As elementary teachers, we naturally read a lot. Whether it is on our own or with our students, teaching and reading go hand and hand. There are so many reasons why reading is beneficial to our students including community building, increasing information processing skills, building critical thinking skills, and improving vocabulary and comprehension, just to name a few.
That is why it is so important to include plenty of activities that focus on literacy for our students. Introducing great books that students will legitimately enjoy and want to read on their own is so important. But where can you find these books? Through my years of teaching, I have accumulated a list of my favorite books for upper elementary.
Here are some amazing books for upper elementary to read and discuss in your classroom:
- A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen. This is a fantastic book for upper elementary students and connects to history or social studies topics about the Berlin Wall.
- Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. This is an uplifting and inspiring book about embracing our differences and loving ourselves the way we are.
- Shouting At The Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. This is another book by Hunt that has a meaningful topic. This book is about a girl named Delsie and loving the family you have.
- Blooming At The Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt. This touching book explores loss, family and home. It is about a girl who loses her parents and moves to a run-down motel with her grandfather. She decides to plant a garden with the other tenants. A great book for your older students!
- Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate. This magical story by the author of The One And Only Ivan is about family, friendship, and resilience.
- The Friendship War by Andrew Clements. This story about friendship and fads is fantastic for the older elementary students or those preparing to enter middle school.
- Booked by Kwame Alexander. Have students who love sports? Don’t miss this amazing story about soccer written entirely in verse.
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book is wildly popular, and for a good reason. This touching story about kindness will stick with your students long after class is over.
- The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Do your students love robots? They’ll love this fun story about a robot alone in the wild.
- Restart by Gordon Korman. This is a story about a boy who loses his memory when he falls off a roof and has to start over. A great story about second chances.
These stories all have great themes for upper elementary or middle school students to delve into. I love books like these because they are also easily tied into other subjects like STEM or history.
For even more book recommendations, check out my full list here!
Want some STEM activity ideas that are connected to books? Check out my post here!
What are your favorite books to read in your classroom? Do you have activities that go along with it? Let me know in the comments!