Favorite Thanksgiving Picture Books

 Halloween picture books were perfect for teaching the life cycle of plants and pumpkins, as well as, the difference between fruits and vegetables. 

Thanksgiving picture books are ideal for covering social studies standards (geography, native American studies, American history) language arts, and of course, mathematics, while immersed in the storytelling and inching toward Christmas. 



Best Thanksgiving Reads and Why Kids Like Them:


1. Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne is a must-read and always the number one on the Thanksgiving reading list. Jack and Annie are our all-time favorite characters, and if you are a primary grades teacher, surely you have read the whole series of Magic Tree House multiple times. 


The best element of the Magic Tree House is the immersion in storytelling. Thanksgiving on Thursday is filled with history, new vocabulary, tradition, and the ability to compare our Thanksgiving practices today to the First Thanksgiving.

2. Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey is the Teacher's Pick on Amazon. On the night before Thanksgiving, a group of schoolchildren visits Farmer Mack Nuggett's farm. All is fun and games until the kids realize what's awaiting the turkeys. One doesn't have to be a vegetarian to understand children's love and concern for animals. All ends well as the kids take it upon themselves to save the turkeys. Super Read!!! 



3. "A Turkey for Thanksgiving" by Eve Bunting is an all-time Thanksgiving picture book classic in which everyone is looking for Turkey. 


The story is quite a suspense as the reader and Turkey try to figure out if Mr. and Mrs. Moose are searching for Turkey to have it for a meal or invite it to dinner. Turkey's behavior is priceless and hilarious! 



4. "How to Catch A Turkey" is perhaps the best out of the How to Catch Series. A turkey is loose in the school and stirs up chaos before it accepts its fate of being a school mascot. Written for primary-grade students, this text is great for teaching and practicing rhyme, story sequence, cause and effect, inferencing, and perspective. 



Halloween Best Read Activities Lesson Plans and Freebies

The fall season is the best time of the year for elementary students. The weather has finally cooled down, playing outside doesn't get better, and school is fun! Of course, Halloween is one of the best party days at any school, and the treats, oh the excitement. 

Teaching during holidays is awesome if you have a great selection of seasonal resources that cover needed standards. While there are a lot of books about fall and Halloween, many are fluffy and don't provide the needed content.
Here is the compilation of well-researched, kid-approved, standard-covering resources that will ensure learning, engagement, and fun!

Gustavo the Shy Ghost by Drago is one of the recent Halloween Read Alouds. This wonderful story celebrates Halloween and teaches kids about emotional awareness, ways to make friends, and problem-solving. Gustavo the Shy Ghost is loved by boys and girls. This lesson plan includes a variety of language arts and math activities from grammar, cause and effect, sequence, story elements, and character analysis to geometric shapes, coloring, and more.

Halloween Tree
is also one of the newer Halloween picture books and has become one of the most frequently read-aloud picture books. This resource is perfect for teaching different perspectives, changes that take place throughout the story, and uses of trees, especially when it comes to children's imagination. Finally, what makes a good tree? To any child who gets to spend time playing outside, a good tree is a tree that can be climbed. The Halloween Tree lesson plan is perfect for teaching reading comprehension, problem-solving and reasoning skills.

Stumpkin by Cummins is a nod to all the city kids. Everyone who grew up walking city streets knows of the pumpkin displays on city storefronts. Well, Stumpkin is the only pumpkin without a stump, which brings a lot of anxiety about where it's going to end up in the Halloween festivities. In the end, Stumpkin plays a special role and finds its place. This story ensures kids that everything has its purpose, and the lesson covers science, language arts, and math standards. From learning about pumpkin parts, and the pumpkin life cycle, to reading comprehension skills, new vocabulary,  number sense, and patterns. 

Have Fun Reading!
Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.
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Kelp Forest of California


Kelp Forest California NGSS Unit

Kelp forests are often called "ocean rain-forests". Covering large parts of world shorelines, kelp forests in North America are mostly located along the Pacific Coast of the Canadian and American coast.

As homes to thousands of marine species and sources of a wide range of commercial use, Kelp Forests are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth. Due to their unique ecosystem, kelp forests are perfect for teaching and exploring the interdependent relationship of species and organisms in an ecosystem.
As the starfish die-off event eliminated the top predator of sea urchins, it allowed for unchecked grazing of California kelp forest. 


In the past eight years, the Northern California kelp forest has been reduced by 90%.
The lack of sea otters, the keystone species of the kelp forest in Northern California further complicates the hope of the kelp forest recovery. 

Kelp Forest Unit is great for teaching interdependence of the species and organisms in an ecosystem, as well as, the important role of predators in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. 

NGSS 3-LS4-3 Habitats and Organisms Survival and 

3-LS4-4 Environmental Change Solution 

  • What is Kelp?
  • Parts of Kelp
  • Kelp Forest Reading
  • World Kelp Forest Habitats
  • Ecological balance and the Kelp forest decline
  • Kelp forest and climate change
  • Kelp forest keystone species
  • Kelp forest food web
  • Post lesson short answers and multiple choice questions
  • Post lesson reflections
  • Kelp plant parts activity


Have Fun Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

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The Christmas Owl Rockefeller by Sterer Lesson

The Christmas Owl Rockefeller Lesson Plan


The long-awaited "The Christmas Owl" is a true story about a Northern Saw-whet Owl who was found in the Norway Spruce Rockefeller Christmas tree last year. The tiny owl, who was an adult despite its small size traveled 170 miles from its home to New York City where the Norway Spruce was put on display for the Christmas tree lighting tradition. 

When the Little Owl was found it was taken to an animal rehabilitation center to recover from dehydration and lack of nutrition. After a successful recovery, the Little Owl was given a name, Rockefeller.
The Christmas Owl story is a heartwarming Christmas story that celebrates kindness, togetherness, and tradition. 

The Christmas Owl Rockefeller Lesson Plan


In addition to teaching about this famous New York City yearly celebration, students learn about a Northern Saw-whet Owl, its habitat, its diet, and adaptations. It is ideal for teaching about the inter-connectivity and inter-dependency of our ecosystem.

The Christmas Owl Rockefeller by Sterer Lesson Plan

The Christmas Owl FREE Coloring Activity

Have Fun Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

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FREE Cowboy Gingerbread Coloring Pages

 FREE Cowboy Gingerbread coloring pages that go along with 

"The Gingerbread Cowboy" picture book. 

The Gingerbread Cowboy Coloring Pages

FREE The Gingerbread Cowboy Coloring Pages

Gingerbread Cowboy Coloring

TpT Holiday Sale is Coming Up!

TpT Sale is taking place on November 29th and 30th. Perfect time to get Christmas and Holiday resources for up to 25% off. 


Best Christmas and Holiday Picture Books


The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a yearly tradition across North America. Have a fun Friday pajama day, bring hot cocoa, print some tickets, and spend the day traveling on the Polar Express with your kiddos. There is no better Christmas celebration. We spend the first part of the day on reading and math. The activities we use are listed below, and the second part of the day, post recess is literally fun and games.  

Polar Express Lesson with Christmas Math Boom Cards™ Game

The Polar Express Lesson Plan

The Polar Express Math Pack

Christmas Follow Directions Pack is another greatly engaging and fun Christmas-themed activity pack. Students practice reading, develop attention to detail while making their own holiday creations. 

Christmas Follow Directions Activity Pack

Grinch Who Stole Christmas Lesson 

Grinch is another Christmas Classic. With Grinch, we learn that Christmas doesn't come from the store. Grinch is also a great example to teach tolerance especially since he has very little of it until the very end. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Lesson Plan

The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter H. Reynolds falls perfectly into our theme of Holiday spirit and character development. Getting the smallest gift is... the worst most upsetting thing that can happen. Roland learns that bigger and more doesn't mean better.

The Smallest Gift of Christmas Lesson Plan

How To Catch Santa Lesson & Christmas Math Boom Cards™

How To Catch Santa by Reagan has become a yearly read since its publication a few years ago. Every child wanted or tried to catch Santa. This read is great for teaching sequence, cause and effect, planning, and critical thinking. 

How To Catch Santa Lesson Plan

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas Lesson perfectly captures the mad rush of the Holiday season from getting the tree to preparing the house. So many things go wrong in "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas", but it all ends well because again, Christmas doesn't have to be perfect and doesn't come from the store. Beautiful message about family and being together. 

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas Lesson Plan

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton is a beloved children's holiday classic. Why does Santa get to have all the fun? Jack is tired of Halloween Town. This yearly read perfectly ties two of our favorite holidays, Halloween and Christmas. It's a perfect reading to compare two holidays and study the cause and effect of Jack's actions. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas Lesson


Have Fun Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

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Best Magnetism NGSS Science Stations

 Magnetism Science Stations

Magnetism science stations are always a hit. Most of the time, I leave students' creations as a part of classroom display and room decoration. Nothing makes them more proud than the stuff they make themselves. 

Iron Fillings Station 

To create and see magnetic fields in action use iron fillings and a sheet of paper. The iron filings are not safe for students to touch or handle so this station has to be solely managed by the teacher.
Place the magnet(s) below the sheet of paper and carefully place the iron fillings on top, watch the magnetic field form and reshape itself as you move the position of the magnet(s). 

Iron Fillings Magnetism Science Station  

Iron Fillings Magnetism Jar

 Making a Compass Station 

Making a compass in the classroom is fairly simple and it is perfect when done in groups. Magnetism doesn't only work through the air but through the water as well. 

In this activity, students learn how to make magnetize the iron nail.

Making a Compass Science Station            

Forces that Repel and Attract 


Have Fun Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

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Favorite Thanksgiving Picture Books

  Halloween picture books were perfect for teaching the life cycle of plants and pumpkins, as well as, the difference between fruits and veg...