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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Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

September 26, 2017

by Andrea J Loney
Illustrated by Keith Mallett

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This picture book biography tells the life of James VanDerZee, a young boy who saved up his money to buy his first camera and who used his hard work and gentle spirit to grow a photography business in Harlem.

This book is great to show entrepreneurial spirit, grit, and perseverance.  It also explores the theme of following your dream.


How to Survive as a Firefly

September 11, 2017

How to Survive as a Firefly
by Kristen Foote
Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

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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

 


The Girl Who Ran

September 11, 2017

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston  Marathon
by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee
Illustrated by Susanna Chapman

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Do you want a book about NEVER GIVING UP?  This is for you!  Bobbi Gibb is a girl in the 1960s.  All she wants to do is run.  But others try to stop her, her father even says “Girls don’t run!”  That doesn’t stop Bobbi.  For her first race, she disguises herself as a boy, wearing boy tennis shoes and covering her hair with a hooded sweatshirt.  Midway through the race, she had been spotted and the men running the race replied “We won’t let anyone throw you out; it’s a free road.”  So Bobbi took off her sweatshirt and finished the race!

An inspiring biography of one person who wanted to change the world, who wanted to follow her heart.

Use this at the beginning of the school year as you build community and discuss hopes and dreams!  Bobbi Gibb will definitely inspire your students to never give up and to follow their dreams!


Cutest Animals…That Could KILL YOU!

November 28, 2016

By Mary Molly Shea
and Eleanor Snyder

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Written at a DRA 24 or 28, these animal books are sure to hook your readers!  Each book takes a cute animal and teaches the reader all about it, including “dangerous details.”  Great informative books!  Each book contains with excellent nonfiction text features too–headings, bold words, glossary, table of contents, index, captions, and photographs.

 


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.

 

 


Sally Sore Loser

November 21, 2016

by Frank J. Sileo

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Catalog blurb: After having her classmates walk away from her during a soccer game at recess because she hogs the ball, is bossy, and cares only about winning, Sally gets some good advice from her teacher and her mother. Includes note to parents.

Have someone in your class that could use a little social skills learning?  This book shows how Sally’s attitude causes others not to want to play with her at recess and how Sally feels afterwards.  It is a great social story to learn how to win and lose gracefully.