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jodislackey

Jodi's Classroom Favorites

A collection of my favorite picture, short story, and chapter books that I hope to house in my classroom library!

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison is a genius! I can not wait to provide this text to young readers in my future classroom. This book showcases powerful women of color. This is truly a text deserving of awards and accolades. The illustrations are gorgeous and the content is powerful. I could see myself using this book for Social Studies and and English Language Arts!

 

Pink and Say

Pink and Say - Patricia Polacco

You better bring some tissues when you sit down to read this text, because you are going to need them! Patricia Polacco is the author and illustrator of this profound piece of children's literature. Polacco introduces us to the true story of two young soldiers. Many of Polacco's works are based on true stories, and this one packs a punch. This text is perfect for lessons about the civil war. I recently used this text to write my own lesson plan; I required students to read the text and research their state's role in the civil war. The students were then asked to write a persuasive piece detailing why they would or why they would not live in their state during the civil war.

 

 

Guided Reading - V

Lexile - 600L

DRA - 50

AR - 3.8

 

The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand - Munro Leaf, Robert Lawson

The story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf tells the delightful account of a young bull named Ferdinand. With the story taking place sometime in Spain, the reader might assume that Ferdinand is destined to be a matador. However, young Ferdinand is unique. While his peers run, fight, and play, "Ferdinand likes to sit under his tree just so and smell the flowers" (Leaf). The simple illustrations by Newberry award winning illustrator, Robert Lawson, might seem plain - but but do not be deceived! Hidden gems and details beg the reader to revise the text. I would love to use this book to study Spanish culture. One of the more interesting ideas I found to accompany this text is a study on cork, which can be found here: https://www.weareteachers.com/8-fun-activities-celebrate-story-ferdinand/

 

Guided Reading - K

Lexile - AD760L

DRA - 18

AR - 3.7

Stuck

By Oliver Jeffers - Stuck - Oliver Jeffers

I LOVE OLIVER JEFFERS. His texts are jubilant and silly. The images are beautifully illustrated, and will have the reader flipping through in no time! Stuck tells us the story of Floyd. Poor Floyd got his kite stuck in a tree, and he can't get it down. He begins to throw all kinds of things at the tree in hopes of knocking it down. This book would be perfect for identifying problems and solutions. Because Jeffers has quite an extensive list of books under his belt, teachers could use him for an author study. Accompany with a read a loud by the author himself!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hipx6HJs4XQ

http://kickinitinkindergarten.com/breathe-life-literacy-oliver-jeffers/

 

Guided Reading - L

Lexile - AD530L

AR - 3.4

The Little Prince

The Little Prince & Letter to a Hostage - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine De Saint-Exupéry gave us a wonderful and peculiar story. The plot follows an aviator, who has crashed in the dessert! After further research, I learned that the author modeled this on his own experience. Because this text is a fable, I think it would be great to compare it to other classic fables. The teacher could then challenge students to write their own fables! I think this text could also be used while studying autobiographies. I recommend watching the Netflix movie!

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1754656/

http://static.playhousesquare.org/documents/Education/LittlePrince-TeacherGuide.pdf

 

Guided Reading - X

Lexile - 710L

DRA - 60

AR - 5.0

Two of Everything

Two of Everything - Lily Toy Hong

Before reading this text, I was unfamiliar with the Chinese folktale. The story tells the tale of Mr. and Mrs. Haktak and their magic pot - a pot that will give them two of everything. This story is so clever and teaches young readers about modesty. I would incorporate this book into a writing center! I would allow students to write about what they might want to drop into the pot, or if they would want to use it all! This book could also be incorporated into math lessons to help students learn about doubles. One such activity calls for the usage of a mirror, so students can actually visualize what doubling is. This activity can be found here: https://illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=3294

 

Lexile - AD620L

DRA - 30

AR - 3.5

Piggie Pie

Piggie Pie! - Margie Palatini, Howard Fine

Are you smart enough to outsmart a witch? Thats what you should ask young readers when they finish this story! Piggie Pie is a precious book that details the story of a witch on the prowl for some piggies. This book is full of adjectives and alliterations! Students could go on an adjective search while reading this book. I would personally love to work with other teachers on my grade level to produce a live reading of this text using our students as actors!

 

Piggie Pie play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwZAbhgbtUc

 

Guided Reading - L

Lexile - 420L

DRA - 20

AR - 2.5

The Book With No Pictures

The Book with No Pictures - B.J. Novak

This book is so ridiculous - and that is what makes it great! B.J. Novak dared to be different. He created a funny and interesting book for children, but he wanted to make it with no pictures! This book is designed to make grownups sound incredibly silly. The text itself is bright and exuberant, and will hold the attention of young readers. I would allow my students to write an advertisement for this book and present it to their peers, the school librarian, or the principal. I think it would also be fun to write letters to Mr. Novak and thank him for writing this crazy book!

 

Read aloud by author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiiS2NDkfI4

 

Guided Reading - L

Lexile - 380L

DRA - 20

 

 

They All Saw A Cat

They All Saw a Cat - Brendan Wenzel

This text is definitely a short read, but I think teachers can incorporate it into any classroom! The text is accompanied by gorgeous illustrations that fill the entire page. These illustrations were created with various tools, so the reader is constantly engaged. I think it would be fun to collaborate with the art teacher while studying this text. The students could definitely write about the different perspectives seen throughout the book. This text could also overlap into science! Students could study animal eyesight, and use the text to write about what animals might see.

 

 Lexile - AD310L

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

This wonderful piece of literature is suitable for children of all ages, and adults too! This story promotes kindness and sharing. I think this book would be perfect to read at the beginning of the school year as friends are just settling into the classroom. This book would be perfect for sequencing, and I would even turn it into a center. This text would also be perfect to read during Earth Day!

 

Guided Reading - N

AR - 2.6

Mixed Me!

Mixed Me! - Taye Diggs, Shane W. Evans

Mixed Me gives us a glance at the everyday adversity that biracial children might face. Mike is full of confidence, and faces his struggles head on - with humor! This book is another exciting way to introduce new cultures and heritages in the classroom. I would love to read this book when discussing bullying or self-esteem. I would accompany this text with a color mixing activity. This is an easy way to incorporate a hands on experience while teaching acceptance. 

 

color mixing activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCMHw6NDJ0I

AR - 1.8

Maniac Magee

Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli

Maniac Magee is such a rich text. I remember reading this book in the fourth grade and falling in love with the characters! This book is intended for an older audience. The messages throughout touch on homelessness, racism, and death. I know that young readers will connect with Maniac, from his knot detangling abilities to his football skills - kids will want to know him! There are many excellent activities to accompany this title, but I love this one from Scholastic! Students are challenged to write a recipe for Maniac Magee based on the authors formula of "one part fact, two parts legend, and three parts snowball." 

Writing activity: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/maniac-magee-extension-activities/

 

Guided Reading - W

Lexile - 820L

DRA - 60

AR - 4.7

Little Chickies/ Los Pollitos

Canticos: Los Pollitos / Canticos: Little Chickies - Susie Jaramillo

Little Chickies is a bilingual picture book! Readers can enjoy the text in English or Spanish. The text is based on a traditional Spanish nursery rhyme, and has even been translated into song. I would love to include this book in my classroom for multiple reasons. I think it is very important to provide our ELL students with texts that are in their native language. This text is so very beneficial, because they can compare both versions of the book at the same time. I would love to incorporate this book as a cultural experience for children. I think exposing our young learners early on can broaden their understanding of others and help foster an inclusive classroom. I would allow my students to compare this text with other traditional nursery rhymes and songs.

 

Lexile - BR100L - 0L

The Lorax

The Lorax - Dr. Seuss

He speaks for the trees! I love this vibrant work by Dr. Seuss. I think most of the charm of this book comes from the usage of made-up words. Seuss's made up characters make children giggle and use their imagination! I could use this book for all kinds of activities! I would love to read this on Earth Day. I think it would be great for students to research pollution and its effects on the environment after reading this text. Another great activity for young readers to try is a cause and effect study like the one I found here:

http://www.mrsrichardsonsclass.com//cause-and-effect-fun-and-some-fonts/!

 

Lexile - 560

AR - 3.1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

Harry Potter, the boy who lived! What can I NOT say about this book? I grew up alongside Harry Potter. I remember the first time I was introduced to Harry was the fifth grade. My teacher was not so friendly, so when she read the text aloud, I always tuned her out. However, when I finally got my hands on a copy, my world changed. I stayed up late reading. I woke up early to read. I missed birthday parties, movies, softball practice, etc. just to spend time with Harry. I related to Harry so easily. He was an outcast and a little socially awkward. I envied his magical powers and enchanted castle. I would love to allow my students to partner read this text or listen to the audiobook. I think I would challenge them to create a Quidditch field, and have them measure the dimensions of their creations. I love the idea of allowing them to create their own Hogwarts house, assigning a mascot, and writing about the attributes that a young witch or wizard would need to be assigned to that house!

 

Lexile - 880L

Guided Reading - V

DRA - 50 

AR - 5.5

Woodrow, the White House Mouse

Woodrow the White House Mouse - Peter Barnes, Cheryl Shaw Barnes

Woodrow, the White House Mouse is a very informative text for young readers! It gives students an opportunity to learn about the president, where he/she resides, and what jobs he/she might perform. The authors use a mouse to represent the president, making it amusing for young learners. I would love for students to act out the scenes depicted in this text. I think it would be beneficial to compare this text to other texts that relate to the president and the white house; this would allow students to compare and contrast fiction and nonfiction texts. This text would also be great when discussing American symbols!

 

 

 

 

 

Guided Reading - P

Lexile - NP

DRA - 38

AR - 5.1