Sunday, May 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love [May]

June is such a fun time of the year! I always enjoy pulling the books off of my shelf because they are so beautiful and well, summery!
My bloggy friends and I are sharing 12 perfect read alouds for the month of June! Keep reading to enter for a chance to win four books of your choice! How perfect is that?
This month I love reading the story, Swimmy by Leo Lionni. The illustrations are just beautiful, but so is the message inside. The message also fits perfectly with my "classroom family" motto that I've spent all year teaching. It's just an amazing story that talks about the importance of working together and it even shows a visual of that, which makes it easy for kids to see and understand! 
I walked into Starbucks on the morning that I had Swimmy in my lesson plans and saw the mermaid splash sticks. I immediately did that teacher thing that we do and had that a-ha moment! These would make great reading pointers! 
The kids loved using the splash sticks as reading pointers. It helped them work on fine motor skills as well as making sure they pointed to every single word! 

After we read Swimmy together, I told the kids we were making an anchor chart to show how Swimmy and the other fish worked together in the story! And guess what, it was worksheet free! 

All you need is...

1. Sticky notes or colored paper
2. Scissors
3. Pencils
4. Glue sticks
5. Anchor chart paper

That's it! I promise! 

I have to be honest, I had no idea if the kids would be able to make the fish! I put a picture of swimmy underneath our document camera. If you don't have one of those, just put the book on your board or walk around with it.

The kids used the picture from the book as a guide for how to draw swimmy. And, it worked!!
Didn't they do an AWESOME job? I was so proud of them. As they were making their fish, I kept saying, "Oh my gosh!" and "These look amazing!" They were laughing so hard at my honesty! 
When you are done... glue them together on a piece of anchor chart paper to show the same visualization from the story. The story shows the fish in the patter of another fish, but I wasn't skilled enough to do that! So, instead, I put them in the shape of a heart. 

The black fish inside of our heart was made by me and shows the leader of the school of fish [Swimmy]. 

If you loved that lesson and you'd like to read more, just head over to my friend's posts! I know they will have amazing stuff for you! Plus, enter our giveaway to win your choice of 4 stories that we blogged about this month! 


  1. What an adorable message within this book, and I absolutely LOVE the pointers from Starbucks. Genius!

  2. I loved everything about this post! We will definitely be reading Swimmy and doing your fish collage if not this year, then next year! P.s. Finding an alternative use for something is one of the many thrills we teachers experience haha!

  3. You anchor chart, "Swim all together" is toooo cute. I love it.

  4. Your anchor chart is adorable, and I love this message as we approach the end of the year! What a great reminder!

  5. I love all your 'worksheet-free' activities that go with this book! Sooooo cute!

    Peggy @ Primary Flourish