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!

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My Two Blankets

April 28, 2016

My Two Blankets

by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood

Diverse Children's Books: My Two Blankets There's a Book for That

This book comes highly recommended by our former ELL teacher, now professor at USF, Mrs. Riddle!

Blurb from the catalog: Cartwheel moves to a new country with her aunt, and although everything is strange, including the language, her old blanket of words and sounds comforts her. Then Cartwheel meets a friend who introduces her to new words and sounds, and eventually Cartwheel creates a new blanket of language.

Kobald uses descriptive metaphors to explain how Cartwheel feels in her new country:

  • “When I went out, it was like standing under a waterfall of strange sounds.”
  • “I wrapped myself in a blanket of my own words and sounds.”

Use this to teach:

  • Metaphors
  • Building friendships/relationships
  • Understanding other cultures and others’ differences
  • Building classroom community

Read this book in connection with:

  • One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
  • The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman
  • Dear Whiskers (chapter book) by Ann Whitehead Nagda
  • Inside Out and Back (chapter book written in prose) Again by Thanhha Lai

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!


Helen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure

April 6, 2016

Helen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure: A Woman and a Dog Walk to the North Pole

by Sally Isaacs, illustrated by Iva Sasheva

Use this when teaching:

  • Biographies
  • Women’s History Month (March)
  • Compare/Contrast — Compare the adventures of Helen Thayer from this book to Betty Skelton in the book Daredevil
  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Inspiration for creating Hopes and Dreams.
    • Helen Thayer had a specific goal in mind: she wanted to trek to the magnetic North Pole.  Nothing was going to get in her way.  She trained; she studied; she prepared.  She worked toward her Hope and Dream of becoming the first woman to travel alone to the magnetic North Pole.
  • Problem Solving
    • Many things did not go as planned for Helen Thayer on her trek to the magnetic north pole.  She had to think on her feet to solve many problems only using the supplies she packed along with her.
  • Theme: Perseverance

Polar Dream Classroom Guide

 


Stick and Stone

March 17, 2016

Stick and Stone
by Beth Ferry; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Click for more information on this title

Blurb from the catalog: Stick and Stone are both lonely until Pinecone’s teasing causes one to stick up for the other, and a solid friendship is formed.

This book is great to teach:

  • Bully prevention (When Pinecone is teasing stone, stick stands up for stone instead of being a bystander)
  • Building Classroom Community
  • Friendship
  • Theme (this would be a quick mentor text for any unit on theme, but it would be an easy mini-lesson read-aloud for the 3rd grade theme unit)

Don’t Throw it to Mo

March 3, 2016

Don’t Throw it to Mo

by David Adler

***Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award 2016*** (Best book for young people)

Book blurb from the catalog: Even though Mo Jackson loves football, he is kind of clumsy, and no one will throw the ball to him. Mo will have to find a way to help his team in spite of no one throwing the ball to him.

Teaching growth mindset to your students?  Mo is a great example of a boy who simply doesn’t give up.  Mo is the smallest player on his football team.  Coach Steve uses him as a decoy for most of the plays.  But, Mo doesn’t complain; he just runs down the field and no one throws him the ball.  That is, until the final play of the game!  Spoiler alert—Mo wins the game with an amazing catch!

Use this book when teaching goal setting, growth mindset, analyzing character traits (there are some bully players in this book as well), and when setting up a classroom community of diverse learners.


Clever Beatrice

November 30, 2012

by Margaret Willey
illustrated by Heather Solomon

Cover image for Clever Beatrice : an Upper Pen...

Tall tale from Michigan’s upper peninsula

From the publisher: Can a very little girl beat a very large giant in feats of strength?  That’s what clever Beatrice bets on when she marches through the north woods to the home of the giant, hoping to win some of his gold to help her mother buy porridge.  The giant heartily agrees to a contest, never imagining the wisp of a girl could out-muscle him.  But what he hasn’t counted on is how clever Beatrice is…and that brains beat brawn every time.

Comprehension Strategies: text to text connections, predicting (How is Beatrice going to trick the giant?)

Other Lesson Ideas: compare/contrast to other giant stories (like Jack and the Beanstalk), theme