How to Survive as a Firefly

September 11, 2017

How to Survive as a Firefly
by Kristen Foote
Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

Image result for how to survive as a firefly

Did you know that fireflies only live as adults for 5-30 days?

Drill Sergeant Firefly is tasked with teaching the firefly larvae all they need to know to survive their life cycle.  And he must accomplish this task quickly, before he dies.

Told in a comical dialogue, readers learn about metamorphosis, the firefly life cycle, bioluminescence, and everything you could possibly want to know about fireflies!

Looking for a way to spice up your how tos?

Looking for a possible project using coding, incorporating life cycles?

Looking for a mentor text that shows a comical voice?

Just looking for a good read?

This is the book for you!


Online Resources:



We Found a Hat

October 18, 2016

by Jon Klassen

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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!

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!


April 6, 2016

by Lori Nichols

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This title will be on next year’s Prairie Bud list!

Book Blurb from Catalog: When Maple was born, her parents planted a maple tree in her honor. The tree becomes Maple‘s favorite playmate throughout the seasons. When Maple is surprised with a baby sister, the two of them enjoy the tree, which is right next to baby Willow’s tree.

While the text does not teach the seasons, the beautiful illustrations sure shows how a deciduous tree, like a maple, changes from season to season.

Also, if you have a student who is about to become a big sister or brother, or is an only child, this would be a great book to read aloud to him or her.

Let’s Play

April 4, 2016

Let’s Play

Herve Tullet

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It’s testing season!  Need a fun and interactive read aloud that your students are sure to enjoy?

Herve Tullet has created his third book, Let’s Play, along the same lines as his first two, Press Here (winner of the South Dakota Prairie Bud award in 2014) and Mix It Up.

The narrator of the story (the yellow dot) dictates what the reader should do.  When the reader does what is asked, the illustration changes on the next page.

While I believe that the first two books in the series are better, this book will surely please any young reader.


Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure

January 6, 2016

Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure

by Michael Burgan

Book blurb from the catalog: Presents an interactive history adventure in which the reader can learn about life for an immigrant arriving at Ellis Island in the 1900s. Offers three story paths, thirty-two choices, and nineteen endings. Also includes a timeline, a glossary, and further resources.

After reading the introduction that gives background information on Ellis Island and immigration, readers use the information that they have learned to try and survive being an immigrant going through Ellis Island.

It is a GREAT read aloud for 3rd grade during the immigration social studies unit.

Nonfiction Choose Your Own Adventure books are great books to use for mentor texts when teaching the reading strategies of

  • compare/contrast (there are always multiple paths students can take within one scenario) and
  • determining importance (using the information that was in the introduction chapter to help them survive the different scenarios).


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!