My Future Classroom Library

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy - Jane O'Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser

Fancy Nancy is my favorite series for lower elementary grades. It tells the adventures of a young girl and it is an easy read. The students could read the story and do a lesson on adjectives. Also, the students could have a lesson on character analysis considering Nancy is a very interesting character. This story is also a good introduction to synonyms because there are many words in this book that may be new to most students. The class could explore these words and what they mean as well as create a chart to draw connections to similar words.


Lexile Level: 420L

The Recess Queen

The Recess Queen - Alexis O'Neill, Laura Huliska-Beith

The Recess Queen is a fun story to read to lower elementary grades. It is a story of a girl they call Mean Jean and how she treats others at recess. There are a variety of directions you could take this book. One is to have the students analyze the character of Mean Jean and tell how she is a bully. Also, the students could dig deeper into the central message of the story and the details that support that.


Lexile Level: AD450L

Miss Nelson is Missing

Miss Nelson Is Missing! - Harry Allard, James Marshall

Miss Nelson is Missing is a fun story about a teacher who is absent one day and has a mean substitute. This book would be a great read aloud for many things. One idea is to compare and contrast the teacher and the substitute. The students could also draw inferences from the actions of the characters to infer where Miss Nelson really is. It is also a good story to read to the students before they have their first substitute! 


Lexile Level: 340L

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

I really enjoyed this book, especially the wonderful illustrations. I would love to read this book to my students to teach about character analysis. The students could list the character traits of Grace and compare those to a character from another book to emphasize text-to-text connections. Also, the students could read this book and practice sequencing the events of the story.


Lexile Level: 680L

No, David!

No, David! - David Shannon

This book is a great read aloud for lower elementary grades, especially Kindergarten. The  teacher could read this book on the first day of school in order to create rules for the classroom. The class would then create an anchor chart together with two columns. One column would be for actions that are allowed in the classroom and another column would be for actions not allowed called the No, David column. A great lesson for this book could be on making inferences about the character.


Lexile Level: BR

Enemy Pie

Enemy Pie - Derek Munson, Tara Calahan King

I really enjoyed this book. It is a very fun and interactive read aloud. This book teaches children to learn to be friends with people they may not exactly like at first. A good way to use this book in a lesson would be to create an anchor chart on problem and solution. The students could also write ingredients to their own friendship pie and they would put details on how to be a good friend. 


Lexile Level: AD330L

Because of Winn Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie - Kate DiCamillo

This book is a great read for upper elementary grades. A lot of students today can relate to the main character and her family situation. Because of Winn Dixie is also a great way to introduce themes because of the many struggles in the story. Also, it is a great way to introduce a new writing topic. The student could write on a bottle shaped paper about a mistake they have made. The bottles could be hung on a paper cut out of a tree like the ghost tree in the book.


Lexile Level: 610L

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web - E.B. White, Garth Williams, Rosemary Wells

Charlotte's Web is one of my favorite chapter books as a child. I really enjoyed watching the main character overcome so many obstacles. This would be a great lesson for a class to study. The students could analyze the individual characters such as Wilbur, Charlotte, and Fern. The students could then compare and contrast the characters through their challenges. Also, they could compare and contrast one of these characters to a character from another book. 


Lexile Level: 680L

Green Shamrocks

Green Shamrocks - Eve Bunting, Joëlle Dreidemy

I really enjoy having read-alouds that go with the theme of a main holiday of the month. This book obviously would be read near St. Patrick's Day. It is a very simple story that could be used to teach about problem and solution. The students could also complete a craft during a St. Patrick's Day celebration.


Lexile Level: AD370L

Amelia Bedelia

Amelia Bedelia - Peggy Parish, Fritz Siebel

Amelia Bedelia is a fun series that students would love. There are a variety of lessons to go along with it. The first lesson I would use this book for is to teach idioms. The students could "be detectives" and search for what her phrases really mean. You could also teach cause and effect with this book.


Lexile Level: 340L

The Lorax

The Lorax - Dr. Seuss

This book is not only perfect for Dr. Seuss Day, but for other lessons as well. This book could be used as a read aloud to introduce a writing prompt. The writing prompt could be a persuasive letter to save the trees in their own town. It gives the students purpose as well as a text to world connection. Also, this book could be used to teach a lesson on cause and effect.


Lexile Level: 560L


Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes

This is a great book to help build students' self esteem. The book could be read as a read aloud to help give students that extra boost of confidence. After the read aloud, the students could create a flower with something great about themselves on each petal. This book could also be used as an introduction to a lesson on character analysis.


Lexile Level: 460L

A Bad Case of Stripes

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

The book is a fun, interactive book for elementary school. The book focuses on a girl and how she changes skin tones based on her surroundings. This is a great book to be used to introduce cause and effect. The students could clearly see how as the character changes scenes, her skin changes. It could also be used to help students make predictions.


Lexile Level: AD540L

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell, David Catrow

This book is my absolute favorite children's book. It is the story of a young girl, Molly Lou Melon, who moves to a new school and does not quite look or act like her peers. It teaches students about diversity and how it is okay to not be like everyone else. It encourages students to embrace who they are and to be confident in who they are. This book could be a great read aloud for the first day of school. It could also introduce a lesson on character analysis.


Lexile Level: AD560L

The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister, J. Alison James

This book is a great story for lower elementary students. It teaches students about learning to make new friendships. I think this would be great to use as a read aloud on the first day of school and have the students write an interesting fact about themselves or something they like on a scale shaped piece of colorful paper. The teacher could put these colorful scales together to make a rainbow fish and promote unity in the classroom. On a more educational level, the students could analyze the character of the rainbow fish.


Lexile Level: AD410L

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! - John A. Scieszka

This is a great book for students to read for many reasons. It tells the story of the three little pigs from the viewpoint of the wolf. This book would be great for a lesson on points of view as well as compare and contrast. I have done one lesson with this book that focused on inferences. This is a great book that can offer a variety of lessons.


Lexile Level: AD570L