As you consider which reading materials to request for your classroom, consider these teacher-endorsed genres that may best serve your students in this unique moment.
Books that heal.
We know this year has been a whirlwind for you and for your students. Request books that can lead to meaningful classroom discussions, reflective journaling prompts, and an overall environment of support.
“These books will be used to create our school's first Mental Health Library. My hope is that these books will help students feel represented, supported and give them more resources to help cope with social-emotional issues. We have a diverse population of students with a wide range of backgrounds and struggles, and these books will hopefully help them feel seen and not alone.” —The School Counselor's Mental Health Library, Mrs. Fitzgerald, Grades 6-8, Illinois
Books that connect.
Despite physical distance (and the emotional distance that comes with it), books have the power to unify. Request a set of books so students can read their own copy germ-free in school or each have the same book at home to read together.
“My students love common experiences while we are separated and learning from home. We would love to read a new chapter book together then create a writing project around this reading. The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney is a tale of friendship, responsibility, and open mindedness. It teaches these lessons through a hamster who becomes a classroom pet.” — Reading is What’s Write!, Ms. Arnesen, Grades Pre-K-2, California
Books that inform.
The reading materials you introduce can link your students to the world around them. A newsmagazine subscription and/or timely books about subjects including social justice, historical health crises, or politics can help them better comprehend current events.
“Providing my students with a subscription to Scholastic News will not only give them a news source they can trust, but will also allow them to think critically about current events, form their own opinions, and enhance their learning, all before their first class of the day!” — Morning Coffee, Mrs. Nalaschi, Grades 6-8, Pennsylvania
Books that mirror.
Now more than ever, students need learning resources that reflect their identity. Diversify your library with reading materials that mirror the makeup of the students in your classroom.
“I know that classic Shakespeare is important for my students to read, but it is equally important for them to read about people who look like them and experience life like them. Reading these books can have a positive impact on their view of themselves and therefore help prepare them to take their place as high-achieving members of society.” — I See Me in My Classroom Library, Mrs. Brown, Grades 9-12, Alabama
Books that release.
It’s what books do best — transport readers to realms that transcend the worries of daily life. Give your students the gift of imagination through adventure novels, books about their existing interests, or introduce new subjects like poison-dart frogs or codebreaking.
We now spend the majority of our day looking at a computer screen. A read aloud a day always helps to take the stress away. With these paperback books, we can escape our digital lives and go to a world of imagination. Not only the students in the classroom will enjoy these books, the students that are learning from home, will escape their home lives while listening to books that open their mind. What a way to escape reality! — A Read Aloud is like a Vacation in Our Imagination!, Ms. Bruno, Grades Pre-K-2, Pennsylvania
Reading material that isn’t books.
For this year, the #FillEveryShelf match offer will also include e-books and digital resources. Here’s one great example of how to combine print & digital resources:
“These books and gift cards to Teachers Pay Teachers will give my students and I access to valuable resources to integrate into my curriculum. This project will help diversify my classroom library and also purchase amazing lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers that will help support these picture books.” — Diversifying our Classroom Library, Mrs. Boyle, Grades Pre-K-2, Florida
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