Archive for the ‘social responsibility’ Category

Here are the latest French picture books at Strathcona:

Image result for partir au dela des frontieres sanna

Beautiful, haunting story of a family who flee their country because of war. Minimal, simple text make this book appropriate for various ages.

Y’a pas de place chez nous

Families fleeing the war escape by boat, but are not welcomed where they attempt to land.

Image result for toc toc toc papa ou es-tu

A young boy looks forward to his usual daily routine with his father, but one day he isn’t there.

Image result for nous avons trouve un chapeau klassen

Jon Klassen is hilarious and his latest does not disappoint. So glad to see this translated into French.

Image result for dragons adorent les tacos  Image result for kate beaton petit roi  Image result for la princesse et le poney

And some light, funny reads.


Read Full Post »

We watched this favourite video for older students:

Here are a couple favourite read alouds for Pink Day

Read Full Post »


When several grade 6 & 7 students raved about this graphic novel, I decided to read it. Expecting a fun, fast plot with little depth, I was surprised to find myself reading a story that examines and critiques economic inequality and child labour within the context of an online virtual world. This virtual world seems awfully similar to Second Life. An interesting read.

Read Full Post »

Building a community in your class or school is so critical to learning, to the children’s sense of belonging and security, to their social and emotional development, and let’s face it, to your sanity. Picture books are perfect for getting into some gritty topics in a slightly detached way. Addressing delicate class or school issues through fictional characters enables children to do it in a safe way. A non defensive way. It also helps kids to imagine themselves in various roles or situations, building the capacity for empathy and understanding.

Here are a few books to get you started:

You can be different and alone or you can work together and build something great.

When Roberta moves to a new school, she isn’t sure how she fits in. Can she be herself and still belong?

Don’t be a bystander when bulling is happening. Another great book by Peggy Moss.

A school principal helps the class ‘bully’ shift his thinking and his behaviour. Books where the bully is punished in the end aren’t my favourite, and so I like this one that ends with redemption.

How are you affected by other people and how are they affected by you? Help your kids build more self awareness with the bucket concept. When I was a classroom teacher, I did a version of this called IALAC.

Woodson is well known for her heart wrenching tales and Each Kindness is no different. When a new girl comes to school, the protagonist participates in excluding and bullying her. Although there is no redemption in the end and we are left with feelings of regret, shame and sadness, this book is an excellent launching point for deep discussions with your kids.

Read Full Post »

A young boy and his grandma ride the bus each week. This week, CJ has a lot for questions for his Nana:  Why do they have to walk in the rain? Why don’t they have a car like his friends? Why is the neighbourhood so dirty? As Nana answers CJ’s questions, CJ’s perception of things begin to change. A lovely story about shifting the way we see things.

When I first cracked this book, I thought it was about a boy learning to see his neighbourhood differently, but after a more careful reading, I see that Nana and CJ are in that neighbourhood to help out a soup kitchen. While I still feel the book would be a great read aloud, I think it would be more poignant and relevant to my students, who live in the inner city, if CJ and Nana lived in the neighbourhood with soup kitchens, boarded up stores, and graffiti littering walls.

I love how the main characters have brown skin and yet the book isn’t ‘multicultural.’ I  get so tired of only seeing/reading about people of non-European descent in books only if the book is specifically about ‘culture’ or multiculturalism’ or cultural holidays or the non-white person is the sidekick. Enough already.

I also love how the minor characters are diverse: many skin tones, a blind person, someone in a wheelchair, a homeless person,a guy with tattoos…

A lovely read aloud to prompt discussion, gorgeously illustrated.

Read Full Post »

I absolutely adore this tale of a little blue crayon who has been mislabeled Red. Red tries hard to be red and constantly disappoints everyone, especially himself. When a new friend asks him to create the ocean, Red is surprised at what he discovers.

This is a charming read aloud about self discovery and being true to yourself. Perfect for class discussion or reading with specific students who are struggling with feeling successful.

Read Full Post »

Lillian’s stomach is really bothering her as she anticipates doing show and tell at her new school. All the other kids have great toys to show, but when Lillian and her mom left home in a hurry because of her dad’s bad moods, Lillian wasn’t able to take anything to the shelter with her, except a set of magic beads.

Poignant and thought provoking. Powerful.

I read this book aloud to a grade 4/5 class. Many students connected with the story and shared their personal experiences.

Read Full Post »

Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth helps us unpack what fossil fuels are, how they came to be, and how using them is changing the earth. The gorgeously illustrated book ends with uncertainty and a choice. What will happen to the earth and its inhabitants if we continue rapidly burning fossil fuels? Or will we choose to change the way we live?

Read Full Post »

I love this true story of three dolphins trapped in an icy cove and the townspeople who are moved to help. I read this lovely book to a group of enraptured kindergartners. It would also be a hit with older students.

Read Full Post »

This gorgeous book by Jeanette Winters tells the true stories of two amazing children fighting for basic rights. One half of the book tells about Malala, recent Nobel Peace Prize winner. Flip the book, and the other half tells about Iqbal, whose story inspired We Day.

Great for a read aloud to younger students. Also wonderful for when the class is reading about Malala and Iqbal and you need a simpler text for students with reading challenges.

 carpet boy

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »