I thought I would share with you some of my favorite books for the month of February. Some will be titles you already know. Teachers always have their favorite books that they love to share with their student each year. But I also tried to choose a few titles that might be new to you. I always love to find new books to add to my collections.
So, without further ado... here's my Top Ten Booklist for February! (in no particular order :-)
2. Another great Groundhog Day book,, this one is a fun look at how Groundhog decides he needs more help predicting the weather. He enlists the help of his friends, who must first go to "Groundhog School" to learn everything there is to know about being a groundhog. This book is filled with interesting facts about groundhogs and the speech bubbles, fact boxes and dialogue that carries the story makes it a favorite for kids. I could see a "Top 10 Facts I Learned in Groundhog School" writing activity coming from this one, long with great practice with fluency and expression.
(If you need some groundhog ideas to get you through the week, you can hop over to this post of mine - there's a freebie!)
3. Our 100th day of school is early this year, so I'll be pulling this fun favorite out soon. Mr. Wolf is determined to fatten up the chicken he wants to eat, so he brings all sorts of fun food to her house - 100 pancakes, 100 donuts... The ending is adorable and it's fun to make a list of 100 things the wolf could bring to the chicken's house.
4. Another 100th day of school story, this one follows Jessica as she tries to come up with what to bring to school for her 100th day collection. She can't decide and her family is so busy, that by the 100th day she still has nothing to bring. Her family comes to the rescue and her teacher lovingly turns what could be an embarrassing moment into the best collection in the class. I like to read this one before the 100th day sometimes, to remind students that it's not how beautiful the project looks, but the work and love that went into it that counts. A great way to discuss theme!
5. Presidents' Day means lots of focus on George and Lincoln. This trio of books (I'm counting it as one book :-) shares the story of how Abe Lincoln, with a little encouragement from Grace, decided to grow his beard. These are great stories to let students know that they CAN make a difference! I do these in book groups and have students talk with each other about the facts they have learned, character traits and so much more.
6. The middle of February brings Valentine's Day! I swear this is my favorite holiday with second graders! Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is such a great story about making everyone feel important. Mr. Hatch is always lonely and by himself until he gets a mysterious valentine delivered. This makes him more outgoing and sociable and he becomes friends with his neighbors and people on the way to work. Unfortunately, he finds out that the valentine was not meant for him and he goes back to his old ways. Students love predicting what's going to happen at the end and if Mr. Hatch will once again be with his friends. This is the perfect book for talking about character traits, how characters change throughout the story and getting details from the illustrations. Letter writing is the perfect tie-in to extend the story.
(I've got a great way to put some learning into those Valentine cards, and an easy way to pass them out! It's all HERE!)
7. What kid doesn't love slugs? And slugs in LOVE - ewwwww! This is the adorable story of Herbie and Marylou's romance in the garden. Herbie tries desperately to get Marylou to know he likes her, but his every attempt is thwarted. Meanwhile, Marylou writes sweet notes to Herbie - if he could only figure out which slug she is! This story is just plain sweet. It's fun to guess how Herbie will write his next love letter - and what will happen to it! Students can retell or summarize the story and work on cause and effect with this one.
8. I'm giving each of these next three books it's own spot because each is so powerful. February is Black History month, and I like to use these three books to focus on where we have come from. Amistad Rising is the powerful story of Joseph Cinque and his brave attempt at freedom after being kidnapped and bound for slavery. This story is best suited for upper elementary students, but I have read it to a few of my second grade classes. My students are always able to connect because the story takes place in New London, CT, a city not far from where our school is. (Who am I kidding, I'm in CT... nothing is that far away in this small state!) I would never be able to do the story justice by summarizing it here, so if you're interested, you can check it out on Amazon or do a little research about the ship and its importance in history.
9. The subtitle of this book is even better than the title: "How four friends stood up by sitting down." Sit-In is the story of four college students who decided to take a stand against segregation. The book follows their peaceful protest and the effect it had on the diner. Great for point of view, this book lets students know that anyone can make a difference.
10. My final book on the list this month is about hope. It's the story of a fence, and the two girls who live on either side of it. The fence becomes a metaphor for the separation that exists between them. This book lends itself to some great conversations about how little things can mean so much in the world. I love the way author, in her comments at the beginning, talks about how the fence has not completely disappeared... but it has been lowered. Simple, yet powerful words.
I hope you've found some new books that you can bring into your classroom this month! My kiddos love when they come in and the book display has changed. It's like Christmas to them! I'd love to hear about your favorite books for the month. Do you share any of these? What's your favorite February title?
I'm linking up with everyone over at I Teach K-2 to share some great ideas for the month of February.