Reason #4,554 that picture books are gold in an upper grade classroom. 

Recently, I introduced Narrative Elements and modeled each element using a picture book. 

Clovis Keeps His Cool is the PERFECT picture book to explicitly teach about character, setting and problem and solution. I mean a BULL in a CHINA SHOP! Can the creativity get any better ?!?

The quick deets of the lesson: Go over the definition of character, setting and problem/solution. Students write these definitions down in their journals. Then I share that I will be reading a picture book, and I want my students to be investigators for character, setting and problem/solution. After I read, we go back through the text looking for those elements. Students fill out their elements chart to refer back to once they start to become authors. 

Having students see INCREDIBLE writing allows for them to start thinking like writers. Its magic when I OPEN THE MAGIC! 


While Halloween may not be my favorite holiday, I do love holiday picture books. There is something sweet about a theme of books. I feel like it brings us closer together and gets that kids more excited about books, reading and the holiday. 

Each morning in October, during Morning Meeting, I read a Halloween picture book to Open the Magic. At the end of the week, we vote on which one we liked the best. Little did the kids know we will be practicing a RACE verbal response, as well. 


What is your favorite Halloween picture book? I love Crankenstein and the new Trick or Treat, Crankenstein by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat. This book always bring about great conversations about being cranky. The kids and I always learn something from these deep and informative discussions. 




Non- Fiction Reads are the best! They feed curious minds and new information is being learns through a unique format. 
You know the guy on Jeopardy said he learned most of what he knows from picture books. I think he is pretty smart, if I say so myself. ⁣

Picture Book > Textbook⁣

Here are some of my newer favorite non fiction reads to provide my 5th grade students confetti moments of curiosity. ⁣

💡⁣
The Great Stink⁣: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London's Poop Pollution Problem
Teatime Around the World⁣
Nina: The Story of Nina Simone⁣
Gizmos, Gadgets, and Guitars: The Story of Leo Fender⁣
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem⁣
Playing At The Border: Story of Yo-Yo Mama ⁣

Ps! Can we discuss how teaching how to punctuate titles last week has been super helpful punctuating picture book titles on Ramona Recommends. #reallifekids

Open The Magic,
Courtney


*Amazon affiliate links were used in this post. This is no additional cost to you, but helps Ramona Recommends be able to purchase more books to recommend to YOU!

C.E.L.B.R.A.T.E National Open The Magic Day on September 25th. I created National Open The Magic Day to encourage parents, teachers, and students to find confetti moments all around them. Want to know more about this special day? I never knew my 3rd grade self would one day be a teacher and founder of National Open The Magic Day. 


What is a confetti moment? A confetti moment is when a child or adult reads a book and finds that special moment in a story that brings them great joy. I also wanted to give back to my community and share my love of picture books with everyone. Read more to find out all the things you need to know to make your Open the Magic Day experience a great one! 

I am featuring six books for Open the Magic Day. All of these books spoke to my heart. We all need hope right now. These books challenge us to be resilient. Click here to download a handout that has questions and activities for each book that you can use to celebrate Open the Magic Day!

THE BOOKS with a Confetti Moment:
 A Walk in The Words:  a story about the author's journey with Dyslexia.
I Am Courage: A Book of Resilience:  a story about how to be courageous in life.
Survivor Tree: a story about the Callery pear tree that was saved after 9/11.
Kindness is a King String: a story about how to spread kindness through similes and metaphors
What If, Pig?: a story about a pig's journey navigating anxiety.
A Friend Like You: a story about friendship. 


THE HANDOUT! This is so helpful for teachers and parents to support their readers during Open The Magic Day!

Want to celebrate on Friday, September 24th? Check out what Miss Hinshaw (that is me!) is doing in her classroom. In fact, the whole 5th grade is celebrating. 

The first confetti agenda item is taking a class picture with their favorite picture book.  


Next I teach my students and others the Open The Magic Day song. I have done this song with both 3rd and 5th graders and they love it. 


We have a picture book raffle of what books the students want to read next. This year I am thankful that Harper Kids donated What If, Pig? to four lucky 5th grade students. They will be able to take the book home and share it with their families.


All the confetti moments donuts! Each student will get a sprinkled donut which represents Confetti Moments. 

I planned a virtual author visit with the one and only Susan Verde! I am so excited. She will be reading her new book I Am Courage and talking to the students about mindfulness. 
Want to know how to set up a virtual author visit, click here!




I have a wonderful day planned for Saturday. I will be celebrating at Once Upon a Time Bookstore in Montrose, CA.  I am thrilled that Marcie Colleen, the author of Survivor Tree, will be there with me signing copies of her new book at 11am pst. I will be celebrating with sprinkle donuts, book giveaways, and reading the featured books throughout the day. If you are in the area, please join us in celebrating. 


How are you celebrating National Open The Magic Day! Tell me ALL the things! Please fill out this Google Form to let us know how you plan to participate. There is also a certificate linked in the form to commemorate your participation in the inaugural National Open the Magic Day! You can print out the certificate and post in your classroom, child's bedroom, in the book nook, or the refrigerator door. Share how you are celebrating on all your social media outlets. Let's keep spreading the confetti.  Don't forget- use the hashtag #openthemagicday


One of the highlights of this experience has been my interaction with the authors, illustrators and publishers of these wonderful featured books. I had the pleasure of hosting a panel with many of the authors and illustrators. The picture above is a preview of the video that will go live on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 8am EST on my You Tube Channel. It is linked here but won't be viewable until 8am EST on Saturday, Sept. 25. You won't want to miss this very special discussion. 

If you didn't get a chance to order your MAGIC WEAR for this year's celebration, you can still click here to go to my Magic Wear store and grab one of my new items. There are tshirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, mugs and hats. There are three sayings to choose from. These items are a wonderful way to show your love of picture books and all things reading. 




Thank you so much for your support and encouragement that helped make this day a reality. I am so excited to celebrate the joy of Open the Magic Day and to change the world one picture book at a time.You never know if that one book you read aloud to a child could be the one that makes them a reader. As you know Picture Books are my Jam so be sure to read a picture book on Saturday, Sept. 25 and every day!

Want to know more about this special day?

*amazon affiliate links were used in this blog post. Thank you for helping me get more picture books to share with you.





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