Balanced Literacy: Literature Annotated Bibliography

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Pennypacker, S. (2006). Clementine. New York, NY: Hyperion Book CH.

The book entitled Clementine is written by Sara Pennypacker. It dwells upon the life of the girl, Clementine, who is very active, resourceful, helpful, creative, responsive and kind. It is possible to state that Pennypacker (2006) depicts an average child who is trying to find her way in the world (performing at school, developing relationships with peers and adults). Adults try to make Clementine follow their rules.

However, this girl has her own logic. Pennypacker (2006) uses first person singular which makes the book very intimate. The author tells the story in the way Clementine (a little girl) sees it. Admittedly, this book can be regarded as a great reading for 3-graders.

Students will eagerly read the book to find out more about the girl who is just like them. Apart from being a good book for practicing reading and writing skills, the book is also didactic. Students can associate themselves with the cheerful girl and learn many important lessons. Thus, students will be able to develop their reading and writing skills and, at the same time, they will be able to develop appropriate behavioral patterns.

Haddix, M.P. (2007). Dexter the Tough. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

The book written by Margaret Haddix (2007) and entitled Dexter the Tough is concerned with quite a difficult period in the life of Dexter, the protagonist of the book. Dexter has to handle many difficulties. Thus, his father is getting some cancer treatment and his mother has to spend a lot of time in the clinic. Dexter has to live with his grandmother and has to attend a new school.

Of course, Dexter sees everything in the worst light as he is overwhelmed by quite serious problems. Even the cheerful teacher evokes rather negative feelings in him. Haddix (2007) tells a story of a child who faces certain problems. Thus, the book will be a good treat for children who find themselves in similar situations. The book provides certain answers which can help children find their own ways to overcome their difficulties.

Thus, Dexter understands that his behavior is quite inappropriate. He also learns to develop proper relationships with his peers. He also finds a friend. This friendship helps Dexter to change his outlook. The book is a good source to use in the 5th grade. Students will be interested in the plot and at the same time they will develop their reading and writing skills.

The two books mentioned above can be used in a balanced literacy classroom. As far as Clementine is concerned, this book can be used to practice all components of a balanced reading program. Thus, the teacher can read some passages aloud to make the students acquainted with a model of fluent reading. The book is suitable for developing vocabulary as well.

Thus, such topics as home, classroom, school, etc. can be developed. It is also possible to develop silent reading. The teacher can ask the students to read some passages aloud for the class. It is also possible to act out some passages: a student reads Clementine’s words, a student reads Margaret’s words and so on. Furthermore, the students can practice retelling.

Thus, the teacher can ask the students to read some parts of the book at home. The students will retell these parts during the next class. Finally, the teacher can ask the students to write short essays on the book. For instance, the students can write what it means to be attentive.

They can also write about Clementine. They can try to reflect upon her behavior and her relationships with Margaret. They can also try to compare Clementine with someone they know (or with themselves).

As far as Dexter the Tough is concerned, the book can also be used to develop reading and writing skills. In the first place, the teacher can ask some students to read passages aloud for the rest of the student. Furthermore, the students can be asked to scan certain passages to retrieve the major idea of the passage. The book can also be used to work on vocabulary.

Thus, while working on a particular part of the book, the students can be asked to write out all adjectives or verbs they can find in the passage. It is also possible to practice saying synonyms and opposites. Thus, the students can try to replace all adjectives with their opposites, or they can try to put as many adjectives to a particular word as they can.

As for writing skills development, the book can be very helpful. For instance, the teacher can ask the students to evaluate Dexter’s actions at school or focus on his thoughts.

The students can reflect upon Dexter’s problems and the ways he chooses to cope with his problems. They can try to express their opinion and suggest the best solutions. The teacher can also ask the students to reflect upon their difficulties and the ways to overcome them.


Haddix, M.P. (2007). Dexter the Tough. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Pennypacker, S. (2006). Clementine. New York, NY: Hyperion Book CH.

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