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Jodi's Classroom Favorites

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

Interstellar Cinderella

Interstellar Cinderella - Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt

I had so much fun reading this text, and I know that young readers will, too! This text takes the classic story of Cinderella and tosses it into outer space - literally! Although there are several elements that are very similar to the original, Underwood adds her own spin and leaves the reader with a plot twist ending. I have found so many activities to accompany this story. Students could construct their own spaceship to integrate this text into a steam lesson, write about an imaginary planet, or make a text to text connection with The Rough-Face Girl. Students could also recreate and act out the story!




Guided Reading: M

Lexile: AD500L

DRA: 24

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web - E.B. White, Garth Williams, Rosemary Wells

I can not say enough good things about this story. I read this book as a child, and have re-read it as an adult. The message still holds true! The text is so rich and filled with sensory details. I would love to do an entire novel study on this book. I would start by reading the chapters aloud to students. This would be a wonderful time to reflect on the language and have them turn and talk to discuss specific phrases. I would use this book in science lessons and study spiders! I would ask students to draw and label the parts of a spider. I would also extend this theme into writing. I would give the students several prompts while covering this text, such as: Would you like to have a pet pig? How did Charlotte save Wilbur's life? Choose an adjective that describes you; draw it in a web and write a paragraph explaining why you chose it. A fun way to end this unit would be to act out the story, or to watch the movie!


Guided Reading - R

Lexile - 680L

DRA - 40 

AR - 4.4



Dear Mr. Henshaw

Dear Mr. Henshaw - Paul O. Zelinsky, Beverly Cleary

Dear Mr. Henshaw was one of the first chapter books that I remember reading. I was captivated by the story and re-read the book numerous times. The story dives into heavy situations, such as divorce, bullying, and moving to a new school. I loved that the main character would write to his favorite author. I think that I would have students do the same!  Because this book is for older readers, I would ask them to decipher the setting and draw or write about it. I would love to incorporate this book into a science or stem lesson. Just like in the story, I would ask students to design their own lunchbox alarm.


Guided Reading - Q

Lexile - 910L

DRA - 40

AR - 4.9

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Ray Cruz, Judith Viorst

Alexander is having the worst day of his life! This text is a classic story that is extremely relatable for young readers. Alexander experiences all sorts of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things! Just like Alexander, students might have experienced a terrible day. I would love to have students use this text for a sequencing activity, or to inspire them to write about their own bad days. Teachers could definitely use this text to study cause and effect. I found a wonderful comprehension activity that could accompany this text. It asks meaningful and purposeful questions that allow students to check their understanding.




AR - 3.7

If You Give A Pig A Pancake

If You Give a Pig a Pancake - Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond

If You Give A Pig A Pancake is one of my FAVORITE stories. I can recite this story without looking at the words! The text is easy to read, silly, and accompanied by beautiful illustrations. There are so many activities that can accompany this title! I used this book to demonstrate a cooking lesson with preschoolers! I allowed them to make their own pancake batter. They made predictions about what would happen when they added specific ingredients. They especially loved enjoying a yummy snack! A sequencing map would be easy to include while covering this text. I think it would be fun for students to write about their favorite pancake toppings or construct a recipe and describe how to cook pancakes.


Guided Reading - L

Lexile - 480L

DRA - 18

AR - 2.5

Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is such a relatable story for so many young readers! I remember being picked on when I was a child because my name was unusual. This book reminds children that although they are different, they should not be ashamed. Sweet Chrysanthemum perseveres, even when she faces a bully at school. This text would be great to use at the beginning of the school year, just as a reminder that being kind to classmates is the way to go. Because their is already a math activity included in the story, it would be easy to extend it into the classroom. Students can count the letters in their own names, just like they do in the story! Students can chart the results and compare their findings. The activity can be differentiated for advanced students and early finishers by allowing them to do the same with their last names.


Guided Reading - L

Lexile - 460L

The Grouchy Ladybug - Eric Carle

The Grouchy Ladybug is a beautiful story! It follows the day of a very grouchy ladybug that wants to fight with EVERYONE. I think that students will definitely relate to that feeling. The illustrations that accompany the text draws young readers in and sparks their interest. There are several pages of various sizes; I think that this gives the book an interactive feel for younger readers. I can see myself using this book in so many ways in my classroom! I would love to incorporate this into a science unit about ladybugs. I think it would be fun to order a ladybug habitat and allow the students to study the life cycle of the ladybug. Because this book is largely about grumpiness and aggression, I would ask my students to write about a time when they might have felt this way and ask them how they overcame it! I would also construct a sequencing center activity to accompany this title. 


Guided Reading - L

Lexile - 560L

DRA - 20

AR - 2.8

The Napping House

— feeling sleepy
The Napping House - Audrey Wood, Don Wood

The Napping House is one of my favorite stories! I love how the action in this story grows and grows. When reading this story with little people, I love to discuss how the perspective of the pictures changes as the story progresses. I think it would be especially fun to allow this book to accompany a pajama day. I would allow the students to retell the story and sequence the events using pre-made character cutouts.


DRA - 16

Lexile - NP

AR - 2.8

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons - Eric Litwin, James Dean

I adore Pete the Cat! Whether he is rocking in his school shoes, magic sunglasses, or his groovy buttons, all kids love Pete. This particular book would be great for sequencing, number recognition, or color recognition. I've had the pleasure of watching a class play bingo while listening to the audiobook. It was a fun activity that had them on the edge of their seats!


Lexile - AD350L

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit - Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers

Who doesn't love this fun story? This silly tale depicts the struggles faced by a box a crayons that belong to Duncan. I love to read this aloud to young readers. There are many opportunities to add ridiculous voices and accents that little minds love. This book could be used in math to graph which colors students like to color with the most. I would also consider using this text for Science. It would be interesting to study how long it takes for crayons to wear down, or what happens when different amounts of pressure is applied. I would even suggest using this book to accompany a class art project! I would allow students to glue crayons to a canvas and use a blowdryer to melt them. Imagine how proud they would be if you displayed this work in the classroom!





AR - 3.8

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell, David Catrow

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a delightful story of a unique young girl. Molly Lou has many unusual attributes, and she learns how to use them with the help of her grandmother. When Molly Lou encounters a bully, she knows just what to do. I would love to use this book at the beginning of the school year to help students raise their self-esteem and teach them how to cope with bullies. 


AR - 3.5