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Shakespeare for students: Engage!

  Each year, in September,  I introduce the works of William Shakespeare to my fourth graders with William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki and Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children, edited by Edith Nesbit.     Selections from these books enable me to build background for students about Shakespeare.  Students are fascinated by the… Continue reading Shakespeare for students: Engage!

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Can I Touch Your Hair?

One of the last demonstration lessons I wrote before we left school in mid-March was a cross-text synthesizing lesson with this lovely poetry book,  Can I Touch Your Hair?  by Irene Latham & Charles Waters. While I can't find my hard copy in the sea of books I have brought home with me,  I bought… Continue reading Can I Touch Your Hair?

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16 Words: William Carlos Williams & “The Red Wheelbarrow” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink

We read this book during a poetry unit.  I assigned students to Poet Clubs where they read and analyzed poems by a certain poet.  One of the poets the students studied was William Carlos Williams. This lovely book was a perfect model for showing students how to infer the meaning of a poem and the… Continue reading 16 Words: William Carlos Williams & “The Red Wheelbarrow” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink

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The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter By: Shabazz Larkin

A true gem for any classroom! Shabazz Larkin’s The Thing about Bees is an “all about”, “how to” and poem all wrapped into one.  A mentor text dream! Second Graders said I never knew bees were so important! I think this book is about courage.  Mr. Larkin was afraid of bees. He wrote this book… Continue reading The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter By: Shabazz Larkin

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Thinker My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield

Thinker My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield is a book we will be revisiting again and again to work through layers literacy opportunities as a reader and a writer. It's a fascinating book for poems in narrative voice alternating between a young boy and his dog. I was hooked at a dog writing… Continue reading Thinker My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield

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Fungus is Among Us! written by Joy Keller Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

At first I thought that fungus was really gross...but now I think they are good for our planet- Julia, Grade 3 They mixed a storybook with poetry and a BUNCH of facts! - Rain, Grade 3 That's a LOT of fungi!  Barely any fungi in my yard!  Yeast is fungi.  We eat fungi ?!? -… Continue reading Fungus is Among Us! written by Joy Keller Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

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Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Margarita Engle is one of my favorite poets! Elementary children love Drum Dream Girl and Bravo!. Middle schoolers love her memoirs Enchanted Air and Soaring Earth. She writes in a lyrical fashion that is so beautiful it causes your breath to catch. Dancing Hands, like her other work, does not disappoint. A picture book told… Continue reading Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

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The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Teacher Thoughts: The first time I read The Undefeated, I knew I’d be using it for multiple purposes in my classroom. Author Kwame Alexander wrote the poem that became this beautiful picture book after the birth of his daughter. He wrote it to remind her to never give up and was inspired by the words… Continue reading The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

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Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Kids shared: “I think that the author is trying to let us know that we can be anything we want to be. I don’t think he is telling us to be a certain kind of person, but inspiring us to be the person we want to be.”  “I like how the author put ‘imagine’ at… Continue reading Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera illustrated by Lauren Castillo