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Children's and young adult books in the classroom.

Teacher Appreciation 2018

May 7-11 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and today is National Teacher Day, a day on which the National Education Association hopes we will all go out of our way to #ThankATeacher. We are both the parents of two elementary-school-aged children, and we send HUGE thank yous to the teachers, specialists, paraprofessionals, administrators, chefs, custodians, […]

Haiku: A Small Poem with Great Potential

snow melting the village brimming over… with children! –Issa (1763-1828) (translated by David Lanoue) Yes, I was taught that a haiku, a short poem that originated in Japan centuries ago, was supposed to consist of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. And yes, because of the way haiku have been taught historically, they […]

Last class, works in verse | Class #6, 2018

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Adolescent novels in verse have steadily increased in popularity since Virginia Euwer Wolff’s groundbreaking Make Lemonade was published in 1993. The best of these marry form and subject in a way that enriches both. Jacqueline Woodson’s eloquent free-verse memoir traces her family history and the earliest development of a […]

Pictures / Visual literacy | Class #5, 2018

This week’s class (Feb. 28) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. Students will read two picture books and a choice of graphic novels. The prompts below address the role of these books in the classroom; you might also respond to the interplay of text and […]

Beyond the world we know | Class #4, 2018

This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far-away places of other worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely metaphor […]

Adolescent lit class begins tomorrow | Class #1, 2018

Lolly’s children’s literature class at the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrapped up in November with lively discussion and debate in their Mock Awards committees, a terrific culminating event. Tomorrow, adolescent lit begins, and we’ll continue to hold our class book discussions out in the open here and invite you all to join the conversation. […]

Charlotte’s Web | Class #6, fall 2017

During our last class meeting (November 15), our mock book award committees will meet, discuss, and vote. We have three Caldecott committees, one Geisel committee, and one Sibert. We try to make the experience as authentic as possible, which means bringing in snacks (a key part of my own award experiences) and we follow ALA/ALSC’s […]

Poetry and folklore | class #5, fall 2017

For our class on November 1, we will read four books and one article. Since this class only meets six times, we have to double up on some genres. These two go together better than some because they both need to be read aloud. Successful folklore books must have a strong voice. Folktales and fairy […]

Class #4 | Information books, Oct. 18, 2017

I’m posting a little late this time, after a busy week preparing for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Friday night and Horn Book at Simmons colloquium Saturday, focused on the theme of Resistance. Both events were well attended and the speakers were amazing. I love it when the judges award older book creators (like Ashley […]

Chapter books | Class #3, fall 2017

For our next class on October 4, we are reading three chapter books — Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series (the sequel to Juana & Lucas has not yet been published) and […]