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Blog: Teaching With Canadian Books

Walters Rules YA Fiction

Twice a month, we invite an educator to share their perspective on essential books for your classroom. To apply to become a contributor, please send us an email!

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Eric Walters is a well-known Canadian author who has published an astounding 100 books (and counting). Only a writer who can adapt to the changing interests of readers can maintain such a long and distinguished career. His most recent pieces of Young Adult fiction, specifically involving catastrophic events, are very appealing to the modern young adult (and young adult at heart) reader.

Do you remember where you were during the blackout of 2003? The Rule of Three series will bring those memories back and take you on a wild ride of what it could have been like if ALL the computers on Earth crashed! Sixteen-year-old Adam is at the heart of the chaos and it’s his unique hobby that may be the key to the survival of his community. Friends, family, and neighbours (with secret pasts) will have to contribute all of the their knowledge and skills if anyone is going to survive. But who can you trust when your life—and the lives of loved ones—are on the line?

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Books to Spark Inquiry and Design Thinking

Twice a month, we invite an educator to share their perspective on essential books for your classroom. To apply to become a contributor, please send us an email!

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This year, students in the library at my school have been focused on using design thinking as a framework for inquiry and STEAM projects. The design thinking process takes the learner through five non-linear stages: empathize (to understand the user or who we need to solve a problem for), define (to narrow down the problem we want to solve), ideate (to brainstorm solutions), prototype (to create a model or plan), and test (to determine if the solution works). Because several iterations are often necessary, students build resilience and learn how to fail forward. Design thinking can take students to many different end results: a tangible product or invention, a virtual design, or a campaign to raise awareness. Integrating the Global Goals for Sustainable Development can not only make the learning more authentic, but also foster global citizenship. The following fantastic titles can launch inquiry and design thinking in relation to some of these goals.

Global Goal #1: No Poverty

On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty by Dr. Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap, illustrated by Jane Heinrichs introduces seve …

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Choose Kindness! Kids Books that Explore This Crucial Value

Twice a month, we invite an educator to share their perspective on essential books for your classroom. To apply to become a contributor, please send us an email!

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As parents, teachers, librarians, family, and friends, we want to raise children who know how to be kind. Reading alleviates the dangers spurred by ignorance and encourages kindness and empathy. Children need to learn what makes us different to celebrate what makes us special. Let’s teach our primary and junior readers to take care of each other and to value and love themselves. Here's a list of books to help!
 

A World of Kindness, from the editors and illustrators of Pajama Press, is dedicated to Fred Rogers and Ernie Coombs, “whose long-running television shows gave us inspiring examples of gentleness and kindness.” So it is the best book to start with. For the smallest of readers, it asks one very simple question: Are you kind? Each page has another one-line question about kindness alongside a gorgeous illustration by many beloved illustrators. Some of the art is original to this book and some is taken from books already published by Pajama Press. The end pages are filled with clearly written words such as “compassion,” “empathy,” and “consideration.” These words may be new for …

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