Buckeye Award Nominees

This week we began reading the books that have been nominated for Ohio’s children book award, the Buckeye Award.  The first book we read was Carnivore’s written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat. Prior to reading the book, we discussed  the following words  –  Carnivore,  Vegetarian and Sushi.

I shared with them the  activity sheets from Chroniclebooks.  We then discussed what a book trailer was, as well as a movie trailer.  Be sure to watch the book trailer for Carnivores.

Parts of a Book

This week we discussed the parts of a book. We went over Title, Author, Illustration, Illustrator, Front Cover, Spine, Back cover, Pages and Bar Code/ISBN (book number).  I read Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer  to the first graders.  I invited the students to participate. Whenever I said So, they chimed in and said… they did.  After reading the story, the students did a Parts of Book worksheet which also had a pumpkin on it. I did NOT have them follow the directions, but instead had them use the word bank below and then copy the words into the empty boxes above.  With the first graders, we did it together.

I did the same parts of a book lesson with the second graders, however,  they were able to do the worksheet independent with little difficulty.  In addition, I read How many seeds in a pumpkin? written by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas which includes the Math concept of counting by twos, fives and tens as well as a lesson about not being able to judge things by their size.

Taking care of your library books

This week we talked about taking care of your library books.

With the first graders,  I found a suggestion  to show the video  “Don’t Let the Pigeon Touch the Books” on YouTube.  I paired it with Mo Williems newest Pigeon book “Pigeon needs a Bath”.  After the video we  discussed things that Pigeon did in the video that would NOT  be taking care of your books.


With the second graders,  we read a rhyming story “At This Very Moment” by Jim Arnosky and then read the rhymes on the  posters that I have posted in the library.  We discussed ways that books might get wet and how to avoid that from happening, gave examples of mistreating the book’s spine, talked about what the word “due” means and when books are due in our library, as well as what to do if you find rips or pages falling out of books.


For more suggestions on how to take care of your library books, check out  Book Care on elementarylibraryroutines .

Selecting Just Right Books

This week we talked about selecting books.  The first criteria is to pick something that looks interesting, whether it is an information book about dinosaurs or dogs or  a story about superheroes or princesses.  The next criteria is to find a just right book.  We read Goldisocks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by John Manders


The story introduces the concept of the Five Finger Rule which has you read the first page and count the number of words you don’t know on one hand.  If you find 5 words, the book is too hard and you need to select a different book.  Books with two or three new words are just right.  The story also talks more about returning the book properly on the shelf with the spine or title showing, not backwards, upside down, or laying on top.  I decorated the library with  the Goldie Socks Five Fingers Poster  and the Goldie Socks Finding a “Just Right” Book Poster


When looking at chapter books, I suggested they select books by size. Short chapter books are in our Early Reader section,   while middle to longer books are in the Fiction section.   Narrower or shorter chapter books typically have easier vocabulary, more pictures and fewer words, so would more likely to be “just right” for second and third graders, while thicker or longer books are right for the upper grades.  Other ways to select books include recommendations by friends, books by the same author or the same series as one that you have already read and award winning books. We read Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile, which followed many of the rules for selecting just right books.  We will talk more about ways to select books later in the year.