Virginia is for Book Lovers Blog Hop

Welcome to the Virginia is for Book Lovers Blog Hop!

I love working with all of my Virginia Bloggy Buddies on such fun blog hops, and we have gotten together again to bring you a fun bunch of freebies, reading ideas, and giveaways!  We are all highlighting a book that we love to read aloud and sharing a freebie with you.  At the end of the hop, we are also giving away a copy of the book we are highlighting on our own blogs and another copy at the final stop where one winner will win a copy of EVERY book we are highlighting.

I love reading aloud with my students.  It gives me a chance to model fluent reading and use think alouds to teach a new skill or strategy.  One of my favorite authors to read aloud is Chris Van Allsberg.  Not only do his stories have a wonderful message to share with students, but the pictures help to tell those stories.

I spent the few days we were in school this week working on predictions with my students.  {We were going to focus on theme and main idea, but it snowed yet again here in Virginia!}  I read the book Just a Dream aloud to them and completed activities from my newest unit.
When I first started teaching 4th grade, this book was in our anthology.  Since I was a first year teacher with NO guidance, I used many stories from the anthology.    This one became an instant favorite.  Walter, who is careless with trash and such, thinks the future will be nothing but fun.  He goes to bed at night thinking about the future but dreams about a future with a world that has been misused ~ a hotel on Mt. Everest, no trees for new toothpicks, a smoggy Grand Canyon, and no fish in the sea.  When Walter wakes up, he changes his feelings for the future.

What is exciting is that this year is the 25th anniversary of this book!  It is timeless and relays an important message to everyone who reads it.

Before reading, we talked a little about the cover of the book.  I then gave my students this page to write a story impression.  Before reading the book, they had to think about the 8 words in the box and write a prediction for the book.  Here are examples of their predictions.

While reading, I stopped at intervals and had my students make predictions.  {This is in my full unit.}

Then after listening to the book, they used those same 8 words to write a summary of the book.  Here is an example of a summary one of the students wrote.

This and a couple other activities are in my freebie ~ Just a Dream freebie sampler.

If you would like to see the entire Just a Dream Literacy Unit, you can click {here} or on the picture below.

You can also win a copy of the book Just a Dream and my Just a Dream Literacy Unit by entering the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter at the end of the hop at Mrs. O Knows to win a copy of the book Just a Dream  AND all of the books in the hop!  That is almost 20 different books for your classroom library!

Hop on over to Nikki's blog Teaching in Progress to find out about one of her favorite books to read aloud, grab a freebie, and enter to win a copy of the book!  Click below to head on over!
Teaching in Progress


  1. My favorite Christmas tradition is looking at the beautiful lights!

  2. Taking the kids to see Winter Wonderland, a light show here in Winchester, VA.

  3. I'm not as familiar with Chris Van Allsburg, but I have seen the name in lots and lots of comprehension activities and searches! I've used a few books, but will definitely add this to my list!

    Owls and Lessons, Etc.

  4. Hmmmm- Christmas tradition....I'd have to go with always getting a new set of fun pajamas on Christmas Eve. We'd open them, wear them to bed, and then have our pictures taken in them opening all of our presents the next day.
    The Meek Moose

  5. I loved giving my students an ornament with a written message on them each year. I still do it and they are now adults:)

  6. LOVE Chris Van Allsburg! My favorite Christmas tradition is making cookies with my grandson! :)

  7. LOVE Chris Van Allsburg! I haven't seen this one, but his books are always incredible!

  8. I have not heard of this book--I love to keep up with my Christmas traditions every year. It is one of the things that makes the season so special with family.

    Creations by Mrs. Mouse

  9. I've never read this one, but I LOVE the idea of giving clue words to create a prediction! I think this would be a great way to engage my readers. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  10. I really enjoy this book. I like your activity with the clue words to create a prediction and using those same words to write a summary. Thanks so much.

  11. Thanks for the chance to win a new book and unit for my class...I love learning about new books!

  12. I would love to read this book. It sounds great. My favorite thing in the world is a new book!

  13. This hop is so fun! I love reading and try to instill that love with and in my students!

  14. I think this book sounds interesting.

  15. Chris Van Allsberg is one of my favorites! You are right, the books are always perfect for read aloud!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  16. THis book seems very interesting . I hope to win it but if I don't I am definetely going to see if our school library has it so that I can use it in my class.

  17. Love Chris Van Allsberg! It's been a while since I've read one of his books.
    Learning is for Superstars
    follow on Facebook

  18. I love Chris Van Allsberg! Great selection.

  19. Thanks for taking part in this great blog hop!

  20. Thank you for introducing me to this book! I can't wait to read it!

  21. His books are always so great to use for any grade level for so many purposes.

  22. This is a Chris Van Allsberg book that I did not know. Thanks for the new book recommendation and freebie!

  23. Thanks for recommending this book. I'll definitely be checking it out from the library if I don't win!

  24. I LOVE Chris Van Allsburg books. I use a unit from Runde's Room in my classroom for inferencing. I look forward to having a look at this one!


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