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. Barnes & Noble.com Welcome to our Reading Workshop pages. The following is a list of picture books that you can use to teach specific reading skills and strategies.

*Story Treasure: A tiny item that represents the story is given to each child to take home as a reminder when they retell the story to their parents.

Back to School Reading aloud picture books during the first days of school provides wonderful opportunities to build a classroom community; create a sense of wonder about reading and open doors to the writing process. Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston (reading /writing) *pencil

If You Were a Writer by Joan Lowry Nixon (writing process) *pencil

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (missing home) *Hershey's Candy Kiss

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard (humor)

Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco (reading; relating to dyslexic students) *graham cracker with honey

Book by Ella George Lyons (reading) *book die cut or bookmark

First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenberg (humor; relating to students)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague (a fun twist on "what did you do for summer vacation" stories)

Paired Texts This is a list of texts that compliment one another for teaching text to text connections and compare / contrast. It's important for students to make connections across various texts that go beyond a shallow level. Students should be able to compare and contrast characters feelings and actions, setting, theme, plots and information. State tests often ask questions that require students to make these comparisons. Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg and Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

Stellaluna by Janeel Cannon and Bats: Night Fliers by Betsy Maestro

Hoops by Robert Burleigh and Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan *small package of salt

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Today Was a Terrible Day by Patricia Reilly Giff

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor and If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian *small rock


Cause and Effect

The listed texts make provide you with plenty of cause and effect relationships to help students understand this important reading skill. The "cause" is "what happened" and the "effect" is "why it happened." A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon *small piece of striped cloth

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff *cookie to eat and cookie cutter as a treasure

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroof *silver dollar pancake

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff *movie ticket stub

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble *small plastic snake

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett *cottonball

Pierre by Maurice Sendak

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig *small red pebble

Text to Self Good readers make personal connections with the text throughout the reading. Good connections helps readers to use what they already know (prior knowledge; schema) to help them understand the text and create vivid mental images. Good readers use their connections to help make predictions throughout the reading of the text. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes *small Chrysanthemum plastic flower

Mud Is Cake by Pam Munoz Ryan

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

Koala Lou by Mem Fox *koala sticker 

Text to World Good readers learn how to read deeper and more meaning when they make real-world connections to the text. Strong world connections deepens readers understanding of the text and helps them to become critical thinkers. Whoever We Are by Mem Fox

Smoky Night by Eve Bunting

Questioning Good readers think of questions before and during the reading. They ponder the unanswered questions after reading. Questioning gives readers a purpose for reading, helps them to make predictions, and helps them to become critical thinkers. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
Visualizing Good readers make pictures in their minds while reading. The pictures move like a movie and help bring the words to life in the mind of the reader. Making mental images is active versus passive and helps enrich the the text and supports understanding and meaning making. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Plot/Sequence/Summary Good readers can follow the sequences or plot of the story and then summarize the story in a logical order.  The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

The Pumpkin Blanket by Deborah Turney Zagwyn

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig 

Character Traits Good readers understand the traits (personality) of the character. They also understand the difference between how they feel about something and how the character feels. They can identify the cause and effect of the characters actions and distinguish between their own beliefs about what the character should do versus what the character actually does. Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini

Setting Setting is the time and place in a story. Good readers understand the time, the time sequence, change in time that occurs throughout a text. Good readers also connect to the setting and understand it's visual power to bring the characters to life and give the story deeper meaning. When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Night Tree by Eve Bunting

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Encounter by Jane Yolen

The Pumpkin Blanket by Deborah Turney Zagwyn

Main Idea (Nonfiction) Good readers can determine the main idea in nonfiction and distinguish the main idea from the supporting details. This determination helps the reader get the "gist" of the text and makes meaning clearer. City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888 by Linda Oatman High

Artic Lights, Arctic Nights by Debbie S. Miller

The Boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krull

How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning by Rosalyn Schanzer

When Marion Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan

Context Clues Good readers use context clues to help them figure out unknown vocabulary words. They realize that they words around the unknown word act as clues and can help them make meaning even though the unknown word is unfamiliar to them.  Piggins by Jane Yolen *fake plastic diamond

A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry *small clear aquarium pebble

Predictions Good readers make predictions, confirm or adjust their predictions before reading and during reading. They are constantly adjusting their thinking throughout the text as they receive more information.  Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

Keepers by Jeri Hanel Watts

Koala Lou by Mem Fox


Drawing Conclusions / Making Inferences Good readers understand that there is meaning to be made in the text that is not written directly in the text, but instead, "between the lines" of the text. Good readers draw conclusions and make inferences based on the evidence in the text and their own prior knowledge that they bring to the text. They combine their own thinking with the written words to read and understand what is to be assumed rather than directly stated. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

Tough Boris by Mem Fox

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin, Jr.

Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon

The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg

The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg

Foreshadowing Sometimes authors clue readers into what is about to happen using a technique called foreshadowing. Authors may use their words to provide hints and sometime illustrators use their pictures to provide the reader with hints. Good readers should be open to these clues to help them make predictions. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Encounter by Jane Yolen

The Z Was Zapped: A Play in Twenty-Six Acts  by Chris Van Allsburg

Point of View Good readers can step into a character's shoes and understand their point of view. Point of view is a critical thinking skill that helps readers to understand viewpoints different from their own. Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Encounter by Jane Yolen

Faction When an author combines two or more text structures within one book (both fiction and nonfiction), it is called faction. It's important to learn how to navigate this different type of text in order to create meaning and understand the different structures and the viewpoints they provide. Magic School Bus (series) by Joanna Cole

Snowflake Bentley by

Determine Importance Good readers distinguish between the literal meaning of a text the deeper, more thoughtful meaning of a text. They know how to draw out the themes and big ideas and connect to those ideas. They move beyond shallow references to more insightful thinking.  

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