The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Fostering a Sense of Gratitude Year-Round with Thanku

Beyond a focus on giving thanks in November, Thanku can be used across the school year for read alouds at the beginning and end of the day, poetry genre studies, as an exploration of theme across language arts, and as a window into small moments in writer’s workshop.

Rekindle or Reaffirm Students’ Love of Reading with How to Read a Book

Teaming up for the first time, Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander and two-time Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet have crafted a joyous and contemplative ode to reading.

Poetry as History in The Undefeated

The Undefeated, a new picture book created by acclaimed author Kwame Alexander and award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson has been described as “a love letter to America. To black America” (book jacket). The text is a poem that traverses the history of the United States, tracing the trauma and the triumphs of Black / African American experiences from enslavement to the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter.

Wonder, Words, and Wisdom: Teaching with the Works of Kwame Alexander

It is the power of the poem that we turn our attention to this week. In particular, we highlight Kwame Alexander’s powerful and prodigious body of work.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead to Make the Classroom Bookshelf Even Better

In August, sharpened pencils stand tall in cups and caddies. Crisp, marble notebooks are stacked in neat piles. Bulletin boards, carefully crafted with die cut letters, greet students. And books, intentionally selected, line library and classroom bookshelves. Everything feels possible. At The Classroom Bookshelf, we believe that literacy itself is about possibility. With this in […]

Exploring History, Commemorating PRIDE with Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.

As the first picture book on Stonewall, timed for the 50th anniversary, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution provides teachers, librarians, parents, and children with an entry point into the history of the Gay Rights Movement, to be explored in the context of other books, those written and yet-to-be-written, and digital texts as well.

Learn and Grow with Seeds Move! by Robin Page

Seed dispersal is the topic of collage artist Robin Page’s latest nonfiction picture book. Versatile for use throughout the seasons, this teaching tool plants the seeds for important classroom conversations about nature, interdependence, and the importance of conservation.

Exploring Adaptations and Design with Seashells: More Than a Home

Ideal for explorations in science, language arts, and social studies, for whole class and small group explorations, and for quiet rereadings by shell-lovers and beachcombers, Seashells: More than a Home has many roles to play in the classroom and beyond.

Exploring Power, Agency, and the Black Freedom Movement with Never Caught

Never Caught, the Young Reader’s Edition of Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s 2017 National Book Award Finalist, explores the intricate and intimate ways in which the personal lives of George and Martha Washington and the enslaved men and women they owned were tangled together. As Martha Washington’s personal maid, Ona Judge, a skillful seamstress, had access to fine clothes, trips to the theater, and the chance to travel beyond Mt. Vernon. But for Judge, that was not enough. Only freedom was enough. Ideal for biography genre study as well as explorations of the Black Freedom Movement and the American Revolution, Never Caught can play many roles in middle grade language arts and social studies classrooms.

The Power of Apology: Teaching with Orbis Pictus Honor Book Thirty Minutes Over Oregon

This book is a welcome invitation to all of us to model civility and forgiveness in our communities, without waiting for our elected officials.