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Children’s Books in K-12 Classrooms

Yvonne Yates
Director of School Services, KLRN

Watching a student spellbound by a book has to be one of my favorite things to see. The way that the whole world is shut out and the only thing that matters is what the author has written. Then again, I think that all teachers feel this way at one point or other.

Not too long ago, I walked into a high school classroom to observe and saw one of the most amazing things…all of the students were sitting on the floor as the teacher was reading a children’s book.  Yes, this was a high school class. They were mesmerized as the teacher changed her voice to add drama to each character. This was her way of introducing her lesson. She read to them for five minutes, taught her lesson and in a mere twenty minutes, the classroom once again looked like an AP Junior English class.

It was fascinating to see a high school teacher entrance her students with the techniques that a kindergarten teacher uses. As we grow older, the child inside each of us often dies. This teacher made me think of a colleague who once dressed up as Christopher Columbus to introduce a series of books about Columbus’ journey from different points of view. She went as far as renting a period custom that included a wig. This is only one of many things she did to ensure that her students were engaged in her lessons. Although I did not teach for decades, I was lucky enough to see wonderful techniques by many amazing educators that taught me that an excellent teacher plants the seed in students to become readers for life.

November is National Children’s Book Month. Since 1919, it has been celebrated nationally in libraries, bookstores, and schools. This month gives educators, librarians, and families the opportunity to celebrate children's books--and the love of reading. Light the fire and encourage students to re-visit an old favorite and look at it, analyze it, and enjoy it once again!

This month, I don’t have a question for you but a task. Find your favorite children’s book and incorporate it into one of your lessons, whether you are an elementary teacher or high school teacher. And, then tell us about what you did.

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This Month:

KLRN Connect Clips to use for National Children’s Book Month. (Must log in to view.)

Time to Get Out of the Bath, Shirley' and ‘The Garden of Abdul Gasazi’ (K-2)
A Segment of: Imagine That!
A quick look at two Children’s Classics

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (3-5)
A Segment of: Literature for Children: Science Fiction
An introduction into Madeleine L’Engle’s Timeless Classic

Writing for Young People (6-8)
A Segment of: Language Arts at Work
This video segment is an interview with an author and illustrator who discuss the process of writing a children’s book.

Go Analyze Alice (9-12)
A Segment of: Discovering Language Arts: Grades 09-12: Writing
The explanation of where Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, got his inspiration. Students analyze Carroll’s style and his use of historical context.

Try This:

Arthur’s Scene Switcher (K-2)
The class can arrange the scenes in the correct order after watching an Arthur video. They will attempt to recall which events happened first, second, third, and last.

The Raven: Creator of the Universe? (4-8)
In this lesson students will conduct research to learn about the fascinating history of the raven as it is used in literature.

Living a Dream: Writing for Movies (9-12)  
This lesson plan focuses on the art of writing for the movies and using life experiences to help create story ideas.

Teacher's Corner

Lunch & Learn Webinar

Bring your aspiring writers to a very special webinar offered by Discovery Education on Thurs., Nov. 11 at  12PM with bestselling author, Harlan Coben. With over 47 millions books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben's last three consecutive novels, CAUGHT,  LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted  at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His next thriller LIVE WIRE will be out in early spring 2011. His books are published in 40 languages and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries. Registration is required. Click here to register.

KLRN’s SciGirls Club
Do you teach girls ages 9-13? Encourage them to join KLRN’s SciGirls Club. It’s a wonderful destination for girls who love science! Girls get to do fun experiments, share ideas, and get together for special activities with other girls who also love science. Click to download the Permission Form. Send it home with your students and have them complete the form, have their parent sign it, and mail it to the address printed at the bottom. That’s it! Once we receive the completed form, we’ll send them a SciGirls package with a t-shirt, backpack, and membership card!

Start a Reading Buddies Program at Your School
Three years ago, Martha Speaks launched its very successful Reading Buddies program. It pairs kindergarten and upper elementary students in eight fun, hands-on sessions to increase their vocabulary, develop their self-esteem and social skills, and enhance their love of books and reading. Each session includes viewing a Martha Speaks episode, reading together, talking together, and completing vocabulary activities. To learn more about the Martha Speaks Reading Buddies program, go to the Martha Speaks Web Site, Martha Speaks Parents and Teachers Page. The site is filled with everything you need to start a Reading Buddies program—including a teacher checklist, instructions for “Big Buddy” and “Little Buddy” teachers, and student materials. You can also sign up to receive a monthly Martha Speaks e-newsletter that provides additional vocabulary activities, updates to the program, and suggestions for classroom practice.



At KLRN we are dedicated to spreading the word about literacy and encouraging children to see the joys of reading. In keeping with our mission and this month’s theme, the freebie this month is a children’s book. Books are limited--one per teacher to the first 20 teachers, so request yours today by clicking here!

Contact Us:

Lisa McGrath
Vice President of Education

Yvonne Yates
Director of School Services

Maricella Borroel
Director of Early Childhood Services

Elisa Resendiz
Manager of Community Engagement

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