I love reading picture books to my kids. Sometimes I read them just for fun and sometimes I use them as mentor texts. Your time is valuable so why not read books that are great for February but also cover the standards? We have to make the best use of our time right? Here are just 5 of the MANY February read-alouds I use in my classroom and how they can be used as a mentor text.
February Read-Alouds: Letters From Minty
Harriet Tubman is one of my favorite people! Every year during the third quarter, we do a DBQ (Document Based Question) about Harriet Tubman’s greatest achievement. This is our favorite DBQ of the year. I love it because we focus on the struggles Harriet Tubman had as well as her many achievements. After we wrap up the DBQ I read the book Letters From Minty. The subtitle says it’s an imaginative look into the life and thoughts of a young Harriet Tubman.
The awesome part about this book? It’s written and illustrated by kids! It is a compilation of letters written in chronological order from the viewpoint of Tubman. It’s a great book to use for author’s perspective. We talk about the connections between what we learned in the DBQ and the facts the kids write about in the book.
February Read-Alouds: Zombie in Love
Zombie in Love is hilarious! It’s perfect for February of course and has a lot of idioms so I use it for figurative language. As I read the book we go over the idioms and what they actually mean. I love teaching idioms and this book just adds to the fun!
February Read-Alouds: Looking at Lincoln
Looking at Lincoln is a biography of Abraham Lincoln’s life. The illustrations are amazing and the text is very kid-friendly. One of the standards we teach in 3rd grade is the relationship between a series of historical events. So we use this book to make connections to Harriet Tubman’s life.
February Read-Alouds: Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
I’m always trying to find books to teach kids how to be kind. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is a great February read-aloud for teaching kids about going out of their way to show kindness. The main character changes so I use this book for character development as well as plot and setting. If you don’t have this book you could listen to Hector Elizondo reads it on Storyline Online. That’s a really neat site where you can also find other books there read by different actors!
February Read-Alouds: Hidden Figures
Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures? If not go run and watch it! It’s a great movie about four black women that helped make it possible for the United States to go to space. And now there’s a Hidden Figures picture book about these four awesome pioneers! This is another book that can be used for discussing the relationship between a series of historical events. We also discuss our point of view as compared to that of the authors.
These are just a few of the many great books you can use in February. And actually, you can use these any time of the year. Black history and kindness should be taught year round. Did you find a new book on this list? Is there a book you love to read in February that I must have? Let me know!