Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

September 26, 2017

by Andrea J Loney
Illustrated by Keith Mallett

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This picture book biography tells the life of James VanDerZee, a young boy who saved up his money to buy his first camera and who used his hard work and gentle spirit to grow a photography business in Harlem.

This book is great to show entrepreneurial spirit, grit, and perseverance.  It also explores the theme of following your dream.

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The Girl Who Ran

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

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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!


The Noisy Paint Box

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

  • Onomatopoeia
  • Synonyms

See other lesson ideas here from the publisher.

  • Using Senses
  • Writing Descriptively
  • Phonemic Awareness — listen for the /b/ and /p/ sounds
  • Syllables


George Ferris’ Grand Idea: The Ferris Wheel

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!

 


Toy Trailblazers: Innovators Biographies

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:

  • Biographies
  • Timelines
  • Innovators and Inventions
  • Nonfiction Text Features
  • Main Idea
  • Determining Importance

 


A Boy and A Jaguar

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
    http://www.flreads.org/Book_Award/extensions/BoyAndJaguar.htm

This book has a website!
http://hmhbooks.com/boyandajaguar/