The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Elevating Procedural Writing and the Creative Spirit in How to Make a Bird

Speaking not just to the creative spirit, but also the heart and soul within all of us, How to Make a Bird is a manual for infusing that part of us that makes something truly spectacular.

Drawing Inspiration from The Wisdom of Trees

Whether or not you already identify as a tree lover, reading Lita Judge’s multigenre picture book, The Wisdom of Trees, will lead you to view earth’s amazing forests in multifaceted new ways. Judge deepens readers’ understanding of and respect for the interconnectedness of trees by presenting current research on tree communication, framing forests as communities through poetry, expository passages and extensive back matter.

Studying Science with Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist

The year is 1818 and a young woman named Jeanne wanders the shores of Sicily. Formerly a seamstress, she reinvents herself as a scientist, a naturalist who explores the island on foot, journal in hand. Jeanne Villepreux-Power and her accomplishments is the subject of a fascinating new picture book biography collaboration by Evan Griffin and Joanie Stone. Use it to teach the disciplinary literacies of science, pair it with other stories of women “revolutionaries,” or as part of a historical study of scientific discovery and oceanography.

Romp and Revel with We All Play / kimêtawânaw

“Animals play. And we play too: kimêtawânaw mîna.” This special similarity between humans and the world of animal species is the focus of Cree-Métis author and illustrator Julie Flett’s latest picturebook. Incorporating a patterned text and playful alliteration, Flett introduces the movements of several animal species and then, through illustration, draws parallels to human play.

Exploring Native American Activism: Teaching Ideas for We Are Still Here!

deal for explorations of Native American history, U.S. history, contemporary current events, We are Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know offers teachers, librarians, parents, and young people the opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps and then act on that information in the quest towards justice.

Kids in Action: Teaching Ideas for The Floating Field

Ideal for explorations of agency, language, environment, and sports participation, The Floating Field reminds us that children and communities are their own best agents of change.

Learning from the Unspeakable: Teaching Ideas Centered on the Tulsa Race Massacre

Weatherford and Cooper’s fusion of art and history bring to light a shameful episode a century ago that allows teachers, librarians, young people, and their families to reconsider our present and reaffirm our commitments to anti-racism.

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.

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 […]

Building Big Dreams with Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon

In a stunning picture book biography, author Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrator Laura Freeman celebrate the life and work of Philip Freelon, Architect of Record for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This not-to-be missed title has broad possibilities for exploring art and design; featuring diverse life stories; and inviting students to consider how they might use their own talents to be dream builders.