Previously by Allan Ahlberg

Theme: Creating a Classroom Full of Readers and Writers

Writer’s Workshop: Organization/Getting to Know Students

Recommended Grades: 3rd -5th grade

Previously by Allan Ahlberg is a neat little book I found at the library.  The inside cover states, “Every story, every person, and every thing started somewhere.  Find out what all of your favorite fairy tale characters were up to. . . PREVIOUSLY.”

Lesson Idea: Read aloud this book.  Discuss the word, “previously” and how the author used the word to organize the book.  At the beginning of the year, use it as a model to teach students how to write about themselves.  Model for students using your own life first, _________ was a fifth grade teacher, previously she ____________.  Work backwards to describe specific details of your life.  Then, ask students to do the same.  A fantastic writing model to learn more about your students!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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Dotty by Erica S. Perl

I am so happy to be part of the Connect with Dotty: The Erica Perl Blog Tour which is going on right now!  In addition to ways you can use Dotty in the classroom (here!), you can also read about ways to make imagination part of your child’s everyday, by the author herself, at Literacy Toolbox today!  I’m also offering a GIVEAWAY at Literacy Toolbox! One lucky reader will win a copy of Dotty!  So after you read about Dotty here, head over to Literacy Toolbox and check out what Erica has to say!

Theme: Creating a Classroom Full of Readers and Writers

Writer’s Workshop: Organization/ Varied Endings

Recommended Grades: 3rd -5th grade

Dotty is a fantastic new book by Erica S. Perl.  Ida brings her imaginary friend, Dotty to school with her each day.  When her friends begin to tease her, she finds an unexpected ally in a surprise ending.

Lesson Idea: Read aloud this book at the beginning of the year to help build your classroom community. Discuss with students how imagination can be an important part of our daily lives and how imagination can help us become better readers and writers.

Writer’s Workshop Lesson Idea: You can use this book in Writer’s Workshop to teach students how to write varied endings.  Dotty has a special surprise ending and I think students will love it!  Use this as a model, but incorporate other models of surprise endings as well, such as The Old Woman Who Named Things and Night in the Country, both by Cynthia Rylant.  After providing students with plenty of models of books with surprise endings, ask them to write their own surprise ending to a writing piece.

©2010 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Born to Read by Judy Sierra

August Theme: Motivating Readers

Recommended Grades: 3rd -5th grade

In Born to Read Sam is born to be a reader, this he knows.  Sam reads everything and for every reason imaginable.

Lesson Idea: In the first month of school, consider combining building your classroom community with activities and lessons that motivate readers.  Read aloud this book and discuss with students all the reasons we read.  Create a class list of reading material that falls under each reason.  Continue adding to it through the year when you read aloud, or as students read independently. Additionally, create a list of all the places students may like to read in the classroom, at school, and at home (ties into classroom management and community building).

©2010 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland

August Theme: Motivating Readers

Recommended Grades: 3rd -5th grade

Zack thinks 2nd grade is going to be just as boring as previous years in Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook.  Then Miss Smith walks into class with her special storybook.  Miss Smith has a way of making stories come alive.  When the class becomes overrun with storybook characters, what will happen?

Lesson Idea: In the first month of school, consider combining building your classroom community with activities and lessons that motivate readers.  Read aloud this book and ask students to discuss books that “come alive” for them.  Begin a class list of recommended books.  Post it prominently in the classroom.  Continue adding to it throughout the year.  When students say they can’t find a book to read, direct them to the recommended list by their classmates.

©2010 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

A great book about feeling nervous on the first day of school. . . with a twist.

Building Community
A great read aloud for the first day of school, this book is laugh out loud funny, and should allay those nervous butterflies in children’s and teacher’s stomachs. Use this read aloud as a catalyst to discuss how everyone gets nervous. . . even adults! Validate for your students that it’s ok to feel nervous, especially on the first day of school, because there is an element of the unexpected.
Lesson Idea: Create a “worry box.” Use a shoe box with a lid or another similar sized box and lid. Cut a hole in the box top. Decorate the top and the box with contact paper or wrapping paper. Read aloud the book to students and then share with them a worry that you have about the new school year. Write it on a small piece of paper. Ask each student to annonymously write one worry they have about the school year on a small piece of paper as well. Place your worry in the box and ask students to follow suit. After all students have placed their worries in the box, take some time to read through the worries aloud and allay their fears by discussing them as a group.