Children’s Literature in the Classroom


2/14/2016: Week 2

Bridge to Terabithia Book Review

Paterson, K., Diamond, D., Hill, A., & Thomas Y. Crowell Company,. (1977). Bridge to Terabithia. New York, NY: T.Y. Crowell.

Emotional, vibrant, youthful, and real.

As a child, I was alone in my thought process. While I was fortunate enough to grow up with a twin, to follow around, I still felt lost. I was able to connect with the characters in this book, especially the character Jess, because I felt as though I didn’t really have anyone other than my sister to talk to.

Some of the major concerns this this book for children is the connection to loss they might feel. Even if the loss was not a real factor in their lives, the students can become connected with the characters in the book. This is not necessarily a bad way to experience pain. Since the book was based on a true even by the authors own child, I feel using this as a way to explain life and what it contains, is great.

Letting children know that they are not alone, no matter what they think is a great way to capture their attention. Children today have a different way of life, especially when it comes to having either one of their parents in the home or working. Children tend be more self-reliant when they get home from school, leaving them feeling alone. This book would be a great way to show how to make a strong and lasting connection to friends and how kindness goes a long way.

As I began to read Bridge to Terabithia, I jumped right into the feeling of country life. I imagined Jess, one of the main characters of the book, milking a cow, running in the school yard race, and interacting with his three sisters. I placed the family in middle America where some farming was needed to be a successful family in a rural area. As the story progressed, I started to see the way the author set the reading tone. The author developed the character, Jess, as dynamic while creating Leslie, Jess’ best friend, static. Leslie was humble and warm. Her personality was what changed Jess into thinking more for himself and keeping a better attitude throughout the book.

Jess and Leslie developed their relationship through company and a Christmas gift exchange of arts supplies for Jess and Prince Terian, Leslie’s new puppy. As time when on, Leslie and Jess became the best of friends and holding secrets dear to each other.

When Leslie died, Jess was at the museum with his teacher. While Leslie encouraged Jess to find himself, he was still apprehensive about going without Leslie. While he was away, Leslie went to their special place in the woods they called Terabithia. Leslie used a rope to cross a rising stream to get to the Terabithia, she fell and was struck her head and could not swim, thus she did not survive. When it came time for Jess to hear his father tell him that Leslie died, he denied it all.

In the last chapter, titled, “Bridge to Terabithia” Jess builds a bridge from the wood that Leslie’s father gave him. He then brings May Belle, his younger sister to Terabithia where the Imaginary Terabithians welcome her, the new queen. When Jess brings May Belle, he is showing her the true kindness that Leslie showed him.

The theme seemed to be centered around creating a new outlook on life no matter what life hand us. I also believe that the style hones in on what a true meaningful relationship means. The point of view of the story is third person that is telling a story with narration through the characters in the book.

Lesson Objective for Bridge to Terabithia:

For students to learn how to adjust to losing someone or something though positive thought and reflective thinking.

Question Prompts:

  • Was there ever a time when you lost something or someone and did not know how to see past the sadness?
  • What did you or someone you know do to help you see that it was all going to be ok in the end?
  • How do you think this experience in your past will help you with losing something or someone in the future?


  • RL.6.4: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
  • RL.6.7: Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing and audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading their text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.


Lesson Activity content:




2/21/2016: Week 3

The Little House Review

Burton, V. L. (1942). The little house. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Cute, small, experiential, changing.

The Little House¸ is told in a way that brings ideas about change and how one can perceive it. Virginia Burton brought a sense of happiness and sadness to the book. The changing weather in the little house’s life shows how we are experiencing the same things. The personification allows a child to identify with the house and they can express their own feelings about change through their own objects.

Lesson Objective for The Little House:

For students to learn how to experience change that they thought they would never have to. The students will also learn about how the seasons change with in a lifetime and how that is relevant to their current situation/life.

Question Prompts:

  • What season(s) is/are your favorite?
  • How can the seasons help people live?
  • Why was the House sad about the city being built up around her, when though that is something that she wanted?


  • RL.2.3: Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
  • RL.2.7: Use information gained from the illustration and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.


Lesson Activity content:


Multicultural/Global Literature________________________

When My Name Was Keoko (Linda Sue Park)

Batchelder Books (Translation)________________________

The Friends (Kazumi Yumoto)

Challenged Books________________________________

The Witches (Roald Dahl)

Graphic Novels_________________________________

Amulet (Kazu Kibuishi)

Pre-1990 YA Books_______________________________

The Chocolate War (Robert Cormier)

Common Core Exemplars Informational Text______________

The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo (Sy Montgomery)