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Search tags: Young-readers
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review 2018-02-24 23:06
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
Freedom Summer - Deborah Wiles,Jerome Lagarrigue

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles is a beautiful story of friendship between John Henry (a young black boy) and Joe (a young white boy) in the 1960s. The two boys spend their entire summer together, going on adventures and making unforgettable memories. As the boys spend time together, Joe begins to notice all of the things John Henry can't do and all of the places he is not allowed into simply because of this skin color. But despite this, the boys become close friends and embrace each other's differences. This book has a great variety of vocabulary that readers can learn from and excellent illustrations that paint an accurate picture of the South during the 1960s. 


I would use this book during a Social Studies lesson and ask students to compare and contrast John Henry's and Joe's lives before and after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Using historical facts learned in previous lessons and the book, I would ask them to compare/contrast what they could and could not do and what their daily life would look like. What changed? What stayed the same? They would write their response in a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation that they could share in class. 

Lexile Measure: AD460L

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-23 19:53
Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook
Wilma Jean the Worry Machine - Julia Cook,Anita DuFalla

Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook is a new favorite Children's book of mine. This book spreads awareness of anxiety disorders in Children and young students. This topic is rarely discussed in the classroom, if ever. This book discusses anxiety in a way that is appropriate for all ages but also beneficial. This is a way to help students in a classroom without singling them about their anxiety, or worry. Many students will be able to relate to the main character, Wilma Jean, and her many worries about school. This relation to the text may be comforting to many students because they will realize that they are not alone in this feeling. 


This book would be an excellent read in the first week of school or once school has picked up and students have grown to dislike certain parts of the day. I would read this book aloud to the class, stopping to discuss the obstacles Wilma Jean is facing. At the end of the class I would have a discussion about the problem (Wilma Jean getting the worry flu because she was worrying so much) and solution (finding a way to concur her fears at school and wearing the worry hat). While discussing, I would create a class chart to document the student's responses. Then, I would ask students to draw a hat in the writing journal and draw a horizontal line in the middle (similar to how it was drawn in the book) to separate their personal worries that they can control and can't control. This would be private and would not be shared with the class.


Lexile Measure: AD630L

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review 2018-02-22 23:35
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
Froggy Gets Dressed - Jonathan London, Frank Remkiewicz (Illustrator)

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London is such a fun read for young readers! This book provides a great deal of exposure to onomatopoeia and dialogue. This is great for beginning readers because they can read it to themselves and become familiar with these literary devices. The vivid illustrations are also engaging for readers of all ages as it draws you in and keeps you wanting to keep reading. I also think this book does a wonderful job of sequencing. Froggy undresses and redresses several times in the story. This opens up the door for a lesson on sequencing.


I would use this in the classroom by asking students to write a story explaining how they get dressed for school in the morning. I would ask them to use adjectives to describe the color and style of the clothing they put on. I would also ask the students to include everything that they put on including socks and hair ties. In upper grades, I would ask students to include as much detail as which shoe they tie first, what do they button/zip, and more. At the end of the writing, I would encourage students to share their morning routine with their classmates so they can compare their routines with each other.

Guided Reading: K
Lexile: 300L
Accelerated Reader Level: 1.8
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review 2018-02-22 23:19
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
Duck for President - Doreen Cronin,Betsy Lewin

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin does a phenomenal job of educating readers on the process of nominating and electing a person in office as well as gives an insight on the responsibility of the President. I love the concept of using animals rather than people in this story because children are more likely to be engaged. This also encourages imagination as animals do not truly have these roles but are being given human characteristics. I really enjoy how smoothly this book transitions from a conflict in the story, to nominating Duck for President, to election day, etc. The story line is written so well, readers may not even notice that they are learning in the process.


I would use this book in the classroom to introduce a lesson on electing a president or the roles of a president. After reading the book, I would ask students to make a poster that has a picture of a person in their lives (favorite TV show character, friend, family, teacher, etc.) who would make a great president and list words or phrases explaining why people should vote for them. These signs would then be displayed around the classroom and in a confidential voting, I would ask my team teachers to vote on their "Team President" based on the posters. The person who made the winning poster will get a shoutout and have their work displayed in the class e-newsletter but I will remind students that there will be more opportunities for student's work to be displayed in the future and that we should congratulate the "winner."


Lexile Measure: AD680L

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review 2018-02-22 00:05
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.,Eric Carle

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle is an outstanding book for young readers to read. The variety of animals in this book allows for a broad representation of animals that can be found in the wild. I adore the illustrations which are simple and clear with a bit of abstract flair. This book also includes many descriptive words. For example, instead of "bear" the character is named "Panda Bear". Each animal has a different verb attached to the action they are completing, allowing readers to build their vocabulary.


I would like to use this book in the classroom by asking students to select one animal from the story and research it. They will read books and use iPads/laptops to find where they live (water, land, in homes as a pet, etc.), what they eat, and more. The students can draw and color their animal as well. After they have gathered all of their research, the students will be encouraged to present their animals to their class.


Lexile: AD640L
Accelerated Reader Level: 2.5

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