Author Archive for Elvira

Teaching Civics With Children’s Literature: The Bill of Rights

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Student’s need to learn their rights. In “The Bill of Rights” by Norman Pearl students are given the opportunity to learn what are the Bill of Rights and how they came to be.

The book begins with an explanation of what the Bill of Rights is. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, is the narrator and explains that the Bill of Rights are in the Constitution. He goes on by stating that the Bill of Right is a list of some of the most important rights Americans have.

The Colonies were not pleased with the nations government so the Colonies sent delegates to Pennsylvania to write the Constitution. The delegates worked hard creating the Constitution which described how the government is set up. The delegates wanted Americans to have guarded freedoms as well. The list of first ten freedoms were added to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights . All ten amendments was are guarded no matter who is elected president. The first is the freedom of speech and freedom of press. The second protects the right to bear arm. The third and fourth protects the right to privacy. The fifth to eighth protect all people accused of crimes. The ninth and tenth explain that Americans have other rights than the ones listed.

The book explains that everyone can see the Bill of Rights in Washington D.C. The books wants the reader to know that these ten right are not the only ones and more amendments are now part of the Constitution. There is a glossary at the end that gives the definition of all the terms not explained the book.

Curriculum Connections
The Bill of Rights
would serve as a great closer to a lesson about the rights that student and all Americans have This is a great tool for teacher to use when they want students to describe the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and equality under the law this correlates to Virginia sol 3.11 b .

Additional Information

  • Equal Rights is an activity allowing students to understand when only on group is given the right to vote.  The girls are given the right to vote and boys explain how they the laws affect them.
  • Under Wich Amendment Am I Protected? is a lesson that gives students real life situations and shows them which amendment would protect them. This lesson would be great after the teacher has taught the Bill of Rights.

Book: The Bill of Rights
Author:
Norman Pearl
Illustrator:
Matthew Skeens
Publisher: Picture Window Books
Publication Date:
2002
Pages:
24 pages
Grade:
3-5
ISBN:
978-1404822191

Teaching History with Children’s Literature: Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving

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Many children want to know when and where the settlers’ first Thanksgiving celebration took place. Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Joseph Bruchac explains how Thanksgiving came to be and who attended. The story begins with Squanto telling his story,

My story is both strange and true.

Squanto tells how dramatically his life had changed after the “white men” had come. Captains, John Smith and Thomas Dermer had become his friends through trade and shared values of honor and respect. However, after John Smith left, Thomas Hunt was left in charged. Hunt invited Squanto to come dine in his ship. Instead of a feast, Hunt took Squanto captive to Spain.

Our lives were no longer our own.

Squanto was sold in Spain, but through perseverance was able to return to the New World with Dermer. However, Dermer had bad news. When Squanto had left the New World many of his people had died from diseases the “white man” had brought, only two had survived. This news saddened Squanto but he knew that the could no longer worry about them. Both Dermer and Squanto worked together with the surrounding tribes. Squanto also helped the pilgrims hunt and grow crops. In November, when the Mayflower came to Plymouth and the fall had brought a good harvest the pilgrims and Native Americans gave thanks to their good fortune. Squanto was grateful for the foods that he had taught the English to make and had hope for his children. They both prayed that more of these days would come.

Curriculum Connections
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving would serve as a useful resource to close a lesson on Thanksgiving. Reading it will help students recognize that history describes events and people of other times and places.  This topic correlates to Virginia SOL k.1 b.

Additional Information

  • I am Thankful For… is an activity for lower elementary students. The activity allows students to reflect why Thanksgiving is really important and what are they thankful for.
  • A Pilgrim Conversation is a lesson that provides students with the opportunity to create and correct a conversation with a pilgrim. This lesson incorporates quotation usage and the pilgrims and Indians.
  • Villiage People an arts and crafts activity designed by Disney teaches students how to decorate the table with Native Americans and Pilgrims. This activity allows students to remember the origin of Thanksgiving as they have their Thanksgiving dinner.

Book: Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
Author:
Joseph Bruchac
Illustrator: Greg Shed
Publisher: Silver Whistle
Publication Date:
2000
Pages:
32 pages
Grade:
1-5
ISBN:
978-0152018177

Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: How I Learned Geography

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Students learn best through lived or shared experiences. In How I learned Geography, Uri Shulevitz shares his first time learning about geography.

The story begins with the Uri having to leave his home and belongs because of a devastating war.  He and his family are forced to leave and travel very far to a land where the houses are made of clay, straw, and camel dung. Uri lived in house with another couple he did not know.  Food was extremely scarce. One day Uri father went to the bazaar to buy bread.  When his father returned he announced,

“I bought a map!”

Uri was very frustrated that he would have to go to sleep hungry.  The next day his father hung the map on the entire wall.  His fascination grew for the detailed drawings and the exotic names.  He would draw and make rhymes.  As repeated the names he was transported to the burning deserts, sanding beaches, and snowy mountains.  He saw temples with stone carvings animals of different colors.  Uri explored all types of lands and ate papayas and mangoes as he pleased.

He was learning so much about the world, things he would have never known about if it was not for the map. This map preoccupied him from his hungry and misery.  He eventually forgave his father because he saw he was right.

Curriculum Connections
How I learned Geography would serve as a great closer to a lesson about maps. This is a great tool for teacher to use when they want students to have an awareness that maps and globes show a view from above and in a smaller size this correlates to Virginia sol k.5 a,b .

Additional Information

  • Story Maps is an activity from National Geographic which allows students create a map from a favorite class book.
  • Map Skills is a lesson provides students with the opportunity to make a map of their school. Students then compare and contrast their perception of the school to their classmates perception.
  • Memorable Maps is a great lesson in which students draw a world map from memory. Nine months later they are then told to draw the world map and see how the picture has improved.

Book: How I Learned Geography
Author/Illustrator:
Uri Shulevitz
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date:
2008
Pages:
32 pages
Grade:
K-5
ISBN:
978-0374334994

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock

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Are you interested in seeing the results that occur when a person does not save as opposed to someone that does?  In Rock, Brock, and the Saving Shocks, written by Sheila Bair and illustrated by Barry Gott, the reader is introduced to twin brothers that have two distinct saving habits.  Learn what happens when one saves and the other does not.

Illustrated by Barry Gott, this book attracts young readers because of its animation like characters.  Gott does a great job at showing kid friend pictures that not only seem realistic but entertaining. Sheila Bair, who is also a member of the FCIC, has extensive knowledge about saving money.  Furthermore, Bair is able to relate all the information that she has learned about money to the younger readers.

The story of Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock begins with the two twins that are complete opposites. Rock is the cleaner, healthier,  early bird, and studious while Brock is not.  Rock was almost a perfect guy but he loved to buy while Brock like to save his money.  One summer their gramps gave them a dollar and proposed a savings plan.

For ten straight weeks each Saturday,
I’ll give you each one dollar’s pay
to mow my lawn and wash my car.
These simple chores will get you far
because I’ll  do a little trick:
each buck you save, I’ll match it quick!
Spend it- there’s no extra dough,
so save you can and watch it grow!

So Brock saved his dollar while Rock went straight to the mall and spent it.  Rock kept spending his dollar while Brock was receiving double from gramps.  At the end of the ten weeks Brock had saved 512 dollars and Rock had none.  Brock than bought nice things like a telescope, robe, shirt, and a book.  With the 50 left over Brock opened a joint savings account his brother and him.

From that day on the twins saved their money, and when their hair had turned gray they had become millionaires!

Curriculum Connections
Rock, Brock , and the Savings Shock  would serve as a great closer to a lesson about savings.This is a great tool for teacher to use when they want students to recognize that people save money for the future to purchase goods and services this correlates to sol 1.9 Virginia.

Additional Information

  • Money Word Problems – The Change Game this online math activities allows children to find out how much change they need or how much change they will receive.
  • This Little Piggybank Went to Market This lesson provides students with the opportunity to learn about saving money and banking.  This activity is more appropriate for students in lower elementary.
  • The Hundred Penny Box Great lessons for students in upper elementary. The students analyze the advantages of regular saving and how savings grow with compounding.

Book: Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock
Author:
Sheila Bair
Illustrator: Barry Gott
Publisher:
Albert Whitman & Company
Publication Date:
2006
Pages:
32 pages
Grade:
K-5
ISBN:
978-0807570944

Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Our Changing World

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Curious about how the world changes from day to night, season to season, and place to place. In Our Changing World, by Ingrid Selberg, the reader is able to learn and see the differences through the revolving pictures.

The book describes different and very distinct regions. The reader first learns about the the region through a brief summary of how it is like to live in that area and what animals live their. The description tells the differences of day and night for the woodlands. This summary elaborates about the woodpecker which thrive in the woodlands during the day. However, different animals are then introduced because they only come out in the night(e.g. the owl, shy badger, hedgehog, bats…) There is also a rotation picture that shows the woodlands in the day and night with all the different animals included.

Ingrid Spelberg tries to show how the environment changes from day to night. She also the differences in regions because she then show the desert and how it looks in the day and in the night. It is great to see which animals also live here and which cannot survive the heat.

Ingrid Spelberg does compares the Mountain region, lakes and marshes, and Arctic Tundra but this time she is compares the different seasons. She describes the animals that come out as well as how the region looks in the winter and summer. The rotating pictures are a great visual tool to compare and contrast.

Curriculum Connections
Our Changing World is a great introduction for students to begin acknowledging a world that is constantly changing, whether it be through day and night or season to season. This is a great tool for teacher to use when they want students to notice whether observations in there daily life which correlates to sol k.8 a and c in Virginia.

Additional Information

  • Instructor Web Has a great lesson in which students are able to create their own pictures of the seasons and describe them with a short sentence or phrases. Great compare and contrast activity.
  • Love the Outdoors has great activities. One activity that connects perfectly is a scavenger hunt that allows students to go outside and look for animals and plants. This activity allows students to understand that there are many living things outside.
  • Teaching is a Work of Heart has a great lesson that is geared for young students. The students create a tool to see the direction of wind, this allows them to notice more things about the outdoors.

Book: Our Changing World
Author:
Ingrid Selberg
Illustrator: Andrew Miller
Publisher:
Putnam Pub Group
Publication Date:
1982
Pages:
13 pages
Grade:
K-2
ISBN:
978-0399208690

Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Velma Gratch and The Way Cool Butterfly

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Younger siblings have to constantly worry about the legacies that the older siblings leave behind. Velma Gratch & The Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison demonstrates different ways to excel in school. She is able to learn about butterflies and forgets about the legacies that her older siblings had left behind.

Velma is entering the first grade in the same school were both Freida and Fiona, her sisters, have attended. As Velma goes to each class she is bombarded by all the legacies that her sisters left. Velma feels terrible because she feels like she does not belong: “She wanted to curl into a ball and roll right back into Kindergarten.” Her mother consoles her by stating that she will soon be noticed. Velma takes this the wrong way and purposefully does the opposite of what her sisters were known for, just to be noticed.

Velma behaves so badly that she has to see Principal Crossly. Principle Crossly informers Velma that both her sisters had been noticed for GOOD things. This leads Velma to change her behavior. As she sits in science class (her favorite class) she begins to learn about butterflies and their life cycle from eggs to migration. Velma becomes extremely enthusiastic about butterflies and soon realizes that this is what she will be known for. Velma learns big complicated words that she at times changes the pronunciation ex. Metamorphosis as metal-more-for-this.

Velma visits the butterfly can-serve-the-story (conservatory) and gains a monarch butterfly as a friend. The butterfly does not leave her pointer finger for a very long time. Velma remembers my-gray-son (migration) is soon and takes the butterfly to the park so that it can leave to Mexico. This book not only gives a great introduction to the life cycle of butterflies but also shows young girls they can have fun in science and that they do not need to depend on others to feel good.

Curriculum Connections
Velma Gratch & The Way Cool Butterfly has many lesson for students to learn. A main lesson that was intricately woven into the plot was the life cycle of butterflies. The lesson was not very extensive and teacher could not simply focus on just that topic. However, this book is a great introduction to a lesson about the life cycle of butterflies. For teachers in Virginia this book is great for SOL 2.4a which corresponds with the distinct life cycle stages that butterflies undergo.

Additional Information

  • Way Cool Activities for the Classroom has a variety of activities that relate directly to the book. One of the activities asks the students to show their metamorphosis through showing three different pictures of different stages in their life. This activity not only is fun but allows students to personalize what they are learning in the classroom to what their personal life. The activities are not all necessary but it is worth having as resource in the classroom.
  • The Children’s Butterfly Site is a great website for children to actually see the monarch butterfly. This website allows students an opportunity to learn more about specific butterflies, and it is also very kid friendly. The website also provides various locations that would serve great for a field trip or places that the students could go with their parents.
  • The Butterfly Website has a great lesson that has students create the life cycle. The students would create the eggs and butterfly and all the stages in between. This activity would be great as a review so students can have a visual of the cycle.

Book: Velma Gratch & The Way Cool Butterfly
Author:
Alan Madison
Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
Publisher:
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication Date:
2007
Pages:
40 pages
Grade:
1-3
ISBN:
978-0375835971

Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: Good-Night, Owl!

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Are you interested in hearing what the owl hears as it tries to sleep. In the book Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins the reader is able to hear what animals annoy the owl as it sleeps.

The book begins with the owl trying to sleep up in a tree. While the owl is trying to sleep the disturbed by the sounds that animals around it begin to make. First, its the bees that “buzz, buzz.” Then come the squirrel that “crunch, crunch,” on nuts. Pat Hutchins utilizes onomatopoeia with all the animals that come near the owl. This gives the students an opportunity to connect the noises that they are reading with an illustration of the animal. The book gives ten different creatures that disturb the owl as it trying to sleep. There is a variation of creatures that Pat Hutchins uses, from jays to cuckoo to doves.

The illustrations are classic and show every animal very clearly for the students to understand. The Illustration also show that it is day time and indicate that the owl is nocturnal. This is a great topic to discuss with your students. At the end the when “the moon came up,” the “Owl screeched, screech screech, and woke everyone up.” The book shows how the owl also makes a distinct sound and the students are able to learn that as well.

Curriculum Connections
The book would be a good read for emergent readers in the first and second grade, who need to understand the sense of hearing. The majority of the words utilized are onomatopoeia words making it easier for the student to recognize and read. The students are also connecting sounds that they might hear in their every day life to actual illustration of animals that make the sounds. If teaching in Virginia this book would cover the Science SOL K.1C which is objects are described both pictorially and verbally and K.2 a, b students will investigate the five senses and sensory descriptions.

Additional Information

  • Mrs. Attaya’s first grade class websites has various activities that her students have done with owls and the senses. These activities would be great to do through the year and like Mrs. Attaya did take pictures so the class can see them.
  • Listen to the Desert/ Oye Al Desierto, by Pat Mora is also a great book to read to your student. This book focuses on the sounds that are made in the desert but they are in Spanish and English. This book could be read if there are children that speak Spanish and need to make the processing skill in a second language.
  • Father’s Day Lesson Plan and Craft is another activity that focuses on sounds and onomatopoeia words. Students will create any type of gift they want to give their father as a father’s day gift and they incorporate an onomatopoeia word.

Book: Good-Night, Owl!
Author/Illustrator:
Pat Hutchins
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication Date:
1990
Pages:
32 pages
Grade:
K-1
ISBN:
978-0689713712