Let a book take your students’ away to an imaginary place or choose a non-fiction book and be transported to the life of a person or a time in history. Teachers know books can transport children anywhere they want to go. The only thing needed, outside of school, is a library card to your local public library. It’s the ticket to open up a whole new world to any place you want to go.

“September is Library Card Sign-Up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that the most important school supply of all is @ your library®--it's your library card. September was first so designated in 1988, as a continuation of a national campaign launched the previous year.”1

As students pick various genres of books and explore new authors; they’ll need your help even more in order to choose the right book for them. You’ll want to be sure they  comprehend what they’re reading. Building comprehension and fluency skills are critical for reading success and developing life long readers.

Scholastic has some great books that can help support your independent reading program even as part of Guided Reading.

Reading Response Trifolds for 40 Favorite Chapter Books is a wonderful book which will help you track your students progress through 40 different favorite chapter book. “Each trifold contains three parts: Strategy, Focus, and Respond. The Strategy component helps students review a specific reading comprehension strategy, such as predicting, making connections, or using context clues. Next students read the Focus section, where they are given a purpose for reading a specific section of the text. After students have finished reading the entire section, they answer the Respond question. This requires them to refer back to the reading and apply the specific reading strategy to formulate their response.” 2

Scholastic’s Literature Guide series will help provide you with the materials you need for tracking their progress for some of the most popular books your students may choose.

If you are teaching younger students Leo Lionni is a favorite. And Scholastic has you covered there as well with Teaching With Favorite Leo Lionni Books. He’s a great author and children love his text as well as his images. This talented author has always encouraged students to discover a love of reading.

“With prose and pictures, author-illustrator Leo Lionni speaks to the heart, mind, and conscience of the child. Woven in a rich tapestry of color and design, his stories amuse, educate, and inspire. As plots unfold, so does Lionni’s exploration of techniques in painting, sculpture, paper cutting, printwork, and more. He intertwines visual art with the timeless arts of music, poetry, and drama, reflecting his own passions and igniting desire in others. More than a simple picture book, each of Lionni’s tales is a work of art with a message and a mission for young readers.

The activities in this book are designed to bring out the message and the mission while strengthening skills in all subject areas, heightening awareness of techniques in illustration and design, and challenging children to take what they can and apply it to their lives. With these activities, children will learn helpful techniques for problem-solving, conflict resolution, and handling emotions. They’ll explore animal life and behavior, and experiment with techniques in collage, printmaking, painting, sketching, patterning, and construction. They’ll use imagination and creativity and hone skills in written and oral expression. Above all, children will study and strengthen such qualities as integrity, kindness, self-control, generosity, compassion, and compromise—values that cannot be reinforced early or often enough.

Beginning on page 6, you’ll find activities designed to be used with any and all Leo Lionni fables. These activities provide ideas for analyzing story elements, creative writing, graphing, art, and critical thinking, as well as a reproducible game. Seven of Leo Lionni’s most popular picture books are featured in the main portion of this resource. These are Little Blue and Little Yellow, Swimmy, Frederick, The Biggest House in the World, Fish Is Fish, It’s Mine!, and Nicolas, Where Have You Been? A section at the back of the book (see page 58) features activities to extend other Leo Lionni stories, including Six Crows, Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, and Inch by Inch.” 3

Remind students all these books are available at their local library and the only thing they need is a free library card to explore all the books they want. Visit your school library as well. Ask your librarian to talk about your local public library. Discuss all that they can find there and how to get a library card.

References:
(http://www.ala.org/ala/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/index.cfm) 1
(Author Jennifer Cerra-Johansson, Reading Response Trifolds for 40 Favorite Chapter Books, Scholastic Inc., 2011, pg. 6)  2
(Author Kathleen M. Hollenbeck, Teaching With Favorite Leo Lionni Books, Scholastic Inc., 2011, pg. 4)  3