Ida’s Witness by Karl Beckstrand

Karl Beckstrand is a prolific author of children's books.  He has written 23 children's books and is always working on more.  Six of those books have been written in English and Spanish.  In previous posts, I've written about several of Karl Beckstrand's books:
  

Grow! taught us about the fruit, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers we can get from our gardens.  Great Cape taught us about color words in English and Spanish.  Highchair was a funny story about a food monster who lurks around the house.  In this post, we are going to take a look at Ida's Witness... a beautiful story about Karl Beckstrand's great-grandmother.  Keep reading to learn about Ida, the amazing woman she was, and to find out how you can use Ida's Witness in your classroom.

Learn about biographies and family trees while reading Ida's Witness by Karl Beckstrand, a true story about how his great-grandmother came to America.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Dorktales Storytime Podcast by Jonathan Cormur

Sometimes when it's really quiet in the classroom and the students are working on an art project or craftivity, I like to play soft music or an audiobook for them to listen to.  It's a fun way to break up the day and add some variety to our routines.  I recently learned about Dorktales Storytime Podcast by Jonathan Cormur when his people contacted me about hosting a sponsored post.  I listened to a couple of episodes from the podcast, enjoyed the ones I listened to, thought that they'd be something my students would enjoy listening to during those quiet times, and agreed to the sponsored post.  Keep reading to learn more about Dorktales Storytime Podcast and to see if it's something your students may enjoy too!

Learn more about the Dorktales Storytime Podcast by Jonathan Cormur.  This is a sponsored post, hosted by Kelly's Classroom Online.

(The following is a paid sponsored blog post by Jon Cormur.  To learn more about sponsored posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.) 

That's Not Fair! Why Must I Cut My Hair? by Paul M. Bowen

If you were to do a Google search for 'when natural hair violates dress code,' you would see article after article after article about Black students who either had to cut/style their hair to meet certain dress codes at school or face suspension.  Children as young as eight years old have been discriminated against because of how they wore their hair.  How is this fair?  It's not.  That's Not Fair! Why Must I Cut My Hair? by Paul M. Bowen is a lighthearted book that shines a light on this serious subject.  Its main character Marcus experiences discrimination from his teacher.  Keep reading to learn more about That's Not Fair! Why Must I Cut My Hair? and to find out if Marcus finds the inner strength to stand up for himself and what he believes in.

Language arts lesson for That's Not Fair! Why Must I Cut My Hair? by Paul M. Bowen. Should students be allowed to wear natural hair in school? Reader response activity.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Soar by Hillary Daecher

Similar to the way people in real life change over time, characters in books change too.  When early readers practice their reading skills, they learn how to identify the main characters of a story and how to describe the characters' actions.  As their reading skills improve, students begin learning about character analysis and how characters change over time.  Soar by Hillary Daecher is the story of a hummingbird who is timid at the beginning of the story but has an experience that enables him to grow and become more confident.  What was that experience?  How did he change?  Keep reading to find out!

Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this blog post.

10+ Children's Books about Animal Poop

What is it about poop that fascinates children?  Is it because talking and joking about poop irks some adults and gets a rise out of them?  Is it because talking about poop is supposed to be kept as a hush-hush secret?  Or is it simply because children just think it's funny to talk about poop nonstop?  Whatever the reason, here are 10+ children's books about animal poop that will (hopefully) channel their fascination with poop into something scientific and meaningful.  Enjoy!

10+ Children's Books about Animal Poop by Kelly's Classroom Online

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Make a Wish on a Fish by Jennie Wiley

Rhyming words is one of the first skills children learn as early readers.   Being able to rhyme words teaches children about how language works, how to identify sounds within words, and can even help children in decoding the words they read.  Rhyming is sometimes a predictor of how well children will learn to read.  The more children listen to poetry and participate in activities like fingerplays, the easier it will be for them to connect and make sense of what they're reading.  Make a Wish on a Fish by Jennie Wiley is a book written as poetry and with lots of rhyming words.  Keep reading to learn more about Make a Wish on a Fish and how to use it in your reading lessons.

Language arts lesson about reality vs. fantasy and rhyming words for young readers using the book Make a Wish on a Fish written by Jennie Wiley.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

What's My Instrument? by Johnny Oddsocks

I need to lay something out there for everyone to see.  I am a HUGE advocate for keeping music education in our schools, so when the author Johnny Oddsocks asked if I would be willing to write a blog post about his book What's My Instrument? I quickly agreed.  In his book, Johnny Oddsocks tells the story of Marilyn the Mongoose who wants to start a band and introduces kids to a variety of musical instruments.  Keep reading to learn more about What's My Instrument? and how you can integrate it into your language arts or music lessons at school.

Have fun learning about musical instruments with the story What's My Instrument? written by Johnny Oddsocks. Integrated language arts lesson plan.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Great Cape o’ Colors by Karl Beckstrand

Great Cape o' Colors... fully known as Great Cape o' Colors - Capa de colores... is another fun book written in English and Spanish by Karl Beckstrand.  In this book, Karl Beckstrand introduces new colors and professions to children.  He also encourages children to use their imaginations and indulge in a bit of make-believe.  Keep reading to learn more about Great Cape o' Colors and how you can use it as inspiration for making a class book.

Learning color names in English and Spanish with Great Cape o' Colors - Capa de colores: A Story in English and Spanish, written by Karl Beckstrand

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

There is A Girl Headed to the White House by Dr. Jasmine Killiebrew, Ph.D.

The 2020 Presidential election is proving to be a historic event.  For the first time in American history, a woman of color is on the ballot to be Vice President!  Kamala Harris is a Black and South Asian American woman who is not just a political candidate... she is a source of inspiration for girls of all races, cultures, and faiths.  Girls look up to Harris and can see themselves in her.  If Harris can break through social barriers and run for the second most powerful political office in the United States, they can follow their dreams and be who they want to be.  

Dr. Jamine Killiebrew, Ph.D, who wanted to write an inspirational and motivational book for her niece, recently published There is A Girl Headed to the White House.  In her book, she empowers little girls and lets them know they can be anything they want to be... even if they want to be the President or Vice President in the White House!  

A thought provoking language arts lesson to go with the book There is A Girl Headed to the White House, written by Dr. Jasmine Killiebrew, Ph.D

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

The United States had its first reported case of coronavirus back in January 2020 and life has changed dramatically since then.  We've needed to change the way we do everything... where we can go... who we can see... what we wear on our faces... how far apart we can stand from other people... etc.  It's a lot to take in and the reasons why we have to do these things don't always make sense to children.  As teachers, we know children will come to us to ask their questions, and sometimes their questions are hard to answer.  Lauren Block MD-MPH and Adam E. Block Ph.D. wrote Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus to help children find the answers to their questions and to give them the explanations they need.  Keep reading to learn more about their book and how we can use Kelly Stays Home in our classrooms.  

An integrated science and language arts lesson plan using Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus to teach school age children about COVID-19.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

What Are We? A Story by Quacker and Striper by WD Smith

What Are We? A Story by Quacker and Striper by W.D. Smith is a sweet, little story about two friends... Quacker the duck and Striper the skunk... who meet by accident and become fast friends.  After getting to know each other, they set out together on an adventure to answer the question...  What are we?  Keep reading to learn more about Quacker and Striper and to find the details for a compare and contrast lesson plan.

Compare and contrast the main characters in What Are We? A Story by Quacker and Striper, written by WD Smith. Language arts lesson plan K-3rd grade.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

10+ Children's Books About Mindfulness

Last month, I wrote several posts about recognizing signs of anxiety in children and how mindfulness techniques can help alleviate some of the anxiety children feel.   Mindfulness is about staying in the present moment... not worrying about what already happened and not anxious about what might happen in the future... just staying here in the now.  Listed below are 11 books about mindfulness that were written for children.  They teach children about recognizing their feelings, how to manage those feelings, and how they can practice staying present in the moment.

10+ children's picture books about mindfulness.  How to recognize and manage your feelings,  how to stay present in the moment, and calming techniques.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

The Rounders and the Tallers and The Jellies and the Crunchers by Matt Bell

Children's author Matt Bell has had a successful year.  He just had his first two books published!  Hooray!  His two books... The Rounders and the Tallers and The Jellies and the Crunchers ... are about discrimination, segregation, diversity, accepting differences, and coming together to solve problems.  In each book, there are two groups of people who are at odds with one another and don't get along.  These people argue and treat each other poorly until something happens to bring them together to solve their problems.  Keep reading to learn more about The Rounders and Tallers and The Jellies and the Crunchers and to discover a language arts mini-unit plan you can use with your students!

Compare and contrast The Rounders and the Tallers and The Jellies and the Crunchers by children's author Matt Bell.  Diversity. Language arts lesson.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

It Came from Under the High Chair: A Mystery by Karl Beckstrand

It Came from Under the High Chair... fully known as It Came from Under the High Chair – Salió de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery in English and Spanish... by Karl Beckstrand is a funny book that children who speak either English or Spanish can enjoy.  It features Ivan, a messy baby, who drops food under his highchair.  Somehow this food magically comes to life and becomes an icky, ooey-gooey, slimy food monster.  Read on to learn more about It Came from Under the High Chair and to find an ooey-gooey slime recipe inspired by the book!

Language arts lesson and slime recipe for Karl Beckstrand's It Came from Under the Highchair-Salió de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.