Drawn Together

October 17, 2018

by Minh Le
illustrated by Dan Santat, Caldecott Artist 2015 (Adventures of Beekle)

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A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.

Starting out as a wordless picture book, you meet a boy and his grandfather.  They seem to have nothing in common until they boy gets bored and pulls out his art supplies.  Then a whole new world opens up as the boy draws and the grandpa draws, building “a new world that even words can’t describe.”

Classroom Connections:

  • Mentor text for illustrations telling details from the story
  • Discussion starter: language barriers

An introspective look by other educators:
https://community.theeducatorcollaborative.com/making-our-way-across-lessons-learned-from-minh-le-and-dan-santats-drawn-together/

 

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My Beautiful Birds

March 1, 2018

by Suzanne Del Rizzo

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Syrian Civil War.

Bombs.

Fleeing.

Will there be safety?

 

Sami’s Syrian town is bombed and his family flees to a refugee camp.  They have to walk night and day and night again before they get to the tents of the refugee camp.  There they remain while Sami struggles with his emotions and continuously fearful for his pet pigeons, which his father says escaped the bombed city.

Read to find how Sami deals with his inner turmoil as he and his family lives at the refugee camp.

 

For further discussion questions, check out this link:

http://pajamapress.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/MyBeautifulBirds_ReadingGuide.pdf

 


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?

 


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!