Book Bites: Blog 5

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

Borrow the Book

Pro Tip: Use TeachingBooks through EPL to explore author biographies and interviews, name pronunciations, book excerpts, book trailers, vocabulary lists and more for You Matter and Apple Cake: A Gratitude.

Try These Fun Literacy Activities

1. Create a gratitude jar 

Each day, set aside time to write on to two things you were grateful for that day. It could be something small, such as the feeling of the sun on your face, or something big, such as an upcoming vacation. Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. At the end of the month (or year), take out the papers and enjoy remembering and sharing all the remarkable things that have happened. This is also a fun way to practise spelling and writing with your family. 

2. Bring the author of the book to life 

Check out this video (available on TeachingBooks) of author and illustrator Christian Robinson reading You Matter and pointing out details he incorporated into his illustrations. It ends with an easy tutorial on how to draw a T-Rex. Try it out!  

Use This Literacy Tip

Keep hands busy. Many children listen better when their hands are doing something else. Offer your child an activity while they listen to you read aloud. Some examples include drawing, colouring, playing with Play-Doh, eating snacks and building with Lego. 

Find More Great Books at EPL  

If your family enjoyed You Matter and Apple Cake: A Gratitude you are likely to also enjoy the titles in this book list

View Full List

For Grades 4-6

Borrow the Book

Pro Tip: Use TeachingBooks available through EPL to get everything you need to know about Ways to Make Sunshine and Twins. Explore author biographies and interviews, name pronunciations, book excerpts, book trailers, vocabulary list and more.  

Try This Fun Literacy Activities

1. Find out the meaning of your name

Have you ever wondered why you were given your name? Or whether your name has a special meaning? In the book Ways to Make Sunshine, the main character’s mother named her Ryan because it means “king” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name. Here are the meanings of some other famous names:

  • Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. His first name means ‘defending men.’
  • Moana, the main character from the Disney movie. Her name means ‘ocean or sea.’
  • Shannon Wright, the illustrator of the book, Twins. Shannon has two meanings: it can mean ‘a straw worker’ or it can also mean ‘old’ or ‘ancient.’

Discovering information about your name is a fun and interesting literacy activity to do at home together. It also encourages research skills. To find out the meaning of your name, or someone else's, you can:

2. Create a new silly name for yourself or someone in your family

Have you ever wondered what your name might be if you were a pirate or a dinosaur? Use the websites below to create a new name for yourself or anyone in your family. This is a silly activity that your whole family will enjoy.

Use This Literacy Tip

Plan ahead. Set aside at least one consistent time each day for reading together. To increase the likelihood of fitting it into your daily life, make it part of a routine (such as at bedtime) or tack it onto daily activities (such as bath, snack time or laundry folding). 

Find More Great Books at EPL

If your family enjoyed Ways to Make Sunshine and Twins, you’ll also enjoy the titles in this book list.

View Full List

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

More kids' book lists