Teaching Kids about Nouns with a Lot of Different Plurals

Some nouns have several plurals. One of them eventually dies off, but it confuses children (and adult) until it does.  

Some of them like “fishes” are hotly debated for centuries. Scientist love the word “fishes” but we as teachers usually use the word “fish” when talking about the plural of fish. Can you say the word “fishes”?  I can’t! If you turn on the discovery channel all they talk about are “fishes.”




person persons people
die dice dies
pig pigs swine
iris iris irises
sow sows swine
brother brothers brethren
cannon cannons cannon
child children childer
cloth cloths clothes
fish fish fishes
penny pennies pence
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Greatest Children’s Chapter books of All-Time

Children can be a little resistant to make the jump from picture books to chapter books. I remember one year where I removed the picture books from the class and only let the children read chapter books.

Students grumbled, but a few months later when the kids were reading books that truly captured their hearts, they thanked me for making them make the switch.

I’ve learned a lot about the true value and power of “story telling” and I have come to see that nowhere is the true art of storytelling more alive than in picture books. Picture books manage to capture the hearts, minds, and imagination of children with a fraction of the words.

That being said, students must make the jump to chapter books. It seems like it’s making the jump from having books capture their imagination to capturing their soul.

Here are my picks, and my students’ picks for all time greatest chapter books for children making the just from picture books to chapter books.

Greatest Children’s Chapter books of All-Time

• Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , by Roald Dahl. Money is not everything. A poor kid who captures your heart.
• Charlotte’s Web , by E.B. White. You will cry, your students will cry, and it is worth it. 
• Encyclopedia Brown Series by Donald J. Sobol. This is a book series about Leroy Brown, a brilliant kid who solves neighborhood crimes. A few years ago my students didn’t have an interest in this series. I don’t know what changed, but the kids these days love him. I loved the series as a child, and my students do today.
• Freckle Juice , by Judy Blume. Judy Blume, has such insight into kids’ minds that any child, or adult will identify with her characters. (We were all kids at one point and her books make us remember.
• From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler , by E. L Konigsburg. The characters in this book truly come alive. What a fun adventure you will take.
• Harriet the Spy , by Louise Fitzhugh. Anyone remember Humphrey Bogart and the Maltese Falcon? Well, that story has nothing on this “on the edge of your seat” detective story for kids. You will love it!
• How to Eat Fried Worms , by Thomas Rockwell. Skip the movie, read the book! All I can say is, “Boys do the strangest things!”
• James and the Giant Peach , by Roald Dahl. Magical storytelling, plain and simple. Profound characters that will leave you contemplating the story for decades.
• Junie B. Jones Series , by Barbara Park. This would not make the list if it were not for one particular student love of the series. It is great for kids make the jump to chapter books, and girls seem to make a real connection with it.
• Magic Tree House Series , by Mary Pope Osborne. More educational than one might think. Fun and educational. The topics are the ones kids love most, and even adults who make the time for them. Ninjas, knights, dinosaurs, and wizards!
• Matilda , by Roald Dahl. Over the course of the book Matilda will become a true friend. She will be a friend you want to revisit more than once. 
• Stuart Little , by E.B. White. As a child I was woken up late at night to speak to my grandmother. I was talking rather oddly and my parents finally asked, “What’s your name?” I replied, “Stuart Little.” Your students will be thinking about this book while they sleep, just like I was!
• Superfudge , by Judy Blume. Fun! Enough said!
• The Book of Three -The Chronicles of Prydain , by Lloyd Alexander. The only thing not to like about this series it that it ends. Each book in the series is… perfect! Don’t let the fact that it’s about a pig-keeper’s assistant fool you. It has been entertaining kids and adults for generations.
• The Borrowers , by Mary Norton. So fun and so full of adventure they had to turn it into a movie. Read the book, skip the movie.
• The Great Brain , by John D. Fitzgerald. Why this series has not become more noted is beyond me. I have to bully my students into reading it, and they always thank me afterwards.  For many it is the best of the best when it comes to good reading. For some, it may not be their cup of tea. 
• The Ramona series , by Beverly Cleary. The movie is out, and it seems to have caught the spirit of this fantastic series by a fantastic author. Read all the Beverly Cleary books!

What are some of your favorites, and your students’ favorites? Be sure to leave your list in the comments below.

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Favorite Children’s Books for Young Readers

Reading the right books with your students will make children fall in love with reading.

I love reading to my students, and they love reading with me. Being involved with the right book is a wonderful feeling.

Here are both mine, and my students all-time favorite books. Be sure to add these to your classroom or home library.

There are many classics here, but also a few new surprises.

Favorite Books for Young Readers

• Chicka Chicka Boom Boom , by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Great rhythm and fun to read.
• Corduroy , by Don Freeman. Teddy bears do the strangest things.
• Go, Dog. Go! , by P.D. Eastman. Very effective for teaching kids to read.
 Goodnight Moon , by Margaret Wise Brown. Toddlers to grandparents love this book!
• Guess How Much I Love You , by Sam Mcbratney. Can you love all the way to the moon and back?
 Harold and the Purple Crayon  by Harold Crockett. Very imaginative and a great character.
• Horton Hatches the Egg , by Dr. Seuss. I love so many of the Dr. Seuss books, it is hard to choose. This is a classic from the early days.
• If You Give a Mouse a Cookie , by Laura Joffe Numeroff. So true to life! And the pictures are so much fun.
• In the Night Kitchen , by Maurice Sendak. A Sendak classic. It’s among his best. A great story teller and a great drawing style.
• The Adventures of Curious George , by H.A. Rey. Needless to say, better than the movie. I think there is a little Curious George in all of us!.
• There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! , by Dr. Seuss. Fun, silly, and one fantastic tounge-twister of a book.
• Where the Wild Things Are , by Maurice Sendak. This goes straight to the top of the list. (The movie is also fantastic, but maybe more so for adults
• The Lorax , by Dr. Seuss. A strong message coming from the mind of Dr. Seuss! We must teach our children about taking care of the environmental each and every day. This book makes it easy for kids to understand.  
• The Giving Tree , by Shel Silverstein. Right behind Dr. Seuss is Shel Silverstein. A sad and sweet book with wonderful drawings.
• The Five Chinese Brothers , by Claire Hutchett Bishop. I remembered this from my childhood, and my students just loved it. Yours will too!
• Where the Sidewalk Ends , by Shel Silverstein. A classic in every sense of the word. What wonderful poems and drawings. A modern day work of art.
• A Light in the Attic , by Shel Silverstein. More from the master of children’s poetry.
• The Story of Babar , by Jean De Brunhoff. A classic that hold up under the test of time.

Be sure to read the upcoming:

• Greatest Children’s Chapter books of All-Time
• Middle School Mania Classic Books

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