Considering a few connections to literature

This post was originally published in Nick Glass’ monthly column for Curriculum Connections, an e-newsletter published by School Library Journal in partnership with Subscribe to this free newsletter here.

Many of us have come to the field of education because of our own love of learning. But with all the daily demands on our time, it can be difficult to manage our teaching responsibilities and feed our professional passions.

In this month’s post, you’ll find a few reminders about opportunities to promote and enjoy titles that stimulate your work and the reading experiences of your colleagues, your students, and their families.

We hope that by highlighting these examples, meaningful conversations will ensue that generate genuine excitement and insights about books with the readers in your community.

Collaborate with colleagues!

1) Bring your social studies and music teachers together as you listen to this audio excerpt from Walter Dean Myers’ Blues Journey (Holiday House, 2003 / Live Oak Media, 2005), read by Richard Allen.

2) Art, social studies, and poetry teachers will enjoy this movie of Caldecott Medalist Ed Young and his comments on Beyond the Great Mountains (Chronicle, 2005), a “visual poem,” in which he introduces the way the Chinese “experience and express nature.”

Enliven the ELA Common Core Text Exemplars!

1) Prepare to teach Louise Erdrich’s The Birchbark House (Hyperion, 1999), a Common Core text for grades 4-5, with these lesson plans—and an audio recording of the author pronouncing her name.

2) Hear author William Faulkner read from As I Lay Dying, a novel recommended for grades 11-12.

Get families involved!

1) Families at elementary school book fairs can find valuable materials about the series books their children are reading in this Series Books Curriculum Resource Center.

2) Encourage families to have discussions about books at home with quality lesson plans, such as this collection of materials about Elie Wiesel’s Night (Bantam, 1960).

Enjoy movies that reveal the creative processes at work behind these books!

1) Watch Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart as they outline the steps behind the making of the pop-up Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs(Candlewick, 2005). The video includes great (publisher-provided) footage of the book being manufactured.

2) View Saxton Freymann as he describes his delectable creations featured in How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods (Scholastic, 1999) and other titles.

Posted by Nick Glass, Founder & Executive Director of


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