BLOGS  >  JULY 23, 2020



Happy New Year! With a new year comes a look back at the previous year and a look ahead to the potential of what this next one could be. It is often the time for resolutions or goal setting. Perhaps your goal is to start #classroombookaday at this point in the year – it’s never too late!

One thing I feel is important to focus on during January, with goal-setting and the mid-winter stretch (which can be snow-filled here in Wisconsin!), is the idea of perseverance. As we finish up one semester and move into the next, what message can I share with my students through the picture books I select that can help support them in these next few months? The idea that we push through when we feel stuck or something is difficult, that we can call in support to help us along the way, and that we try even if it’s not working yet.

When curating a list of books around the topic of perseverance, I focus on characters who are at a variety of levels of persevering against a challenge. Like the penguin in Flight School who is determined to do what they feel in their heart they are meant to do and doesn’t give up, even if help from friends is needed. Or a story like Where Are My Books? which has a character who is determined to solve the mystery of why the books keep going missing and creates a trap that will help discover the culprit. Something like Manjhi Moves a Mountain in which a man works for 22 years to make his vision a reality. Someone like Izzy Gizmo who learns to keep going when her invention doesn’t work on the first try, or second, or third, and has to find the internal motivation to keep trying. And Saturday is Swimming Day in which the character is overcoming a fear of swimming and is able to do so thanks to the gentle compassion of a patient swimming instructor. A variety of stories in which students can see different levels and types of perseverance in the hope they will find one that will connect with them and give them that memory that can be an extra boost to persist in something they hope to do.

Perseverance is a topic teachers often ask about in requests for #classroombookaday titles, and it is one that I have been collecting books around for years. The list below is 20 of my most recent favorites, or ones I’ve used over and over for a few years with much success. I hope you enjoy sharing them with your students!

See the entire list on Titlewave

Jillian Heise 

Jillian Heise is a Grade K-5 Library Media Teacher in southeastern Wisconsin. She previously taught Grades 7-8 ELA in the Milwaukee area for 11 years and is board certified. Jillian is a passionate advocate for student choice in reading and the power of shared stories through #ClassroomBookADay picture book read-alouds. She brings her literacy expertise and knowledge of books to her role as Chair of the WSRA Children’s Literature Committee. You can find Jillian talking books and education at Heise Reads & Recommends and on Twitter at @heisereads.

Watch webinar recording presented by Jillian Heise, Building Community: #ClassroomBookADay Read Alouds.

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