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.

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.

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.

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.