Book Bites: Blog 3

Lori Blahey is a former Senior Marketing Consultant at EPL.

Welcome to Book Bites where we take a bite out of books for elementary-aged children and digest it with fun literacy activities that help your family boost the way you enjoy a book together.

For Grades 1-3

Outside In

Borrow the Book

  • Borrow the eBook or physical copy of Outside In.

Try These Fun Literacy Activities

1. Keep a nature journal

Keeping a nature journal is a great way for a child to practise their powers of observing, writing and drawing.

  1. Grab a simple notebook and some crayons or markers. Use your favourite art supplies, such as watercolour paints and brushes, to make your illustrations pop and a glue stick to insert leaves (and other findings) into your journal.
  2. Grab your supplies and head outside. Pause, observe and listen. What do you see? What sensations do you feel outdoors? Draw or paint what you observe. Add words and describe the details of the plants and bugs that you find.
  3. Looking for a nature journal template with fun activities? Download and print one here. Add a few blank pages to allow for creativity.

2. Go on a nature scavenger hunt

Find an item in nature starting with each letter of the alphabet. For example, A for Ant and B for Bark and so on. How many can you find?

Use This Literacy Tip 

Take books with you out of the home too. Grab one before you run errands. Leave some in the car. Squeeze in a chapter when you’re waiting in line or at the dentist’s office.

Find More Great Books at EPL

If your family enjoyed Outside In, you’ll also enjoy the titles featured in this book list.

View Full List

For Grades 4-6

Everything Sad is Untrue (True Story) and Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

Borrow the Book

Pro Tip: Use TeachingBooks available through EPL to get everything you need to know about Everything Sad is Untrue and Paper Son. Explore author biographies and interviews, name pronunciations, book excerpts, book trailers, vocabulary lists and more.

Try These Fun Literacy Activities

1. Create your own mosaic story

Everything Sad is Untrue is best described as a patchwork quilt or mosaic. Create your own mosaic using recycled or upcycled materials or objects found in nature to create a larger piece of art that tells a story. Here are the steps:

  1. Collect the following materials: adhesive (glue or tape), background (cardboard, cardstock or an old container), natural or recycled materials that you find around your home or outside (sticks, stones, leaves, sand, corks, tissue paper, old magazines, books, and comics, Styrofoam packaging, plastic, old costume jewelry, clothing, etc.).
  2. Decide on the picture you want to create and the story it tells.
  3. Use glue or tape to secure the natural and recycled materials to your background and create your piece of art.
  4. Share the story behind the mosaic with someone in your family.

2. Read folklore from around the world

Everything Sad is Untrue is a memoir with Persian folklore and myths woven throughout the story.

Read books that feature folklore or folktales from a variety of cultures, including your own. Are there similarities between any of the stories told across cultures?

Use This Literacy Tip

Read beyond fiction. Kids are fascinated by the world around them and enjoy learning about different topics. Non-fiction books can tie in well with those interests. Bonus? Non-fiction books can feel less daunting: kids can read sections that interest them without committing to reading the entire book to feel like they enjoyed it.

Find More Great Books at EPL

If your family enjoyed Everything Sad is Untrue or Paper Son, you’ll also enjoy the titles features in this book list.

View Full List

Visit our Book Bites page to read all five Book Bites. Looking for more suggested reading?

Book lists for kids 6-12