Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook
by Michael Garland
This book is the first in a series about a second grade teacher that reads from an "incredible storybook". When she reads from the book, the stories come to life. I read this book at the beginning of the year during reading workshop and a discussion ensues about books coming to life in our minds. We also discuss the importance of getting a picture in our mind.
2. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
by Mem Fox
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is about a boy lives next to a retirement home. One of his favorite residents, Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper (who also has four names) has lost her memory. Wilfrid asks everyone what a "memory" is. He then helps Miss Nancy find her memory. I use this book at the beginning of the year as we make an anchor chart titled, "Growing Writers" write about.... This is the book I read for, Growing Writers write about their memories.
Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes
by Eric Litwin
Pete the Cat has such a catchy tune. The book is about a cat the goes "rocking" in his school shoes all around school. After going on a tour of our school last year, my second graders brainstormed things at our school that Pete may do. They each picked a thing and made their own page of a class big book. This was a fun activity that we will be repeating this year.
Brave Irene by William Steig
This is a great story about perseverance. Irene sets out during a snow storm to get a gown to the the duchess for her sick mother. I used this book as a mentor text in both reading and writing workshop.
Looking at Lincoln
by Maria Kalman
This is a great story of Abraham Lincoln. Some of the story is told in a question/answer format. After the question is asked, the answer is expanded upon. The book discusses Abraham Lincoln's life including, his love for reading, his height, his family, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address and finally his assassination.
The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb Rosenstock
This is a great story about how President Theodore Roosevelt went camping with naturalist John Muir in what is now Yosemite National Park. During the camping trip John Muir tried to convince the president to help protect the land. Thus, changing America by establishing the National Parks.
This is a fun, engaging and interactive book. Students are encouraged to press the dots and see what happens to the dots on the next page. I must admit that while reading this book the first time, I found myself playing along and pressing "here". This was a favorite in my class last year.
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
This is a story within a story. The story is about a girl and father cross country skiing through a forest. The story within is what happens under and over the snow with animals during the winter months. The illustrations also show what the animals are doing under and above the snow. The book gives just enough detail about each animal to hook a student to want to learn more about them.
This book is about a bear and a rabbit. The text is simple, but don't let the fool you. The bear's hat is missing and he asks all the animals he comes across if they have seen it. One animal (the rabbit) took his hat and meets an unfortunate event because of this. My kids loved this book (maybe because I loved it???). We talked and discussed many angles from this book such as, what would have happened had the rabbit been honest? I can't wait to share this with my new second graders.
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
The book describes Jane Goodall as a child and all the exploring and wondering Jane did with her stuffed chimpanzee. These adventures are what later led her to do her research with chimpanzees. One page describes some of the wondering and exploring she did, "One day, curious Jane wondered where eggs came from. So she and Jubilee snuck into Grandma Nutt's chicken coop....." The simple text makes this picture book an easy read aloud for children of any age group. The book can be used to encourage Wonder, as an introduction to biographies, to teach children the love of nature, following your dreams and many others.