Reading/Language Arts/ESL

Check back periodically for additions and changes.

(for Parents, Students & Teachers)


Summer Reading 2015

K-8 Parents,

As a district, we believe students should spend time selecting books that interest them.  The sites below offer suggestions of numerous grade-appropriate books that have been collected by many sources. Reading over the summer months is extremely important, and summertime is the best time to give students lots of choices for their reading.

The Lackawanna County Library System is a great place to start if you are looking for books or activities connected to literacy!  

    Below is a list of great lists to help you find the perfect books this summer.

Parents - Best Children's Books by Age
These Lists include a wide variety of titles divided by age ranges and interests.

Books that Celebrate Cultural Diversity
This site includes multiple titles that celebrate cultural diversity.  Selections are accompanied by descriptions, including appropriate age ranges.

Moody - Math and Science Trade Books
This resource contains various titles that teach math and science concepts while entertaining elementary and middle school readers.

International Literacy Association
Multiple annotated lists chosen by students.
12 different lists for children and teens from various sources.

This site includes downloadable lists separated into grade levels.

Scholastic Book Lists and Recommendations
These lists can be separated by age, genre, and interests.

NSTA - National Science Teachers Association
This list contains outstanding science trade books for  students in grades K-12

I. ESL Information for Parents and Teachers 

Websites of interest for Parents, Teachers, and Students

More great ESL websites for parents and teachers.

English Language Center Study Zone (with pictures)
Includes leveled grammar, vocabulary reading with quizzes and puzzles

Real English
Interactive video lessons for individual and group learning

Learning Oral English Online
Practices conversations on every day subjects

Online Journals 
Articles of interest regarding important ESL topics

Helping Children Read and Succeed 
Helpful tips for parents and guardians with English Language Learners.
WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators.
Ideas for parents
Ideas for parents
Ideas for parents
II. Reading/Language Arts Parent Resources

100 Book Challenge
Website containing parent Information

Family Sites and Activities Revolving Around Literacy

Test Design Information and Scoring Samplers for Grades 3-8

Keystone Exam Information

PA Core information

III. Descriptions of Interdisciplinary Thematic Units of Instruction: Language Arts and Social Studies

Elementary Thematic Units
These overarching topics can be discussed at home.
  Kindergarten First Grade Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade
Fall All About Me Families Our Country The Many People of Our Land United States Regions
Winter Let's Play in the Neighborhood Communities People and Places in History Immigration Pennsylvania History
Spring Animals All Around Fairy Tales Our World Overcoming Slavery Pennsylvania Government & Citizenship


Middle School Thematic Units

These overarching topics can be discussed at home.

  Fifth Grade Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Eighth Grade
Fall Explorers From Nomads to No Man Left Behind Creating a Nation Where Do I Belong?
Winter Colonial America From the Pyramids to the After-Life and Beyond Challenges and Expansion With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Spring Revolutionary War From the Steps of Socrates' Sandals to the Roar of Hannibal's Elephants Reform and Division That Ain't Right!   Play by the Rules

IV. Spotlighting Teacher Sites

High School Language Arts 

New!!  Summer Reading List for High School English Courses 

Middle  School Language Arts 
Elementary School Language Arts 
      • Aesop's Fables Online
      • Online Rhyming Dictionary
      • Using Guided Reading A Link B Link
      • Readers' Theater
      • Booktalks Quick and Simple 
        According to the FAQs, a booktalk is like a movie trailer  revealing just enough of the book to encourage others to read it without giving away the key points. The database at this site contains talks on over 1200 titles for students at all grade levels. Other parts of the site will help you set up and use booktalks with your students as well as link you to other book review resources. A nice example of a teacher sharing her research and hard work with everyone. 

K-12 Teacher Resource Pages

Steps for Organizing a Research Project

Book Talks Literature Learning Ladders

Resources for Writing Teachers

Resource for Building Units 

Templates for Building Webquests

Using Literature Circles

Ideas for Busy Teachers

Free, Ready-to-Use Power Point Presentations

Activities to Accompany Popular Novels
The City of Ember, Bridge to Terabithia, Because of Winn Dixie, and many more...

Children's Book Central
A great resource for children's literature!

Literacy Activities and Information for All Grades
The University of Connecticut's literacy website

Writing Resources for Teachers
The National Writing Project.

Using Primary Sources
The National Archives website

The core of this site is the large number of reviews of children's books, a resource that is regularly updated. They also feature an extensive collection of ideas for using the literature in many different curriculum areas. Although the site it a little chaotic and has lots of text ads and Amazon links, the large number of well-annotated recommendations, organized by topics, curriculum areas, and authors is worth a visit. Sign up for their email newsletter to get notices about new additions.

Just One More Book
A very regular (two or three times a week) short podcast series about children's books by a couple (and occasionally their daughters) who are very passionate about their subject. Often recorded in a coffee shop near their home, the programs sometimes include interviews with authors, children's literature experts and reviews submitted by listeners. Their focus is on books that are lower profile, not necessarily ones that everyone will have heard of. The podcast can be heard using the player on the site, downloaded from the page, or subscribed to in iTunes. Excellent example of using podcasts to express your passion on a topic.

Learning About Authors and Illustrators
If you or your students are curious about the people who create books, there may be a web site dedicated to the writer of your favorite book. The problem of how to find that site is solved at this site. The page isn't fancy but it does contain a list of hundreds of authors and illustrators which link to one or more tribute sites. An excellent reference that needs to be in your bookmark file.

Literature Learning Ladders
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, two former teachers, this site encourages active reading through the use of a structure called Learning Ladders. In addition to providing detailed instructions on how to create your own Learning Ladders activities, the site features many other resources for teaching literature, primarily in the elementary grades. This is actually part of a larger site for life-long learners called eduscapes which features a variety of resources for teachers and parents.
Thanks to Tim Stahmer of Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, VA for the description of these sites.

Vicki Jones, K-12 Director of Language Arts Services
Barbara Frutchey, Reading Specialist, Clarks Summit Elementary School
Mary Griffin, Reading Specialist, Newton Ransom Elementary School
Amy Ruddy, Reading Specialist, South Abington Elementary School
Maureen Chiavacci, Reading Specialist, Waverly Elementary School
Carina Klinetob, Reading Specialist, Abington Heights Middle School
Marty Memolo, Reading Specialist, Abington Heights Middle School
Krista Carey, Reading Specialist, Abington Heights High School



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