Writing Inspiration: How to Get Ideas for a Story

story idea

The picture book, Any Questions by Marie-Louise Gay, is the author's answer to children about the writer's journey -- how to get ideas for a story. It's an interactive experience because you get to write part of a story, too and is beautifully illustrated with water color and ink. Gay writes that children often ask her where does a story start. That's a good question, she … [Read more...]

Phenomenal New Historical Fiction Books

phenomenal historical fiction books

I have so many totally heart-tugging, can't-stop-reading, phenomenal historical fiction middle grade books to tell you about! Before I dive into the reviews, I want to mention that these are SOOOO good but even so, they may be books that kids don't pick up and devour. However, I know that but they will genuinely LOVE the stories. Remember how important it is for all ages of … [Read more...]

2015 Newbery and Caldecott Winners

2015 Newbery and Caldecott Winners

The 2015 Newbery and Caldecott winners have been announced by the American Library Association (ALA). Want to know who won? 2015 Newbery Medal The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature is The Crossover by Kwame Alexander! It's written in prose, like the beat of a basketball game, about twins who compete on and off the court. As … [Read more...]

Using Education Games in the Classroom

education games

We teachers love engaging children in learning. Education games are one way we can do this. Staples offers a wealth of educational games (among other things) that will provide opportunities in your classroom for enthusiastic and engaged kids. In fact, this post is sponsored by Staples. Using Education Games in the Classroom Here’s what you need to remember when using … [Read more...]

How to Improve Your Vocabulary

learning new vocabulary words

Show your child how to use a Dictionary app while reading - it makes learning those new words STICKY. In other words, it's a great way to improve your vocabulary. In our mother-daughter book club, we just finished Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. Because the book had such amazing words, both Jemma and I started looking up words voraciously. Reading on the Kindle, both … [Read more...]

Celebrate Beautiful Oops Every Day #beautifuloops

Celebrate Beautiful Oops

One of my favorite children's books of all time is Barney Saltzberg's Beautiful Oops, a book which inspires viewing life with a whole new paradigm. Now it's also a worldwide celebration! The Paradigm of a Beautiful Oops A beautiful oops is making lemonade out of lemons. It's taking a mistake and making it something beautiful. Barney shows this … [Read more...]

Join National Readathon Day

National Readathon Day

A DAY FOR READING!? What luxury, what bliss! Penguin Random House and the National Book Foundation have collaborated to invent my new favorite holiday. National Readathon Day! Well, it's not really a holiday but a way to raise money for literacy programs like BookUp which provides books to middle school kids. Because did you know that while 53% of 9-year-olds read for … [Read more...]

Win Candlewick YA Books on Top 100 Book List

Candlewick YA books

Are you an adult who reads Young Adult fiction? Or do you have a teen reader at home? TIME magazine recently published their list of Top 100 Young Adult books. To celebrate, Candlewick Press is giving one Imagination Soup reader all six Candlewick titles that are on this YA book list!!  Win Candlewick YA Books on Top 100 Book List Candlewick’s titles include: Feed by … [Read more...]

Free eBooks for Kids

free ebooks for kids

Both my kids now own Kindles so they can read digital books, or ebooks. But I'm not ready to break the bank buying them books. Which is why we use Overdrive to download their children's ebooks for FREE! All you need is a library card. And some patience. (Because this process is a few more steps than buying a book with one click on Amazon.) Also, if you don't own a Kindle, … [Read more...]

Summarizing Fiction

FLOW MAP

Now that we've covered determining importance and summarizing nonfiction, let's talk about summarizing strategies for fiction. This is SO hard for those natural retellers who want to tell you every last detail of the story. That's why summarizing has to be taught, modeled, and practiced. A lot. Flow Maps Flow maps are thinking maps for sequencing the main events in a … [Read more...]