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Teaching Guides

Everyday Hero

Teaching Guide for Everyday Hero

Activities for Bringing Reading to Life

Fiction Response Journal

Fiction Response Journal Activity Guide

Small Group Projects Activity Guide

Small Group Projects Activity Guide

Books for Helping Children Understand Learning Disabilities

Here are some wonderful books on helping kids understand learning disabilities.

  1. Holy Enchilada by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
  2. Just Juice by Karen Hesse
  3. Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  4. Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
  5. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  6. Tom’s Special Talent by Kate Gaynor
  7. The Alphabet War by Diane Burton Robb
  8. If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi? by Barbara Esham
  9. Leah’s Voice by Lori DeMonia
  10. It’s Hard to be a Verb! by Julia Cook
  11. Terrific Teddy’s Excessive Energy by Jim Forgan Ph.D

Find out more about these resources here.

A Tool for Encouraging Students

Remember to encourage a growth mindset.

Remember to encourage a growth mindset.

Use of Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy has been used extensively with grieving children, again serving to decrease the child’s isolation and enable him or her to name and explore feelings (Berns 2003/04).

Additionally, the use of literature has been identified as being especially effective with gifted students and those who have issues with gifted perfectionism (Silverman 1993). Adderholdt Elliott and Eller (1989) found that bibliotherapy is especially effective with gifted children,who often have keen insight. Read More

Review by: Alberta Counselletter

Ideas for using Blowing Bubbles in the classroom and in counselling!

Relationships change or feel as though they have changed when a family member experiences an illness.

Blowing Bubbles can be by counsellors and classroom teachers. The book aims to be fun while discussing a serious subject. (As with any activity, one needs to be sensitive to any class members who may be sensitive to the subject.)

Below are suggestions for follow-up activities (I think Blowing Bubbles can be used with quite a wide age range so I have provided activities for various ages)

  1. Stop before the last scene. Brainstorm Josh’s feelings and possible solutions.
  2. Role-play an alternate ending or change an aspect of the story.
  3. Children can identify similarities and differences in the relationship before and after Grandpa’s stroke through the use of Venn diagrams – see example below). The idea is to recognize that the core relationship continues!
  4. Continue the story in the future.
  5. Color-Your-FeelingsThis can be used with any book (or no book at all) to explore feelings. Children are encouraged to assign colors to feelings. They can draw these colored feelings in shapes , faces etc.In individual work, this technique can encourage children to discuss their feelings or, in the context of Blowing Bubbles, how Josh and Grandpa George feel.
  6. I love bubbles (and play dough) Gum usually isn’t allowed in schools but soap bubbles are. Bubbles can be used to discuss feelings. One can explain that feelings are like bubbles. Some pop quickly and some last a long time. Some are big and some are small.
  7. Relaxing Bubble Blowing!This can be used individually or as a whole class activity (for the brave at heart)!Step 1: Take a slow breathStep 2: Breathe out threw your mouth very gently so that a big bubble forms. You don’t break it. Slow and smooth. Empty your lungs.Most children take fast breaths which doesn’t help. Bubble blowing is a wonderful (and fun) way to teach them to take deep, slow breaths!
  8. Make PuppetsUse:
    • Mittens or socks
    • eyes
    • yarn for hair
    • cotton balls for beard
    • Other creative touches—for instance, felt for tongues, white plastic cut into “teeth,”
    • Glue

Again, these can be used to explore other activities for Josh and Grandpa George and feelings.

I love to read and chat with children. For schools far away, I am more than willing to ‘skype’ or Facetime. For many locations in B.C., I could arrange an author’s visit.

I am also looking to put children’s work on my website which is currently under construction.

Please email me at