A collection of Children's books that I have loved for a long time or just recently had the opportunity to love.
As if “The Giving Tree” wasn’t enough for us, Mr. Silverstein blessed us with his poetry books as well and this is just one of my favorites. I can remember as a child recitating “Where the sidewalk ends” in front of my class and feeling so proud. This book is full of all the most amazing poems that your classroom isnaure to love. Poetry has a way into everyone’s hearts but especially kids. I had the opportunity to witness poetry in use in the classroom in my lab placements this past semester in the form of what my CT called “poetry cafe”. The students had it every Friday and they would find a poem on Monday, the teacher would make copies and give back to them Tuesday and they had till Friday to memorize it by themselves or with a partner and perform it Friday. I will MOST DEFINITELY do this in my classroom. So many wonderful things that are coming out of this each week such as speech practice, fluency, expression, etc. As well as allowing the students to dress up or use props to show their creativity.
Giided Reading Level: Q
Another classic story book for the classroom for all age readers. This book is a fun example of what a child’a imagination is really like and also how quickly these imaginative thoughts can begin and end. The little boy goes on his own adventure to an island of wild things and dances the night away all in a matter of 5 minutes after being sent to his room without dinner only to return to reality and have dinner hot and waiting on him in his room. This book is an awesome opening book for discussing creative thinking and writing. I will use this book to introduce journaling in my room and having the freedom of imagination to write whatever my students want. Also, I would love to use as a retelling lesson where groups act out the events of the story.
Guided Reading Level: J
Honestly I feel unworthy to even give this book a review because I feel it is a blanket understanding that this book is the greatest book ever written. Ever. How one book can move even the most stubborn hearts and oldest souls, as well and melt the hearts of the young who it was written for I have no idea. If you haven’t read it, go now and take tissues. A great story that reminds us love is the best gift of all. And although I would like to use this book in lessons as well, I thought about doing something a little different in my room and having our own class giving tree but instead of the tree giving away it’s leavea, we as a class throughout the year build our tree up with compliments to each other as well as me giving compliments out to individual students. The compliment and student’s name will go on the leaf and they get to hang their leaf on the tree where they would like. A great positive visual in the classroom to promote a giving heart.
Guided Reading Level: N
This book is a book that will forever be associated with an elementary classroom because every student thought it was so amazing that the book itself looked like a caterpillar has eaten through the pages. The pictures are so colorful and vibrant and even though there aren’t many words, thw story like is clear and the book is nothing less than spectacular. I will definitely use this book to teach the life cycle of certain insects and animals as well as hopefully get the chance to have some class caterpillars that we can watch go through the different phases to a butterfly.
Guided Reading Level: J
Honestly just go ahead and have the picture ready because most of your students won’t know what a wardrobe is and it’s a great way to go ahead and start new vocabulary right at the beginning. In all seriousness, I recommend any book written by C. S. Lewis but especially this book as well as the series that follows it. However, this book alone is such an exciting read for students to truly feel like they have their own secret world hidden in our classroom that we all get to go to together when we have shared reading. This book has, adventure, magic, war, humor, trials, and above all love and true sacrifice. It’s also an all time favorite of mine that grabs your attention and holds it to the very end. This book would be perfect for a lesson on character traits as well as comparing and contrasting the different siblings. I would love to have a creative writing entry in their journals as well where they describe what their own secret works would be like and how they would enter it.
Guided Reading Level: T
Once again, a great book that I clearly remember reading in the fourth grade as a class and I was completely engulfed in each chapter trying to figure out what was going to happen next. This is a great read for any teacher looking for that book of an adventure to really keep students engaged in what is happening in the story. All you need to know is there is magic, adventure, and a lesson in what looks great on the surface, isn’t always that great. This would be a great novel to use during guided reading as well. Also to teach a lesson on the story elements of setting, problem, solution, theme, etc.
Guided Reading Level: W
Another classic book with a hidden lesson for the classroom. Miss Nelson is Missing is about the ultimate reverse psychology on students in the classroom that don’t quite want to do as they are told. Of course it is much exaggerated but very hilarious to watch the student’s faces react to all that the “substitute” teacher is doing. I always thought it would be fun to dress up as Miss Viola Swamp for a classroom one day, but only as a joke of course. This book is a great lesson in integrity and respect in the classroom. I would love to use this book in a compre and contrast lesson and allow the students to work in groups comparing Miss Nelson to Miss Viola Swamp from how they look and talk to how they act.
Guided Reading Level: L
Let me just say, I still remember reading this book for the first time in fourth grade. I remember loving it from the moment I read the first chapter to the very last page. This is one of those few books that a child will always remember. It plays onto the real and raw feelings of children from one extreme to the next, imagination to heartbreak. To get you started, two kidss, Jess and Leslie become unlikely friends after becoming neighbors and create and imaginary world across the creek by their house called Terabithia. Real life events take place and the story shows how one person can leave a very lasting impression on someone else that can change their whole outlook on the world. I love this book. Definitely top 3 of my favorite chapter books. I loved the idea of using this book during guided reading because it can bring on great discussion in groups. Also, I’d love to use in an anchor chart throughout the book to make predictions each week and check off what we find out though each chapter. This book could also be used to describe character traits.
Guided Reading Level: T
First off, If you haven’t read this book yet, just go listen to the audio version first THEN go back and read the book. When I read this book in my classroom, I will make sure to play the audio book video for my class because the song that goes with then book just makes it that much more fun! The little boy in the book loves chicken soup with rice so much, he has to make it known that it can be eaten during any month of the year. Such a fun and creative way for students to learn not only the months of the year but also the seasons and what goes on during those seasons in a lesson. I would have my students do a writing assignment in their journals to tell me their favorite season or time of year or they could tell me about their favorite food that they could eat all year long.
Guided Reading Level: M
A funny book with a princess and a lesson that the boys and the girls in your classroom will love! What begins with what seems to be a very snobby princess ends with a lesson on self esteem and knowing your worth. Also, this princess refuses to give up and instead chooses to use her brain to outsmart the dragon in a great cat and mouse style game. What a great book to remind your students how big and mighty their brains are and how you don’t have to be the biggest one in the room or have the most stuff, but if you have knowledge, it’s powerful. I’d love to use this in my classroom one day as a lesson to teach retelling a story on storyboards. Having the class split up into groups to decorate a poster board with a different part of the story and have them lined up at the end to retell the story in their own words.
Guided Reading Level: K