Announcing our 2021 Christmas book list! This is one of my favorite posts each year to write. It’s so fun to look over our holiday books and choose a handful to share with you each year. Here’s what I’ve gathered for this season-
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert: This is a longer picture book, but worth the read! Such a cute Christmas story.
Merry Christmas, Curious George by Margret Rey
The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear: This is one I know I’ve put on a winter or Christmas list before, but it’s too good to not include again!
A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf
What Christmas and holiday books are you reading this year?
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?
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 Kwanzaais 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.
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:
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!
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.
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?
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 Pieby 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?
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.
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.
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?