The Typewriter

April 28, 2016

The Typewriter

by Bill Thomson

Wordless picture book author/illustrator Bill Thompson (author of Chalk and Fossil) is at it again.  This time the kids in the story come across an old typewriter.  When they put paper in it and write, the words come to life.

Add this to your must-use wordless picture books!

This book is also great to teach:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Beginning, Middle, and End
  • Compare/Contrast
  • Description through illustrations
  • Sequencing (using illustrations only)



Toy Trailblazers: Innovators Biographies

April 28, 2016

This is an exciting new biography series for kids interested in Crayola crayons, Barbies, LEGO, and Play-Doh!


The four books from the series that we purchased for the library are:

  • Play-Doh Pioneer: Joseph McVicker
  • LEGO Manufacturers: The Kristiansen Family
  • Barbie Developer: Ruth Handler
  • Crayola Creators: Edward Binney and C. Harrold Smith

These books are not only high interest reads, but can also fit into lessons about:

  • Biographies
  • Timelines
  • Innovators and Inventions
  • Nonfiction Text Features
  • Main Idea
  • Determining Importance


Prince Fly Guy

December 21, 2015

Prince Fly Guy

by Tedd Arnold

Talking about Ideas from the six traits of writing?  Prince Fly Guy does a great job showing how Buzz decides on a topic after Fly Guy eliminates many, many other choices when writing his fairy tale homework.  It would be a fun read aloud to show how authors choose their topics and edit them to make the story more enticing.

US Immigration in the 1900s — a Text Set

December 9, 2015
3rd Grade: Social Studies: Quarter 2: Immigration
We just got a new set of books that deals with immigration.  Three of them are nonfiction books:
Journey to America; A Chronology of Immigration in the 1900s
Life in America: Comparing Immigrant Experiences
The Shadow of Lady Liberty: Immigrant Stories from Ellis Island
U.S. Immigration in the 1900s
Capstone Publishing also paired these three nonfiction books with an excellent read aloud fiction book called Emma’s New Beginning.
Here’s the book blurb: Emma’s family is immigrating to America from Russia in hopes of finding a better life.  But their life is not easy.  The ship is overcrowded, health inspectors can deny them entry, and swindlers are eager to prey on new immigrants.  Can Emma be strong enough to succeed in a place where she can’t even understand the language.  Inspired by a true story, this gripping historical novel captures the hardships immigrants faced in pursuit of the American dream.
These nonfiction books (that I listed above) would make great nonfiction read alouds for shared reading as well.  It would be an easy way to incorporate Social Studies into your balanced literacy approach!

The Important Book

October 11, 2012

The Important Book
by Margaret Wise Brown

Publisher Notes: Points out how all things, from an apple to a spoon, and from the sky to a shoe, have certain important qualities that are special about them, and that the most important thing about you is that you are you.

Comprehension Strategies: Inferring (don’t show pictures and don’t tell what the object is, have students use the clues of why it is important to figure out what the object is), Determining Importance (an introduction, possibly)

Writing: Generating Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Expository Writing

Reading Makes You Feel Good

October 10, 2012

Reading Makes You Feel Good
by Todd Parr

Todd Parr presents many reasons why reading makes you feel good: you can make a new friend; you can do it anywhere; you can learn to make pizza; you can learn about your favorite animal at the zoo; you can travel to faraway places; the options are limitless!

Possible Lessons: Getting excited about reading, Intro to Read to Self for younger grades, author study

Comprehension Strategies: Connections, Schema, Voracious Reading

Writing Traits: Generating Ideas, Organization

A Book

October 9, 2012

A Book
by Mordicai Gerstein

Format: picture book, hardcover

The young girl in this story doesn’t know what her story should be about.  She talks to her family to find out what their stories are about and she learns about all of the different genres.  She visits various genres (fairy tales, science fiction, historical fiction, realistic fiction, etc.) and doesn’t feel like these genres are a good fit for her.  Ultimately she decides that she is going to write her own story and be an author.

Teaching points: Writer’s Workshop, Genres

Writing: Personal Narrative, Starting up Writer’s Workshop, Generating Ideas,

Comprehension Strategies: Connections