Showing posts with label book lists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book lists. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Green and Lucky

Happy March! I love this month! Buds on trees, the smell of spring, the wearin' of the green, my parents' Reuben sandwiches, Easter, Read Across America week and Dr. Seuss!

Here's my lineup of green and lucky literacy ideas to try this month:

To Read...

To Do...

To Write...
I'm a big believer in teaching my boys to make their own luck in life. Hence, the Make Your Own Luck book! Here's a free printable if you want to make your very own luck book.  :)

What are your favorite ways to sow the seeds of literacy in March?

FYI: Book links are Amazon affiliate links.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Reading and Writing

Ho! Ho! The Holiday season is definitely underway!

Here are some printables, activities and book lists to keep your home literacy-rich and fun-filled through this festive month.

Write a letter to Santa! Here are three lovely printables to help you out.
From Miss Tiina
From Mr. Printables
From Wink-Design

Make a list. (And check it twice.) You could extend the holiday wish list idea and teach your kids the valuable skill of persuasion. Ask them to prepare and present convincing reasons for wanting certain gifts.

Make fun gifts. Each year, my boys pick one special project to make for their brothers as a Christmas gift. This year I think we're making this awesome pretend play set, possibly some kind of Angry Birds book, and these OlliBlocks.

You could countdown the remaining days until Christmas and squeeze in some random acts of Christmas kindness. 
Or create a new December family tradition.

Or make a craft, or two, or ten:
20 Christmas Crafts and Activities from I Can Teach My Child 

And of some seasonal books:

50 Fabulous Christmas Books For Kids from As Simple as That
New Christmas Books from Imagination Soup
Holiday Book List from Julia's Bookbag
Favorite Christmas Stories from 320 Sycamore
Interfaith Holiday Books from What Do We Do All Day 

Do you need help wrapping up your holiday shopping? Check my list of Print Rich Gift recommendations for ideas.

Probably my favorite bit of holiday inspiration comes from  Amanda Morgan at Not Just Cute. So, based on her wise advice, we're definitely picking and choosing our favorites to keep the holidays simple and happy for my family.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays! I'll see you in 2013!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Time Out with Dr. Seuss

Of course, Dr. Seuss is a year-round favorite in most households, but this time of year, families and classrooms everywhere, are gearing up to go all out with the Seuss love. (Just check Pinterest for proof!)

This year, as we read the books, I'm making a point to ask my kiddos what we can learn from our favorite characters, since Seuss was an absolute master at including some pretty important life lessons within each rhyme-y, silly tale. In fact, some might argue that a kid could learn just about everything they need to know about being a good person from the pages of Dr. Seuss favorites.
  • Horton teaches us to be loyal and true to our word.
  • Sam-I-Am is big on getting us to try something new.
  • Mack stands up to Yertle and speaks out for what's right, even when it's tough.
  • The Lorax encourages us to take care of our natural resources.
  • And from Oh, the Places You’ll Go, one of my favorite bits of advice:
  • "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go ..."
The best part is, reading a lesson expertly woven into the pages of a great book is WAY better than a lecture from mom or dad.

So, I'm thinking that there might be times when a little reading time out is in order. I don't mean sending kids to their rooms and making them read books for punishment.  Obviously if we want book lovin' kids, it's a BAD idea to use books as punishment.

Instead, I'm making myself a little list of book titles with specific messages that apply to particular character traits or behaviors I'm trying to encourage in my kids. I'll keep the list handy (in my family list book), so when I see a particular behavior pattern that could use some work, I can whip out the prescribed book for a little reading and chatting. I'm no behavior expert but common sense tells me that this would be most effective when everyone is calm and happy, and not in the midst of a brotherly fistfight.

For more on learning character from Dr. Seuss's characters, click here or here.  And besides the Seuss faves, this list from Simple Mom and this one from No Time For Flashcards both include tons of great book suggestions for teaching life lessons through literature.

I'd love to hear your suggestions. What are your favorite books, (Seuss or not), that teach a lesson and entertain all at the same time?

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By the way, the idea of teaching character through exemplary book characters also inspired me to create this classroom activity. If you're a teacher be sure to fly over and check out Super Character.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Here is my middle child's latest list:

This is his wish list, written from bottom to top, in order of importance.  (-Still figuring out that top-to-bottom idea.) He's learning about money, and wishing for a lot of "things" lately, so I suggested that he make a wish list.  When he's saved some money or has a birthday, we can consult the list for ideas.  When he says something like, "Mommy, can I get a set of vampire teeth?"  I can say, "Great idea!  Let's add that to your list."  He may or may not actually ever get the vampire teeth, but writing it down feels like a productive step in the right direction, and when he does get to choose something to buy, he can practice the skills of prioritizing and budgeting. 

My oldest son has a guitar and a football, and has no need for anything more in life, therefore a wish list wouldn't mean much to him.  He does enjoy making lists of upcoming football games and concert set lists. 

List making is a fabulous, real-life writing activity.  Writing lists related to their interests is fun for beginning and experienced writers alike. It's especially appealing because it's easy and quick, and the writer can focus on ideas instead of worrying about conventions like spacing and punctuation. 

I cut lined paper the long way, and keep it handy for kids to grab when they have the itch to make a list.  For my beginning writer, we're using this paper.  The lines are raised, so it helps him feel when to stop to make his letters sit on the lines.

As I mentioned last time, for some of our Family Journal interview topics, we use My Listography: My Amazing Life In Lists, by Lisa Nola.  This book is actually meant to be a journal in list form.  Young writers respond to prompts like these:
List your favorite foods.
List the people you admire.
What would you do with a million dollars?
List scary things.
They're a perfect way to introduce writers to the idea of journaling!

My Listography books are also available for grown ups, plus there's an iPhone app, and a Listography site, where adults can join and share lists online. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Early Emergent Readers

Suddenly, I have an early emergent reader at my house.  He reads wordless picture books to his brother and I can see that little reading spark starting to grow more and more each day.  It's time for an early reader shelf, (or book basket in our case), so he can easily locate books that are just right for him. This post from Booklights, provides great book suggestions and some general information about supporting kids in this stage of reading development.

Here are some characteristics of an emergent reader: (source
  • understand print carries a message
  • display directional movement: left to right, top to bottom, return sweep
  • match voice to print with one-to-one matching by finger pointing
  • locate some known words and unknown words
  • use picture clues to help tell the story and to help decode unknown words
  • recognize the difference between a letter and a word
  • may invent text, using the pictures or tell the story from memory
  • begin to use pattern and repetition of text to read
  • use oral language/story structure to make a connection to print
  • use some letter sounds (beginning/ending)
  • begin to use known, high-frequency words to monitor reading
My son is just beginning to do these things, which is why he's considered an early emergent reader.

We've collected some wordless picture books and easy reader picture books and organized them in a special basket to read together.  I read and he reads aloud with me when he feels like it.  Because he's mostly memorized these simple, predictable books, he is becoming confident about saying the words and pointing along with me as we read.

I'd also like to start using a Bare Book to create a customized word book with words that my son would like to learn to recognize.  He can stamp the letters and make an illustration for each new word, and the book would go into our early reader book collection. 

Here's what you'd find in our early reader book basket at the moment:
Goodnight Gorilla
Goodnight Moon
Blue Hat, Green Hat
Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!
Go, Dog. Go!
The Snowman
Good Dog, Carl
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Hop on Pop

What are your favorite early reader books and activities for emergent readers?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Lists: Boys and Chapters

 Last week I came across this book list for boys on Babyccino Kids.  Of course, these books would be great for girls too, but they're here because they feature boys as main characters.  This list caught my eye because it contains a few that we haven't read in a while, and also some great new-to-me titles.  We love the sweet classics,  The Story of Ferdinand, and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile.  And have you read Iggy Peck, Architect?  I haven't! I can't wait to read it to my little builder.

Do you think your three year old is too young for chapter books?  Actually, there are tons of chapter books with plots that will captivate even the little ones, which is why I love this list from Sarah Jane. It contains wonderful chapter book recommendations for younger readers, aged 3-8.

What are you favorite book lists?