Back to School Series: The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah with Kelly DiPucchio

Teachers around the country are gearing up to begin a new school year, many in a way that has never been experienced before. But, no matter the environment that teachers find themselves in this year,  whether it is virtual or in person with masks, I know this to be true: TEACHERS WILL STILL TEACH!  So, I’ve put together a Back to School series to help teachers choose books that will build their classroom communities, no matter if that community is in person or online.  

Recommended Grades: Pre-K-5

Lily and Salma are best friends.  They like doing the same things —- jumping rope, drawing pictures, playing on the swings.  And they always eat lunch together, even if what they eat is different.  Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus — but what’s that between friends? Turns out it’s enough to cause a food fight! Will a sandwich really come between these best friends?

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text: Build Community:  The Sandwich Swap (April 20, 2010, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) is a story inspired by Her Majesty’s Queen Rania al Abdullah’s own childhood.  Read aloud this book during the first weeks of school to help build your community.  Discuss the true spirit of tolerance and acceptance, because even the smallest things can pull us apart, until we learn that friendship is far more powerful than difference.  Though this book is ten years old, the message is still timely and important as we begin a new school year.

©2020 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.

Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery

Recommended Grades: 2-5

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival is the true story of Hurricane Katrina, friendship, and survival. . . of a dog and cat.  Bobbi and Bob Cat are left behind when the hurricane hits.  Never leaving each other’s sides, they overcome many obstacles, living on the streets of New Orleans for four months before being rescued.  With a surprise twist, this is a true tale of the power of friendship.     

Lesson idea:


Building Community: Read aloud this book in the first month of school as you work to build your classroom community.  Discuss how the two Bobbies worked together to overcome adversity.  Compare how the greater community came together to assist the people and pets of New Orleans after Katrina and how the classroom community can work together to have a successful year.  Discuss other literary dynamic duos (real or fictional) that demonstrate the power of friendship and create a class list of models that students can turn to (or you can read aloud) as you all work to build a classroom community.

Click here to find more resources on building a classroom community.

©2011 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.