, or say that you can’t do something, teamwork can produce amazing results!  A quick read, Flight School is bound to delight your students and inspire them to work together to achieve great things!

Flight School is also great for Beginning, Middle, and End.

Or if you are looking for a book that makes the reader infer what is happening through the illustrations, this is the book for your lesson!

This book could also be a jump off point researching about different birds.  The reader can infer that penguins and ostriches do not fly, while other birds at flight school could.  Students could research birds on PebbleGO and tell whether or not their type of bird can or cannot fly.

A lesson idea found from http://amf3tx.wix.com/alisonfullerton#!delivery/cl1h


1. Read “Flight School” to the class.

2. Discuss. What did the penguin demonstrate in this story (perseverance, effort, hard work, never giving up, etc.)?

3. Discuss. What are some things that you have done in the past that you never gave up on (i.e., maybe tying your shoes, riding a bike, writing my name, etc.)?

4. Relate this discussion and theme to academics and everyday life. What are some ways that we can we persevere in school?

5. Pass out the “Easy vs. Difficult” Worksheet. Have the students list things that are easy for them to do and difficult for them to do.

6. Discuss that everyone has strengths and weaknesses; if the child continues to work hard and persevere on their “Difficult” list, then they can eventually achieve it!

7. Use the list as an exit pass and a plan to achieve some of the tasks in the “Difficult” section.

8. At the end of the year/in a few weeks or months, follow up on any progress that the students have made in the “Difficult” section.

Each Kindness, Day 2

March 26, 2013

Now let’s share about a time someone showed kindness to you.  Follow the instructions below.  Remember you need to write at least 5 sentences!

Day 2:  Think about a time someone did something kind for you. Remember it doesn’t have to be something HUGE!  The smallest kindnesses sometimes make the biggest difference!

  • What did they do for you?
  • Why do you think they did it?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How did it change your life or your day?
  • Did it encourage you to do something nice for someone else?