Tip for building comprehension and critical thinking skills: Ask kids questions that require MORE than a simple YES or NO answer. Watch what happens!
Here are some wonderful books and ways you can use them to catch “the teachable minute” with your kids!
Little Critter: The Best Yard Sale by Mercer Mayer: The family cleans out the house and garage. I would teach about team work, counting money and making change, or selling or giving things away to others who may be able to use them or who may have been involved in a natural disaster.
Airport by Byron Barton: Use this book to teach children about how passengers arriving at the airport to go through various activities to get their luggage ready before takeoff.
Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard by Nancy Lowen: This book would be used to teach vocabulary and processes that would go along with a classroom worm habitat. Part of the science curriculum.
Ferryboat Ride by Anne Rockwell: Consider this book as a nonfiction text to teach the concept of the ferry boat and how a man saw a problem and solved it. Begin to instill the process of problem solving.
Irma the Flying Bowling Ball by Tom Ross: This book is an excellent choice to begin to teach, through illustration, the difference between fiction and nonfiction. The bowling experience is completely fictional in the beginning of the book and the illustrations are wonderful. The bowling ball “sees” something and she takes on a human persona.
Camp Out! The Ultimate Kid’s Guide by Lynn Brunelle: This book has a wonderfully detailed illustrated table of contents. The pictures are then represented on the first page of the chapter. It would allow the young student the ability to actually use a table of contents at the age of 4.
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose: This book could be used to teach children to see things from someone else’s point of view.
Olivia and the Rain Dance by Maggie Testa: This silly book could be used to introduce the ways people depend on rain and water.
I can bowl! by Linda Johns: This book is great for teaching kids to keep trying and believe in themselves when they try new things.
Garfield Goes Camping by Jim Kraft: Garfield is always good for teaching children how silly some behaviors are! This book could be used to teach a child about camping and how you really have to “rough it” by leaving the electronics at home.
Adios, Tricycle by Susan Middleton Elva: Suggested for teaching basic Spanish words and that it is okay to grow and try new things.
Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis by Cynthia Zarin – This book could be used as an example for writing about adventures and where they might lead.
Our yard is full of birds by A. Rockwell: This book helps to teach kids what kind of animals might be in yards. In addition to birds, the class could discuss what other animals would live in a front or back yard.
Gorilla garage by M. Shulman: This wonderful book is excellent for teaching rhyming words, such as ‘ sputtered’ and ‘muttered’ or ‘road’ and ‘towed’. There are many pairs of rhyming words in the story to highlight this concept.
Busy boats (Amazing machines) by T. Mitton: This book is useful for teaching during a transportation unit on how things move and ways to get around on land or in water. It highlights many different types of boats.
Bowling alley adjectives by D. Fisher and D.L. Gibbs: This wonderful little book is great for teaching students about adjectives. In the book, there are grammar reminders as well. This would benefit students who have been to a bowling alley and have that familiarity. It is also great for students who have never had this experience.
King Bidgood’s in the bathtub by A. Wood: This Caldecott Honor Book has such wonderful illustrations that would be fantastic for teaching about details in stories.
S is for s’mores: A camping alphabet by H. F. James: Teachers could use this book to teach about different landforms in different camping areas, such as rivers, beaches, forests, mountains. The illustrations would be very beneficial for students who have not had the opportunity to visit these places.
Guinea Pig in the Garage by Ben M. Baglio: When Mandy asks Rachel to look after a neighbor’s guinea pigs, Rachel is so excited. She feels that by showing her parents how responsible she is, they will allow her to have a pet of her own! Things take a turn for the worse when one comes up missing! This is a great story for discussing responsibility and caring for animals.
There’s an Alligator Under my Bed by Mercer Mayer: This is a story about a boy who believed there was an alligator under his bed and he locked it in the garage. The story is written in first point and would be a good book to use in identifying point of view and the effect it has on the reader’s understanding of the story.
Tubtime by Elvira Woodruff: In this story sisters are taking a bubble bath and get into mischief as they blow all sorts of bubbles of different sizes and shapes. This story can lead to a science experiment and explore the properties of air, water, color and light.
Corduroy’s Hike by Don Freeman: This is a story about Corduroy getting lost while on a hike when he was not even supposed to of been on the trip to begin with. This is a good story to use to teach children about what actions need to be taken when someone gets lost.
Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport: After reading this to kids, help them recognize the importance of transportation to our community. Discuss all the various modes of transportation where you are! What do they have in common? How are they different?
To bring Dr. Connie to your school for parent literacy events, teacher training, model lessons, and more, please fill out an Inquiry Form at http://www.conniehebert.com
Dr. Connie Hebert is dedicated to catching kids in motivating, engaging, and effective ways. She is the author of Catch a Falling Reader, Catch a Falling Writer, Catch a Falling Teacher, Sight Word Phrases, and a new book for parents: The Teachable Minute: The Secret to Raising Smart & Appreciative Kids. More information at: http://www.theteachableminute.com