Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts

Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer + STEM Activity

Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty.
-5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Empathy is the ability to be aware of and sensitive to another person's thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  It's the ability to 'put yourself in their shoes' and is the foundation for kindness, tolerance, and compassion.  It's also an emotional skill that needs to be taught.  

One of the ways teachers and parents can help children learn empathy is through reading and discussing empathetic children's literature.  Reading Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer is a good book to use when starting that discussion.  In Love Grows Love, we see children... and flowers... experiencing different emotions.  Their faces clearly depict how they are feeling.  Children will be able to look at the illustrations, identify how each child and flower are feeling, and see a cause and effect relationship between the children's emotions and the flowers'.  Keep reading to learn more about Love Grows Love and for a science/art activity that will reinforce this book's message!

Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer sends a message of love and empathy. Read Love Grows Love then make some seed paper to grow some love!

When We Stayed Home by Tara Fass and Judith A. Proffer

It's wintertime in the northern hemisphere and the COVID-19 pandemic is still going strong. Even though scientists are making progress in manufacturing and distributing vaccines, it's going to be some time before life goes back to normal. During winter, children are often cooped up inside their homes due to bone-chilling temperatures and poor weather conditions. Now that it's winter and we are living through a pandemic, children will be cooped up even more so than usual. It can be boring for them to be in the house day after day. What's a child to do?   In their book When We Stayed Home, authors Tara Fass and Judith A. Proffer offer some suggestions of things children can do. Keep reading to learn more about When We Stayed Home and for a quick language arts minilesson to go with it.

When We Stayed Home by Tara Fass and Judith A. Proffer helps children brainstorm ideas for things to do while staying at home during the pandemic.

Living in Two Homes Is Tough by Abby Cadet, Age 9


When I was a child, someone gave me a T-shirt that said Never underestimate the power of a kid! on the front of it.  Those words gave me a bit of courage when I felt nervous or unsure of myself and lingered in my mind long after the T-shirt was gone.  Now, decades later, I find myself telling others to Never underestimate the power of a kid.   Even though kids are small, they can have HUGE ideas!  Kids are capable of doing amazing things when they are willing to work hard and do their best.  Abby Cadet is a good example of a child who has accomplished amazing things...  she recently wrote and published her first book and came up with the idea for a collection of journals for kids!   Her first book is called Living in Two Homes Is Tough.  When Abby wrote Living in Two Homes Is Tough, she based it on real-life experiences and on what it's like to split time between her parents' houses.  Keep reading to learn more about Abby Cadet and her book Living in Two Homes Is Tough.  Maybe you and your students will become inspired to do something amazing too!

Abby Cadet wrote and published her first book and became a kidpreneur when she was 9. Read about Abby Cadet and her book Living in Two Homes Is Tough.

Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow / El cojín especial para El Ratón Pérez by Ann Morris

Losing a tooth is a significant event when you're a child. How many of us wiggled and wiggled our loose teeth to get them to come? How many of us had parents or grandparents who tormented us with threats about tying a long string from around our loose teeth to a doorknob... just so they could slam the door and make those loose teeth come out? When those loose teeth finally came out, that's when the excitement happened! We could FINALLY put those teeth under our pillows and hope for the tooth fairy to leave us something nice in exchange for them while we slept. What would we find in the morning?  Money?  Sweets?  Small Trinkets?  

Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow / El cojín especial para El Ratón Pérez by Ann Morris (Lexi's Tooth Fairy Pillow for short) tells the story of a grandmother whose granddaughter lost a tooth.  The granddaughter was worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't come if she didn't have a tooth fairy pillow.  Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow is written in both English and Spanish, so it can be read and loved by children who speak one or both languages.  Keep reading to learn more about the story and how to help children make a tooth fairy pillow of their own!

Make your own tooth fairy pillow after reading Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow/El cojín especial para El Ratón Pérez by Ann Morris. English-Spanish.

Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers by John S. Armstrong

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about The Saint Nicholas Day Snow by Charlotte Riggle.  In that post, I wrote about the benefits of reading a story multiple times to help students improve their comprehension of the story.  

Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers by John S. Armstrong is another story in which students can benefit from reading multiple times.  It lends itself well to choral readings, dramatic play, and music... making repeated readings of Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers FUN!  Keep reading to learn more about Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers and how you can integrate it into your language arts lessons.

Learn about characters and events while reading Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers by John S. Armstrong. Make hand puppets and choral read the story. #kellysclassroomonline

Storytime Book Club

A lot of community and public libraries are closed right now because of  COVID-19.  And... in the school districts that switched to virtual learning only... many school libraries are closed as well.  These closings are an unfortunate side effect of the pandemic.  For many children, these libraries were their only access to free books and literature.  Some libraries are finding ways to get books to their patrons, but that's not always the case.  

The creators of the Storytime Book Club recently contacted me about a sponsored post.  They wanted to pass on some information about their new subscription service.   This subscription service/book club helps parents find books for their children to read without having to rely on a library that may or may not be open at any given time.  When you join the Storytime Book Club, you will receive an assortment of books delivered to your house.  You and your children can read the books for as long as you'd like and send them back when you're done.  Then you can select themes for your next book assortment.  It's an interesting concept and one I think you should check out.  Keep reading for more details about this new book club!

Learn about the Storytime Book Club, its mission, and about its subscription boxes for children.  This is a sponsored post.  #kellysclassroomonline

(This is a paid sponsored post from Storytime.)

Charlie Tractor and the Garden by Carrie and Katie Weyler

If you are an avid follower of Kelly's Classroom Online, then you know how much I love animal stories and books and activities about gardening.  I recently discovered Charlie Tractor and the Garden by Katie and Carrie Weyler... a realistic fiction story based on real-life events... that has both pets and gardens... yay!  Charlie Tractor and the Garden is about a boy named Charlie, his dog Pickles, and the naughty mischief Pickles gets himself into.  How is this story based on real life?  What kind of 'pickle' does Pickles the dog get himself into?  (Yes... I went there...)  Keep reading and find out!

Learn about the characteristics of realistic fiction and making connections with the book Charlie Tractor and the Garden by Carrie and Katie Weyler.

Crazy Cats from Outer Space by Matt Bell

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Matt Bell's books The Rounders and the Tallers and The Jellies and the Crunchers.  Both of these books were about two groups of people who could not get along and sometimes treated each other poorly.  In The Rounders and the Tallers, one group of people went as far as to discriminate against the other by banning them from stores, beaches, etc.  Matt Bell's newest book Crazy Cats from Outer Space is similar to those first two in that it also about two groups who can't get along.  But... as the title suggests... these aren't two groups of people... they are two groups of CATS!  Keep reading to learn more about Crazy Cats from Outer Space and how you can use it to teach about tall tales.

Learn about the characteristics of tall tales with Crazy Cats from Outer Space by Matt Bell. Cats, space travel, pyramids of Giza and Chichén Itzá. #kellysclassroomonline

The Saint Nicholas Day Snow by Charlotte Riggle

December is here and children all over the world are getting excited about their favorite holidays!  Christmas will take place on the 25th... Boxing Day will take place on the 26th... Kwanzaa will begin on the 26th and will last until January 1st... and... Hanukkah (2020 only) will begin on the 10th and will last until the 18th.  Most people will be familiar with these holidays... even if it's only because they recognize their names.  But... there is another holiday in December that takes place on the 6th...  It's Saint Nicholas Day!  Have you ever heard of Saint Nicholas Day?  Who is Saint Nicholas?  (Hint... he's NOT Santa Claus...)  What did Saint Nicholas do to deserve his own special day?  What are some of the traditions associated with Saint Nicholas Day?  The Saint Nicholas Day Snow by Charlotte Riggle is a children's story that will teach you everything you need to know about Saint Nicholas and his holiday.  Keep reading to learn more about The Saint Nicholas Day Snow and how you can use it during your language arts instruction.

Learn about Saint Nicholas and the Saint Nicholas Day traditions in The Saint Nicholas Day Snow written by Charlotte Riggle. #kellysclassroomonline

Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes by Christen Conrad

Early readers start learning about story plot and structure right from the get-go.  They learn that stories tend to follow a pattern and how to identify the story elements within that pattern.  The basic story elements include:
  • characters (the main people or animals in the story)
  • setting (where and when the story takes place)
  • problem (the biggest problem in the story or decision that needs to be made)
  • solution (how the problem is solved or the final decision made)
Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes by Christen Conrad is a fun, fast-paced story with easily identifiable characters, setting, problem, and solution that could be integrated easily into a language arts unit about story elements. Who is Zester the Zebra? How did his stripes go missing? How can you integrate Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes into your lessons? Keep reading to find out!

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

10 Quirky Corona Christmas Books for Children

Christmas 2020 is going to be one for the history books.  Most of the people around the world are under some sort of restriction or lockdown.  What will Christmas look like this year?  How can we have a fun and safe Christmas?  More importantly... will Santa still be able to deliver presents on Christmas Eve?  If so... how will he do it???  These 10 Quirky Corona Christmas books by self-published authors try to answer those questions for you.  Keep reading for the details about each of these books!

A compilation of ten quirky coronavirus Christmas books for children by self-published authors. Perfect for celebrating Christmas during the pandemic!
(affiliate links and descriptions from Amazon)

My Sister Emma by Gina Conger

 Autism... also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD)... is a diagnosis consisting of a wide variety of symptoms and/or characteristics. There are four different types of autism that fall under the ASD umbrella, and no one person experiences it in the same way as someone else. General characteristics of autism may include challenges in verbal communication, repetitive movements, and difficulties with social skills. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, some people will be significantly impacted by it and require lifelong support, whereas others will be highly skilled and able to live independently with minimal or no assistance.

My Sister Emma by Gina Conger (affiliate link to Amazon) is about a little girl Emma who has autism.  She does not 'suffer' from it... she has family and friends who love her and is able to live a full and happy life with the help of a few supports.  What kind of supports does Emma use and how do they help her?  Keep reading to find out!

My Sister Emma by Gina Conger  is about a little girl who has autism. Learn about how she is able to live a full life with help of a few supports.

Draw Me Close to You by Kossim Osseni

When students experience traumatic events in their lives, school counselors are the experts in the building who step in, work with the students, and develop strategies to help them cope.  In essence, they are first responders in the schools when it comes to students' mental health.  I usually write about children's books that teachers and homeschooling parents can use while they are teaching, however, I recently learned about a book school and guidance counselors need to keep in their libraries.  Draw Me Close to You by Kossim Osseni (affiliate link to Amazon) is about a little boy Tunde who loses his mother to a "dreadful disease" and takes comfort and solace in drawing, much to his father's dismay.  His father doesn't want Tunde to draw.  He wants Tunde to do more productive things with his time.  It isn't until something tragic happens that makes him realize how important it is to let Tunde draw and find joy again.  Keep reading to learn more about Draw Me Close to You and about ways school counselors and teachers can help students who are grieving.

Draw Me Close to You by Kossim Osseni is a must-have picture book for school counselors. It explores the healing process after a child loses a parent.

Goose Farm Adventure by Kenyetta Obie

About two months ago, I wrote about a children's book called Grow! How We Get Food from Our Garden by Karl Beckstrand.   Grow! was a rhyming book about all of the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers we can harvest from our gardens.  Today, I am writing about another children's book about gardening.  This one is called Goose Farm Adventure (affiliate link to Amazon) and was just released this autumn by author Kenyetta Obie.  Like Grow!, Goose Farm Adventures teaches children about the foods that come from the garden.  Whereas Grow! was a rhyming book that played with words and alliteration, Goose Farm Adventure is an alphabet book about a little duck who goes on a visit to his grandparents' house and discovers what they have growing in their backyard.  Both are really good books and can be used together.  Are you curious to learn more about Goose Farm Adventure and how you can use it in your classroom?  Keep reading to find out more!

Learn about story elements, gardening, fruits, and vegetables in this fun alphabet book by Kenyetta Obie.  Early childhood to kindergarten read aloud.

I Move A Lot and That's Okay by Shermaine Perry-Knights

Have you ever heard the phrase "military brat?"  When you hear those words you may feel unsettled because the word "brat" normally refers to a spoiled or annoying child.  In actuality though, it's a widely used term that connotates admiration and respect within the military community... a military brat is the son or daughter of (either acting or retired) personnel in the armed services.  Researchers estimate that roughly 2 million children and teenagers in the United States have one or both parents deployed at least once.  These children have to move/relocate on an average of 10 times more often than their peers. Moving that often may seem daunting to most people, but for children growing up in the military, they learn to embrace change, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Many of them learn more than one language and develop a sense of worldliness.  

I Move a Lot and That's Okay by Shermaine Perry-Knights is a realistic fiction story that is based on her personal experiences as a "proud military brat."  She writes about what it's like to move from one place to another, the feelings of excitement and nervousness children sometimes feel when they have to move, and how families take care of each other throughout the process.  It's a story that will give you an insight into the lives these children lead and how they learn to be more resilient, flexible, and well-rounded as they grow up.  Keep reading to learn more about I Move a Lot and That's Okay and how you can integrate it into your language arts lessons.

Learn about life as a military brat, geography, new vocabulary,  and story elements with the book I Move A Lot and That's Okay by Shermaine Perry-Knights.

A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman

Once Thanksgiving is over and the calendar flips to December, many well-meaning schools, teachers, and librarians will start preparing their lesson plans to teach their Christmas Around the World units.  There is nothing inherently wrong with teaching a Christmas Around the World unit, but I get irked when I see teachers and staff using bulletin board displays, storybooks, and worksheets that depict cartoony children with big goofy smiles and dressed in stereotypical cultural clothes.  Instead, I prefer to see books, drawings, and resources that depict real children engaged in authentic activities and traditions.  

A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman (affiliate link to Amazon) does a good job of teaching us about Christmas around the world without having to resort to cartoony stereotypes.  The children in A World of Cookies live in various countries around the world and they set Christmas cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  Each cookie is delicious and unique to the country it comes from.  At the end of the book, the author includes recipes for each of the cookies for you to try on your own.  Read on to learn more about A World of Cookies and about ways you can integrate it into the lessons you teach.

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

Ritu Weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar

In just a few short weeks (December 1, 2020), Ameya Narvankar will be releasing his debut children's book Ritu Weds Chandni. Ritu Weds Chandni is a beautiful... yet controversial... story about a young girl who stands up for the people she loves. Who is she standing up for? Who is she standing up to? What is she standing up for? Keep reading for the answers to these questions and to learn how to integrate Ritu Weds Chandni into your lessons!

Learn about story elements, geography, & Hindu vocabulary words with Ritu Weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar.  An LGBT story in which love conquers all.


Goo on My Shoe by Jacqui Sheperd + STEM Activity

When teaching reading to young or struggling readers, teachers often use poetry as one of the strategies to help them.  There are a lot of reasons why we use poetry:

🍎 Poems tend to be brief and easier to read.
🍎 Repetitive reading and mastery of poems build students' confidence.
🍎 Choral reading of poems encourages hesitant students to read out loud with the others.
🍎 Teachers can use poetry to teach word recognition skills and build vocabulary.
🍎 We feel emotions when we read poetry.  Talking about those emotions helps to build a better understanding of ourselves and others.

Goo on My Shoe (affiliate link to Amazon) by Jacqui Sheperd is a story for young readers that is written in poetic form.  It has a likable main character and a storyline that will keep students engaged and motivated to read.  Read on to learn more about Goo on My Shoe and how you can integrate it into your language arts lessons.  There is even a simple goo recipe for you to make with your students!


Learn about rhyming words, words with the /oo/ sound, and how to make your own goo with the book Goo on My Shoe by Mari Schuh.

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.

(This is a paid sponsored blog post by Jon in Character.) 

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 (affiliate link to Amazon) 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.