Pure Literacy

4 Good Reads (Kid Edition) For February

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World Read Aloud Day - February 24, 2016

I'm kicking off my monthly Good Reads (Kids Edition) tips by celebrating the power of reading and inviting you to join the countdown to World Read Aloud Day on February 24th!

 World Read Aloud Day calls attention to the pure joy and power of reading aloud, and connects the world as a community of readers. World Read Aloud Day motivates children of all ages and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries across the globe. To find out more about how to promote World Read Aloud Day in your classroom go to LitWorld or download the kit here.

The following reading suggestions for this month's Good Reads will help build urgency and agency around reading. I hope they will help you celebrate the power of reading in your classroom during this year's World Aloud Day celebrations! 

4 Picture Books on Friendships and Kindness 

We find some of our best friends in books. Here are four of my favorite books that spotlight friendship and kindness themes. Please note the below links are to Amazon.com to purchase the books discussed and they are not affiliate links. Merely just a helpful shortcut if you're looking to purchase on Amazon.

1. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Do you have a picture book on kindness? You can never go wrong with a book by Jacqueline Woodson. This 2013 Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner ( and CYRM Nominee - 2016-2017 Picture books for older readers) is  a recommended read-aloud for primary K-2 grades, but one that appeals to students at all grade levels. This is a poignant and thought provoking read-aloud sure to encourage many great class discussions.

Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness…  

2. Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

Do you have a nonfiction picture book on friendship? The 2016 Caldecott Award Winner by Lindsay Mattick is sure to be a favorite among students. This is the remarkable true story of the friendship between a veterinarian and a bear cub that inspired Winnie the Pooh. Not only does this book capture the reader's attention with its illustrations and actual photographs.

3. Emily’s Art by Peter Catalanotto

Do you have a picture book on friendships? There are so many books about friendship but Emily’s Art by Peter Catalanotto remains one of my favs year after year. It explores the feelings of friendship and forgiveness in a totally believable way. A short, but powerful story, about best friends that argue, but forgive each other when they realize that life is just not the same without a friend. When I read this aloud, I see in students make connections with the conflict, tension and reconciliation in these characters.

4. Big Al by Andrew Clements

Do you have a picture book on fitting in? Big Al by Andrew Clements is a favorite of mine to use when talking about differences and trying to fit in. Here’s a lesson extension offered by Scholastic for use in primary K-2 classrooms.  

Kindness Project activities in the Classroom

Now think about the fictional characters who inspire you to be kind! Here are some possible Kindness Project activities to do with students.

Ask your students what kindness role models have they met through reading. Have students choose a book or book character that inspires them to be kind and to write about it giving examples.

Put names of students in a “Random Acts of Kindness”. Students select names and write compliments to one another citing examples of kindness they have observed. 

World Read Aloud is such a special day for celebrating the power of literacy. I hope these Good Reads will help you in joining in the celebration and participating in World Read Aloud Day on 2/24/16 in your classroom! 

If you will be posting or writing about LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day, be sure to tag LitWorld and Pure Literacy on Facebook (LitWorld / Pure Literacy) or Instagram (@LitWorld / @Pure Literacy)! I'd love to check out how you're celebrating in your classroom!

Lastly, I'd like to share a fantastic resource, the Padlet, from noted school librarians Shannon Miller and Andy Plemmons! They'll be doing some fun things with Padlet for World Read Aloud day so let them know if you have any questions on how this works, have fun and get connected! Let me know if you use Padlet!

Talk soon and Happy Valentine's Day to all you love birds out there!