Mrs. Knight's Favorite Books

This is my personal bookshelf and I am so excited to include some of my favorite books!

Today I Feel Silly...and Other Moods That Make My Day

Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day - Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell

This book is all about the different moods that a person has and is showed through a child. The little girl in the story has different things going on in her life and each new thing gives her a different emotion. These emotions are felt by everyone at some point or another and are great to be discussed in the classroom to let children know that emotions are a normal part of life. 

After reading this story, the teacher could make a chart and ask students to write down things that make them feel a certain way and record it on the chart so that students can see that different things make people feel different ways. The most important part of this story is to show that not everyone reacts the same way to the same situation. Everyone is different and each person should be accepted. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level: 

Lexile AD250L

Accelerated Reader 2.4

Duck! Rabbit!

Duck! Rabbit! - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld

This is a very simple picture book that shows two different perspectives of one thing. One side is arguing that there is a duck and the other side is saying it is a rabbit. The book continues through describing different reasons that the picture is either a duck or a rabbit. 

This book introduces the different perspectives that people have. There are several other pictures that could be different things depending on your own perspective. I would show the class different examples and have them debate on what they think it is. Class discussion would be the main part of this activity. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level:

Lexile AD300L

Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

When Max gets into trouble and his mom sends him to bed without his supper, he sails off into another world where the wild things live. He spends some time with them and when he gets homesick he returns home to his room. After returning home, he sees that his supper is waiting on him...and it's still hot! 

This is a great adventure book to read to younger children. After reading this book, the teacher could have the students create their own Wild Things. They could also write and draw where they would like to take an adventure to if they were given a chance. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level:

Lexile AD740L

Accelerated Reader 3.4

At Ellis Island

At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices - Louise Peacock

At Ellis Island is a collection of stories from different people and different point of views about their own experiences through Ellis Island. The stories are from people such as, a young girl traveling with her great, great grandmother, an Armenian girl, and then voices of real immigrants. This would be a great book to read when studying immigration. After reading this book, the teacher could have students look up articles and research others that have immigrated to the U.S. 

 

Grade 3-5

Book Level:

Lexile 630L

Accelerated Reader 4.0

Tattered Sails

Tattered Sails - Verla Kay, Dan Andreasen

This is a great book to read while studying journeys to the New World. This tells of a families journey together. The family consists of the parents and their children, Thomas, Edward, and Mary Jane. The journey is long and difficult but they leave London and arrive to the New World and plan to live out their happy lives together. 

An activity that could be done with students after reading this book is having them put themselves in one of the children's shoes and write their own passage about their feelings traveling to the New World. Have a class discussion about how the students think they would have felt and the struggles they feel like they would have endured. 

 

Grade 1-3

Accelerated Reader 2.4

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

Amazing Grace is a story of a young girl named Grace. Grace is a very adventurous little girl that loves all kinds of stories. She would read them, have them read to her, and even act out ones in her own head. When her class is told they will be acting out Peter Pan, she gets very excited and is more than prepared to try out for the role of Peter Pan. She gets the part and does an amazing job! 

This book could be used in the classroom as a great confidence booster. The students could break into groups and act out a story for the class. They could also come up with books that they have read before that would make for great plays and write about how it work out. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level:

Lexile 680L

Accelerated Reader 3.5 

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration

Coming to America : The Story of Immigration - Betsy Maestro, Suzanne Ryan

This book tells about the story of immigration and how many people came to America to live a better life. It describes the first time the government opened Ellis Island and the young girl that was the first person to come through that port, Annie Moore. The book also mentions the United States as a melting pot because of the many different kinds of people that now live here. 

This would be a great book to introduce the term immigration and then the teacher could have the students learn about their own family history. This could become a project where the students present their findings to the class. This would allow the students in the class to see the history behind everyone else in the class and try to understand each other a little more. 

 

Grade 3-5

Book Level:

Lexile AD890L

Accelerated Reader 5.9

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a great story to read in a younger elementary classroom. It introduces each of the letters of the alphabet in a fun and interesting way. There are many activities to use with this book that would keep the students engaged. One of the activities that I love is to cut out trees for each student and have them put the letters in the tree that make up their name. This would be great for Kindergartners to learn the letters of their name. 

 

Grade K-1

Book Level:

Lexile AD530L

 

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting is a story about a family, The Tucks, that have a very special secret. The main characters, Winnie Foster and Jesse Tuck meet one another and Winnie is taken by the Tucks family. Winnie is told the secret, the Tucks will live forever, and is sworn to secrecy. The book goes back and forth with Winnie having to make the decision whether to drink from the same place to become immortal or to live her life normally. 

This is a great book for students to write about their opinions and their feelings throughout the story. Students can make predictions about what they think will happen and then find out if they are right or wrong. This is a great story to use for writing prompts that is an interesting read to all ages. 

 

Grade 3-6

Book Level:

Lexile 770L

Accelerated Reader 5.0

The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister, J. Alison James

The Rainbow Fish is a story about a young fish that has lots of beautiful shiny scales. The Rainbow Fish is very proud of his scales and does not want to share any of them with his friends. His friends go away and he goes on a journey to find out what he should do now that he has no one to admire him. The Rainbow Fish is instructed to go and give away his shiny scales. After giving one scale to each of his fish friends, he begins to feel much better and be happy again. 

To make this into a lesson, I would have a large fish cut out and the students would write good traits of a person on the scales. I would then have the students glue their scales on the fish to make our very own beautiful rainbow fish for our classroom. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level:

Lexile AD410L

Accelerated Reader 3.3

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin, James Dean

Pete the Cat is starting Kindergarten and is excited to begin his day. This book goes through the different rooms of an elementary school and talk about the importance of each one. This would be a great book to read to start the tour of the school. The teacher could pause and have the students guess and predict which rooms that Pete is talking about on each page. After reading the story, tour the school with the students and see if they can locate the same rooms that Pete saw in the story. Once the tour is over, have the students come back to the class and decorate their own school shoes to hang around the classroom. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level:

Lexile AD430L

Accelerated Reader 2.2

Math Curse

Math Curse - Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith

The book is about a young person that is told in her math class that math is used in everyday life. The student then goes home and wakes up the next day with all kinds of math problems in her head. The story continues throughout her day, explaining how math works in her life each day. Math Curse is a great book to read in a math class at the first of the year. Most students think that math is not needed beyond the classroom and they do not realize they use math already in their everyday lives. 

Before reading this book, have students take a poll on who thinks that math is important outside the classroom. The students could even have a short debate if there are others that disagree with the majority. After reading the book, have the students come up with different ways they personally use math in their everyday lives. 

 

Grade 2-5

Book Level:

Lexile 560L

Accelerated Reader 3.7 

Give Me Half!

Give Me Half! - Stuart J. Murphy, G. Brian Karas

In this book, a brother and sister are arguing over different items in their house. The story starts out with a pizza and the mother steps in to let them know that they need to share. Sharing the pizza continues on with also sharing items such as, juice, cupcakes, cookies, and even CLEANING! 

Give Me Half! introduces fractions in a fun and interesting way. It could be read to the class as a whole group before a math lesson on fractions. The teacher could have pizza cutouts in different sizes for the students to manipulate. The students could do some critical thinking and come up with other ideas of items that could be shared in the home.

 

Grade 2-3

Book Level:

Lexile AD520L

Accelerated Reader 2.2

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree is a story about a tree that shows unconditional love to a little boy. The story begins when the boy is very young and it progresses through as the boy grows older. As the boy ages, he asks for more and more things from the tree and the tree is always willing to give up whatever to make the boy happy. When the boy has grown into an old man, the tree gives the only thing that she has left to give, a place for the man to sit and rest. 

I believe students will feel a connection to this story. The amount of love the author was able to portray through the tree was amazing. The students could write about their own childhood memories, an alternate ending to the story, or even discuss a person in their lives that loves them unconditionally. 

 

Grade K-2

Book Level:

Lexile 530L

Accelerated Reader 2.6 

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten - Joseph Slate, Ashley Wolff

Miss Bindergarten is getting ready to teach Kindergarten. The book begins with her walking into her classroom and the walls are bare and there are boxes everywhere. Everything that is written in this book begins with each letter of the alphabet in order. At the end, the students arrive to a colorful classroom and Miss Bindergarten is ready to start the day!

I would read this book in the first week of Kindergarten. It is an interesting and colorful book that introduces the alphabet. An activity that would be neat to do with the students afterwards is have the students come up with an animal that begins with the same first letter as their name. Not only does this work with the alphabet, but it also works with the students with their names. 

 

Grade Pre-K-Kindergarten

Book Level:

Lexile AD590L

Accelerated Reader 1.5 

The Juice Box Bully

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up For Others - Bob Sornson, Maria Dismondy, Kim Shaw

Pete starts at a new school and because of his past experiences he believes that he needs to show authority to the others and bully them. He quickly realizes that this new school has a no bully policy and his behavior is not going to be tolerated. He tried to fight back and bully more after he was confronted but it did not go well for him. He was confronted again by the entire group and explained to them why he had been acting the way he was. They talked it out and at the end everyone was forgiven and Pete was happy to be there. 

This book could be read at the beginning of the year to address the topic of bullying. Have the students write about if they were ever put into that situation what would they do? Also, the students could work with the teacher and come up with their own saying to do away with bullying if and when it happens. 

 

Grade 2-5

Book Level

Accelerated Reader 3.2