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Literacy Focus
[supportive of the Boston Public Schools' Curriculum Learning Standards]



English Language Arts - Core Literature

Students will read and demonstrate understanding of 4 books from these lists exhibited through oral and written responses to key questions. Students will also read at least 10 other selections, including poems, short storeis, articles, plays, and other works of literature.


[Grade 4] [Grade 5] [Grade 5AWC] [Other Literature Favorites]
[Children's Literature Sites] [Authors and Book Publishers] [Massachusetts Authors]
[Read aloud books related to Boston and Massachusetts]


Grade 4


Grade 5



Grade 5 Advanced Work Class Core Books:
    • "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster [poems] [tollbooth]
      • Connections: Words; numbers; plays on words; maps; games [Jumanji] ; travel [Ben's Dream by Van Allsburg]
      • Concepts: boredom; time; doldrums; lethargic; point of view
        • Dictionopolis related [alphabet books; alphabet letters; words; homonyms; figurative language]
          • War Between the Vowels and the Consonants
          • A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns by Heller
          • Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns by Heller
          • Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs by Heller
          • Up, Up and Away: A Book About Adverbs by Heller
        • Digitopolis related [numbers; mining; shapes]
          • Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems by Lee Hopkins [JNF811MAR]
          • If You Made a Million by Schwartz
          • Math Curse by Scieszka
          • Fraction Action by Leedy
          • Eating Fractions by McMillan
          • Opt: An Illusionary Tale by Baum
          • Video - How Much Is A Million
        • Maps and traveling - Gulliver's Travels; Ben's Dream
    • "Holes" by Louis Sachar [poetry-related]
      • Population and ecosystems connections: [Wump World by Bill Peet]
        • Deserts connections [poems]
          • Life in the Deserts by Baker
          • Magic School Bus: All Dried Up
          • Welcome to the Sea of Land by Yolen
          • Saguaro Cactus by Berquist
          • Desert Voices by Byrd Baylor [poems]
          • Deserts by Gibbons
          • Cactus Hotel by Guiberson
          • Video - Snakes, Scorpions, and Spiders - Learning Corp
          • Video - Spiders and Scorpions - Schlessinger
          • Video - Lizards - Filmwest Assoc.
    • "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin
      • Mystery connections:
        • Poem - America, the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates
        • Video - Get A Clue
    • "Yolonda's Genius" by Carol Fenner
      • Jazz and musical talents connections:
        • Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora
        • The Jazz Man by Mary Weik
    • "Harry and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J. K. Rowling
      • Wizards, spells connections:
      • J. K. Rowling sites - X and X1
    • "The Invisible Thread" by Yoshiko Uchida
      • World War II and Japanese Internment camp connections: (Japanese Americans in WW II)
        • "Journey Home" by Yoshiko Uchida
        • Poem - In Response to Executive Order 9066 All Americans of Japanese Descent . . by Dwight Okita
        • "Pearl Harbor Is Burning" by Kathleen Kudlinski
        • "So Far From the Sea" by Eve Bunting
        • "A Child in Prison Camp" by Takashima
        • "Children of Topaz" by Tunnell
        • "Baseball Saved Us" by Ken Mochizuki (Lee and Low, 1993)
        • "The Bracelet" by Yoshiko Uchida (Philomel)
        • "Hiroshima" by Laurence Yep
        • "My Hiroshima" by Junko Morimoto (Viking, 1990)
        • "Sadako" by Eleanor Coerr (Putnam, 1993)
        • "Shin's Tricycle" by Tatsuharu Kodama (Walker, 1992)
        • "Hiroshima No Pika" by Toshi Maruki
        • "The Faithful Elephants" by Tsuchiya
        • "Heroes" by Ken Mochizuki
        • The Unbreakable Code by Sara Hoagland Hunter
    • "To Space and Back" by Sally Ride
      • Astronomy and space connections:
        • Poem - Post Early for Space by Peter J. Henniker-Heaton
        • Astronuts: Space Jokes and Riddles by Charles Keller
        • How We Saw the World by C. J. Taylor
        • Sacred Skies: Landscapes of Legend by Bevan
        • Four Ancestors: Stories, Songs and Poems From Native North America by Joseph Bruchac
        • Star Tales: North American Indian Stories About the Stars by Gretchen Mayo
        • They Dance in the Sky by Jean Monroe
        • Postcards from Pluto by Leedy
        • Mars by Demuth
        • Destination Jupiter by Simon
        • Moon Book by Gibbons
        • Magic School Bus in the Solar System
        • Magic School Bus Out of This World
    • "The House of Dies Drear" by Virginia Hamilton
      • Underground Railroad connections:
    • "Black Diamond" by Frederick and Patricia McKissack
      • Literary connections:
        • Finding Buck McHenry by Slote
    • "Out of the Dust" by Karen Hesse
      • The Depression connections:
        • Poem - Depression by Isabel Joshlin Glaser
        • Mississippi Bridge by Mildred Taylor
    • "Bull Run" by Paul Fleischman
      • Civil War connections:
        • If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Moore
        • Pink and Say by Polacco



Other Literature Favorites:
    "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" by Elizabeth Speare
    • How does Elizabeth Speare, through her characters, send the reader the message that though we might face challenges, it is all right to be different?




Children's Literature Sites:




Authors and book publishers:




Massachusetts Authors:




Read aloud books
related to Boston and Massachusetts:





NEW PUBLICATION AVAILABLE - From Caravels to the Constitution by Marjorie Duby.
(Path: Choose any link /Products /Teaching Resources/ page 9) at Creative Teaching Press.

Content: Blackline masters - Using word searches, hidden messages, analogies, anagrams, and creative puzzles, students will learn about history while they apply critical-thinking skills. This resource provides students with opportunities to organize and analyze information and to draw conclusions. Extension activities promote practical, informative, narrative, and expository writing skills to help meet the standards. 112 pages [LW405 - From Caravels to the Constitution - $13.99]





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