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Tag Archives: Booklist

Oral Storytelling Prezi

I am a firm believer in the power of story and I am learning to become an oral storyteller.  This prezi is meant to accompany my presentation about my journey.  It does include an annotated resource list at the end which includes resources I’ve found to be very helpful on my journey.  If you’d like to hear my whole presentation I’m happy to come and present to any size group.

Also it has come to my attention that today is world storytelling day! Happy coincidence!! Here’s a link to the canadian site which lists a lot of the major events happening across the country today and links to alot of the great storytelling groups this country has!



Book List

For ECE I’ve been reading “Places of Curriculum Making” but this week I want to respond to it a little differently by collecting the various picture book titles that are mentioned in this book because they are excellent resources to help students discuss belonging and identity.  


The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi is a book about learning to value our differences.  I have read this beautiful book and the message that we can try to fit in but that our differences make us special made me fall in love with this book.  The main character comes to a new classroom from Korea and decides to ask her classmates to help her choose a new “american” name.  On her journey through this process a classmate learns her real name and begins to encourage her to keep her special name.  I would use this book to start a discussion and story sharing where students are asked to share what makes their name special, what stories are told about their name in their family and where did their name come from.  


What you Know First by Patricia MacLachlan is the story of a child leaving the home they know for the unknown.  Patricia’s stories are always well written, the words perfectly chosen and manage to convey so much in the least amount of text.  This story is no different it is incredibly powerful and tells the importance of remembering our past while remaining open to change.  This would be an excellent book to open a discussion about memories of places our students have been and honour the journeys that brought us all to the common classroom we are in now.  It would also be a great book for when a students leaves or joins the classroom to give them an invitation to share their stories about moving.  


Tea with Milk by Allen Say is remarkable for more than just Say’s amazing illustrations.  This story expresses the frustrations of a young woman as she tries to find her home and identity. This book would be great to use with teens or students struggling with finding their identity, especially when that identity may be different from what their parents would like it to be.  The exploration of the main character as she breaks from tradition and tries to find her place will resonate with teens who are searching for their own identity and could serve as an excellent prompt to share the things that make us distinct from our parents.  


Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow.  I must be honest that I grew up on this song and so will always consider it with great fondness.  I will also always prefer it as a song story rather than a storybook.  My bias aside, it is an excellent story about growing up and the things we leave behind as we grow.  This could be an excellent introduction to a sharing session where students bring in something they once loved but have now outgrown and share the memories that they have of it. 


Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is an essential book for any classroom library.  Mr. Silverstein’s poetry is funny, thought provoking, and child friendly.  I still avoid picking my nose thanks to his poem about the sharp tooth snail that lives up your nose to bite off fingers. Sometimes his poetry manages to be profound even in it’s silliness and gives a way into tough topics without the need for a lengthy story.  Even if he just helps you as a teacher find the playfulness of childhood it is worth the price of the book.  

This weeks book picks

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It’s a little late and I apologize it’s getting busy with my courses.  However, here are this weeks books and this week I have three early reading chapter books to share.  These are great for those students who are just starting to read chapter books or would work for a first teacher led novel study.  

ImageGooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowery.  Gooney Bird isn’t just any second grader and when she arrives at her new school she teaches her whole class a lesson about being yourself and what makes a great story.  This short book is laugh out loud funny and very relatable for students.  It also would be a great book to introduce creative writing and help students learn some of the early steps in the writing process.  As an added bonus this is the first book in a series so there is plenty of fun ahead for readers.  



ImageWord after Word after Word by Patricia MacLachlan.  The author of Sarah, Plain and Tall writes this beautiful and lyrical book about the writing process. Through a series of author visits the grade 4 students are inspired to express their secret fears, sadness and thoughts through expressive poetry.  This book is all about the power of words and especially the written word.  A much gentler and quieter read about writing it moved me to tears at points and inspired me to write my own poem.  I think it would also be good for an introduction to a writing unit, especially a poetry unit.  


ImageThe Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle.  Moving away from writing books and into something that is just plain fun.  Rover the dog has a secret business working for the gigglers.  Gigglers are tiny creatures that look after children by making sure that adults who treat children meanly are punished.  In this fun rollicking read we learn how adults are punished and how Rover saves the day when the gigglers target the wrong adult.  Caution if the word poo offends you don’t read this book.  This is the type of book boys will like, potty humour, quick short chapters and a faced paced funny plot.  Is it deep? Not really but it’ll hook reluctant readers and the good news is there are more books in the series to keep them reading.