Teachers Guides

Polk Street Teachers Guide
There are many different ways to use the Polk Street books in the classroom. You can follow the months of the year with the Kids of the Polk Street School, use the various themes for lively discussion, and create any one of the numerous activities to go one step beyond. You can even begin a unit on the presidents of the United States, beginning with Polk!

This comprehensive guide provides teaching tools for any of the Polk Street Books. Click here to view.

All the Way Home

Teachers Guide for All the Way Home
This warm and touching novel tells the story of Brick and Mariel, two 11-year-old friends who know firsthand about adversity and together embark on a journey that brings them personal peace.

Thematic connections for this guide include: Family, Friendship, Separation and Loss, Belonging, and Bravery.

Lily's Crossing 

Teachers Guide for Lily's Crossing
Lily's Crossing is a story of friendship that will appeal to young readers for many reasons. Because it is set during World War II in the United States, students can grasp a full understanding of how the war affected people on the home front. It asks them to think about the meaning of family, dealing with guilt, separation and loss, the consequences of dishonesty, and the rewards of honesty.

The powerful themes, endearing characters, and the flavor of the 1940s setting make this book an ideal choice for read-aloud or a class novel study. In addition, this guide offers activities for using the novel to connect language arts, social studies, science, drama, and art.

Thematic connections for this guide include: Friendship, Honesty/Dishonesty, Family, Separation and Loss, and World War II.

Pictures of Hollis Woods

Teachers Guide for Pictures of Hollis Woods
Hollis Woods's search for a family is a perpetual journey, as she moves from one foster home to another until she meets the Regan family and two rather quirky elderly women who teach her a lot about love, friendship, and belonging.

Thematic Connections for this guide include: Belonging, Family, Friendship, Abandonment, Truth, and Hope.

Nory Ryan's Song

Teachers Guide for Nory Ryan's Song
Newbery Honor–winning author Patricia Reilly Giff tells the unforgettable story of 12-year-old Nory Ryan, who finds courage and strength through love, friendship, and song to help her family survive the potato famine in 1845 Ireland.

Thematic Connections for this guide include: Courage, Sacrifice, Family, and Intergenerational Relationships.

Maggie's Door

Teachers Guide for Maggie's Door
Maggie's Door, a companion to Nory Ryan's Song, is the story of the journey from Ireland to America told in alternating chapters by both Nory and her neighbor and friend Sean, two different stories with one destination--the home of Nory's sister Maggie, at 416 Smith Street, Brooklyn, America.

Thematic Connections for this guide include: Courage, Fear, Survival, Hope, and Belonging.