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


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 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.)

January 1, 2021

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.

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 12, 2020

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!  Chalie 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.

December 4, 2020

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

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 20, 2020

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.

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 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 29, 2020

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 (affiliate link to Amazon).  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.

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 14, 2020

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

September 26, 2020

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.

September 19, 2020

10 Children's Books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last night, and many Americans...including myself...are feeling heartbroken.  Justice Ginsburg was a strong, powerful woman on the Supreme Court of the United States and a champion of the people.  Throughout her life, she was a strong advocate for the civil rights of women, people of color, the LGBT community, and people with disabilities.  Keep reading to learn more about Justice Greenburg and to discover 10 children's books about her.

A compilation of 10 biographical children's books written about the life, career and accomplishments of Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
(Affiliate links and descriptions from Amazon included)

September 14, 2020

Lucy's Mask by Lisa Sirkis Thompson

The school year has started and things are looking different than they had in the past.  One of the most obvious changes is that teachers and students must wear facemasks when they are in close proximity to other people.  In some school districts, they are required to wear them at all times besides lunch and break.  By now, most people are used to wearing facemasks.  They may not always want to wear masks, but they do so because they know it's the right thing to do.  

There will be days when students... and teachers... will feel frustrated by having to wear masks for so long.  They may take off their masks and not want to put them back on.  It's normal for them to have those feelings, but not OK to act on them.  If this happens and tensions start to rise because of it, sometimes taking a break and reading a story can help.  Lucy's Mask (affiliate link to Amazon) by Lisa Sirkis Thompson is a fun, lighthearted story that reminds children why it's important to wear their facemasks and even lets them know they can be superheroes when they wear them!  How fun is that?

Learn about the importance of wearing your face mask, then make a fun self-portrait after reading Lucy's Mask by Lisa Sirkis Thompson.

August 9, 2020

The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla

The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla is a terrific book to use when introducing chapter books to second-grade students. It's not terribly long. . . only 64 pages. . . and has clear cut characters, settings, problems, and solution. 

Learn about The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla, an early chapter book for children, and how it can be used in the classroom.
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2018.)