Archive for the ‘Reading Across the Curriculum’ Category

At this time of year, children love books about  pumpkins. Use some of our favorite titles to develop reading strategies for informational books and to learn more about this seasonal fruit.

Informational Picture Books

From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
Illustrated by James Graham Hale
Describes and illustrates the growth of a pumpkin from seed to flower to full-grown fruit.

  • Lesson Plan focuses on pumpkin growth, characteristics, and vocabulary. Christa Carol Jones
  • Video of the book WatchKnowLearn

The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
Describes how pumpkins come in different shapes and sizes, how they grow, and their traditional uses and cultural significance.

  • Activity Guide includes comprehension questions, vocabulary, cross-curricular activities, and an Internet activity. Live Oak Media
  • Lesson Plan includes activities that can be used on a SMART board. SMART Exchange
  • more links…

The Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson
Rhyming text and photographs follow a pumpkin patch as it grows and changes, from seeds to plants to pumpkins ready to harvest, to jack-o-lanterns and then to seeds again.

Storybooks With Information About Pumpkins

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
Charlie, the smallest child in his first grade class, is amazed to discover that of the three pumpkins his teacher brings to school, the tiniest one has the most seeds.Lesson Plan includes pre-reading, questions, and activities. Reading is Fundamental

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
In the course of one year, a jack-o-lantern, discarded after Halloween, decomposes in the backyard and eventually grows new pumpkins from its seeds.

Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
Jamie plants a pumpkin seed and, after watching it grow, carves it, and saves some seeds to plant in the spring.

The Linda’s Links to Literature database has 75+ books with related teaching links featuring pumpkins.

Related Teaching Resources

Pumpkin Printables and Worksheets A to Z Teacher Stuff

Pumpkin Unit Busy Teacher’s Café

Words to the song in the video below



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April is National Poetry Month. The official celebration site has lots of ideas to plan your own event.
A favorite activity of mine is participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26. Encourage your students to share poems with their friends and classmates. Your school and local library will have lots of poetry books for your students to read to choose their favorite poem.
Also check out the Poetry Board from HarperCollins on Pinterest.

Here’s a list of 12 new poetry books that I especially like.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie by J. Patrick Lewis
    Illustrated by Michael H. Slack. Harcourt (Gr. 2-6)
    Poet J. Patrick Lewis reimages Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Langston Hughes’s “April Rain Song,” and other classic works, and offers parodies and puzzles that encourage critical thinking and math skills.
  2. Forget-Me-Nots selected by Mary Ann Hoberman
    Illustrated by Michael Emberley. Little, Brown (Gr. K-5)
    A collection of more than 120 poems for children to learn, including selections from classic and contemporary poets.
  3. Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It by Gail Carson Levine
    Illustrated by Matthew Cordell. HarperCollins (Gr. 1-6)
    A collection of poems with false apologies.
  4. Freedom’s A-Callin Me by Ntozake Shange
    Illustrated by Rod Brown. Amisatd/Collins (Gr. 4-8)
    Illustrations and text imagine what it was like for the men and women on the Underground Railroad.
  5. I Lay My Stitches Down by Cynthia Grady
    Illustrated by Michele Wood. Eerdmans (Gr. 4-8)
    A collection of poems that depict people and events throughout the history of slavery in the United States.
  6. I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky
    Illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic. Greenwillow (Gr. K-5)
    A collection of more than one hundred children’s poems.
  7. In the Sea by David Elliott
    Illustrated by Holly Meade. Candlewick Press (Gr. K-2)
    A collection of poems on the characteristics and behaviors of sea horses, sharks, urchins, whales, and other sea creatures.
  8. Outside Your Window by Nicola Davies
    Illustrated by Mark Hearld. Candlewick Press (Gr. K-5)
    An illustrated treasury of poems reflects the experiences of children as they encounter nature for the first time.
  9. Poem Runs by Douglas Florian
    Harcourt (Gr. 1-5)
    A collection of baseball poems.
  10. Step Gently Out by Helen Frost
    Photographs by Rick Lieder. Candlewick Press (Gr. K-4)
    Examines nature through lyrical text and close-up photography.
  11. A Stick Is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer
    Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Clarion Books (Gr. K-4)
    A collection of illustrated poems for children that celebrates the outdoors.
  12. Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs
    Illustrated by Meilo So. Chronicle Books (Gr. K-3)
    A collection of poems about the sea.

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.
Books annotations are from The Library of Congress or Linda’s Links to Literature.

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  • Did colonial homes have Christmas trees?
  • Where are Christmas trees grown?
  • When did people started using aluminum Christmas trees?

Find the answers on this visual guide to the history of the Christmas tree.

Here’s a few books about Christmas trees with book-related teaching resources.
Search our database for more titles and teaching links.

Chita’s Christmas Tree by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Papa and Chita leave downtown Baltimore in a buggy to find a Christmas tree in the deep woods.
Teaching Unit

The Christmas Tree Ship by Jeanette Winter
Each winter Captain Herman fills his fishing schooner with Christmas trees, sails down Lake Michigan, and delivers the trees to the residents of Chicago.
Lesson Plan

Christmas Trees by Robert Frost
A poem about Christmas trees.
Discussion Guide

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor
Nancy is devastated, which is even worse than heart-broken, when her fancy Christmas tree topper breaks, threatening to ruin Christmas.
Activity Guide

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen
The life of a little fir tree who, when discarded, recalls with nostalgia its two glorious moments–being a beautiful fir and being a brightly-lit Christmas tree.
Study Guide

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree is too tall, so he trims off the top and gives the top to the upstairs maid for her tree, and she finds it too tall, so she cuts off the top, which the gardener uses for his tree, but it is too tall.
Reader’s Theater

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The surprise military attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese occurred on the morning of December 7, 1941.
Integrate cross-curricular reading next week with some of these books from our database.

Book-Related Teaching Links:

  • Attack on Pearl Harbor: The True Story of the Day America Entered World War II by Shelley Tanaka (Gr. 4-8)  Lesson Plan
  • A Boy at War by Harry Mazer (Gr. 5-9)  Reader’s Theater
  • Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 (Dear America series) by Barry Denenberg (Gr. 4-7)  Discussion Guide
  • Pearl Harbor Is Burning! by Kathleen V. Kudlinsky (Gr. 2-5)  Teacher Guide
  • Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury (Gr. 5-9)  Book Discussion Guide

Teaching Resources:

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October is National Pizza Month. Imagine getting a whole month to celebrate one of our favorite foods. According to pizza.com or Guinness World Records:

  • 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly.
  • Each person in America eats about 46 pizza slices a year.
  • Most pizzas made in one hour is 206.

Start the cross-curricular teaching unit with the poem A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky. Print out the activity worksheet with the words to the poem and listen to the poem sung by Jack Prelutsky.

Introduce some fun books with book-related teaching opportunities.
These are a few titles about pizza with book-related teaching links from our database. Search for the keyword: Pizza for additional titles.

  • Hi, Pizza Man! by Virginia Walter
    While a young girl waits for the delivery of a hot pizza, she provides the appropriate animal sounds for a variety of pretend animal pizza deliverers.
  • How Pizza Came to Queens by Dayal Kaur Khalsa
    An Italian visitor to Queens bemoans the unavailability of pizza until some thoughtful girls enable her to make some.
    Lesson Plan
    focuses on the use of the book with science and math to create a pizza. – Scholastic
  • Little Nino’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbour
    Tony loves helping his dad make pizza at their family restaurant until one day his dad decides to open a fancy new restaurant and everything changes.
    Teacher’s Guide
    – Reading Rainbow
  • The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
    In this version of the traditional tale, the duck, the dog, and the cat refuse to help the Little Red Hen make a pizza but do get to participate when the time comes to eat it.
    Reader’s Theater
    Scroll down the page. – ACSU Literacy Place
  • Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig
    When Pete feels miserable because rain makes it impossible to play ball outdoors, his father finds a fun indoor game to play with his son.
  • Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington
    With vegetables from her own garden and other fresh ingredients, Sally mixes and bakes hot and bubbly pizzas for her customers to take home or eat in her pizzeria.
  • The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane Auch
    An out-of-work princess applies to become the bride of Prince Drupert, but first she must pass several tests, including a cooking contest.
    Activity Packet
    – Missouri Show Me Awards

There are additional book-related teaching resources for these books in the Linda’s Links to Literature database.

Other Teaching Resources

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.

Books annotations are from The Library of Congress or Linda’s Links to Literature.

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On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorists attacked America. This year is the 10th anniversary of that event.

Books about the September 11 Terrorist Attacks
These are some of the better books for children and teens about the attack on America.

Use the keywords September 11, 2001 and/or Terrorist Attacks in the Linda’s Links to Literature database for additional book-related teaching links.

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy
Presents an illustrated tale of a gift of fourteen cows given by the Maasai people of Kenya to the U.S. as a gesture of comfort and friendship in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001.  (Gr. 2-5)

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
A graphic novel adaptation of “The 9/11 Commission Report,” the results of the investigation of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. (Gr. 9+)

911: The Book of Help edited by Michael Cart with Marc Aronson and Marianne Carus
A collection of essays, poems, short fiction, and drawings created in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, by authors and illustrators of books for young adults. (Gr. 8+)

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2011: The Day the Towers Fell by Don Brown
Provides a chronological account of September 11, 2001, and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the hijacking of a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. (Gr. 3-6)

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman
A fireboat, launched in 1931, is retired after many years of fighting fires along the Hudson River, but is saved from being scrapped and then called into service again on September 11, 2001. (K-Gr. 4)   Lesson Plan

The Little Chapel That Stood by A. B. Curtis
How St. Paul’s Chapel, across the street from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, survived the 9-11 blast and then served as a service depot for rescuers. (K-Gr. 5)

September 11 by Mary Englar
Chronicles the events of the morning of September 11, 2001, when four planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. (Gr. 4-8)

September 11, 2001 by Dennis Brindell Fradin
Looks at the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States as a turning point in history, reviews events leading up to the attacks, shares details of how the attacks were carried out, and discusses the resulting war on terror. (Gr. 3-6)

September 11, 2001: Attack on New York City by Wilborn Hampton
Describes the September 11 attacks in the United States and presents several personal stories of tragedy told by New Yorkers who lived through the collapse of the World Trade Center. (Gr. 7+)   Teacher Guide 1     Teacher Guide 2

Understanding September 11th : Answering Questions About the Attacks on America by Mitch Frank
Explains the historical and religious issues that sparked terrorists to attack America on September 11, 2001, including information on Islam, Osama bin Laden, and the Middle East. (Gr. 7+)    Teaching Resources

With Their Eyes edited by Annie Thoms
Presents the script of a play written by students at New York’s Stuyvesant High School, presented in a series of monologues based on interviews with students on their experiences and feelings about the attack on the World Trade Center–visible from the school–and its aftermath. (Gr. 7+)

Bravemole by Lynne Jonell
A mole discovers that he is not so ordinary after all when he proves his bravery during a dragon attack. (K-Gr. 3)

Bullyville by Francine Prose
After the death of his estranged father in the World Trade Center on September 11th, thirteen-year-old Bart, still struggling with feelings of guilt, sorrow and loss, wins a scholarship to the local preparatory school and encounters a vicious bully whose cruelty compounds the aftermath of the tragedy. (Gr. 8+)

Cinnamon Girl by Juan Felipe Herrera
Yolanda, a Puerto Rican girl, tries to come to terms with her painful past as she waits to see if her uncle recovers from injuries he suffered when the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001. (Gr. 8+)

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
Three New York City teens express their reactions to the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and its impact on their lives and the world. (Gr. 8+)

September Roses by Jeanette Winter
Two sisters find a good use for the roses they have grown when their plane from South Africa is delayed by a storm, causing them to miss a flower show in New York City. (K-Gr. 3)

Web Resources
911 Memorial
American Memory Project from the Library of Congress
Inside 911 from National Geographic

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.
Books annotations are from The Library of Congress.

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Have some fun reading about hats during Fall Hat Month.
Hats play a role in some popular children’s books. People wear hats for a variety of reasons  –  as part of an occupation, costume, sport, or protection.
Some stories introduce historical events like Abe Lincoln’s Hat or Aunt Flossie’s Hats (And Crab Cakes Later).
Other books focus on many kinds of hats such as Which Hat Is That?
Hats can even be a bridge for problem-solving situations as in the stories The Scarecrow’s Hat or A Hat for Minerva Louise.
Hats are often considered to be lucky charms and builders of self-confidence as in Bridget’s Beret and My Lucky Hat.

Set up a display of children’s books featuring hats.

Books About Hats

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss
Each time Bartholomew Cubbins attempts to obey the King’s order to take off his hat, he finds there is another one on his head.

Aunt Flossie’s Hats (And Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Sara and Susan share tea, cookies, crab cakes, and stories about hats when they visit their favorite relative, Aunt Flossie.
Discussion Questions

Aunt Lucy Went to Buy a Hat by Alice Low
Aunt Lucy sets out to replace her lost hat, but winds up with a cat and a succession of other items instead.

Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner
Frontier lawyer Abraham Lincoln cures his absent-mindedness by placing letters, court notes, contracts, and his checkbook in his tall black hat.

Bridget’s Beret by Tom Lichtenheld
When Bridget loses the beret that provides her with artistic inspiration like other great artists, she thinks she will never be able to draw again.

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler’s caps while he takes a nap under a tree.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Two children sitting at home on a rainy day are visited by the Cat in the Hat who shows them some tricks and games.

Do You Have a Hat? By Eileen Spinelli
Describes a great variety of hats worn by celebrities throughout history.

A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Minerva Louise, a snow-loving chicken, mistakes a pair of mittens for two hats to keep both ends warm.

The Hat by Jan Brett
When Lisa hangs her woolen clothes in the sun to air them out for winter, the hedgehog, to the amusement of the other animals, ends up wearing a stocking on his head.

The Hat by Tomi Ungerer
The black top hat with magic powers blew into the one-legged soldier’s life, made him a wealthy man, and then blew out again.

Hats, Hats, Hats by Ann Morris
Introduces a variety of hats, from soft and hard hats to snuggly and hooded hats.

Jennie’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats
When the hat Jennie receives from her aunt is not as fancy as she had hoped, her bird friends decorate it for her.

Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell
Presents a Southwestern adaptation of the classic fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” in which Little Red rides her pony Buck to Grandma’s ranch with a jar of cactus jelly in the saddlebag.

Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans
When the Spanish ambassador moves in next door, Madeline and the rest of the twelve little girls discover that his son is not the best neighbor.

Milo’s Hat Trick by Jon Agee
Milo, a magician, has a hat trick involving a bear which jumps in and out of hats.

Miss Hunnicutt’s Hat by Jeff Brumbeau
Miss Hunnicutt is determined to wear her new hat adorned with a live chicken for the Queen’s visit despite the disapproval of the other townspeople.

My Lucky Hat by Kevin O’Malley
When Frank’s favorite baseball player, the mighty Keefoffer, is in danger of striking out, Frank loans him his lucky hat to help him hit a home run.

The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown
Chicken thinks Scarecrow’s hat will make a nice nest, but first she must swap with Badger, Crow, Sheep, Owl, and Donkey.

A Three Hat Day by Laura Geringer
A hat collector is having a very bad day until he meets his true love in the hat section of the department store.

Uncle Nacho’s Hat / El Sombrero Del Tio Nacho by Harriet Rohmer
A bilingual folk tale from Nicaragua about a well-meaning man who can’t figure out how to make changes in his life until his niece, Ambrosia, shows him how.

When Everybody Wore a Hat by William Steig
Children’s author William Steig describes and illustrates what life was like in his neighborhood when he was a boy nearly one hundred years ago.

Who Took the Farmer’s Hat? By Joan Nodset
The wind blows away the farmer’s hat and he finds it being used in a most surprising way.

Which Hat Is That? by Anna Grossnickle Hines
A mouse tries on many kinds of hats and becomes a firefighter, gardener, chef, tea-party hostess, and space traveler.

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.
Books annotations are from The Library of Congress.

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