Sunday, January 20, 2013

When I Think of the Word 'Book'...

Today's post is from @singalullaby, a kindergarten teacher and mom of 4.

When I think of the word book, I see keys, doorways, and treasure.  Books have been an integral part of my life.  Not only has my intellect been influenced by books; I process life through the connections I make with the written word.  

Story is a powerful tool in the kindergarten classroom.  Every Monday, I wheel a suitcase filled with theme-related books into my classroom.  My students know that I will also have props for the mystery box, possibly an accent or two for the readings, and several lessons woven through the suitcase contents.  For this post, I decided to share a few of my favorites with you!  I’m aware and appreciative of the Common Core mandate to include a certain percentage of nonfiction books in our curriculum.  This post, however, is dedicated to works of fiction.


During our study of winter, I introduce Lemonade In Winter in a math lesson.  This year, the entrepreneurship of the characters inspired my class to start their own business!  (This involved using a protractor to trace and cut shapes.  The children called it “D Business” and began to hire one another to sell letter Ds.  Plastic coins and jewels comprise the money!)  I will use this book in the next week, to reinforce coin equivalencies.  Although this skill is not in the Kindergarten Common Core, it is part of the workbook series which I am required to teach.


In Moon Dreams , Luna wonders where the moon goes during the day.  We will enjoy this book during our study of outer space.  Alongside our many nonfiction selections about the solar system, I provide books that encourage students to dream and use their imaginations.  This book will serve as a leaping point for creative writing.  


A Penguin Story is new to my collection.  The illustrations are bold and capture the penguins’ habitat perfectly.  In this story, the reader is encouraged to draw conclusions from picture cues.  My kindergartners were delighted to see that their guesses were correct, and amazed when the outcome was different.  At the end of the book, one of my little friends said, “I think the next book will be about the penguins finding green things.”  Ms. Portis, please write a sequel!


I include Muncha Muncha Muncha in our study of spring and gardening.  The sequence of this story is a bit outrageous, but kindergartners embrace it and run with the idea!  We use our building skills, incorporating math and writing, to design a garden for our classroom.  Many of you may have the opportunity to create a living garden with your students.  I don’t have that option; we do grow seeds and use our art materials to craft a growing space.


I end our school year with a study of the ocean biome.  Although we are located in the middle of the USA, most of my students have visited a seashore.  Wave is a wordless book; the illustrations are filled with movement and emotion.  My students become invested in the character’s experience!  We also discuss the tide and ocean treasures when reading Wave.  I like to read this story again, on the last day of school, as our last circle time activity.  We wave goodbye to the classroom and our status as kindergartners.  Yes, it is a tearjerker!

I hope you’ve found a few books to add to your collection while reading.  Thanks to Kinderchat123 for giving me the opportunity to share with you!
-Christina Platts

Christina says: I teach full-day kindergarten in a private school.  Kindergarten bloggers/tweeters have become my professional learning community!    I hold degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, this year is my 15th in the classroom.  Kindergarten is my sweet spot!  I blog at   (I also have a private blog for the families of my students.)
On the home front,  I've been married for 23 years and have four children, ages 12, 15, 17, and 19. 


  1. Any book by Antoinette Portis has my immediate attention (I am a serious fan of Not a Box and Not a Stick). I have ordered it from the library and put it on my "to buy" list. Thanks


  2. Okay, you had me at the first paragraph where you mention that you have a suitcase filled with theme books every week. Wow, I love that. Thanks for sharing some book titles new to me. Karen