The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

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.

Feeling It All through Reading, Writing, and Creating

Learn ways you and your students can honor feelings of uncertainty and loss while also providing a source of hope. Invitations include read alouds, writing ideas, and opportunities for students to create as a source of joy.

Pursuing Meaningful, Authentic, Student-Centered Writing During Precarious Times

As educators and schools transition to emergency remote teaching, we all know that so much of what makes for effective teaching can’t be fully replicated online with the limitations of social distance and city lockdowns. While we may have district mandates and community expectations to provide standards- and skills-based instruction, we also hope this is a chance for all of us–teachers, administrators, and teacher educators–to re-think what meaningful, engaging learning really involves.

Reading Together….. Books as a Site for Connection and Comfort

Our experiences with remote learning, so far, have highlighted for us how key social interactions are in the learning process. What our children miss the most are the sustained interactions with their classmates and their teachers. As we ‘carry on’ under these extreme circumstances, sharing books together can be a way of connecting and of comforting one another.

Using Online Museum Resources for Literacy Learning

Whether you are a K-12 teacher trying to support students online or a parent, grandparent, or family or community member trying to support learning for a range of students and ages during this period of disruption, we hope you can find these resources interesting and engaging, and these simple protocols helpful.