Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov
Eddie Gets Ready for School. David Milgrim. Scholastic, 2011.
The text of this hilarious romp of a story consist of Eddie’s checklist for getting ready to go to school. Sometimes his mother doesn’t agree with how he carries out the task. For instance, watch cartoons and drink root beer are followed by mother with hands on hips and two more items on the list: “Turn off TV this instant” and “Pour out Root beer.”
Somehow, Eddie makes it to the school bus on time. A little reminiscent of Shannon’s “David” books. Could be a writing model for how kids get themselves ready for school. Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade
Fairly Fairy Tales. Esme Raji Codell. Alladin, 2011.
Taking 3 elements from a traditional fairy tale and adding one oddball element makes the stories humorous and food for thought. Could also serve as writing models.
Example: “Cow? Yes. Beanstalk? Yes. Giant? Yes. Spaghetti? NOOOOO! Turn the page–Well, maybe. A double page illustration of the giant’s Italian restaurant serving fairy tale characters. Others include, The Three Pigs, Red Riding Hood and The Three Bears. Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-4th grade
George vs. George : The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides. Rosalyn Schanzer. National Geographic, 2004.
A carefully researched introduction to the American Revolution, the author notes that every story has two sides, examines the causes, events and aftermath. Could be used as an example of persuasive writing. Picture Book.
My Diary : the Totally True Story of Me. Giles Tibo. Magination Press, 2011.
A young girl shares her thoughts on many emotions: freedom, joy, death, peace, hope, sadness. Well written and designed to look like a scrapbook.
Red Sled. Patricia Thomas. Boyds Mills, Press, 2008.
A boy and his father have a wonderful time sledding on a winter night. This story poem is clever and told in just 70 words. The style is inspired by an ancient form of writing called chiasmus which “creates a kind of mirror image, with thoughts, words, or even word sounds flowing toward a center point, then reversing to reflect that order as it reaches the end.” Sounds more complicated than it is. Thomas uses lots of rhyming pairs like “Sad lad. Sad dad. Fat hat. Knit mitt.” Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade (older for a writing model)
Roller Coaster. Marla Frazee. Harcourt, 2003.
A delightfully simple story about a girl who rides a roller coaster for the first time. Could be used as an example of expository writing. Picture Book.
Zombies! Evacuate the School. Sara Holbrook. Wordsong, 2010.
41 humorous poems about common school experiences (though only one zombie poem). Simple design and many prompts throughout encourage readers to write their own poems.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade