Showing posts with label inspired by real life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspired by real life. Show all posts

10 Children's Books About the Titanic

On April 12, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the northern Atlantic and sank to the bottom of the ocean.  Sadly, 1,500 men, women, and children lost their lives that day.  Since then, thousands of books, stories, legends, poems, and movies have been written about it.  Listed below are ten children's books about the Titanic.  Both fiction and nonfiction books are included in the list.

10 fiction and nonfiction children's books about the Titanic.  Picture books and chapter books.  Second to fifth grades.  #kellysclassroomonline

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2017.
Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle + Art Enrichment Activity

Easter will be here in less than a month and families all over the world will celebrate it in their unique ways. Easter... also known as Resurrection Sunday and Pascha... is a Christian holiday commemorating Jesus's resurrection from the dead. It is a moveable feast, meaning that it doesn't fall on the same day each year.  

A few years ago, Charlotte Riggle wrote an Easter children's book called Catherine's Pascha. It's told from the point of view/perspective of a child named Catherine who excited about her church's upcoming celebration.  In Catherine's Pascha, we can tag along with Catherine as she tries to stay up late to go to midnight mass, goes to the church with her family, begs her mom for desserts at the feast, and falls asleep in the car on the way home.  Keep reading to learn more about Catherine's Pascha, some of the Pascha traditions she loves, and for an art enrichment activity to go with the story.
  
Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox children's book about Easter. Learn the symbolism of Pascha eggs and make tissue paper eggs. #kellysclassroomonline

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) by Eugenia Chu

Children's author Eugenia Chu has a multilingual series of children's books written in English, Pinyin, and Chinese. The first two titles... Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) and Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子)... have already been released. The third book... Brandon Goes to Hong Kong (香港)... will be released in March 2021.
 
Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京)... the second book in the Brandon series... is a short novel with six chapters, 64 pages in all.  In this book, Brandon and his family fly to China and spend time with their family.  They visit local and historical sites, taste traditional foods, and have a mystery to solve.  Fun times!  To learn more about Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) and how you can integrate it with a quick geography lesson, keep reading and leave a comment below!

Learn to read Chinese and practice maps skills with Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) by Eugenia Chu. Written in English, Chinese, Pinyin. Children's book.

Black Bear Goes to Washington and Run Like a Sled Dog by Denise Lawson

There are two famous sled dog races that take place in Alaska each year, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod.  The Iditarod is held each year on the first Saturday in March.  Teams of sled dogs and mushers gather in Anchorage, Alaska this and make the 1,000-mile trek to Nome, Alaska.  The Iditarod is a challenging race that takes 8 to 15 days to complete.   The Yukon Quest which is also 1,000 miles is considered to be even more challenging than the Iditarod because it takes place earlier in the year when it's colder and darker.  It runs between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada), and takes 9 to 24 days to complete.  The race is unique in that it takes place in two countries. Each year the direction of the race alternates so Fairbanks and Whitehorse take turns being the start and
finish line. The Yukon Quest is so challenging... it is considered to be the toughest sled dog race in the world!

Author Denise Lawson recently adopted a retired sled dog named Black Bear.  Black Bear was born in Eagle, Alaska and was a lead dog in the 2009 Yukon Quest.  She also led dog teams on remote wilderness expeditions for many years.  How cool is that?  When Black Bear was ready to retire and needed a forever home, Denise Lawson and her family welcomed her into theirs.  Denise Lawson loves Black Bear so much, she wrote an entire series of children's books about her.  The first book in the series is Black Bear Goes to Washington and the most recent book is Run Like a Sled Dog.  Keep reading to learn more about these two books, how you can use them in the classroom, and more about Black Bear herself!

Black Bear Goes to Washington and Run Like a Sled Dog by Denise Lawson are two children's books inspired by the author's dog... a retired sled dog.

Please Don't Tell Cooper He's a Dog by Michelle Lander Feinberg

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics and behavior to animals and objects.  When authors use anthropomorphism in their books, we see animals and objects behaving like humans.  They walk, talk, and think the way people do.  Anthropomorphism is a fun literary technique that tickles the imaginations of children and keeps them engaged with what they are reading.  

Please Don't Tell Cooper He's a Dog by Michelle Lander Feinberg is about a beloved family pet Cooper who thinks and acts like a person.  What does Cooper in the story?  How does he behave?  Keep reading to learn about Please Don't Tell Cooper He's a Dog and how you can introduce anthropomorphism to your students!

Learn about anthropomorphism, personification, and reality vs. fantasy by reading Please Don't Tell Cooper He's a Dog by Michelle Lander Feinberg.

Marvelous Masks by Nicole Billick

Using children's books to introduce vocabulary words to young readers is an important strategy used regularly by preschool and elementary school teachers.  Children's books can expose readers to new words that don't ordinarily come up in day-to-day conversation.  For example, in Marvelous Masks by Nicole Billick, readers learn about the different types of masks and who wears them.  Some of the vocabulary words in Marvelous Masks will be familiar to readers... such as cowboy, doctor, and superhero... but other vocabulary words... such as chemist and blacksmith... may be new to them.

In this guest post, author Nicole Billick talks about her book Marvelous Masks and where she got the inspiration to write it.  She also describes some activities parents and teachers can use with their children and students when they finish the book.  Keep reading to learn more about Marvelous Masks and the author!


(This is a guest post written by Nicole Billick.  To learn more about guest posts, please visit my About Me page.)

Saving Planet Earthly by ClimateScience

Climate change is a hot topic to talk about right now... a topic that is also controversial.  Some people believe in climate change and the science behind it, whereas others deny its existence and declare it a hoax.  Of course, there are plenty of people in the middle who have heard about climate change but don't really understand what it is.  So... what is climate change?  What are the causes of it?  Is climate change something cyclical, something brought about by humans, or a combination of both?  If climate change is for real... is there anything that can be done about it?  To help answer these and other questions children may have, three authors from ClimateScience wrote the book Saving Planet Earthly.  Saving Planet Earthly is a lighthearted children's book that takes a serious look at climate change and what we can do about it.  Read on to learn more about this book and how it can be used in the classroom.

Learn the ins-and-outs of climate change with the online children's book Saving Planet Earthly by ClimateScience. Ideas to protect the environment.

The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral

P22 is a mountain lion that has captured the hearts and imaginations of the people living in the Los Angeles, California area.  Mountain lions are solitary creatures that normally live in mountains, forests, and deserts.  However, P22 became famous when he was discovered living in a park... in downtown Los Angeles!  Who is P22?  How did he wind up in downtown Los Angeles?  How did he change America?  Tony Lee Moral answers these questions in his book The Cat That Changed America.  Keep reading to learn more about The Cat That Changed America, P22, and some fun facts about mountain lions.

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

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.

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.

10 Children's Books About Hanukkah

Hanukkah... often referred to as the Festival of Lights... is an eight-day that begins on the 25th of the Jewish month Kislev of the Hebrew calendar. It is a celebration of the Maccabees' victory over the Assyrian army and the miracle in which one day's supply of oil lasted long enough for the menorah in the rededicate temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting a menorah each night, eating traditional foods like latkes and doughnuts (sufganiyot... yum!) that were fried in oil, listening to music, gift exchanges with family, and playing games with dreidels.  Contrary to popular belief... Hanukkah is not a Jewish Christmas... it is a magical and special holiday in its own right.

There are many children's books about Hanukkah available for children to read.  Listed below is a combination of fiction and nonfiction books you may enjoy.  Some of these books are old classics, whereas others are sure to be new favorites.  Keep reading to see what books are on my list!

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.
(affiliate links and descriptions from Amazon included)

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)

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.

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.

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.

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 (affiliate link to Amazon).  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

The Adventures of Noah by Lori Brown

Animal shelters provide an important service in our communities.  They bring in dogs, cats, and other animals who are homeless or unwanted.  The people who work at animal shelters make sure the animals get proper food to eat and clean water to drink.  They also clean their cages, take the dogs on walks, and provide medical treatment to the animals as needed.  It is estimated that as many as 62 million dogs and 64 million cats are in animal shelters across the United States.  Some of these animals will be adopted into loving homes.  Unfortunately, many will not.  The Adventures of Noah (affiliate link to Amazon) tells the story of one lucky puppy who finds his 'happily-ever-after.'  

Adjectives and characterization with The Adventures of Noah by Lori Brown. Noah is a rescue dog who found his forever home. Based on a true story.