November Is Picture Book Month

Picture books are embraced during the month of November as authors, parents and educators come together to celebrate the early love of reading and learning that children gain by reading picture books. This international literacy initiative celebrates the print picture book. For more information visit the Web site at:

Authors have also come together to advocate for change in what they feel has become excessive testing in our schools. Read more about the public letter they sent to President Obama in an article from the Los Angeles Times at the bottom of the toolkit.

Picture Book Academy - Check out this online picture book academy where you will find a video by award-winning picture book creator and professor, Mira Reisberg. In her video Using the Common Core Standards for Children's Book Writers she provides advice for authors of fiction and nonfiction titles.

Picture Books for the Common Core - Aligns picture books with the Common Core standards and provides graphic organizers which can be purchased.

Resources for Publishers

Common Core Standards Shake Up Publishing Biz - From the “School Book” at WNYC.

More Publishers Adopt Lexile Measures in Response to the Common Core State Standards - from MetaMetrics.

Publishers Respond to Common Core - A recent article from Publishers Weekly.

Publishers Providing Resources on the Common Core

Scholastic Common Sense for Common Core - Common Core ready programs and materials that keep the joy in learning.

Example of Lesson from Scholastic - Serve a Side Dish of Common Core for Thanksgiving

Learner Common Core Connections - Provides teaching guides and a guide in evaluating text complexity.

Holiday House - This publishing company has a Common Core page listing CCSS titles by subject and lists the standards that they could correlate with.

Booklist Publications

Classroom Connections: Informational Texts and the Common Core - Explains the four types of informational text specified in the Common Core standards.

Common Core State Standards: Printable Resources from Booklist Publications - Includes links to Common Core–related material from Booklist and Book Links magazines, Quick Tips e-newsletter, and Booklist Online, including the Bookends blog.

Resources for Using Nonfiction Books

Ink Think Tank - Nonfiction authors in your classroom. Find the books and meet the authors.

Entries from Ink Blog I.N.K.: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids

What Publishers Are Doing - Find out what some publishers have to say about the Common Core standards and nonfiction books.

Advice from an Expert (not me) - “Should writers pay attention to the Common Core?”

Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction: A Common Core Pleasure - Help students meet Common Core anchor standard 9 by asking them to compare and contrast different texts or genres on the same theme.

Thanksgiving Themed Common Core Related Activities

Thanksgiving Common Core Writing Activity Cards - Created by a teacher, 10 creative Thanksgiving Common Core writing activities.


Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools by Diane Ravitch - In her new book, Ravitch tackles the privatization movement and the myth that public schools are failing. Ravitch also addresses the “toxic mix” of “concentrated poverty and racial segregation” that plague our schools and offers suggestions on how to increase the quality of education in the United States.


Too Much Testing Is Killing Kids’ Love of Reading, Authors Tell Obama - From The Los Angeles Times

Are the Common Core State Standards Really THAT Bad? - From Education Week

ESL Teachers, Academic Language, and the Common Core Standards - From Education Week

The Common Core Toolkit: Past Issues

For more resources and links, check out previous issues of PW's Common Core Toolkit:

The Common Core Toolkit: September 2013

The Common Core Toolkit: October 2013