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There's an Alligator Under My Bed

There's an Alligator Under My Bed[THERES AN ALLIGATOR UNDER][Hardcover] - MercerMayer

There's an Alligator Under My Bed is an adorable book about a boy who believes he has an alligator under his bed; the only problem is that when he looks under his bed, the alligator disappears. The boy sets a trap for the alligator, and is successful in luring the alligator into the garage, where the boy leaves a warning note for his Dad to read in the morning. Is there really an alligator under the bed? Who knows? This book would be a great book to read to kindergarten, first, and even second grade. All children are scared of monsters under their bed, and this boy tackles his fear head on. Plot could be introduced to the class using this book. Who are the characters? What is the problem in the story? What does the character do to try and resolve the problem? Does the problem get solved? There is a lot of imagination involved in this story, why not encourage your students to use their imagination? Have them write a short story about what they would do if there was an alligator under their bed. 

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

Amazing Grace is a story about a little girl who loves stories and wants to play the part of Peter Pan in a play at her school, only she is a  black girl, and Peter Pan is a white boy. Even though Grace is discouraged by her peers, she tries out for the part and makes it! Amazing Grace has a beautiful message within the story, reminding children that it is ok to follow your dreams even if other people don't necessarily agree with you! This is a great book to incorporate into the elementary classroom. In lower elementary, imagination and determination could be an underlying theme. In upper elementary, discussions could be had about race, gender, self-esteem, and the importance of goal setting. 

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun?

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What Is a Noun? - Brian P. Cleary, Jenya Prosmitsky

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun? is an excellent way to introduce nouns to the class. The book describes what nouns are, but in a fun way! The book is full of rhyme and flows easily. Nouns are displayed in a different color from the text, making them "pop" out to readers. Students in grades second through fourth would benefit from this delightful book. 

Pete the Cat Rockin' in my School Shoes

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin, James Dean

Pete the Cat Rockin' in my School Shoes is a cute story about a cat who goes to school in his new pair of shoes. Throughout the book, Pete is introduced to the layout of the school. It is a great book to read to kindergarteners on the first day of school, to ease anxiety. The book describes the "library", the "lunchroom", etc... and asks, "Where is Pete?" Pete has never been to school, but is not worried. He rocks on throughout the day in his new school shoes. Youtube has a video of the book, along with the song Pete sings. Besides being a great introduction to the concept of school, teachers could take the students on an actual tour, teaching procedures to the students as they are introduced to their new school.

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig: A Pop-Up Storybook with a Twist in the Tale! - Eugene Trivizas, Helen Oxenbury

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig is a twist on the original version of The Three Little Pigs. The book portrays the wolves as victims and a pig as the villain. The story does not follow the original completely, and has an unexpected ending. This book is perfect for younger elementary and can be introduced to the class when comparing various versions of The Three Little Pigs.

The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand - Munro Leaf, Robert Lawson

The Story of Ferdinand  is a book about a bull who is unlike all the other bulls in the pasture. He doesn't want to fight! Ferdinand would would rather relax and smell the flowers by his favorite tree. The story finds our protagonist in a pickle when he is picked to fight in Madrid, only he is distracted by, you guessed it, flowers! This would be a great book for 2cd or 3rd grade. Some of the vocabulary in the book is more difficult and needs to be introduced before reading. There are several ways to incorporate this book into the classroom. For social studies, you could teach a unit on Spain and talk about the culture of bullfighting. Walt Disney also directed a short eight minute video about Ferdinand that could be viewed in the classroom to bring the story to life. Ferdinand is also an admirable role model because he is different, and he is comfortable with himself. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is essentially a story about the life cycle of a butterfly. It is a beautifully illustrated book about a caterpillar who is constantly hungry. In the book, the caterpillar gets a tummy ache when he eats too much junk food. He remedies his tummy ache by eating healthy foods. When he is no longer hungry, he makes a cocoon, and emerges as a butterfly. This book is perfect for a kindergarten or first grade classroom. What a fantastic way to introduce the life cycle of a butterfly to the class! You could also incorporate several math activities. How many pears, plums, etc... did the caterpillar eat? Draw the number of circles to form a caterpillar to match the numeral. You could also play a memory game using the illustrations in the book as matches.

The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Lonely Firefly - Eric Carle

The Very Lonely Firefly is a beautifully illustrated book about a firefly who searches through the night for a "light" similar to his own. Throughout the book, he discovers a variety of lights that one might find at night. At the end of the book, the last page lights up with the lights of several fireflies! This book would be a great read for lower elementary. This book is a great way to introduce sequencing. Students could use the book as a resource to sequence the events in the story, as well as practice their comprehension skills.


Corduroy - Don Freeman

Corduory is an adorable book about a teddy bear who lives in a department store. One day a little girl asks her Mom to buy the bear, but her Mom tells the little girl no because she doesn't want to spend any more money, and also the bear is missing a button. Corduroy is sad about his missing button, and that night tries to remedy the situation. The book brings imagination to life, and in the end the bear finds exactly what he was looking for, a home. This would be a fantastic book to implement in a lower elementary classroom.  Because the button is a fixture in the book, activities involving buttons would be a great way to teach a lesson. For kindergarten, buttons could be sorted according to size, color, or match. The concept of graphing could be introduced to the classroom using buttons. 

Put me in the Zoo

Put Me in the Zoo - Robert Lopshire

Put me in the Zoo is a cute story about an animal who wants to be in the zoo, but is rejected by the zookeeper. The animal  shows two children all the fantastic reasons why he thinks he belongs in a zoo. The animal performs a lot of tricks with his "spots", and the children are amazed, eventually showing the animal that he belongs in a circus because he is a performer. This would be a great book to implement in a pre-k through 2cd grade classroom. You could do something as simple as teaching colors and shapes, to teaching rhyming words, talking about the differences and similarities in a zoo and circus, or touching on comprehension. What can the students recall about the beginning, middle, and end of the story?