The Christmas Book List Of 2020

Christmas books! I’m giddy about putting together this post! The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, and books are one of my favorite subjects. Let’s put the two together! 

Pick A Pine Tree: We don’t own this one yet, but I’m looking forward to the day we do! 

Dasher: Doesn’t the moody cover of the book just invite you in while you sit under a cozy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa?

Red & Lulu: The same author as Dasher. The magic of New York during the Christmas season is captured in this holiday book. 

The Crayons’ Christmas: A holiday twist on The Day The Crayons Quit

What books would you add to this list? Need some good book ideas for the holiday season that aren’t Christmas themed? Stay tuned for next week! 

Featured photo: pexels.com

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? 

High School Read Alouds: Books For Fun!

If you search book lists on our blog you’ll find multiple posts full of lists and lists of good read alouds, books for certain subjects, etc, etc. This blog is chucked full of book lists! What it’s missing is a list of read alouds for high school. I’m not talking books approved for English class to read and pick apart, but just a fun book to read to your students, no matter what subject you are teaching. Here’s my favorite list of chapter books you can read to your high school students. 

I Am Malala

What books do you like to read aloud to your high school students?

A Short, Sweet List Of Snowy, Winter Books

Snow is falling! Winter is here! I know for many this is discouraging and sad, but I am one to adore winter and the falling snow. So to excite everyone about the upcoming winter season, let’s come up with a great book list to get us ready for the snowy season. 

The Snowy Day: A Caldecott award book, and the first picture book to have a Black child as the protagonist. What a great conversation to have with students! 

Owl Moon: I can’t explain it, but you can HEAR the silence the snow brings in this book. It’s mesmerizing. 

Wolf In The Snow: This book with no words pulls at your heartstrings when you realize the sense of family and community both humans and animals have, and how we aren’t as different as we may think. 

The Wish Tree: I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my list to get at the library next time we go. 

The Polar Express: Okay, okay. I know, it’s a Christmas book. But the wintery feel of the train and the page of the book with the wolves standing in the snow looking at the train? It just lights up something in me that excites me for that fresh snow smell! 

Are you team snow or team no snow? Do you think reading fun books about winter and snow help change your attitude about winter? 

A Season For Voting Is A Season For Books

The election is *almost* over. I don’t think any of us were ready for election week instead of election day, but it’s 2020, what else can you expect?

Have you been talking to your students about the election? Explain electoral votes? Show them the red and blue maps across the country? Talk about what policies are and what each candidate is promising?

What better way to teach about a big, historical event with some picture books! Here are a few of my favorite.

Grace For President

Vote For Our Future!

Equality’s Call

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents

What have you been doing with your students during this election week? What other books have you read to them?

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?