If you missed our recent 2018 showcase webinar, there’s good news: you can now watch the recording! Whether you’re a parent, teacher, librarian, or bookseller, this webinar will help you discover great new books to diversify your shelves:
In this age of rigor, text complexity, and higher standards for younger and younger readers—why do wordless picture books continue to be so popular?
Wordless, or minimal-text, picture books:
- enable children to explore the art of storytelling and world-building
- are a wonderful medium for expression and creative thought
- are a natural introduction to inferencing, a metacognitive skill that is often taught in the later grades
- help readers practice reading facial cues and studying visual context clues for vocabulary and plot development
- engage visual learners or visually-motivated readers
- alleviate struggling readers who may feel overwhelmed by dense text and long print sections
- offer a launch pad to a lifelong love of other visually-rich formats, including comics and graphic novels
Why choose a wordless, or minimal-text, picture book for your next storytime?
Chapter books are an essential stepping stone on the road to literacy. Chapter books allow young readers to linger in a story, and provide a bridge between picture books and more complex, challenging texts. But when it comes to diversity, chapter books still lag behind. Many classroom shelves and home libraries are lined with the same worn chapter book series that kids have been reading for decades, without much variety.
At Lee & Low, we believe that it’s just as important for young readers to have access to diverse chapter books. That’s why we’re excited to launch our “The Story Of” series, a new line of chapter book biographies out now. These chapter books go beyond the common names to introduce readers to amazing leaders and heroes whose names you might not know but whose achievements have shaped our world. Continue reading
January marked the release of Confucius: Great Teacher of China by renowned children’s book author and illustrator, Demi. This beautifully illustrated biography pays homage to a man whose philosophy shaped the course of Chinese history. In this previous blog post, Demi speaks about the sources that served as inspiration for Confucius.
The Confucius Teacher’s Guide offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions about Confucius and his work in the classroom. This title and teacher’s guide is perfect for a unit on biographies, China, ancient civilizations, philosophers, and more. Our teacher’s guide also features summary and background information, prereading and discussion questions, ideas for reader’s response and writing activities, strategies for ELL/ESL, and interdisciplinary activities and connections. Below we’ve shared a few activities and resources from the Confucius Teacher’s Guide. Continue reading
Thank you to everyone who joined us this week for our webinar, 2018 Diverse Summer Reading. If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), here is a recording of the webinar:
In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and during holidays and celebrations. Last Month, we shared a culturally responsive approach to Earth Day. Today, educator Lindsay Barrett offers suggestions for addressing Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in the classroom. Continue reading
Kick off the end of the school year with our beautiful printable 2018 Diverse Summer Reading List for Grades PreK-8! This list provides engaging and entertaining suggestions to build off of summer suggested reading lists from your school or library. These books are fun ways to start a great summer of nonstop reading! Our list includes both fiction and nonfiction, bilingual Spanish/English titles, and a diverse range of cultures—in other words, the right book for every reader! The collections are available on our website for purchase:
In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and during holidays and celebrations. In February, we shared a culturally responsive approach to Valentine’s Day. Today, educator Lindsay Barrett offers a culturally responsive approach to Earth Day / Earth Month in the classroom. Continue reading
Last October was the release of Ahimsa by New Visions Award winner Supriya Kelkar. Inspired by her great-grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi, Kelkar shines a light on the Indian freedom movement in this poignant middle grade novel.
In 1942, after Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use “ahimsa”—non-violent resistance—to stand up to the British government.
Accompanying this title is the Ahimsa Teacher’s Guide, which offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions on the Indian freedom movement, colonialism, civil disobedience, and the connection to the civil rights movement in the United States. Our teacher’s guide also features summary and background information, prereading and discussion questions, ideas for reader’s response and writing activities, strategies for ESL/ELL, and interdisciplinary activities and connections. Below we’ve shared a few prereading questions, discussion questions, and resources from the Ahimsa teacher’s guide. Continue reading
While reading books with children will help them better prepare for school and opens their minds to new cultures and experiences, it’s important to keep cultivating that love of reading into middle school. Exposing children to both “mirror” and “window” books—that is, books in which they can see themselves, and books in which they can learn about others—is the best way to create engaged readers and support social and emotional growth.
Lee & Low Books offers hundreds of great books for middle schoolers. Our books include English, Spanish, and bilingual titles; books about many different cultures; books that span a wide range of subjects and themes; and both fiction and nonfiction. Browse our middle school classroom collections to see what we have to offer, and check out our other book lists by grade:
- Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Preschool
- Our 8 Favorite Multicultural Books for Kindergarten
- Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for First Grade
- Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Second Grade
- Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Third Grade
- Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Fourth Grade
- Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Fifth Grade
- Our 7 Favorite Multicultural Books for Sixth Grade
While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for middle school!