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?

 

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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:

http://beckycastlethebarefootteacher.blogspot.com/2017/08/free-how-to-survive-as-firefly-life.html

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Survive-as-a-Firefly-Response-Journal-3321295

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Survive-as-a-Firefly-Book-Companion-Activities-3367275

 


Where’s the BaBOOn?

November 21, 2016

by Michael Escoffier

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Remember reading Take Away the A?

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Well, the author of Take Away the A has a new book in his series: Where’s the BaBOOn?  It encourages students to put together the red letters to solve the riddle on each page.  For example, the riddle reads “Who brought an apple?” The illustration shows the arm of an ape giving the teacher the apple.  Students put together the letters a – p – e and the clue from the illustration to know it is the APE that gives the apple.  Each page is one riddle after another.

 

 


Panda Pants

November 18, 2016

by Jacqueline Davies
Illustrated by Sydney Hanson

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Panda wants to wear pants.  Father Panda doesn’t agree.  Read to find out how this little Panda tries to persuade his father.

Use this to teach:

  • Dialogue (no speech bubbles or quotation punctuation, though)
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Using illustrations to help tell the story

Really—this one is a just a great read aloud!


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!


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)

 


I Wish You More

April 6, 2016

I Wish You More

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

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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