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!


Where’s the Elephant?

April 28, 2016

Wheres-the-Elephant Monday April 4th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Yes, this is a search-and-find book.

But, not in the typical “only find the elephant” kind of way.

This book introduces three characters: the elephant, the parrot, and the snake.  The remainder of the book is wordless where the reader encounters the animals’ habitat constantly shrinking due to deforestation.  Progressively, the animals become easier and easier to find.

Put this in your plans to use next year to compliment any environmental awareness unit or a great discussion starter on Earth Day!

Pom and Pim — A Beginning Reader to Show Cause and Effect

March 16, 2016

Pom and Pim
by Lena and Olof Landstrom

Click for more information on this title

Blurb from the catalog: A child named Pom has a stuffed toy named Pim. Together they go outside on a nice sunny day, and a series of good luck and bad luck events lead them home again.

This text is a great beginning-reader text perfect for K-2 when teaching cause and effect.  The author uses the terms “good luck” and “bad luck” to show the effects of different occurrences.

This book also is also great for students to infer what happened from the illustrations.

Pair this book with the book Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack!


Flight School

December 11, 2015

Flight School

by Lita Judge

Penguin has the soul of an eagle and wants to fly.  But, as we know, penguins cannot fly.  Penguin shows up to Flight School anyway and listens to the lessons of Teacher.  All of the other birds learn how to fly, but Penguin does not.  Teacher figures out a way to make Penguin fly and he tethers Penguin to himself and allows Penguin to feel like the wind.  Penguin is ecstatic; he got to fly!  The funny ending has Penguin bringing his friend Ostrich to Flight School and says “My friend Ostrich has the soul of a swallow” to which Teacher responds “Gulp”. 🙂

Building classroom community?  Setting goals?  This is the book for you!  Help teach your students that even though others are different, or say that you can’t do something, teamwork can produce amazing results!  A quick read, Flight School is bound to delight your students and inspire them to work together to achieve great things!

Flight School is also great for Beginning, Middle, and End.

Or if you are looking for a book that makes the reader infer what is happening through the illustrations, this is the book for your lesson!

This book could also be a jump off point researching about different birds.  The reader can infer that penguins and ostriches do not fly, while other birds at flight school could.  Students could research birds on PebbleGO and tell whether or not their type of bird can or cannot fly.

A lesson idea found from http://amf3tx.wix.com/alisonfullerton#!delivery/cl1h


1. Read “Flight School” to the class.

2. Discuss. What did the penguin demonstrate in this story (perseverance, effort, hard work, never giving up, etc.)?

3. Discuss. What are some things that you have done in the past that you never gave up on (i.e., maybe tying your shoes, riding a bike, writing my name, etc.)?

4. Relate this discussion and theme to academics and everyday life. What are some ways that we can we persevere in school?

5. Pass out the “Easy vs. Difficult” Worksheet. Have the students list things that are easy for them to do and difficult for them to do.

6. Discuss that everyone has strengths and weaknesses; if the child continues to work hard and persevere on their “Difficult” list, then they can eventually achieve it!

7. Use the list as an exit pass and a plan to achieve some of the tasks in the “Difficult” section.

8. At the end of the year/in a few weeks or months, follow up on any progress that the students have made in the “Difficult” section.


May 23, 2013


by Henry Cole

This wordless picture book depicts the story of a young girl living on a farm in Virginia with her grandparents during the Civil War.  The pictures begin by showing Confederate soldiers at the farm either looking for escaped slaves or looking for food to eat.  Later on we see the young girl getting potatoes from the barn cellar for dinner that evening when she hears rustling in the cellar.  It turns out there is an escaped slave (presumably a girl) hiding in their cellar.  It is illegal to house escaped slaves, and the soldiers return offering a reward looking for ths particular slave.  Will the young girl disclose the escapee’s hiding place, or will she allow the escapee to continue her path north towards freedom?

It would be a great upper elementary read-aloud, think-aloud book when discussing how illustrations connect to the text, or how one can infer much just by examining the illustrations.  It would also be a great addition to a Civil War unit after students have built some schema on the Civil War and slavery.  They could write the words to this book as a class activity!

Comprehension Strategies: Determining Importance, Inferring, Synthesizing (as there are no words, my thoughts were constantly changing trying to make a cohesive story)

Topics: Civil War, Slavery, Escaped Slaves, Doing What’s Right vs. Doing What’s Lawful

Tea Cakes for Tosh

May 23, 2013


by Kelly Starling Lyons

Great book for visualization!  The smell of the tea cakes and Grandma Honey’s descriptive words take Tosh way-back-when when their people were enslaved.  Grandma Honey describes how she makes the tea cakes throughhout the beginning of the story.  Then Grandma Honey begins to be forgetful.  First its finding the car in the parking lot, then it’s her sister’s phone number, but finally it’s the recipe for tea cakes.  Tosh learns to make Tea Cakes from his mom and the next day Tosh visits Grandma Honey, the roles are reversed, and HE is the one who tells the story of their enslaved people and of the great-great-great-great-grandma making tea cakes.

Comprehension Strategies: Visualization, Inferring, Determining Importance, Schema

Topics: Grandparents, Getting Old, Slavery, Baking

Recipe for Grandma Honey’s Tea Cakes included in the end of the book!

Book Trailer

Each Kindness

March 19, 2013

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson teaches kids about kindness–how each kindess ripples out bigger and bigger.

Now it’s your turn to tell about a kindness you have done.

Day 1:  Think about a time you did something kind for someone.  Remember this doesn’t have to be something HUGE.  The smallest kindnesses sometimes make the biggest differences!

  • What did you do?
  • Why did you do it?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How did it change something for the person who received the kindness.

Try and write at least 5 sentences about your experience.