Ms. Banks' Blissful Books

My goal as a teacher is to encourage children to enjoy reading and that starts with me showing them my love of reading!

Where the Wild Things Are

— feeling amazing
Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are is a literary classic and a must for young readers. The vocabulary in this book is awesome and young readers will enjoy discovering the meaning. Art can be easily incorporated with this book, students could make their own "wild thing" or using certain shapes to make wild things such as a circle or triangle. This will help students develop their understanding of shapes as well. 


Lexile AD740L

Tuck Everlasting

— feeling big smile
Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

 Tuck Everlasting is a very interesting book. It tells the story of a young girl who met a family that has the secret to living forever. Along the way, she is kidnapped, put in danger and forced to make tough decisions. This book is full of adventure and mystery that students will enjoy. I would use this book to get students thinking about if immortality is a gift or a curse. The students would write a persuasive essay with the goal of persuading everyone to believe in their point of view.  


Lexile 770L



Bridge to Terabithia

— feeling happy
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia is one of my favorite books. The story is beautifully told and every minute of it is enjoyable. This book is full of imagination and courage. Terabithia is a completely made up kingdom so that would be a great activity to do with students. Students would create their own Terabithia in any format they chose to. They could draw it, use technology or use descriptive writing.


Lexile 810L

The Chocolate Touch

— feeling greedy
The Chocolate Touch - Patrick Skene Catling, Margot Apple

I love The Chocolate Touch it is fun to read and students can not wait to predict what turns into chocolate next. John Midas lets his greed for chocolate get the best of him and in return chocolate betrays him. A fun activity would be to have students decide if they would love to have everything they touched turned into chocolate or if they would hate it. Then the class would be split into two teams and debate the pros and cons of having everything they touched turned into chocolate, supporting their claims using evidence from the text.


Lexile 770L

Hooray for Reading Day!

— feeling excited
Hooray for Reading Day! - Margery Cuyler, Arthur Howard

Hooray for Reading Day! is one of my favorite books. It is helpful to students of all ages because of its meaning. Students will know they are not alone and others struggle but they can overcome it with PRACTICE! A great activity to do with students is to have them discuss their own difficulties with reading and how they intend to overcome them.


Lexile AD500L

Duck! Rabbit!

— feeling haha
Duck! Rabbit! - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld

Duck! Rabbit! is a fun book. It is a great way to teach young students that there is more than one way of seeing things. This book would be great for shared reading because as the book is read the teacher can stop and ask questions to see what students are thinking. Students could also write an opinion piece stating why they think it is a duck or rabbit and why.


Lexile AD300L

The One and Only Ivan

— feeling smile
The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan is a great a book for older students it dives into issues that they need to be aware of. This would be a great book to incorporate shared reading and discuss the vocabulary throughout the book. Another great activity would be using an anchor chart that displays each place Ivan lived, students will write down on sticky notes details about each location. 


Lexile 570L

Rocking in My School Shoes

— feeling cool
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin, James Dean

Pete the Cat is too cool! Pete the Cat books are great for young readers because they are simple to read and have songs to accompany them. Students will love watching the Rocking in My School Shoes cartoon and singing along to the music. Students could also create their own school shoes, this will encourage students to express their creativity and integrate art into the lesson. Pete the Cat Cartoon.


Lexile AD430L



Oh, The Places You'll Go!

— feeling excited
Oh the Places You'll Go![OH THE PLACES YOULL GO D][Hardcover] - DrSeuss

Oh, the Places You'll Go! is filled with so much positivity and is great for the classroom. As with many Dr. Suess books, this one is also filled with rhymes. Students will have a blast trying to figure them all out. An activity that would be great for younger students coming up with ways to travel by land, sea, and air. A fun activity for older students would be to think about a place they have always wanted to go. They would research it, finding everything they possibly can about it and create a poster or Google Slide. Finally, students would present their findings to the class.


Lexile AD600L


— feeling big smile
Holes - Louis Sachar

Holes tells the tale of the unfortunate Stanley Yelnats and the characters he encounters at Camp Green Lake. This book is definitely for older students and it is one they will enjoy. A cause and effect activity would go great with Holes. The decision his great-great-grandfather makes effects many generations after him so I would have students explore it. 


Lexile 660L

Bud, Not Buddy

— feeling amazing
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not Buddy is one of my favorite books. It is funny, heartfelt and informational wrap in a beautiful entertaining package. This book is best for older students because they will understand the language and context. The adventure Bud takes will have students locked in and it is a great way to get them to make predictions. The time period of this book is important, so I would discuss it with students and how it connects to what happens to Bud. Students could also, create a suitcase filled with things that matter to them, things that they would try to hold on to no matter what. Students would present the suitcase in front of the class and explain what the items mean to them.


Lexile 950L  

Amazing Grace

— feeling big smile
Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

I absolutely love this book and I am so grateful Ms. Gilmore introduced me to it. It will always be a part of my collection. I love the message and it is a great book for children most importantly. Grace is talented, fearless, and determined. She does not let anyone or anything stand in her way and that is a great quality to have. There are so many activities you can do with this book, students can put on a play and act out the book or write about what they want to be when they grow up. For younger students instead of writing about what they want to be, they could draw or act it out and explain it to the class. 


Lexile 680L

There's A Wocket In My Pocket!

— feeling grin
There's a Wocket in My Pocket! - Dr. Seuss

This Dr. Suess book is one of my favorites! It is colorful and has some of the wildest words I have seen. This book is great for younger students because the rhyming and made-up words allow them to imagine what it might actually be. A great activity is to ask students to create the monsters in the book such as a Zamp and Wocket. Using art supplies students would create what they believe these creatures look like. This activity will incorporate art into the lesson and students will have a blast coming up with scary or crazy monsters! Students could also create monsters that live in their house and make up names for them. During shared reading when students hear a rhyme they could do a signal to let the teacher know they recognized the rhyme.


Lexile 460L

Charlotte's Web

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

Charlotte's Web is a beloved classic. It is a tale of truth, friendship, and preserving. These are qualities that are important from children to understand. Wilbur defies the odds and becomes the most famous pig ever and he could not have done it without the help of his friends. This book uses words in a great educational way and helps children develop the skills needed to understand the meaning. A great activity to reinforce the vocabulary in the book is to have students create a spider web word wall. As a class, we will discuss the unfamiliar and intriguing words in the book and display them on our spider web. Another activity is to have students create their own parachutes to carry away their spider babies. This is a great way to incorporate STEAM into the lesson. This activity will depend on the grade level but students can work together to figure out the best design.


Lexile 680L

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

— feeling happy
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great informative and entertaining book for young readers. The illustrations and the holes in the pages will keep readers interested. Science can be easily incorporated with this book because metamorphosis is described from the egg stage to the caterpillar finally becoming a beautiful butterfly. Students can also watch an animated film of the book and see the metamorphosis in depth and the book come to life!


Lexile AD460L


— feeling happy
Stellaluna (Perfect Paperback) - Janell Cannon

Stellaluna is a sweet book that teaches children the importance of friendship. This book helps students understand that even if they do not have much in common with someone it does not mean they can not develop a sweet friendship. I would incorporate this book with a science lesson about bats. The book has two pages dedicated to teaching children about bats so it will be a fun way to integrate two subjects into one. I think younger students will absolutely love this book and science activity!


Lexile AD550L