Books Celebrating The Women of the Revolution

Happy 4th of July weekend! What a great weekend to talk with students about the Revolutionary War and our Founding Fathers. While it’s important to learn about these, there is also a lack of educational information about our Founding Mothers and the women of the revolution. Here are some of the kids’ books that bring out the stories of these women.

Founding Mother’s: Remembering the Ladies

They Called Her Molly Pitcher

Who Was Betsy Ross?

Who Was Abigail Adams? 

From A Small Seed- The Story of Eliza Hamilton 

Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution 

This Land Is Your Land– Not a book about the women of the revolution, but still a moving book worth the read! 

How do you teach about the founding mothers and fathers of our country in your classroom? 

Picture Books For Kwanzaa

This is part of a series on writing booklists about holidays beyond Christmas. To read more about it, you can see it here.

Kwanzaa has officially started! Kwanzaa is from December 26th- January 1st. Here are some of the picture books I was drawn to that you can read during the holiday and can teach you and your students more about it! 

The Seven Days Of Kwanzaa is a spin-off of the popular 12 Day of Christmas but adapted for Kwanzaa. The rhyming keeps listeners engaged!

Kevin’s Kwanzaa I was instantly drawn to this book because of the bright pictures! A cute book following the Kwanzaa celebration of Kevin’s family. 

Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa A book about a cute little rabbit family celebrating Kwanzaa. 

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story is a fun story about a family using the seven principles of Kwanzaa to come together. 

What other books do you like to read to your students regarding Kwanzaa!? 

A Picture Book List For Diwali

This is part of a series on writing booklists about holidays beyond Christmas. To read more about it, you can see it here.

Welcome to our list of favorite Diwali books! This holiday was a favorite of mine to research because of the colors involved with Diwali, making the illustrations in every book so fun! Here are my top four:

Festival of Colors by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal

I love how this book is simple and on a child’s level, while still incorporating the Diwali jargon and vocabulary. It is also very inclusive of multiple races, showing that Diwali can be enjoyed by many! 

Lots of LIghts: A Story About Diwali by Kavita Sahai

This one is fun because elephants are the main characters that walk kids through what Diwali is, again, on their level. 

Rani Saves Diwali by Anita Badhwar

A princess saving Diwali! Such a fun book with cute illustrations. 

Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar

Binny is trying to tell her class about her favorite holiday, Diwali. And her peers love it!


What other Diwali books do you love reading to your class? How do you observe Diwali in your classroom or school?

Why Picture Books In The Classroom?

Between Mary and I writing blog posts over the last few years, I think we’ve put together somewhere around 100 book lists. What can we say?! We are both book lovers! You can see Mary’s book round-up here. And I’ll be working on one in the coming months! 

But maybe we need to step back and focus on the why. Why books in the classroom? Why have Mary and I written endless lists and posts about reading and books? Here are a few reasons.

TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

With the books, the characters in the books, and with reading. To see more on this idea, read Looking Into The Bond We Make With Literature.

TO SET THE FOUNDATION FOR LIFELONG READERS.

Especially in those early years, having the example of being read books can help curate a love for reading in children. 

TO LEARN HOW TO VISUALIZE

Reading books with pictures leads to reading chapter books and seeing the pictures in your mind. 

TO TAKE A BREAK

What better way to switch up the mood of the classroom than to pull out a picture book and get lost in a new world for a time? 

TO LEARN A LESSON 

Sometimes a good solution to learn a needed lesson is to let a beloved book character do the teaching. 

Here’s what Mary has to say on the subject: 

“[Picture books] make for outstanding anchor texts for students to learn small, targeted skills, both for writing and for social/emotional learning. Everyone should check out Jill Heise’s #classroombookaday for more on daily picture books! And regular fifth grade books for grade level texts to build up and transfer reading skills.”

What is your reason for reading picture books in your classroom? 

Favorite Halloween Books 2020

It’s almost time for Halloween! How are you celebrating in your town or school? Does it look different for you, or are things fairly similar? 

I can’t let a holiday go by without sharing my favorite books for the season! It’s just not in me. Here are my favorite Halloween books. 

The Legend of Spookley The Square Pumpkin. Maybe I love this book because my first-grade teacher (read about her here and how she gave me a love for books!) read this to our class on Halloween. But the message behind it is still great. 

Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini 

Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown By Charles M. Schulz because how do you say no to a classic?! 

Pete The Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean. I think there’s a special element of fun when a beloved, well-known book character celebrates the same holiday you do. 

The Dead Family Diaz by P.J. Bracegirdle: it teaches about Day of the Dead from a unique perspective from the dead world side instead of the living world. It will also make you wonder if maybe the movie Coco stole some ideas and influence from this book….?

What are your favorite Halloween books to read to your class?

Great List Of Elementary Aged Read Alouds

I’m a sucker for a good read aloud in the classroom!! This post is focusing on read-alouds for elementary-aged students. Please also note that they are equally as good for middle and high school ages! But these specific books are age-appropriate for these younger grades. 

Picture books:

The Little House. It takes a talented writer and illustrator to give a house such expression.

My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits. 

The Book With No Pictures by B.J Novak. For when you just need a good laugh! It’s also excellent to teach how words can be so powerful and important in reading. 

The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

The Napping House by Audrey Wood. The rhythm of this book is so peaceful and nice, a great book when the class needs calming. 

I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont. I cannot read this book without shedding a tear! “I like myself! I’m glad I’m me. There’s no one else I’d rather be.” a message you really hope every one of your students knows. 

Chapter books:

Frindle by Andrew Clements

A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Such a fun series! I’m also a big advocate for reading the first book in a series to students in hope that they pick up books two, and three, and so on….

Nate The Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Start them early with some good mystery books! 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. 

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. My new favorite! It’s written in verse, making it a unique chapter book. It’s a great read! 

What are your favorite elementary school read alouds? 

My Book Review on “College READY: Get The Most Out Of Your College Experience”

High school and college students, this post is for you! Teachers and professors of high school and college students, you’ll want to listen too. I recently read a book targeted toward high school seniors, but I believe is beneficial to any students, even those well into college. 

College READY: Get The Most Out Of Your College Experience by Mitchell Nicholes is a book written by a recent college graduate who takes apart different parts of college step by step in an easy to read and comprehend way. He covers topics such as discovering you why for college, setting SMART goals, and the ins and outs of funding and financial aid in college. The writing is fairly casual, making it a text that doesn’t need to be deciphered, the information comes across easy and sometimes in bullet points for ease. And with only 37 pages, putting this in the hands of students would not be overwhelming. By the end of the book, they should feel confident in knowing more about schooling, budgeting, and goal setting. 

It covers a vast audience, not just high school seniors. Researching college and the preparation it entails can start at younger ages before high school. And on the other end of the spectrum, students beyond their freshman year in college can benefit from this book too. I was well into my sophomore year of college before financial aid was even on my radar, and this book would have been a great tool in my research on what FAFSA was and the jargon it brings along with it, which is why this book needs to be in the hands of every student with undergrad and graduate schooling on their minds.

There is a whole chapter on career choice and progression, and that itself is why any college student at any level needs this as well. He covers everything from choosing the correct career for you to figuring out salary after graduation. If you won’t take my word for it that this book is worth your time, take it from a paragraph in the book itself: 

“The sole purpose of this book is to equip you with the knowledge and tools to get the most out of your college experience and set you up for success in life. So many people go through different journeys in their life without a plan, and essentially just end up “somewhere.” Think of this book as a guide. Utilize the knowledge you learned to discover what you need to do to get the most out of your college experience and set yourself up for success in life!’

-Mitchell Nicholes

You can buy the paperback or Kindle version of this book on Amazon.