My name is Dara Elizabeth and I am a current student at the University of Montevallo. Below is my blog that contains all of my favorite classroom books that I hope to add to my classroom library one day!
Chrysanthemum was published in 1991 by Kevin Henkes. This story is about a sweet little mouse named Chrysanthemum. She loves her name until she starts kindergarten and her peers make her feel as if her name is uncool. Chrysanthemum's parents try to comfort her by giving her "hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi." However, her self esteem has still plummeted due to the mean girls at school. One day, the students met their new music teacher. Everything suddenly gets better for Chrysanthemum when the teacher says that she wants to name her baby the prettiest name she has ever heard...."Chrysanthemum." For this activity, I will have a "My name is perfect" pack for my students so that each student leaves feeling 110% confident that they all have the most beautiful names! This book is a level 3.3 according to the Accelerated Reader book leveling system.
The Rainbow Fish was published in 1992 by Marcus Pfister. The story begins by the Rainbow Fish explaining that he is the most beautiful type of fish in the whole ocean because of his rainbow and sparkly scales. With his cocky attitude, he initially rejects the invite to play with the other fish. One day, a smaller fish followed Rainbow Fish around asking for a scale. However, Rainbow Fish rejected him. The little fish came back and told the rest of his friends and they all decided to shun the Rainbow Fish. Consequently, Rainbow Fish became the loneliest fish in the ocean. After later on meeting an octopus who advises him to share his scales, he gives in and give the little blue fish one of his pretty scales. The Rainbow Fish then saw the beauty behind giving and suddenly felt joy once he began to share with the rest of the community of fish. For this activity, I will allow my students to decorate their very own Rainbow Fish! This book is a level 3.3 according to the Accelerated Reading book leveling system.
Green Eggs and Ham was published in 1960 by Dr. Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham is about a character named Sam-I-Am. This character is constantly trying to convince the narrator to try the infamous green eggs and ham. He tried his hardest to take him to all sorts of place just to get him to try the food. However, in the end he gives in and tries the green eggs and ham. Turns out.... he loved it! For this activity, I will have a Green Eggs and Ham sight word game. This book is a level 16-18 according to the DRA book leveling system.
David Goes to School was published in 1999 by David Shannon. This creative picture book is about a young boy named David. David is a student in elementary school that is always misbehaving and getting in to all kinds of trouble in the classroom. His school teacher constantly has to tell at him throughout each school day. One day, David decided that it would be a good idea to draw all over his school desk. Consequently, his teacher made him stay after and wash all of the desks. After he finished cleaning, his teacher rewarded him with positive reinforcement and let him go home. For an activity, I will have a worksheet for the students where they must draw a picture of David following one of our school rules that would make the teacher say "Yes, David!" This book is a level 210L according to the Lexile book leveling system.
Where The Wild Things Are was published in 1963 by Maurice Sendak. This story is about a young boy named Max who tends to break the rules quite regularly. One night Max's mom had enough of his attitude, and sent him to bed without supper. While Max was in his room that night dressed up in his favorite wolf suit, his room began to turn into a jungle and a boat. Max sailed to the land of the wild things, where he was the wildest thing of all. Max ruled the land of the wild things until he realized how much he missed his mom. Although his new friends want Max to stay, he returned home where his supper was waiting for him. As an activity, I would have my students to make their very own Max and write about a time where they felt wild. This book is on a level of 740L according to the Lexile book leveling system.
Duck! Rabbit! was published in 2009 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. This story makes for the best fun and entertaining picture book for any class! The question that remains throughout this story is as simple as is it a duck? Or is it a rabbit? The pages throughout this story go back and forth creating the illusions of what might be a rabbit on some pages, but on others it looks like a duck! For this book, I will have an opinion writing activity for the students to complete after we finish reading the story to predict whether they believe it is a duck or if it is a rabbit. This book is a level 300L according to the Lexile book leveling system.
Amazing Grace was published by Mary Hoffman in 1991. Amazing Grace is a picture book that depicts the life of Grace. This young girl loves stories and even more acting in plays. One day, Grace's school teacher tells the class that they will be putting on the play of Peter Pan. Grace immediately knows in her heart that she wants to play the main role of Peter Pan. Her classmates proceed to tell her that she cannot play the role of Peter Pan because thats a boys name. Another classmate tells Grace that she cannot because she is black. With constant encouragement from her family members, Grace does not back down from chasing her dreams. For an activity, I would have my class each complete and reading comprehension worksheet after reading the story. This book is a level 680L according to the Lexile book leveling system.
No, David! was published in 1998 by David Shannon. This story is all about a young five year old by the name of David Shannon. David has written and illustrated his very first book. On each page throughout the book are the words "no David!" along with a picture of something that David is getting in trouble for. Obviously, David gets in trouble quite a good bit. For an activity following the reading of this book, I will have a copy of our school pledge for each student. The pledge says: "I pledge today to do my best in reading math and all the rest. I promise to obey the rules, in my class and in our school. I'll respect myself and others too. I'll expect the best in all I do, I am here to learn all I can, to try my best and be all I am." At the end of reading the pledge there is a square that says "thumbprint" and each student will get to leave their thumbprint on the page as their promise to always try their best! This book is a level 100L according to the Lexile book leveling system.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was published in 1989 by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault. This book is a easy alphabet picture book for young children. The story begins by letter A telling the letter B and letter B telling the letter C to climb up and meet at the top of the coconut tree. In alphabetical order, the rest of the remaining letters begin to climb up the coconut tree. The coconut tree could not handle the weight of the letters and began to tilt until Chicka Chicka ....Boom! Boom! All of the letters fell off of the tree. Consequentially, the letters had to be placed back in their order and comforted by their parents. As an activity, I will have cutout laminated letters of the alphabet that will be distributed to my students table groups. The table groups will then have to put their alphabet letters in the correct order as fast as they can. When a table group has finished their letters, they will say Chicka Chicka... Boom! Boom! This book is a level 20-24 according the DRA book leveling system.
Pete The Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes was published in 2011 by Eric Litwin. This story is about a cat named Pete. Pete rocks in his school shoes all the day long. From the time he wakes up, to the time he gets on the bus, goes to the library, lunchroom, and playground Pete never stops singing and dancing about rocking in his school shoes. Needless to say, Pete loves his red school shoes! For an activity, I will provide my students with a coloring handout that has a set of tennis shoes on them. I will ask my students to decorate their school shoes with their crayons and to write some adjectives to describe their cool school shoes! This book is a level 18 according to the DRA book leveling system.
The Giving Tree was published in 1964 by Shel Silverstein. The story begins with a tree that deeply loves a young boy. The young boy plays with the tree daily by picking up her leaves, climbing on her limbs, and eating the apples from the tree. When the boy grows tired, he takes naps against the tree. As the boy grows older, he falls in love with a girl and begins to spend more time with her than the tree. One afternoon, the boy returns to the tree but only because he wants money. For the remaining times that the boy visits the tree, it is only because he wants something. Over the years the tree has given all it has to offer until all thats left is a stump for the boy that is now an old man to sit on. For an activity, I will cutout and and staple a large paper tree to our classroom bulletin board. I will then allow my students to name things or objects that can be given. For example, hugs, kindness, help, clothes, food, etc. This book is a level 30 according to the DRA book leveling system.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published by Eric Carle in 1969. This story begins with a tiny egg resting against a leaf at night time. The next morning, the tiny egg hatches and out comes a caterpillar. During the week, the caterpillar constantly searched for food. The caterpillar munches holes in fruit, and human food such as cake, ice cream, pickles, and sausage. However, now there is a problem! The caterpillars tummy hurts! The caterpillar found a cleansing green leaf the next day that made him feel better. Yet again, we have another problem. The caterpillar is now huge and no longer hungry! Eventually, the caterpillar next builds a cocoon and turns into a magnificent butterfly. For an activity, I would have print outs of a blank caterpillar and provide my students with different materials to decorate their caterpillars. This book is a level 16 according to the DRA book leveling system.
Because of Winn-Dixie was published in March of 2000 by Kate DiCamillo. This story is about a young girl by the name of Opal who has recently moved to a new town in Florida with her father that is a preacher. Opal misses her home, her friends, and her mom who has been out of the picture since she was a toddler. Opal's day suddenly got better when she went to a local Winn-Dixie super market and fell in love with a mut that was raiding the store. Opal prays her father will let her keep him... and turns out... he did! Throughout the story Opal gains a series of new friends in the community, and learns to cope with loss and how to love; it was all Because of Winn-Dixie. For an activity, I will have my students to make a list of the lessons that they learned throughout the story. This book is a level 40 according to the DRA book leveling system.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was published in 1972 by Judith Viorst. This story was composed in order to relate to any child that has ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The main character is about a young boy named Alexander. This young boy started off his day wrong from the second that he got up and tripped on his skateboard. Everything at school went wrong for Alex that day, as well as his trip to this dentist when he got a cavity. When he returns home, his night is also filled with negative experiences. In the end, his mom tries to tell him that everyone has their bad days. For an activity, I will have my students complete a text to self connections work sheet where they will answer the question "How to make a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day better...." by writing out their answer on the provided lines on the worksheet. This book is a level 24 according to the DRA book leveling system.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was published in 1967 by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle. This book does not necessarily contain a plot. Throughout the story, the narrator asks a series of animals what do they see? Most of the time, the animals respond with answers reflecting other animals. Following the responses, the respondents then answer the same question. This pattern continues before eventually repeating itself. For an activity I will cutout a printable of different animals with different colors and tape one animal to each students back. Each student will take turns asking the other students and myself questions so that they may figure out which animal is on their back. This book is a level 6 according to the DRA book leveling system.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was published in 1985 by Laura Numeroff. This story is about a list of events that occurred after a boy gave a mouse a cookie. When the mouse receives his first cookie, he asks for a glass of milk to go with the cookie. From then on, the mouse had a long list of demanding requests that he proceeded to ask of the boy. For each event, the mouse has a new request. Some believe that this story is about teaching the principle that every action has a consequence. For an activity, I would allow my students to make their very own mouse puppets as a craft! This book is a 2.7 according to the Accelerated Reader book leveling system.