Showing posts with label multicultural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label multicultural. Show all posts

February 28, 2021

Raja's Pet Camel: The Magic of Hope by Anita Nahta Amin

If you are a classroom teacher and you were to ask your students what kind of pets they have at home, your students would probably say... cat, dog, fish, bird, turtle, snake, lizard, gerbil, hamster, bunny, guinea pig, horse, hermit crab, iguana, or even tarantula.  But how many of them would say... camel?  Some?  None?  That would totally depend on which part of the world you and your students live in, wouldn't it?

In Raja's Pet Camel: The Magic of Hope by Anita Nahta Amin, a little boy named Raja finds a baby camel and wants to keep him as a pet.  When he takes the camel home and asks his father if he could keep it, his father responded the way most parents would... No!  Will Raja be able to convince his father to let him keep the camel.  If so, how will he do it?  Is Raja's Pet Camel a work of fiction or nonfiction?  Reality or fantasy?  Keep reading to learn more about Raja's Pet Camel and the answers to these questions.


February 16, 2021

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.

February 4, 2021

The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam by Kirk Kirkpatrick

Kirk Kirkpatrick recently released his first children's book called The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam.  The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam is a sweet story for young readers about a mermaid who goes swimming with her fish friend.  While they are swimming, a grumpy old clam on the ground opens his mouth and snaps it shut on the mermaid's tail.  Oh no... the mermaid is stuck!  How will she get away?  How will her fish friend help her?  Keep reading to learn more about The Mermaid and the Grumpy Clam, how the mermaid gets away from him, and for a simple... yet fun... enrichment activity for your students.

Learn about friendship and story elements with The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam by Kirk Kirkpatrick. Includes a fun math center activity.

January 24, 2021

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2021

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is an online children’s literacy event that occurs on the last Friday of every January. Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen created Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) several years ago as a way to celebrate diversity in children’s books while also getting diverse books into the hands of young readers, parents, teachers, and librarians.  Each year authors and publishers from around the world donate books to MCBD for bloggers to read and review.  This year I received three children's books:

🍎 Evelyn Del Ray Is Moving Away by Meg Medina
🍎 A Unicorn Ate My Homework by Julia Inserro
🍎 From My Window by Otávio Júnior

Keep reading to learn more about these three titles, how you can use them in your classroom, and where you can purchase them!

It's Multicultural Children's Book Day 2021! Learn about these new books: Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away, A Unicorn Ate My Homework, & From My Window #readyourworld #kellysclassroomonline

January 18, 2021

The Better-Than-Best Purim by Naomi Howland

Hooray!  Purim will be here in a few short weeks!  If you are looking for a children's book about Purim to read with your students, you've come to the right place.  I found the book for you.  It's called The Better-Than-Best Purim and is written by Naomi Howland.

Learn about the Jewish holiday of Purim and how to make hamantashen with the children's book The Better-Than-Best Purim by Naomi Howland.
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2017.)

January 14, 2021

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.

January 5, 2021

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

恭喜发财
Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Chinese New Year is here! During Chinese New Year it is custom for parents and grandparents to give lai see (also spelled leisees) to children in their families. Lai see... also known as lucky envelopes or lucky money. . . are small, red envelopes that contain a sum of money. People give these envelopes to other people to wish them good luck and prosperity throughout the upcoming year.

Learn about Chinese New Year, lai see (leisees), and the importance of caring for one another when you read Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn.
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2017.)

December 29, 2020

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.

December 23, 2020

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.

December 16, 2020

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.)

December 14, 2020

What's in the Box? A Barefoot Books Subscription Box Product Review

As a teacher and children's book blogger, I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting products that classroom teachers and homeschooling parents could use while teaching.  I recently received a promotional subscription box from Barefoot Books to take a look at and see if it's something my readers could use.  After opening the box and investigating its contents, I can honestly say that YES this subscription box is something my readers can use while teaching.  It'd be perfect for teaching geography and other social studies skills.  So... what's in the box?  Keep reading and find out!  

PS.  Read all of the way to the end of this blog post so you can enter a giveaway for your own Barefoot Books subscription box.  The giveaway ends December 22, 2020.  No purchase necessary.

Learn about the Barefoot Books subscription box with this unboxing blog post and product review. What is in a Barefoot Book box? Let's find out!  #kellysclassroomonline

(This is an unpaid review of a Barefoot Books subscription box.  I was given a promotional subscription box in exchange for my HONEST review.)

December 8, 2020

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)

November 30, 2020

Anna's Prayer by Karl Beckstrand

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the biography Ida's Witness by Karl Beckstrand and the different ways in which you can use it in your classroom.  Ida's Witness, if you recall, is about Karl Beckstrand's great-grandmother Ida who immigrated to the United States from Sweden.  When she left Sweden, Ida brought her 10-year old sister Anna with her.  Ida's sister Anna is the subject of Karl Beckstrand's second biography Anna's Prayer.  She is Karl Beckstrand's great-aunt.  Keep reading to learn more about Anna's Prayer and how you can use it in a compare and contrast lesson with Ida's Witness!

Compare and contrast two biographies by Karl Beckstrand. Anna's Prayer and Ida's Witness are about sisters who immigrate to America from Sweden.  #kellysclassroomonline

November 26, 2020

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce

I enjoy reading biographies, especially when they are about important figures from history who may or may not be well known.  I recently found the biography Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist... Red Bird Sings for short... by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce.   Red Bird Sings is a sophisticated picture book packed full of detailed information and some primary sources about the life and accomplishments of Zitkala-Ša, a Native American woman who sought equality and justice for others.  Red Bird Sings would be a good book for upper elementary students.  Read on to learn more about Zitkala-Ša, her interesting life, and how she used her voice to help others.

Learn about the life and accomplishments of Zitkala-Ša in the biography Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce.

November 18, 2020

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.

November 10, 2020

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.

November 6, 2020

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.

November 5, 2020

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.


October 23, 2020

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.

October 19, 2020

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 (affiliate link to Amazon) 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.