Tag Archives: literacy

Más Piñata and the Story Behind Culturally Authentic Leveled Reading

In the first post of our new blog series, Dr. Barbara Flores shares the history and philosophy behind the beloved dual language leveled reading series, Más Piñata.

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Upcoming Webinar: Teaching Tough Topics with Children’s Literature

Teaching Tough Topics with Children's Literature

The start of the school year is a critical time to establish classroom community and shared values of respect, honesty and trust.

With the one-year anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville coming up and other traumatic news constantly making headlines, many educators are left wondering how to discuss difficult current events with their students and to navigate meaningful, age-appropriate discussions on topics like hate, racism, and prejudice.

Join Lee & Low Books in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the timely webinar: “Teaching Tough Topics with Children’s Literature” that aims to help address these concerns through worthy books, activities, and resources. Continue reading

EVERY MONTH IS A NEW YEAR Teacher’s Guide

Every Month Is a New YearHere at Lee & Low, we are incredibly excited about the release of Every Month is a New Year, an amazing picture book from beloved author, Marilyn Singer, and illustrator, Susan L. Roth. This book has a wealth of curricular opportunities, and offers chances for students, teachers, librarians, and families alike to learn all about new year celebrations around the world and share their own cultural and familial celebrations. All of the celebrations have deep-rooted traditions and treasured customs. The collection of sixteen lively poems introduce readers to some of the most fascinating festivities, some well-known and less familiar (depending on the reader!) Continue reading

How to Use Wordless and Minimal-text Picture Books

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?

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Book List: Best Multicultural Story Books to Read Aloud

Summer is quickly approaching, which means more time to read picture books aloud to the children in your lives! Below we’ve compiled a list of amazing multicultural books to read aloud to children. And maybe they can even read aloud to you! Continue reading

2018 Diverse Summer Reading List for Grades PreK-8


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:

Summer Reading Collection Grades PreK-2
Summer Reading Collection Grades 3-5
Summer Reading Collection Grades 6-8 Continue reading

Teacher’s Guide for Ahimsa Now Available

Ahimsa Cover ImageLast 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

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Valentine’s Day in the Classroom

In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and offer concrete examples and resources. In January, we explored goal setting with students to start off the new yearToday, educator Lindsay Barrett offers a culturally responsive approach to Valentine’s Day in the classroom.

Culturally Responsive Teaching VDAY

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Book Pairing: In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson + Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

Step Up to the Plate, Maria SinghIn this blog post, our Literacy Specialist, Katie Potter, discusses how educators can use texts, like Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, to keep lessons fresh and engaging.

Out with the old, in with the new? How about—supplement and complement the old with the new?

When I read our middle grade novel, Step up to the Plate, Maria SinghI was immediately reminded of In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson that I read with my fifth-grade literature circle in NYC (and in middle school almost 20 years ago!) and the challenges teachers face to make required core texts fresh and relevant to students, especially when a text (no matter how many awards) may “feel” old to students.

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Culturally Responsive Approaches to Goal Setting With Students

Goal Setting With StudentsIn this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and offer concrete examples and resources. In November, we explored discussing Thanksgiving in the classroomToday, educator Lindsay Barrett offers a culturally responsive approach to goal setting with students to start off the new year. Continue reading