At first glance, using trade books in the classroom might seem like a challenging task. Booksource has teamed up with teachers across the country to create web-based education guides for thousands of titles and collections to take the guesswork out of integrating books into your lesson plans. To demonstrate, we’re going to use the popular title Diary of a Worm (Grades P-3, Level K, Lexile AD360) to deconstruct Teacher Resources. This walk through will show you several ways to use Teacher Resources in your classroom. And the best part? Flexibility. We all have our own unique personality and style; these resources are designed so you can use your own pedagogy to decide which of these activities you want to include.

How Can I Access Teacher Resources?

Teacher Resources are available for free on To access, look for the Teacher Resource icon  Teacher Resources Button  when you search the database or filter by Teacher Resources in the Advanced Search options.

Click the icon and you’re ready to go!

Begin by choosing your text.

Each set resource is aligned to specific grade level Common Core State Standards (CCSS). If you’re not using CCSS, just hover over the standard to view the specific skill that aligns with many various state standards.

Click here for the full version of the Diary of a Worm Teacher Resources.


Grade 2 Common Core State Standards Classroom Library

For example, in this second grade set, clicking on “Standard 6: Point of View,” brings up a list of books that have been identified by teacher contributors as great texts to support this skill. For this set, you might decide to use Diary of a Worm as a mentor text or read aloud for point of view.

Standard Connections

Determine what you want to teach.

Besides using the set resource to connect a title with skills or standards, our teacher resource title pages provide an inside look at the text. Qualitative and Quantitative Measures help you decide what skills to focus on during mini lessons or how to organize your guided reading groups. For example, in Diary of a Worm, you can see at a glance that not only will it work as a mentor text for first-person narrative writing, but it’s also a good title to include in your science unit on invertebrates. With the Lexile Level aligning with the interest level, it would be a book to use in addition to or instead of a science text book.


Qualitative Measures
Qualitative Measures 2

Big Idea, Essential Questions and Thematic Ideas help you decide the unit or time of year in which you may want to teach this text. In this case, Diary of a Worm would be a great choice to use during the heavy rains of spring; it would be a good choice to supplement a science unit on food chains.

Thematic Ideas

Decide how you want to teach it. This is where the fun begins!

The Helpful Links provide alternative resources presented through diverse media for students to acquire background information, evaluate various claims, compare texts, synthesize information and analyze content.

Fact or Fiction

Some ideas for these links include:

  • Use Google Images to hook your students into reading about worms! Students can also use the images to compare and contrast the physical characteristics of worms in the photos. Close reading begins with the close viewing of information presented visually. You could create an anchor chart from student observations (CCSS.R.7).
  • With the anchor chart displayed, have students locate new domain-specific vocabulary. Continue to add to this chart as you progress through the unit (CCSS.R.4).
  • The National Geographic Kids website and this website that contains fun facts for kids are examples of digital texts students can use to validate information in this story. Diary of a Worm is filled with true facts about worms. Help authenticate these facts by putting these websites on the Smart Board. Using the interactive tools, students can become engaged in these texts and locate evidence to support their claims. In today’s digital world, students need to get in the habit of validating what they read (CCSS.R.7 and CCSS.R.9).
  • Use the Read Write Think concept map to help distinguish fact from fiction (CCSS.R.2).
  • Listen to this song on Invertebrate Animals. What attributes mentioned in the lyrics can they apply to earthworms (CCSS.R.1 and CCSS.R.2)?
  • Although the story is told from the first person perspective of the worm, it’s actually written by Doreen Cronin. How does format and point of view make this book more enjoyable to read? How does the author get into the mindset of a worm (CCSS.R.5 and CCSS.R.6)?!

Using Companion Book suggestions, Incredible Invertebrates and What Is an Arthropod?, as well as informational videos, students can learn about other spineless creatures and create their own diary entries filled with fun facts from the animal’s point of view (CCSS.W.4, CCSS.W.7, CCSS.W.8, CCSS.W.9).

Companion books can also be used for hooks or to create guided reading groups.

Companion Books

The Comprehension Strategies questions are great for lesson objectives, discussion starters, writing prompts and assessments.

Comprehension Strategies

If a book includes Text Features, you’ll know right away. Because of these text features, this would also be a great mentor text for study skills (CCSS.R.5).

Text Features

These resources help you know more about the books in your classroom library and give you choice on how to use them.

To share your feedback while using these resources, contact

About the authors:

A teacher of 25 years, Kelli Westmoreland is currently employed by Booksource. She helps teachers align trade books to their curriculum by creating new teacher resources and working with our 165 contributors from across the country. Her favorite part of her job is going into the schools and working closely with so many passionate and dedicated teachers. She is currently reading The One And Only Ivan; however, her curiosity got the best of her, and half way through she created her own spoiler by taking to the Internet to research the real Ivan.

Erin Vehige is a Teacher Resource Specialist for Booksource. She spends her days searching the web for resources teachers can use with their books and learning some pretty interesting facts along the way. In fact, she dares you to look up the water bear! Erin fell in love with reading through Ramona Quimby’s quirky character and hasn’t stopped ever since. She’s currently reading through the Percy Jackson series; she loves how this series can be used to teach younger readers about mythology.