EL Design Principles and Character Development Suggested Reading
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Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and therequisite support. People discover their abilities, values,passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventureand the unexpected. In Expeditionary Learning schools,students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness,craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significantachievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help studentsovercome their fears and discover they can do more than theythink they can.


All by Myself—Mercer Mayer            
Amazing Grace—Mary Hoffman
Baron Von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident—George McClements
Before John Was a Jazz Giant: a Song of John Coltrane—Carole Boston Weatherford
Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment: a Science Adventure—Wendy Macdonald
Gus the Pilgrim Turkey—Teresa Bateman
How to Be Cool in Third Grade—Betsy Duffey
Hubert The Lion -Peet                                           
Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure—Bill Peet
I Want to Be... -Thylias Moss                         
Keep Ms. Sugarman in the Fourth Grade Book—Elizabeth Levy
Leo the Late Bloomer—Leo Lionni
Little Yellow Leaf—Carin Berger
No Babysitters Allowed—Amber Stewart
North Star—Peter H. Reynolds               
Ourchestra (in Where the Sidewalk Ends)—Shel Silverstein
Paper Bag Princess—Robert Munsch
Penguin Story—Antoinette Portis
Retired Kid—Jon Agee
Where the Wild Things Are - Sendak          



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Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosityabout the world by creating learning situations that providesomething important to think about, time to experiment, andtime to make sense of what is observed.

Flossie and the Fox—Pat McKissack
Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids—Kathleen Thorne Thomsen
I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean—Kevin Sherry
Invention (in Where the Sidewalk Ends)—Shel Silverstein
Joseph had a Little Overcoat - Toback
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat—Simms Taback
Ladybug Girl—David Soman and Jacky Davis
Mistakes that Worked—Charlotte Foltz
Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter—Diane Stanley
Sandy’s Circus: a Story about Alexander Calder—Tanya Lee Stone
Saving the Liberty Bell—Megan McDonald
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach—Melanie Watt
Something Beautiful—Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Something from Nothing: adapted from a Jewish Folktale—Phoebe Gilman
What Happened to Patrick’s Dinosaurs?—Carol Carrick
Whatever happened to P.D.? - Carrick
Willy the Dreamer—Anthony Browne

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Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a socialactivity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of agroup. Every aspect of an Expeditionary Learning schoolencourages both children and adults to become increasinglyresponsible for directing their own personal and collectivelearning.

Houndsley and Catina—James Howe
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse—Kevin Henkes                                                            Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza—Philemon Sturges
Little Red Hen—various versions
Miss Nelson is Missing—Henry Allard
One Grain of Rice--Demi                         
Thank You, Mr. Falker—Patricia Polacco
Tomas and the Library Lady—Pat Mora
What’s the Matter, Sylvie, Can’t you Ride?—Karen Born Anderson
Who (in Where the Sidewalk Ends)—Shel Silverstein                                                    Wolf!—Becky Bloom

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Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ andteachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust.Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools,with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as anadvocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones,and students feel physically and emotionally safe.


A Chair for my Mother - Williams                                  
A Memory for Tino - Buscaglia
An Angel for Solomon Singer—Cynthia Rylant
Bubba and Trixie—Lisa Campbell Ernst
Chair for My Mother—Vera Williams                                                    Come on Rain—Karen Hesse
Giving Tree—Shel Silverstein                                   
Horton Hatches the Egg—Dr. Seuss
How to Heal a Broken Wing—Bob Graham
Humphrey the Lost Whale: a True Story—Wendy Tokuda
Katie Loves the Kittens—John Himmelman
Keeping Quilt—Patricia Polacco
Kissing Hand—Audrey Penn
Leah’s Pony—Elizabeth Friedrich
Madeline—Ludwig Bemelmans
Make Way for Ducklings—Robert McCloskey
Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice—Sylvia Rosa-Casanova
Memory for Tino—Leo Buscaglia
Miss Maggie—Cynthia Rylant
My Brother Sammy—Becky Edwards
No Babysitters Allowed—Amber Stewart
That Book Woman—Heather Henson
That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown—Cressida Cowell
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
The Keeping Quilt - Polacco                                            
Tough Boris—Mem Fox
Tucking Mummy In—Morag Loh

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All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities
Angelina and Alice—Katharine Holabird                                               Brave Irene—William Steig
Child’s World of Success—Janet McDonnell
Comeback: Four True Stories—Jim O’Connor
D.W. Flips—Marc Brown
Gugu's House - Catherine Stock                           
Hooray for Reading Day!—Margery Cuyler
Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again—Dave Horowitz
If at First—Sandra Boynton                           
Leo the Late Bloomer—Robert Kraus
Little Engine that Could—Watty Piper
Ming Lo Moves the Mountain—Arnold Lobel
Missing Piece—Shel Silverstein
Mistakes that Worked—Charlotte Foltz Jones
Nobody’s Dog—Charlotte Towner Graeber
Now One Foot Now the Other- Tomie DePaola
Oh, the Places You’ll Go—Dr. Seuss
Our Library—Eve Bunting
Peach and Blue- Sarah Kilborne
Pearl’s New Skates—Holly Keller
Salt in His Shoes - Delores Jordan, Rosyln M. Jordan, Kadir Nelson
Thank you Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco
The Little Engine that Could
The Giving Tree- Shel Silverstein
The Empty Pot--Demi
The Missing Piece - Shel Silverstein
The Tortoise and The Hare - Miles                                                          Tight Hat (in Where the Sidewalk Ends)—Shel Silverstein
Tortoise and the Hare—Aesop, lots of versions including by Janet Stevens
Vinnie and Abraham—Dawn FitzGerald
What’s the Matter, Sylvie, Can’t you Ride?—Karen Born Anderson
When Sophie Gets Angry—Molly Bang
Where the Sidewalk Ends—Shel Silverstein
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge- Mem Fox

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Individual development and group development are integratedso that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear.Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other,but with their own personal best and with rigorous standardsof excellence.


Angelina & Alice - Katharine Holabird
Arthur’s Prize Reader—Lillian Hoban
Bone Button Borscht—Aubrey Davis                                                   Cook-A-Doodle-Doo—Janet Stevens
Gadget War—Betsy Duffey
Gigantic Turnip—Aleksei Tolsoy
If Peace is…—Jane Baskwill
Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice—Sylvia Rosa-Casanova
Me First—Helen Lester
Mo and Jo: fighting together: a toon book—Jay Lynch
Musicians of Bremen (traditional)Angelina & Alice—Katharine Holabird
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother—Patricia Polacco
Owl’s New Cards—Kathryn Ernst
Swimmy—Leo Lionni
The Pencil—Allan Ahlberg
Two Boxes—Shel Silverstein

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Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas,creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others.In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate andvalue their different histories and talents as well as those ofother communities and cultures. Schools and learning groupsare heterogeneous.



A Color of His Own - Kionni                                      
Abuela’s Weave—Omar Castaneda                                     
Amazing Grace—Mary Hoffman
America Is—Stacy Schuett
Black Book of Colors—Menena Cottin
Brand New Kid—Katie Couric
Color of His Own—Leo Lionni
Great Ball Game—Joseph Bruchac
Hue Boy—Rita Phillips Mitchell
Just Like Josh Gibson—Angela Johnson
Liliana’s Grandmother’s—Leyla Torres
Manuela’s Gift—Kristyn Rehling Estes
Manuels's gift - Estes
Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden—Edith Pattou                                                  Musicians of Bremen—various re-tellings of Grimm fairy tale                                   No Difference (in Where the Sidewalk Ends)—Shel Silverstein
Other Side—Jacqueline Woodson
People—Peter Spier
Rainbow Fish—Marcus Pfister                       
Shibumi and the Kitemaker—Mercer Mayer
Stelialuna Missing Piece
The Rainbow Fish - Pfister
Verdi—Janell Cannon

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A direct and respectful relationship with the natural worldrefreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas ofrecurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to becomestewards of the earth and of future generations.


Big Rain Coming—Katrina Germein
Bird, Butterfly, Eel—James Prosek
Birds—Kevin Henkes
Camping Day—Patricia Lakin
Crafty Chameleon—Mwenye Hadithi
Giving Tree—Shel Silverstein
Great Kapok Tree—Lynne Cherry
Hello Ocean—Pam Munoz Ryan
Kermit the Hermit—Bill Peet
Little Yellow Leaf—Carin Berger
Maui-Maui—Stephen Cosgrove
Meow Ruff—Joyce Sidman
Miss Rumphious—Barbara Cooney
Pieces—a Year in Poems & Quilts—Anna Grossnickle Hines
Pumpkin Pumpkin—Jeanne Titherington
Rain - Peet
Sellaluna - Cannon                                                                           Serendipity—Stephen Cosgrove
Silver Seeds—a Book of Nature Poems—Paul Paolili
Stellaluna—Janell Cannon
This is our earth—Laura Lee Benson
Tiny Seed—Eric Carle
Trouble at Shady Glade—Bill Peet
Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: a forest of poems—Deborah Ruddell
Why Flies Buzz - Anasi                                                                    Why Frog and Snake can't be friends - Willia
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears—Verna Aardema

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Students and teachers need time alone to explore their ownthoughts, make their own connections, and create their ownideas. They also need to exchange their reflections with  other students and with adults.

All New Amelia—Marissa Moss
Dancing in the Rain (in Falling Up)—Shel Silverstein
Days with Frog and Toad—Arnold Lobel
Giving Tree—Shel Silverstein
Island of the Blue Dolphins—Scott O’Dell
Look out, Suzy Goose—Petr Horacek
Mockingbird Morning—Joanne Ryder                              
My Side of the Mountain—Jean Craighead George
Nothing to Do—Douglas Wood
Paperboy—Dav Pilkey
Quiet Place—Douglas Wood
Ruby’s Wish—Shirin Yim
Sandy’s Circus: a Story about Alexander Calder—Tanya Lee Stone
Sergio Makes a Splash—Edel Rodriguez                                      Sign of the Beaver—Elizabeth George Speare
The All New Amelia - Moss                                             
Ugly Duckling—various versions including by Jerry Pinkney
Where the Wild Things are—Maurice Sendak

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We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers a restrengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and oneof an Expeditionary Learning school’s primary functions is toprepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from andbe of service.

A Chair for my Mother- V. Willimans
A Memory for Tino - Buscaglia
Buffalo Music—Tracey E. Fern
Come on Rain- Hesse
Enemy Pie- Munson
Follow the Drinking Gourd- retelling by Meister
Gardener—Sarah Stewart
Going to Town—Laura Ingalls-Wilder
Help - Shel Silverstein                     
Helping (in Where the Sidewalk Ends)—Shel Silverstein              Horton Hatches the Egg—Dr. Seuss
Humphrey the Lost Whale: a True Story—Wendy Tokuda
Kermit the Hermit—Bill Peet
Memory for Tino--Leo Buscaglia
My Great-Aunt Arizona—Gloria Houston
No Such Thing—Jackie French Koller
Perfect the Pig--Susan Jeschke               
Thank you Mr. Falker—Patricia Polacco
That Book Woman—Heather Henson
The Gardener - Stewart    
The Hundred Dresses- E. Estes
The Three Questions - Muth          
Those Shoes by Boelts                 
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge—Mem Fox