Is it really almost April? I feel like I've blinked, and the school year is moving toward a close. There is a LOT of pressure this time of year to make sure you are putting the finishing touches on mastery of your grade level standards with the upcoming testing season ready to pounce. Teachers feel it. Students feel it. Parents email about it daily. Book clubs are a great way to keep your readers working hard while breaking up the monotony of test preparation. Who wants to do passages ALL. DAY. LONG? No one, that's who. Challenge yourself to bust out a novel with your class this April, and check out some great choices below.
The Trumpet of the Swan – One of three classic novels by E.B. White and a great story for Spring. This book has so many great lessons on perseverance and overcoming challenges that it is hard not to love it. Read it aloud or as a book club book with my trifold novel study pack.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid – I resisted this book for a long time, but I finally gave in when a reluctant reader I had a few years ago wanted to read it with me as a book club. How can you say no when a student who is usually doing everything he can to avoid reading is suddenly making book suggestions? You can't…and I am glad I didn't because this book is really, truly funny. Did I mention it is a perfect choice for April since it is National Humor Month?!
It's Raining Pigs and Noodles – April is Poetry Month! This book is perfect for building that love of poetry for your students. Of course, anything by Jack Prelutsky is always a great choice!
Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Titanic – As an elementary student, the story of the Titanic fascinated me. I guess there is just something about the disaster that befell this “unsinkable” ship to which kids are drawn. I've got a small collection of Titanic books in my classroom library, but this one is a great choice for an informational book club. April 12th marks the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and it is the perfect week for a short research book club. Get the no prep trifold to guide your book club here!
Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein was my introduction to poetry as a kid. His poems were hilarious! Now that I am a teacher, I appreciate how he played with language and the mix of sensory language that gives me a chance to teach so many great lessons. Getting your kids to read for National Poetry Month will never be easier!
Number the Stars – Perfect for older students, this book takes place during the Nazi invasion during WWII. This historical fiction text captures students into the story of one girl's escape to freedom from persecution and the dangerous path to get there. A great way to combine history and social studies with reading comprehension, a study of the Holocaust is a great way to engage students in a discussion about diversity and freedom. Save yourself time by getting a pre-designed book club unit here.
Magic Tree House: Tonight on the Titanic – An easy read for students, this is another great book in the Magic Tree House series that teaches kids all about the story of the Titanic through a fictional tale of two children on a magical journey. This series is always a favorite for my low-to-mid level readers, so I've got plans laid out for 17 books from the series. You can find them here.
Because of Winn-Dixie – April is National Pet Month! This story demonstrates the love and friendship pets can bring to our lives through a beautiful story of the new girl in town. As a teacher, I love the rich vocabulary and discussions this book fosters in my classroom. I use this book yearly with my trifolds to help build my students reading comprehension skills in summary, context clues, and more.
Planning ahead? Get some great suggestions for your May novel studies and read alouds.