Words are a powerful teaching tool. Let these titles help you weave wondrous words into every part of your day.
By Jef Czekaj
In the barnyard, secrets spread speedily. This well-rounded tale follows a pig that whispers a word to a rooster. The rooster shares with the cow, the cow shares with the frog, the frog shares with the crow, and on it goes. That is, until a poor pup can't keep up! No worries, the animals can just start the fun all over again in this engaging read-aloud.
PreK–grade 1, $16.99, Balzer + Bray.
By Kate Coombs
Water sings blue, and words do too! Through this collection of poetry, readers listen as waves whisper, they hear the prayer of a little fish, and they read the octopus's inky autograph. Much like the sand on the beach, words take on many forms. With rich imagery and vocabulary that's likely to impress your nonfiction lovers, students are sure to enjoy their day at the shore—and come back for more!
Grades 2–6, $16.99, Chronicle Books.
By Barb Rosenstock
On a visit to California, President Theodore Roosevelt shocked his entourage by announcing that he wouldn't be staying at a hotel in town; instead, he was roughing it with naturalist John Muir! Their trip on horseback across the countryside was the start of something monumental—conservation efforts that protected many of America's natural wonders, led to the founding of bird sanctuaries and game preserves, and added millions of acres to the national forests.
Grades 3–6, $16.99, Dial Books for Young Readers.
By Esmé Raji Codell
Sure, your students might know the legend of Johnny Appleseed. But as this story shares, his influence was perhaps more powerful than students realize. "Seed by seed, deed by deed," Johnny Appleseed changed our nation. Not only did he plant trees, but he also planted examples to follow on how to treat one another and how to treat nature. The book ends with a challenge for students to take up Johnny's Appleseed's quest and plant their own seeds of change.
Grades 2–5, $16.99, Greenwillow Books.
By William Joyce
Morris Lessmore liked to have everything in its place. When his world went topsy-turvy, Morris was lost. He wandered along, momentarily looking up to see a lovely lady whose books could fly, leading him to a building full of books. And so Morris's life among the books began; they beckoned him to read their words and to share his own words too. This seemingly simple story offers launching points for lessons on symbolism, imagery, and much more. Check out the Academy Award–winning short film based on the book and the app.
Grades 3–6, $17.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
By Sharon Creech
When a dead boy (who is really alive) falls from a tree, it sets in motion a series of events that covers two continents. In alternating chapters that take readers from America to Ireland, two orphan girls navigate friendship, confront curiosities, and solve a major mystery or two. Readers meet Lizzie, who could talk the ears off a cornfield; matter-of-fact Naomi, who sometimes feels like her head has flipped right off her neck, wobbled, and then set itself back down again; and Finn, their not-dead friend.
Grades 4–6, $16.99, Joanna Cotler Books.