The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Presidential Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman’s Debut Picturebook Rings and Sings in the New Year

As we start a new year together, facing challenges that have carried over from last, Change Sings provides a source of optimism and beauty that we can share with students not just across multiple content areas, but across our world and for years to come.

Promoting Peace with Poetry and Art

What is peace? The answer to this question is both individual and collective, and both simple and complex. In their inviting new picture book poem, Baptiste and Miranda Paul explore the concept of peace, moving readers from concrete to abstract. The rhyming text and warmly whimsical illustrations invite readers young and old to consider the roles they can play in creating peace and the benefits that all can enjoy.

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.

Assessing What Matters Most in The One Thing You’d Save

As an example of the diverse range of poetry celebrated throughout our world, and as a thought-provoking book to share at any time of the year, The One Thing You’d Save will entice your own students to consider what matters most to them and how the beauty of poetry can communicate that with others.

Connecting the Past and Present through Poetry: Teaching Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance

Children’s Literature Legacy Award Winner Nikki Grimes builds powerful connections between the past and present in her anthology featuring women poets of the Harlem Renaissance and her accompanying innovations on these poems. Use the poem pairings of this thought-provoking book across the school year to highlight the voices and experiences of Black women and girls or dive into the collection as a whole; either approach yields important insights into the human experience and forefronts the boundaries imposed by racism and sexism.

Remembering and Healing with Before the Ever After

As his mother and father visit doctor after doctor and try meds after meds, ZJ aches for the time ‘before’ his father’s illness, a time filled with picnics, pick up games, and spontaneous dance parties in the living room. ZJ’s father is a pro football player who is experiencing headaches, mood swings and memory loss. Jacqueline Woodson’s latest novel in verse explores the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on tight end Zachariah ‘44’ Johnson, through the eyes of his twelve year old son, his namesake.

Honor your students’ voices with the poetry collection No Voice Too Small.

During turbulent times, many of us may find ourselves asking, “What can I do?” The young people featured in this powerful anthology asked this question of themselves, found answers, and took action. Editors Metcalf, Dawson & Bradley have curated a collection of poems, written by accomplished poets, that represent the commitments, the activism and the accomplishments of fourteen tweens and teens.

Explore the Power of a Single Word in Dictionary for a Better World

The power of the single word holds center stage in this creative collaboration by renowned children’s poets Irene Latham and Charles Waters. In Dictionary for a Better World, Latham and Waters spotlight words that work to promote understanding, empathy, equity, peace, and social justice.

Poetry for Hope and Healing with Naomi Shihab Nye’s Everything Comes Next

If ever there was a time for poetry as a source of hope and healing, the time is now. As 2020 comes to a close, poetry can be a source of comfort for students and teachers as we continue to face challenges while embracing joyful sites of possibility. Naomi Shihab Nye’s, latest book of collected and new poems is a welcome respite and source of inspiration for attending to this moment and contemplating what comes next.

Exploring Native American Activism and Environmental Justice

In this historic moment, as people around the world shelter at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there has never been a more potent time to be reminded of our need to be good stewards of the earth we share.