Where’s the BaBOOn?

November 21, 2016

by Michael Escoffier

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Remember reading Take Away the A?

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Well, the author of Take Away the A has a new book in his series: Where’s the BaBOOn?  It encourages students to put together the red letters to solve the riddle on each page.  For example, the riddle reads “Who brought an apple?” The illustration shows the arm of an ape giving the teacher the apple.  Students put together the letters a – p – e and the clue from the illustration to know it is the APE that gives the apple.  Each page is one riddle after another.

 

 

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Mama Built a Little Nest

April 6, 2016

Mama Built a Little Nest

by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

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Book Blurb from catalog: Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce different kinds of birds’ nests, from the scrapes falcons build on high, craggy ledges to the underground nests burrowing owls dig. Includes brief facts about each kind of bird.

Wondering how to change a research report into a poetry unit?  Try using this book as your guide!  Have students do their typical animal research, writing a wonderful descriptive paragraph.  Then challenge your students to use the information that they learned to write a rhyming couplet or ABAB poem.  This project might be a good one for your early-finishers or those that love creative writing.

Or use this book in a more traditional sense to compare and contrast the nests created by different animals.  This book would be a great mentor text for young students just learning how to use a Venn Diagram.


Capstone Press: A Primary Source History Series

February 23, 2016

Primary Source History

Capstone Publishing has an excellent new nonfiction series showing how researchers incorporate primary sources into their writing.

Quoted on the Table of Contents of each book: “Primary sources are newspaper articles, photographs, speeches, or other documents that were created during an event.  They are great ways to see how people spoke and felt during that time.  You’ll find primary sources…throughout this book.  Within the text [of the book], primary source quotations are colored red and set in italic type.”

With instruction, students begin to see how nonfiction authors incorporate primary sources into their writing.  Lessons can surround how the primary sources add to the understanding of new information and feel of nonfiction writing.

Primary Source History books in the Lowell library:

  • Slavery in the United States
  • Dust Bowl
  • Westward Expansion
  • U.S. Independence
  • Gold Rush
  • American Revolution
  • War of 1812
  • U.S.  Civil War

These topics touch fourth and fifth grade social studies standards.
Meets the Common Core State Standards for analyzing multiple accounts of an event.


Just Itzy

March 17, 2015

itzy

Itzy Bitzy wants to be called just Itzy now that he is headed to spindergarten.  But, changing a nick name isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

The main focus of this picture book is how Itzy sets a goal to spin a web and catch a fly so he doesn’t have to bring his lunch to school.  After lessons from his teacher, Mr. Webster, Itzy sets out to spin his web to catch his lunch.  His first attempts are not successful, and he wants to quit after each attempt, but Mr. Webster keeps reminding Itzy to “Keep your eye on the fly” and to not give up.

Use this book with primary students who need help setting goals.  Transfer the story of Itzy setting his spider goals to students thinking about goals they want to set in school for the year.  This book is a great tie in to the First 6 Weeks of School and Responsive Classroom!

There are subtle references to Little Miss Muffet, the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and other nursery rhymes spattered throughout the book. A great comedic read!


Tea Cakes for Tosh

May 23, 2013

E LYO

by Kelly Starling Lyons

Great book for visualization!  The smell of the tea cakes and Grandma Honey’s descriptive words take Tosh way-back-when when their people were enslaved.  Grandma Honey describes how she makes the tea cakes throughhout the beginning of the story.  Then Grandma Honey begins to be forgetful.  First its finding the car in the parking lot, then it’s her sister’s phone number, but finally it’s the recipe for tea cakes.  Tosh learns to make Tea Cakes from his mom and the next day Tosh visits Grandma Honey, the roles are reversed, and HE is the one who tells the story of their enslaved people and of the great-great-great-great-grandma making tea cakes.

Comprehension Strategies: Visualization, Inferring, Determining Importance, Schema

Topics: Grandparents, Getting Old, Slavery, Baking

Recipe for Grandma Honey’s Tea Cakes included in the end of the book!

Book Trailer


The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog

November 29, 2012

by Gloria Estefan
illustrated by Michael Garland

Cover image for The magically mysterious adven...

Noelle the Bulldog can’t figure out her special talent.  She can’t run fast like other dogs, swim like fish, glow like fireflies, or have shimmery colors like the birds.  Then one day, the dogs can’t get their ball from underneath a car.  Noelle saves the day.  A fish jumps out of the pond, Noelle is able to pick him up and put him back in the pond.  The birds needed seed, and Noelle knew just where to go in the house.  Noelle’s special talent was found on the inside!

From the publisher: It captures all the worry of an outsider trying to fit in and all the joy of discovering that everyone has a talent that matters, and that true beauty comes from inside

Reading Comprehension: Metacognition, Schema, Connections, Questioning,

Other lesson ideas: Tolerance and acceptance, Everyone’s unique, rhyming and rhythm

Writing: Personal narrative about one of your special talents in action, sentence fluency (due to the rhyming and rhythm the sentence beginnings vary a lot)


For You Are a Kenyan Child

October 11, 2012

For You Are a Kenyan Child
by Kelly Cunnane

Cover image for For you are a Kenyan child

A young Kenyan boy is told to go watch grandpa’s cows, but he gets distracted by all of the things to do in a Kenyan village, forgetting completely about his chore.

Comprehension Strategies: Building Schema, Inferring

Lesson Ideas: Compare and contrast life from your town and life in Kenya