The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Turning Frowns Upside Down at The Smile Shop

The Smile ShopWritten and Illustrated by Satoshi KitamuraPublished by Peachtree, 2021 ISBN #978-1-6826-3255-0 Grades PreK and up Book Review “I am so excited,” starts the first page of Satoshi Kitamura’s picturebook, The Smile Shop.  Set in a crowded open-air market of an urban center, this narrative follows a young boy, who for the very first […]

Text Sets in Action: Instructional Models for Text Sets in The Classroom Bookshelf

This week, we’re announcing the publication of Mary Ann and Erika’s book, Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that text sets are a primary tool that we recommend in a literature-based curriculum. In this blog entry, we revisit some examples of text sets in action in previous blog entries, showcasing the potential of the instructional models to differentiate and deepen students’ learning and as a vehicle to explore multiple perspectives and develop critical literacies.

The 2021 Sibert Medal Winner, Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifer documents the experiences of a summer honeybee from birth to death. The combination of words and images invites readers deep into the hive, providing both an intimate encounter with the bee colony and with the 35-day life of a worker bee, aptly named Apis.

Get Ready for a Global Book Party: World Read Aloud Day is Almost Here

At The Classroom Bookshelf, we champion the read aloud as an essential and joyful part of one’s literacy life.  With World Read Aloud Day fast approaching on February 3rd, we wanted to spotlight this upcoming global book party as a joyful way to lift up the power of books and children’s voices. Whether students are […]

Teaching Ideas for a Democracy Under Assault

What can educators do? We can offer young people an opportunity to better understand and make sense of this moment through information. Nonfiction books for young people offer us gripping accounts of the past and present in language that engages young people’s hearts and minds. Nonfiction books for young people provide a “container” of information vetted and researched, with evidence documented in bibliographies and chapter notes, acknowledgements and author’s notes. Nonfiction books for young people personalize and problematize history. Nonfiction books for young people can be juxtaposed in the classroom so that students can hear a range of perspectives and make sense across texts. Nonfiction books for young people can model inquiry and informational literacy, while also providing essential information about our past, our present, and the government structures within which we operate.

Above the Rim: Peaceful Activism for a New Year

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed BasketballWritten by Jen BryantIllustrated by Frank MorrisonPublished by Abrams, October 6, 2020ISBN: 978-1419741081 Book ReviewThe end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 heralds the opening of the NBA basketball season. As we enter the new year, we are reminded of the athlete activism that has changed the landscape […]

Banned Book Week: Skirting Skippyjon for Latinx Kid Lit

Overview  It’s Banned Books Week 2020! As described on the official Banned Books Week (BBW) website, this week “brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”  […]

Harnessing Our Wonderings for How to Best Use Children’s Literature to Support Students This Year

In this post, we share the questions we are grappling with and how we are beginning to come to some answers. We also invite you to share your questions or answers with us in the comments section so that we can tailor our posts this year to sharing books, resources, and teaching ideas that support what you and your students need.

Studio Spaces: Art as a Way of Seeing, Feeling, and Sense-Making: Teaching Ideas for the Virtual Exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has produced a remarkable virtual exhibit that affords viewers an intimate view of the studios and creative processes of 21 picture book artists. This blog entry provides teaching ideas to take the exhibit experience a step further, using the paintings, prints, and drawings, as a launch points for art making experiences.

Taking Stock and Taking Action to Educate Ourselves and Design Anti-Racist Curriculum

We commit to doing more to bring the realities of the present day into our text selections, to center books that directly address systemic inequities, and to identify books that encourage student action and activism. We can do more in our work to become anti-racist educators and we invite you to join us.