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Mrs. Thornton's Classroom Library

This shelf has several great books to use for your future classroom. In addition, these books would work great with all kinds of different lesson plans including different subjects such as History and even can help with explaining social cues and traditions.

Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

     I am very biased when it comes to this book because it is one of my all time favorites! This book is about a boy who learns to appreciate his own world after wishing to be wild carries him on a sea of wild adventures with big monsters and huge forests. The boy does not want to do what he is told and once he goes to his room he is transformed and taken to a truly wild world! I love the illustrations in this book as well. There are such colorful, vivid descriptions.

     The reading level of this book is ages 4-8 years. A great way to use this book in your classroom is to learn shapes! Many teachers wouldn't think of this activity, but I think it is a cute idea! While learning about shapes, students can make a "Wild thing" using shapes provided! 

Duck! Rabbit!

Duck! Rabbit! - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld

     This book takes on the questions of all time: Is It a duck or a rabbit? Well in this book, it depends on how you look at it! Perspective is everything in this book and it is a great way to teach that topic to kids. The topic of perspective is a tough one, but this book makes it easy!

     This book's reading level is ages 5-6 years. A great way to use this book in the classroom is to open discussion about opinions. Everyone has an opinion, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Open discussion and talk about how even if two people have different opinions, they can still both be right!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, Lois Ehlert

     When all the letters of the alphabet climb to the top of a tree, will there be enough room? There will certainly be enough room for this classic on your shelf in your classroom. This irresistible alphabet romp will be enough to get any new generation young reader excited to learn!

     This book targets younger readers at a reading level of 1- 4 years. This book would be great for teaching students the alphabet because it has letters and numbers throughout the text.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond

     Your students will love this cute classic book. The book starts with a mouse who wants a cookie, but if you give him one, you have to give him a glass of milk. This silly book is a great introduction book and great for beginning readers and story time.

     This book's reading level is ages 4-8 years. This book is a great way to integrate language arts into your lesson. Teachers can use this book for word-skill work or cause and effect relationships.

The Polar Express

The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg

     This Christmas classic includes a young boy eager and lying awake one Christmas Eve, when he is invited aboard a magical train taking him to the North Pole. Through dark forests, over mountains, and across an ice desert, the Polar Express makes its way to the North Pole where the young boy will finally receive a Christmas wish.

     This book's reading level is ages 4-7 years. A great way to use this book would be during Christmas time. Read the book to the children and ask them why they think the author chose the wording they did. Post the book and let the children examine the illustrations. Lastly, let the children come up with their own story and illustrations.

Number the Stars

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

     When the German troops threaten their way of life, Annemarie Johansen's family takes in her best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family. We watch as the Danish Resistance moves almost the entire Jewish population out of Denmark and across the sea to Sweden. This book is all about the struggles Annemarie's family faced.

      This books reading level is ages 10 and up making it a more mature read. A great way to use this book in your classroom is to discuss Germany and World War II. What challenges did the family have to face? Was this normal? Open a discussion for the struggles during World War II.

The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand  (Chester the Raccoon - Nancy M. Leak, Ruth E. Harper, Audrey Penn

     With this books reading level at grades preK through kindergarten, this book is targeted for starting readers. This book is about a young raccoon starting the first day of school, but he does not want to go. Mother Raccoon is concerned and teaches the young raccoon a secret for when his outside world gets a little scary. Your students will love this heartwarming classic.  

     A great way to use this book is starting a new school year. The students listen to the story, create a handprint craft, and practice retelling the story.


The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses - Eleanor Estes, Louis Slobodkin

     The main character, Wanda Petronski, is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same dress everyday. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but no one believes her. Ultimately, Wanda is pulled out of class and the students feel terrible. Students will love this heartfelt story and it will open discussion about bullying.

     This book is targeted at more mature readers leveled at ages 6-9. A great way to use this book in your classroom is to let students describe characters from the story using character traits. Your students can also use compare and contrast with two different characters from the story.


A Bad Case of Stripes

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

     This colorful book teaches children to be themselves, no matter what others opinions are. Camilla Cream, the main character, loves lima beans. However, she keeps this a secret because her friends at school think lima beans are gross. When tragedy strikes and Camilla is bed ridden with sickness, she must make a tough decision to tell the truth.  

     This book's reading level is ages 4-8. A great way to use this book in your classroom is to introduce it during the first week. This book opens discussion about why we worry about what others think, bullying, and learning to respect and accept differences in others.

Horton Hears A Who!

Horton Hears a Who. Dr. Seuss - Miranda Richardson

     In this classic Dr. Seuss book, Horton, the main character, learns that every heart matters no matter how small when he finds a speck of dust and realizes there is a tiny village living on it! Horton vows to protect the tiny village, even if it means putting himself in danger.  

     With the reading level of this book being  grades K-3, this book is for younger readers. The rhyming words in Dr. Seuss' books make them perfect for activities that build sight vocabulary. Cover rhyming words with a sticky note and let students guess what the next word will be.

Bridge to Teranithia

Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

     This book is an all time favorite and classic. The main character is a quiet young boy who is the fastest runner in the fifth grade. That is until ,Leslie Burke, the new girl in school outruns him. Leslie and Jess become fast friends and create a magical forest together. Jess and Leslie have awesome adventures until one day Leslie visits the garden alone and tragedy strikes. Jess now has the deal with the grief of losing a close friend. 

     Targeted for a bit more mature audiences, this books reading level is ages 8 and up. A great way to use this book in your classroom is, of course, helping your students deal with loss and grief. This book a great one to have for any child that has lost a loved one or close friend. You could also use this book to help students get started on creating their own narratives.

Pete the Cat: Rockin' in my School Shoes

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

     This cute story is about a cat on the first day of school wearing his favorite school shoes. Pete the Cat is a cute character that offers children confidence and laughs. Similar to other Pete the Cat books, this book offers a read aloud sing along version. This book is leveled at 4-8 years.

     A great way to use this book in your classroom is to get some wiggles out! Of course there are other ways to use this book, but I love it's silly song atmosphere and it's a blast for the kids!


Corduroy - Don Freeman

     This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child's friendship is an endless classic your students will love. This story targets younger readers with a reading level of 2-5 years. The adorable main character, Corduroy, is a stuffed teddy bear sure to pull on any reader's heart strings.

      This book has many ways you can use it in your classroom. A great way to use this boo in your classroom is to let students read the story and make a connection with the character of Corduroy. When the students are done reading, have them write their own adventures with Corduroy, the stuffed bear.

The Big Orange Splot

The Big Orange Splot - Daniel Pinkwater

     In this amazing book about being different, the main character , Mr. Plumbean, lives on a street where all the houses are the same. When a big orange splat of paint drops on his house, Mr. Plumbean must learn a valuable lesson about how important it is to be unique.

     The reading level for this book is K-2.A great way to use this book in the classroom is to teach children about expression of individuality. One way to do this would be to use discussion prompts.


Stellaluna - Janell Cannon

     With this books reading level at ages 2 and up, this book is great for any age. You and your students will fall in love with this book and the cute animal characters such as the main character, a fruit bat named Stellaluna. When Stellaluna gets lost, she must give up her bat-like ways to survive when she is take in by a nest of birds. In the end, Stellaluna learns an important lesson about being yourself.

     I absolutely love this book because ,as a teacher, you can use this book so many ways in your classroom. My favorite way to use this book in a classroom, however, is to use it while learning about bats in science!

Brave Irene

Brave Irene (Sunburst Books) - William Steig

     This book is set during a fierce winter storm and Irene, the dressmaker's daughter, is determined to deliver a dress to an important client of her mother's. Irene must endure harsh winds and even harsher temperatures. But when there's a will, there's a way and Irene is determined! Cheer Irene on along with your entire class with this classic.

     This book is leveled at ages 4-8 years and goes with many different lessons. A great way to use this story is to emphasize elements such as personification, context clues, cause and effect, character analysis, and so much more. There are so many elements in this book to help students with reading and writing.