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Staff Resources




Lesson Plans:

Suggested Titles:
Art of Keeping Cool
by Janet Lisle
Suggested Ages: 10-13
In 1942, two boys exchange acts of kindness with a German artist who is accused of being a spy.

Badger’s Bad Mood
by Hiawian Oram and Susan Varley
Suggested Ages: 5-8
Badger is down in the dumps.  Not even visits from Mole, Squirrel, and Rabbit can cheer him up.  Then, Mole comes up with a plan to show Badger how loved and appreciated he is.  Soon Badger’s bad mood is gone, and he learns the importance of friends.

Charlie the Caterpillar
by Dom DeLuise
Suggested Ages: 5-8
When Charlie the Caterpillar meets a group of animals playing together, he asks if he can join in.  But, he’s not welcomed by the group because he’s too ugly.  As winter approaches, Charlie spins himself a cocoon.  When spring arrives, the cocoon opens and out comes Charlie…now a beautiful butterfly.  Everyone wants him to be part of their group, but Charlie puts these fair-weather friends properly in their place in this heartwarming story about the meaning of true friendship.

Crazy Lady

by Janet Conly
Suggested Ages: 9-12
Vernon becomes friends with Maxine and her special needs son, Ronald, and finds ways to make their life manageable.

Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse
Suggested Ages: 9-12
In spite of terrible times in Oklahoma, during the dust bowl, Billie Jo and other families continue to help each other even though they have little themselves.

Randall’s Wall
by Carol Fenner
Suggested Ages: 9-12
Jean breaks through Randall’s walls and helps him overcome his difficult home life.

by Jerry Spinelli
Suggested Ages: 10-13
Stargirl gives gifts and cards, attends funerals, and surprises people.

Yolanda’s Genuis

by Carol Fenner
Suggested Ages: 9-12
Yolanda sees her brother’s special gifts that no one else can and helps him find the music within himself.

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Lesson Plans

Suggested Titles

Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober

Abigail's spirit and soul come to life in this superbly researched, well-written, and beautifully illustrated volume. This biography can serve as a prototype for young historians.

Frederick Douglass: In His Own Words edited by Milton Meltzer
This magnificent collection of the words and opinions of one of the most renowned black leader of the 18th century acts as a bridge between past and present generations. The book includes biographical profiles and portraits of Douglass's contemporaries.

The Girl-Son by Anne E. Neuberger
This riveting story is about a courageous mother in turn-of-the-century Korea who fights prejudice and tradition to educate her daughter, Induk. Disguised as a boy to gain entry to school, Induk boards at a school where she cooks for herself at age eight. Later, she goes on to high school and college.

Night Visitors by Ed Young
In this retelling of a Chinese folktale, superb illustrations create a mystical landscape for a dream-like odyssey rewarding a man's protection of tiny creatures.

The Rifle by Gary Paulsen

A splendid rifle crafted with love and skill by a gunsmith in the eighteenth century travels through time and human hands to end up on the wall above a fireplace. A stray spark ignites the aged gunpowder, a boy is killed, and the point is eloquently made –– guns kill people.

She's Wearing A Dead Bird on Her Head!
by Kathryn Lasky
An authentic and inspiration account of the birth of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The female activists are wonderful role models for all students.

A Very Important Day
by Maggie Rugg Herold
Beautiful illustrations in watercolor enhance the story of 219 people from 32 different countries who make their way in a snowstorm to downtown New York to be sworn in as U.S. citizens. Information on the process of becoming a citizen is included.

A World in Our Hands: In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, written, illustrated, and edited by various children The world's children created the art and text for this wonderful celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. It educates young readers about the work of the UN and challenges readers to be better global citizens.

You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
by Jean Fritz
This story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the suffrage campaign prominently features Elizabeth's family life and follows her across the U.S. and through the years.

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Lesson Plans

Suggested Titles

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

A Bargain for Frances
by Russell Hoban.

Bear Party by Rene DuBois

The Big Pile of Dirt by Eleanor Clymer

The Children’s Problem Solving Series
by Elizabeth Crary

The Doorbell Ran by Pat Hutchins

Eyes of the Dragon by Margaret Leaf

The Grouchy Ladybug by Carle Eric

How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson.

It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folktale by Margot Zemach

Learn the Value of Fairness by Elizabeth Cote

The Little Red Hen by William Curtis Holdworth

Noisy Nora  by Rosemary Well

Peter’s Chair
  by Ezra Jack Keats

School Isn’t Fair! by Baehr

Sharing by Susan Riley

Stinky Sneakers Contest
by Julie Ann Peters  

Tamika and the Wisdom Rings by Camille Yarbrough

The Value of Fairness: The Story of Nellie Bly by Ann Donegan Johnson


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Lesson Plans

Suggested Titles

Amazing Grace

by Mary Hoffman
Suggested Ages: 4-9
Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

The Brand New Kid
by Katie Couric
Suggested Ages: 5-7
Lazlo, who has just moved to the United States from Hungary, is ostracized at school until two girls have the courage to befriend him.

Daisy and the Doll
by Michael Medearis and Angela Shelf Medearis
Suggested Ages: 5-8
Daisy, an eight-year-old black girl living in rural Vermont in the 1890s, is given a black doll by her teacher and becomes uncomfortable that her skin is a different color from that of her classmates, until she finds the courage to speak from her heart.

The Gold-Threaded Dress
by Carolyn Marsden
Suggested Ages: 8-10
When Oy and her Thai American family move to a new neighborhood, her third-grade classmates tease and exclude her because she is different.

I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem
by Jamie Lee Curtis
Suggested Ages: 4-8
A young girl learns to like herself every single day, no matter what.

Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World

by Mildred Pitts Walter
Suggested Ages: 7-10
Suffering in a family full of females, ten-year-old Justin feels that cleaning and keeping house are women's work until he spends time on his beloved grandfather's ranch.

Keep Running, Allen!
by Clyde Robert Bulla
Suggested Ages: 4-8
The youngest in the family, Allen seems to be always running after his ever-active sister and brothers until he discovers the satisfaction of just being quiet and observing things around him.

A Long Way to Go

by Zibby Oneal
Suggested Ages: 8-12
Ten-year-old Lila becomes sympathetic to the women's suffrage movement after her society grandmother is arrested for picketing the White House in support of the cause.

Maniac Magee
by Jerry Spinelli
Suggested Ages: 9-12
The legendary Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee is a white boy who runs faster and hits balls farther than anyone. Jeffrey is able to bring together a town divided by racial prejudice.

Mr. Lincoln's Way
by Patricia Polacco
Suggested Ages: 6-9
When Mr. Lincoln, "the coolest principal in the whole world," discovers that Eugene, the school bully, knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his own intolerance.

Night Visitors
by Ed Young
Suggested Ages: 6-9
Retelling of a Chinese folktale in which a young scholar learns respect for all forms of life when he becomes part of an ant colony in a dream.

Oliver Button is a Sissy
by Tomie DePaola
Suggested Ages: 4-8
His classmates' taunts don't stop Oliver Button from doing what he likes best.

P.J. Funnybunny Camps Out
by Marilyn Sadler
Suggested Ages:6-8
Although P.J. and his friends refuse to let Donna and Honey Bunny go camping with them because "camping is not for girls," the girls follow and get proof that camping is hard work even for boys.

The Sissy Duckling
by Harvey Fierstein
Suggested Ages: 4-8
Elmer the duck is teased because he is different, but he proves himself by not only surviving the winter, but also saving his Papa.

Thy Friend, Obadiah
by Brinton Turkle
Suggested Ages: 4-7
A seagull befriends a Quaker boy, much to his embarrassment, and it is not until he has helped the bird that he can accept its friendship.

The Ugly Duckling
by Hans Christian Andersen
Suggested Ages: 6-9
retold by Troy Howell
An ugly duckling spends an unhappy year ostracized by the other animals before he grows into a beautiful swan.

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Lesson Plans

Suggested Titles
Depend on Katie John
by Mary Calhoun
Suggested Ages: 8-10
A twenty-room inherited house becomes home for Katie John, her family, and the people to whom they've rented rooms.

I'll See You When the Moon is Full

by Susi Gregg Fowler
Suggested Ages: 3-7
Abe will miss his father when he takes off on a business trip but is reassured of his return in two weeks, when the crescent moon becomes full.

Maybe She Forgot
by Ellen Kandoian
Suggested Ages: 5-7
When her mother is late picking her up from dance class, Jessie fears that she has been forgotten.

Owl Babies
by Martin Waddell
Suggested Ages: 3-6
Each time mother has to leave for a while, the owl babies get a little scared, but she always returns.

Sam Who Never Forgets
by Eve Rice
Suggested Ages: 3-7
Sam, the zookeeper, never forgets to feed the animals.

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Lesson Plans

    Suggested Titles

    Anteater on the Stairs
    by Peter Coltrill
    Suggested Ages: 4-8
    A boy named Joe fabricates tales about an incredible menagerie of unusual pets.

    The Berenstain Bears and the Truth
    by Stan and Jan Berenstain
    Suggested Ages: 4-8
    When Brother and Sister Bear accidentally break Mama’s favorite lamp, their little lie grows bigger and bigger!

    Believing Sophie
    by H.J. Hutchens
    Suggested Ages: 5-9
    An obnoxious lady at the grocery store mistakenly accuses Sophie of shoplifting, and Sophie must approve her innocence!

    A Big Fat Enormous Lie
    by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
    Suggested Ages: 4-6
    A child’s simple lie grows to enormous proportions.

    The Boy Who Cried Wolf

    by Tony Ross
    Suggested Ages: 4-7
    Willie cries “Wolf!” to get out of ordeals like taking a bath or going to his violin lesson.

    The Empty Pot
    by Demi
    Suggested Ages: 4-7
    All the children are given seeds to grow for the old emperor, but unbeknownst to them, the seeds are incapable of germinating.

    The Honest-to-Goodness Truth
    by Patricia C. McKissack
    Suggested Ages: 4-8
    If telling the truth is the right thing to do, then why is the whole world mad at Libby?

    Honest Tulio
    by John Himmelman
    Suggested Ages: 4-8
    When honest Tulio sees a man drop a copper corn in the marketplace, he sets off to find him and return it.

    Horton Hatches the Egg
    by Dr. Seuss
    Suggested Ages: 4-7
    Horton, the elephant, agrees to watch over Lazy Maisie Bird’s egg while she vacations.

    Horton Hears a Who!

    by Dr. Seuss
    Suggested Ages: 4-7
    Horton, the elephant, struggles to protect a microscopic community from his neighbors who refuse to believe it exists.

    Lleonard, the Llama that Lied
    by Susan Cameron
    Suggested Ages: 4-7
    In this rhyming story, Lleonard learns the value of telling the truth and the harm in lying when he is made invisible by eating a magic flower.

    Midnight Magic
    by Avi
    Suggested Ages: 8-12
    In 1491, in the kingdom of Pergamontio, lived a twelve year old boy named Fabrizio who learns the importance of honesty in daily living.

    Nina, Nina, Star Ballerina
    by Jane O’Connor
    Suggested Ages: 4-7
    Nina creates a problem for herself when she tells her friends that she will be a star in the upcoming ballet performance and they misunderstand her.

    The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
    by Jon Scieszka
    Suggested Ages: 5-9
    This contemporary version of the classical tale stresses the importance of truth-telling in daily life.

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