Hawk Mother: The Story of a Red-Tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chickens

October 25, 2017

by Kara Hagedorn

Image result for hawk mother the story of a red tailed hawk who hatched chickens

A heart-warming story of how an injured hawk, no longer able to fly due to a gunshot and broken wing! Sunshine (the Hawk) lays infertile eggs every spring and still attempts to hatch them.  Each year her caretaker, Kara (the author), takes the eggs away which confuses Sunshine.  One year Kara gets an idea and gets chicken eggs from her neighbor.  Sunshine sits on those eggs as if they are her own, hatches them, and then raises the chicks as her own young.

For readers who love Little Pink Pup, Owen and Mzee, and other books that celebrate relationships of unlikely animals, you will love reading this nonfiction picture book.

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A Piece of Home

September 26, 2017

by Jeri Watts
Illustrated by Hyewon Yum

From the book jacket: Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia.  He struggles to adjust to his new home, where none of his classmates look like him and he can’t understand anything the teacher says — even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly to him.  Little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English and make friends.  One day, when he is invited to a friend’s house for the first time, he sees a flower he recognizes from his grandmother’s garden in Korea: mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him it’s called in America.  He brings a shoot to his grandmother, who plants the “piece of home” in their new garden.

This picture book is a perfect read aloud for any teacher who has an ELL student in his/her classroom.  The words and pictures describe the struggles the students (Hee Jun and his sister Se Ra) have at school while adjusting to America.

It opens the readers’ eyes to the fact that just because someone doesn’t know English does not mean that they were not well respected in their home country.   In this book, grandmother, is a well-respected teacher, regarded as a “wise and wonderful teacher” and she stands proud with her “shoulders erect.” But when she is in America she knows no English, has no job, and “she does not hold her shoulders erect and her eyes don’t gleam — not at all.” The illustrations perfectly depict these stark differences in emotions.

Use this book in a compare/contrast lesson with Eve Bunting’s One Green Apple.

Other ideas:

–learn vocabulary through context clues and illustrations

–metacognition–How does your thinking change as the book progresses?

 


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!


Friendshape

December 21, 2015

Friendshape

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!