September 10, 2018
Counting on Catherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
by Helaine Becker
Blurb: From Katherine‘s early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, this is the story of an American icon who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives.
Want to make a case about precise computing? Read an excerpt of this book to your students about the importance of Katherine’s math being precise or people would die in space!
This harrowing biography of how Katherine Johnson, an unsung hero, helped the Americans in the Space Race shows just how important minorities were to the effort.
My favorite quote, from Katherine Johnson herself, comes from the back papers: “Despite her many achievements, Katherine never liked to take any credit. Her reason? ‘Because we always work as a team,’ she says. ‘ it was never just one person.'”
This book is for:
- space enthusiasts
- biographies highlighting otherwise unsung people of history
- February — Black History month
- Women’s History month
- Context Clues: use the page about “all of the computers were women” to have students figure out what the author means by “computers” (people, not machines)
- goal setting
- reaching one’s potential, despite setbacks
Check it out at your local library! ISBN 9781250137524
September 11, 2017
The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon
by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee
Illustrated by Susanna Chapman
Do you want a book about NEVER GIVING UP? This is for you! Bobbi Gibb is a girl in the 1960s. All she wants to do is run. But others try to stop her, her father even says “Girls don’t run!” That doesn’t stop Bobbi. For her first race, she disguises herself as a boy, wearing boy tennis shoes and covering her hair with a hooded sweatshirt. Midway through the race, she had been spotted and the men running the race replied “We won’t let anyone throw you out; it’s a free road.” So Bobbi took off her sweatshirt and finished the race!
An inspiring biography of one person who wanted to change the world, who wanted to follow her heart.
Use this at the beginning of the school year as you build community and discuss hopes and dreams! Bobbi Gibb will definitely inspire your students to never give up and to follow their dreams!
May 10, 2016
by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Mary Grandpre
Award Alert: Caldecott Honor 2014
During Dr. Seuss week I used this book on Wacky Wednesday to teach about abstract art, an idea that some think of as “wacky.” Having earned the Caldecott Honor, the illustrations vividly paint a portrait of Kandinsky and his journey to creating abstract art.
Supplement this book with examples of Kandinsky’s abstract art as well as other abstract artists.
Use this book to teach
See other lesson ideas here from the publisher.
- Using Senses
- Writing Descriptively
- Phonemic Awareness — listen for the /b/ and /p/ sounds
May 10, 2016
by Jenna Glatzer
Talk about grit and determination! George Ferris has them both! Mr. Ferris had an idea (the Ferris Wheel), and he did not let any obstacles (and there were many!) get in the way of making his dream come true.
For teachers who want to emphasize the concept of grit and perseverance, read this book!
April 28, 2016
This is an exciting new biography series for kids interested in Crayola crayons, Barbies, LEGO, and Play-Doh!
The four books from the series that we purchased for the library are:
- Play-Doh Pioneer: Joseph McVicker
- LEGO Manufacturers: The Kristiansen Family
- Barbie Developer: Ruth Handler
- Crayola Creators: Edward Binney and C. Harrold Smith
These books are not only high interest reads, but can also fit into lessons about:
- Innovators and Inventions
- Nonfiction Text Features
- Main Idea
- Determining Importance
March 14, 2016
A Boy and a Jaguar
by Alan Rabinowitz
Book blurb from the catalog: Presents a picture book featuring the true story of Alan Rabinowitz, who loved the animals at the zoo and hated that they were kept in cages. Wanting to speak out, Alan found he couldn’t keep himself from stuttering, except when talking to animals–a fact he used to his advantage in championing animal rights.
This book would be great to help teach:
- Empathy (understanding Alan’s stuttering)
- Building Classroom Community (how do we treat others who are different than ourselves)
- Biographies (and even a unit on writing autobiographies — picking out a watermelon seed moment instead of one’s entire life)
- Setting goals (Alan says that if he ever gets “his voice” he will speak for the animals, who cannot speak for themselves. This is a lofty goal for a stutterer, but once he does get his voice he follows through with his promise.)
- Research famous people who stutter
This book has a website!