Author Archive for Deleyah

Teaching United States History With Children’s Literature: Celebrate the 50 States!

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“Arizona has a dry climate and unusual scenery, with mesas, canyons, and rocky formations.  Arkansas is called the natural state, because of its mountains, forests, waterfalls, lakes and rivers, and mineral springs” (Leedy 5).

Want to learn more about the fifty states? Loreen Leedy’s Celebrate the 50 States describes each of the fifty states in a way that children can relate to and understand.  The book includes an alphabetically ordered detailed description of each state.  The reader learns about the United States territories and the location of each state.  Celebrate the 50 States has excellent color illustrations and also includes some interesting geography facts.  It is written in a nontraditional way with comic-like descriptions of state birds and other wildlife.  Each page focuses on the individual facts, statistics, maps, flower, and even interesting bits of trivia of each state.  For example, in 1945, the first atomic bomb was tested in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  Celebrate the 50 States concludes with a map of the United States of America that helps the reader to view all of the states as a whole.      

Curriculum Connections

Celebrate the 50 States connects history and geography in one book.  The book incorporates the history of how each state has changed over time (K.2).  It focuses on the beginning of each state and it’s main features.  The book also helps students to recognize basic map symbols by showing the basic features of each state (1.4).  American Indian cultures of the past are also introduced as backgrounds of some states (2.2).  For example, the book introduces Sitting Bull was a leader of the Sioux Nation in North Dakota.  Celebrate the 50 States serves as a multi-purpose material for a United States history or geography lesson.

Additional Resources

Book: Celebrate the 50 States!
Author and
Illustrator: Loreen Leedy
Publisher:
Holiday House Publishers
Publication Date:
September 1999
Pages:
32 pages
Grade Range:
K5-2
ISBN:
0823414310

Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: From Slave Ship to Freedom Road

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"I was shackled by my wrists and ankles to a man on my right and one to my left.  I could not stand.  I could not turn over. I will never understand what I did to deserve this" ( Lester 9).

The statement describes the hardships of the lives of African slaves from 1518 to 1865.  The excerpt comes from the book, entitled From Slave Ship to Freedom Road, that describes the journey of black slaves from the Middle Passage to post-Civil War emancipation.  Written by Julius Lester, From Slave Ship to Freedom Road, uses various questions to probe the reader's imagination and feelings on the issue of slavery in America.  The book contains vivid pictures that accurately enhance the punishment and mistreatment of the slaves.  From Slave Ship to Freedom Road takes the reader on a real-life experience from the horrors of the Middle Passage to the freedom of the Emancipation Proclamation.      

Curriculum Connections

From Slave Ship to Freedom Road is very vivid and should only be used within certain classroom settings.  For instance, excerpts may be used to describe the life of a slave in a visual graphic manner.  From Slave Ship to Freedom Road introduces the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that was passed by the federal government in order to legalize punishment for those who helped runaway slaves.  Teacher may use the law to determine students' personal view of those who helped the slaves to freedom. Students are able to relive and understand the roles of the whites, African Americans, and free African Americans (VS.5).

Additional Resource

  • Teaching the History of Slavery -Includes a lesson plan for of the Middle Passage in regards to American history.  The website also contains rubrics for grading.
  • The Author-Check out other works by Julius Lester!  This website includes folktales, short tales, and novels.

Book: From Slave Ship to Freedom Road

Author: Julius Lester

Illustrator: Rod Brown

Publisher: Puffin

Publication Date: December 1, 1999

Pages: 40 pages

Grade Range: 4-8

ISBN: 0140566694

Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: Maps and Mapping

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Jinny Johnson’s Maps and Mapping explores the world of maps through exciting pages filled with pop-ups and fold-outs.  Throughout the book, the reader is taken on a journey of exploring the job of a cartographer.  The cartographer, Suki West, is a fictional character in the book who loves making all types of maps.  In the process, the reader learns about different types of maps and its importance.  The book explains that maps are needed in order to understand flat surfaces and proportions.  Maps and Mapping explores the first maps, such as, the Roman maps from the A.D. 300s.  The Romans started the tradition of showing roads, distances, and information on maps.  Maps and Mapping introduces sextants and compasses to explain how explorers used these forms of maps to navigate their vessels in the ocean.  The book also discusses the major differences between flat and round maps.  It shows that maps can be used to document any type of area, such as, the sea, mountains, and space.   The book concludes by discussing ways that maps are used today.  Instead of cartographers drawing the maps, satellites are now used to take photographs and produce 3-D maps.  Suki states, “The latest 3-D maps, made by putting together millions of satellite images, can show places in amazing detail-even showing individual houses!” (Johnson 28)  Maps and Mapping is a wonderful introduction to geography in a way that children can relate to and understand.       

Curriculum Connections

Maps and Mapping connects geography and social studies to the world of direction and mapping.  It may be used to introduce a lesson on map making.  Maps and Mapping helps students to develop map skills and construct simple maps (2.5, 2.6, 3.6).  In the book, students are also able to note the changes between ancient maps and the maps that we use today (2.3).  The illustrations include many types of maps that are informative and include examples of maps from all over the world.  The book would make a useful supplement to a lesson on maps.

Additional Resources

  • Geography for Kids- Includes additional online activities and information on the geographical features of earth.
  • Maps and Mapping-Access to the inside of Maps and Mapping and other children’s books that relate to geography.
  • About the Author-Need examples of other books that relate to geography for children? This website contains information on Jinny Johnson and her other jacket flap books.

Book: Maps and Mapping

Author and Illustrator: Jinny Johnson

Publisher: Kingfisher

Publication Date: October 15, 2007

Pages: 29 pages

Grade Range: 2-4

ISBN: 0823417948

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: Follow the Money!

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Loreen Leedy's  "Follow the Money", is a humorous book that teaches children the various uses of currency.  Told from the point-of-view of a twenty-five cent quarter, the book starts by describing how money is produced and distributed in the United States.  Throughout the book, the reader is able to follow the journey of the quarter and see the its many uses.  Follow the Money uses pictures and phrases, similar to comic strips, to explain how currency is made in the United States Mint, placed into packaging bags, loaded onto trucks, and distributed to the Federal Reserve Bank and local bank.  It shows children how a certain amounts of money can be exchanged for various products.  For example, Follow the Money shows how money can serve as weekly allowance, a state quarter collection, and savings.  The book concludes at the end of the day with the quarter's statement, "I wonder where I'll go tomorrow?" (Leedy, pp. 29)  Follow the Money is an excellent way to learn about and relate to the world of currency.

Curriculum Connections
Follow the Money
connects social studies, math, and economics to the world of currency.  The book incorporates math by showing how a customer may pay for an item and possibly receive change.  Math is also incorporated in the form of counting.  Instead of including traditional page numbers, Follow the Money uses currency for page numbers.  For example, page five displays a nickel at the bottom of the page to show the page number.  The book also connects social studies through pictures that explain the people who are displayed on each coin and paper money.  There are also a few captions that describe why that person is significant in history (1.3).  For example, George Washington's picture is displayed on the one dollar bill and he is described as the first president of the United States.  Last of all, Follow the Money can be used in a classroom setting to help students learn the value of money and how to save it for for future purchase and goods (1.9).     

Additional Resources

  • This link includes other books that relate to economics in a way that children of younger ages can enjoy and understand
  • Contains a writing assignment that allows students to create their own money character and write about its journey for one day.  The assignment assesses student's knowledge after reading Follow the Money!
  • Need examples of ways that other forms of currency are used in the United States? This website has the story of the adventures of a dollar bill, penny, and many more.  The Adventures of Currency includes questions about the type of currency used in the story, ways to spend, and a trivia quiz at the end of each story.

Book: Follow the Money!
Author and
Illustrator: Loreen Leedy
Publisher:
Holiday House Publishers
Publication Date:
May 2003
Pages:
30 pages
Grade Range:
K-3
ISBN:
0823417948

Teaching Life Science With Children’s Literature: Life-Size Killer Creatures

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What is a killer? How do creatures locate and kill their prey? From ocean killers to mountain, forest, river, swamp, and night creature attacks, Life-Size Killer Creatures defines the animal food pyramid and how it is an important part for the survival of animals.  Written by Daniel Gilpin, Life-Size Killer Creatures brings the world of predators to life with full size pictures and ten foldout pages. The book also helps the reader to understand the type of food that each predator preys on and how each creature goes about doing so.   The illustrations help introduce and capture an excellent explanation of the cycle of life.

“Killer creatures are just one part of the natural world.  They could not survive without something to kill” (pg. 4 ).  Each creature in the book is grouped according to habitat.  For example, the killer whale is presented in full size as the top predator of ocean killers.  The book also goes on to define the great size and hunting style of animals found in the cold northern forests, high places of the world, creatures of swamps and lakes, as well as, tropical hunters .  Life-Size Killer Creatures contains some of the most fiercest and dangerous predators.  The reader will understand which animals are the predators and what creatures serve as prey.  The reader will learn how animals locate their prey and how the prey is slain.  Each creature includes individual definitions and a full size picture that allows the animals to come to life.

Curriculum Connections
Life-Size Killer Creatures helps children to see the actual size of animals in relation to their own size in a way that they can relate to and understand.  The book covers a variety of animals from all forms of life .  Throughout the book, children are able to view vibrant colors and life-like images.  Life-Size Killer Creatures may be used in a classroom setting to introduce a close up and personal view of various creatures into a lesson.  The book is perfect for a classroom setting because it captures the creature’s actual life size.

Life-Size Killer Creatures is a wonderful book that captures not only the attention of younger ages, but older ages as well.  Students are introduced to the animal food chain and are able to understand the role of both the predator and the prey.  They are also able to learn about the different type of environments in which animals live (VA SOL 3.5, 3.6)  The reading covers a general basis for a traditional life science lesson.

Additional Resources 

  • Life Size Creatures- This link includes a summary of Life-Size Killer Creatures and various activity books.  This site also includes additional and related life-size science books.
  • Killer Life - A link to a mini library containing puzzles, videos, and various resource books that can be used for classroom assignments.
  • Sea Life-This website expands on the marine animals shown in Life-Size Killer Creatures and contains short video clips that allows children to explore the deep blue sea.

Book: Killer Creatures

Author:  Daniel Gilpin

Publisher:
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Publication Date: 2006

Pages: 48 pages

Grade Range: 3-6

ISBN: 9781402727016

Teaching Physical Science With Children’s Literature: The Science Book of Energy

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Have you ever wondered how objects move or change? Or even pondered how electricity or sound travel through the air? From the literal sense of how energy is part of our everyday to how to build a battery from scratch, The Science Book of Energy defines what energy is and how it is an important part of the environment.  Written by Neil Ardley, The Science Book of Energy brings the world of energy to life with colorful photography and eleven hands-on experiments. The illustrations help introduce and capture an excellent explanation of heat, movement, sound, and how energy is stored.

Energy is the reason that a house can remain lit when the sun has gone down.  It is also the reason that we are able to enjoy heat in our homes during the winter seasons.  Energy allows many of the actions and movements that we usually take for granted.  The Science Book of Energy is a way for children to learn about the type of energy and literally watch it come to life.  The book has step-by-step experiments to show how energy is changed from one form to another.  For example, “motion is a form of energy called kinetic energy”.  The book includes and an experiment on kinetic energy which defines the motion of objects.  Children are able to build their own windmill and watch the energy take place.  The handmade windmill is then related to modern windmills that convert kinetic energy into electrical energy.  The Science Book of Energy helps children to see and understand how energy works.

Curriculum Connections
The Science Book of Energy helps children to learn by experience in a way that they can relate to and understand.  The book covers types of energy from heat, light, and sound.  Throughout the book, children are able to complete hands-on experiments, vibrant colors, and action filled pages.  The Science Book of Energy may be used in a classroom setting to incorporate kinetic and potential energy into a lesson.  The Science Book of Energy is perfect for a classroom setting because it incorporates more than the average elementary readings.

The Science Book of Energy is closely related to SOL’s for grades two through four.  Students are able to investigate and understand different types of energy (3.11).   The book also discusses the movement of objects and how energy takes place (4.2).  The reading covers a general basis for a traditional physical science lesson.  It averages in the range of grades by allowing the teacher to either focus on energy in terms of simple movement, for example with paper and a wire, to an actual power source, for example a battery.

Additional Resources 

  • What is Energy?- Learn what energy is and how it works.  This site includes information for teachers, such as, energy facts, fun and games, energy history, and related classroom activities.
  • Small Engineers and Elementary Science Tools-This website contains an activity book for not only a child’s learning , but also for their enjoyment as well.  It allows children to learn about energy in an enjoyable fashion.
  • Potential and Kinetic Energy-This provides information for other materials relating to measurement at an advanced level that may be used in a classroom setting.

Book: The Science Book Of Energy
Author:
Neil Ardley
Illustrator:
Dave King
Publisher:
Harcourt Brace Javonovich Publishers
Publication Date:
1993-02
Pages:
29 pages
Grade Range:
2-4
ISBN:
0152006117

Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: Millions to Measure

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Have you ever wondered how many human feet it takes to measure one foot? Or even pondered how many stones it would take to weigh a hog? From the literal sense of measuring one object one foot at a time to the meaning of the metric system today, Millions to Measure explains the history of the metric and system and how it works.  Written by David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg, Millions to Measure brings the world of measurement to life with full color, mystery, and wonder. The illustrations help introduce and capture an excellent representation of distance/length, mass/weight, and volume.

In the book, Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician takes children on a magical quest through time to discover the fantastic world of measurement.  Children learn that the metric system is based on “tens, hundreds, and thousands.”  Children are also shown that even a creature as small as an ant or a flea can be measured in millimeters. Millions to Measure proves to be a wonderful way to incorporate the metric system into a hidden world of magic.

Curriculum Connections
Millions to Measure includes a cleaver explanation of the metric system in a way that children can relate to and understand.  The book covers volume, distance, and weight.  Throughout the book, children are drawn in by the comic strips, vibrant colors, and action filled pages.  Millions to Measure may be used in a classroom setting to to incorporate the basic measurement system into  a lesson.  For example, children would be able to have a literal sense of terms such as feet and inches.  The book also includes a detailed history behind the meaning of measurement.  Millions to Measure is perfect for a classroom setting because it incorporates more than the average children’s readings.

The SOL’s that most closely connect to Millions to Measure are:1.1-Length, mass, and volume are measured using standard and nonstandard units  2.1-Length, volume, mass and temperature measurements are made in metric units and standard English units 3.1 -Volume is measured to the milliliter and liter; length is measured to the nearest centimeter; mass is measured to the nearest gramThe reading covers a general basis for a traditional process skills lesson.  It averages in the range of grades by allowing the teacher to either focus on the metric system in terms of simple measurement, for example with stones, to an actual scale of measurement, for example a ruler.

Additional Resources 

  • Measuring Marvels-This link includes a lesson plan based on the book Millions to Measure and also includes an activity sheet for students to complete (Student Activity Sheet).
  • Creating One-This website contains an activity book for not only a child’s learning , but also for their enjoyment as well.  It allows children to learn about the metric system in an enjoyable fashion.
  • Million metric system-This provides information for other materials relating to measurement that may be used in a classroom setting.  The information is updated weekly and provides an excellent outreach for similar activity books and materials.

Book: Millions to Measure
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher
Publication Date: March 2003
Pages: 40 pages
Grade Range: 1-5
ISBN: 978-0688129163