Parent/Teacher Resources

As an educator, my main focus was the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs). But what works for them will also benefit other students. I’ll continue to add general reading activities and resources to this page, as well as those related to specific books. I’ve been helped along the way by many wonderful teachers and writers, and hope to give back a little by growing this page into a valuable resource. Please join the email list to get the latest blog posts.

First, a couple often overlooked resources:

Authors Notes in back matter often contain information about an author’s connection to a story. These help readers understand two key ideas: Author’s Point of View and Author’s Purpose. Author Notes can also be a valuable tool to help young writers find their connection to a topic, the key to great writing!

Author and Illustrator Websites contain a plethora of classroom-worthy material such as interviews, articles, activities, and educator guides. 


Resources for featured MIDDLE GRADE books

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli  – Literature Unit Teachers’ Guide and Student Pages

 The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney – Activities


Additional Resources for featured PICTURE BOOKS

Especially for Educator series

Websites of Authors and Illustrators of guest posts often share activities and educator guides. 

See also my Perfect Picture Book Friday book recommendations. Each post includes several activities. And you’ll find many more recommendations with activities HERE.

A Splash of Red, The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant – Literature Unit

Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud by Tracey Fern – Activity Page

The Great Pasta Escape by Miranda Paul – Activity Page

It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee – Activity Page

Outstanding in the Rain: A Whole Story with Holes by Frank Viva – Activity Page

Tree of Cranes by Allen Say – Activity Page

Whose Hands Are These? by Miranda Paul Activity Page

Activities for Picture Book Biographies



NONFICTION QUICK NOTES: A quick one page organizer to guide student thinking through informational text. (grades 2-6)

A School-wide Heritage Timeline: Nonfiction Learning Fills the Hallway by Paula Januzzi-Godfrey



Writing Personal Narratives PDF

from Carole Lee Dean

Blog post: 3 Reading Response Categories to Genuinely Engage Students with Texts

Exploring Active Nonfiction Through the Ages by Tom Bober

Real Reviews! Students Write Nonfiction Book Reviews for the School Library Catalog


A Deep Dive into Nonfiction by Kim Haines



VOCABULARY THAT STICKS Tried-and-True Short Activities for Daily Practice of New Vocabulary

SYNONYM-INOES: Activities to get past tired overused adjectives. (grades 2-6)


Interesting Links

On Learning:

On Language:

On Reading:

On Writing and Story:

On Publishing:

On Creativity:

On School Improvement:

Uniquely Interesting: 


From Ava, sent by her teacher: School Bus Safety – Including Tips for COVID-19

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