Drita, My Homegirl – LA & Civics – Grades 4-6


"Drita, My Homegirl" by Jenny Lombard - Novel Guide

“Drita, My Homegirl” by Jenny Lombard – Novel Guide

Lexile Measure: 690L

Guided Reading: Q 


Realistic Fiction

Interest level: 3- 5 


Elementary School

Friends and Friendship


Drita is a fourth-grader who just arrived in New York City from Kosovo. As every immigrant, Drita is excited at first, but soon faces many hard realities. Their “new” apartment is small, old, and dirty. She is having a hard time making friends at school and her whole family goes through big changes. 

What is really amazing about this novel is how real it feels, even though the author, Jenny Lombard, is not an immigrant/refugee herself. The author did an amazing job portraying the life of an adolescent girl who is trying to start a new life in a new country.

"Drita, My Home Girl"Jenny Lombard - Novel Guide

“Drita, My Home Girl”Jenny Lombard – Novel Guide

For Lesson Plan go to: Click Here

“The Three Questions” by Jon Muth


The Three Questions Lesson Plan

The Three Questions Lesson Plan

Interest Level – K-3

Lexile measure: 410L

Guided Reading: M

Genre/Theme: Fables, Folk Tales

Topics: Compassion and Honesty, Manners and Conduct, Friends and Friendship

What an awesome book with beautiful illustrations and great message. “The Three Questions” by Jon Muth is recommended to K-2 by Scholastic but this picture book will be better understood by grades 2-5 and younger gifted students.

It’s a story about a boy who is searching answers to three questions.

When is the best time to do things?

Who is the most important one?

What is the right thing to do?

Through the reading, children can see how answers change

depending on who is asked. “The Three Questions” is an ideal read for both boys and girls.

For “The Three Questions” lesson plan (grades K-3) go to:

The Three Questions Lesson Plan

The Three Questions Lesson Plan

Olympics 2018 Lesson Plan – Olympics Then and Now

Olympics Lesson Plan

Olympic Games Lesson Plan; The Ancient Olympics vs. Modern Olympics

It’s that time again. Olympics in the classroom are so fun! We not only get to follow the Team USA, but we also learn about the Ancient Greeks, first Olympics, Greek Gods, rules and customs of the ancient world and the Olympiad; symbols of the Modern Olympics, the Olympic torch and its journey to the host city,… This lesson pack is geared for the intermediate elementary grades.

Have Fun Teaching!
Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.


Olympic Games Lesson Plan

Olympic Games Lesson Plan – 2018; The Ancient Olympics and Modern Olympics

How Monkeys Make Chocolate: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Rain Forest – by Adrian Forsyth

Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 8                            

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.9

Lexile® measure: 1120L

Genre/Theme: Nonfiction

I have personally reviewed many books on the rainforest in attempt to find one that is both engaging for students and curriculum appropriate. After many bland reviews of books made by the large textbook companies, coming across “How Monkeys Make Chocolate” is a true breath of fresh air. “How Monkey’s Make Chocolate” by Adrian Forsyth is a personal account of a scientist that you and your children/ students will find extremely engaging and informative.

The book is filled with an abundance of interesting facts on the ways monkeys make chocolate, chimpanzees make cola drinks, parakeets make coffee, bats make vanilla, adaptation, habitat… Even more importantly, the author uses personal stories to bring to life not only life of animals, plants, and people, but the large role that the rainforest plays in being a home to thousands of unique and special plants that don’t grow anywhere else in the world, yet provide us not only with food, but with very needed medicine that cure cancer and other serious illnesses.

Be it a great read, classroom material, or a great non-fiction for enrichment, you’ll notice increased engagement and learning.

Happy Reading! 

For the “Rain Forest” lesson plan: click here.

Rain Forest Unit - Magic Tree House

Amazon Rain Forest Unit – Magic Tree House

One Crazy Summer – by Rita Williams-Garcia

Interest Level:  Grade 4-7      

DRA Level: n/a  

Reading Level:  age 9-12      

Lexile Measure: 750L


1960s America–Civil Rights Movement, Black Panthers

Sense of belonging / sense of community

Historical fiction (Language Arts–Genres)

Changes and new experiences

African American community/history

Summary : 

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WIlliams-Garcia - Novel Guide

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WIlliams-Garcia – Novel Guide

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WIlliams-Garcia is perhaps one of the best juvenile historical fiction novels ever. The story is set in 1968, when three sisters Delphine, eleven years old, Vonetta, nine years old, and Fern, seven years old, go from Brooklyn to Oakland to visit their mother, who left them seven years ago. At first the girls are shocked by their mother’s cold welcome. Their mother, Cecile, sends them to get take out on their own, get breakfast at the community center and attend camp sponsored by the Black Panthers instead of spending time with them. As girls get immersed in the community and the civil rights movement, they get closer to knowing their mother and growing as individuals.

This novel is just amazing, and it’s written in a way that it will keep students’ attention due to its wit, humor and realistic narrative.

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WIlliams-Garcia - Novel Guide

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WIlliams-Garcia – Novel Guide


For a lesson plan/novel unit go to

Mrs. Lena M. Ed

The Empty Pot – by Demi

The Empty Pot- by Demi

The empty pot