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!

Coming to America

— feeling amazing
Coming to America : The Story of Immigration - Betsy Maestro, Suzanne Ryan

Coming to America is great for kids and adults of all ages. While reading I learned a few things I did not know and it is always great to learn at any age. This book uses the power of illustrations to really drive home the message and make it engaging for children. America is a melting pot of so many people and cultures and that is what makes it special. It is important for students to understand that almost everyone on this land comes from a brave line of immigrants that had the courage to start a new life and leave everything they knew in order to give future generations a better life. It also, teaches students that everyone did not come to America by choice but persevered never the less. A great activity is to ask students to an object that is important to them to show the class. Students will tell their fellow classmates what the object means to them and the history behind it. They will describe how they would feel if they had to leave it behind. This activity will help students understand that most immigrants left everything they loved and cherished to come to America. Incorporating this book into my lesson will help me integrate social students and reading.


Lexile AD890L

The Word Collector

— feeling excited
The Word Collector - Peter H. Reynolds

The Word Collector is one of my favorite books! Some people collect stamps and baseball cards but not Jerome, he collects WORDS! In my opinion that is cool! This book helps students understand that all words big and small have meaning and impact. A great activity would be a word wall or bulletin board of kindness, this can be done inside the classroom or outside in the hallway. The students are responsible for coming up with the most amazing words they can think of. Also, I would have students draw names and write three to four kind and encouraging words that describe the person they received. This is a great way to create a community in the classroom. I truly do love this book and I can not wait to use it in the classroom!


Lexile 490L

The Giving Tree

— feeling big smile
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree is a tale of unconditional love. The boy takes and takes from the tree without ever saying thank you, but the tree never seems to mind and is always willing to give more without a second thought. This book can help children of all ages understand the importance of being thankful and appreciative of what they have no matter how small. 

A great activity to go along with this book is to have students write a letter to the person, place or thing that gives them unconditional love. It can be a family member, friend, animal or toy it will completely be their choice. 

Another great message in this book is the environmental issue. The boy takes from the tree until there is nothing left but a stomp. This what we as humans do to the earth, we take from it without giving anything back sometimes. I would incorporate this book into "Green Week" and have students come up with ways we can give back to the earth. Depending on the grade level they could draw, write or use technology to display their ideas.


Lexile 530L

Alabama Moon

— feeling big smile
Alabama Moon - Watt Key

Alabama Moon is a great coming of age book that would be great to use in the classroom. When Moon's father Pap dies he decides he will follow his father's wishes and travel to Alaska. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned. Moon eventually escapes and brings along two friends he met at the boy's home. During their travels everything Moon was sure of is tested. This book is full of adventure and important lessons that would be appealing to boys and girls. I would incorporate this book into a fun activity by asking students to imagine they are Moon and had to rely on the skills they possess in order to survive in the wildness alone. The students would write a short story reimagining themselves as Moon.