Introduction and Summary
The Emperor’s Birthday Suit, written by Cindy Wheeler and illustrated by R.W. Alley, is a book that takes children along a comical journey of an Emperor that wants a new outfit to wear on his birthday during a parade. He wants it to be extra special so he interviews tailors from all around. He finally decides on two tailors that promise him a magic suit. “A suit that fools couldn’t see! A suit that only wise people could see! That would indeed be a suit like no other!” The tailors demanded bags of gold and silver coins along the way so they could get paid before anyone caught on to their trickery. Once they finished, the Emperor put on the invisible suit. He did not let anyone know that he did not see it because he was afraid people would think that he was a fool. The parade began and the Emperor was walking around in his t-shirt and underwear. A young child screamed out the truth and everyone went looking for the crooked tailors. They were caught just as they were running out of town. Their punishment was to make the Emperor a new wardrobe of REAL clothes.
The Emperor’s Birthday Suit is a super resource for teachers to help students understand how people are consumers and producers of goods and services (SOL Economics 1.7) The tailors provided a good for the Emperor, his new birthday suit. Another content that this book touches on is the use of money in exchange for goods and services. (SOL Economics 2.8) The Emperor paid the tailors for their good (his birthday suit) with bags of gold coins. Lastly, while reading this book, students can see that there are consequences for doing wrong and that they must not cheat others. (SOL Civics K.8, 1.10, and 2.10)
- Lesson plan idea where everyone in the class gets a different job and gets paid for it with pretend money
- Online PowerPoint presentation on economics, specifically teaching goods and services
- Interactive activity that allows children to identify what or who provides a good or a service.
Book: The Emperor’s Birthday Suit
Author: Cindy Wheeler
Illustrator: R. W. Alley
Publisher: Random House Inc.
Publication Date: 1996
Grade Range: K-3
Introduction and Summary
Castle Under Attack written by Nicola Baxter and illustrated by Roger Harris is a book that paints a fascinating picture of everyday life in the Middle Ages. This historical fiction story uses Lego characters to make reading exciting and fun for young children. Throughout the book, there are informational boxes that are full of background information and give real examples of what life was like in a community during the Middle Ages. King Leo and Queen Leonora decide to hold a feast at their castle. An information box describes a castle as being “built in the Middle Ages. People and animals were safe there if an enemy attacked.” For entertainment during the feast, they held a tournament with contests. During the festivities Cedric the Bull, the enemy plotted to attack the castle. Since Cedric the Bull did not succeed at the initial attack, they decided to take the King’s daughter, Princess Storm instead. In the end King Leo and his men surround Cedric the Bull’s men and get Princess Storm back. The bad guys were put in the dungeons and the feast continued.
This book is a super resource for teachers to help students identify how community life in the past is different from present day community life. It also helps young children to see how the daily lives and roles of people in society has changed. (History SOL 2.3) The lesson that is trying to be taught along with the story of character and value is a wonderful example of civics and the traits that make up a good citizen. (Civics SOL 1.10) Lastly this is a great book to encourage better language arts skills because it challenges a young reader with longer sentences and expanded vocabulary.
- Kids-Castle is an interactive website that lets you explore a castle by scrolling over different areas of the castle and clicking on them to see more information about that area
- Informational coloring page that contains vocabulary words pertaining to castles that students can color
- A word search that contains words about the parts of a castle
Book: Castle Under Attack
Author: Nicola Baxter
Illustrator: Roger Harris
Publisher: Tandem Library
Publication Date: 2000
Grade Range: K-3
When Will It Be Spring?, written and illustrated by Catherine Walters is a story of a young cub, Alfie, that is in hibernation with Mother Bear. He is so excited for spring that he does not sleep, instead he keeps asking his mother how he will know when it is spring. She describes to the young cub what to expect from the season, for example, “when the butterflies float by looking for new flowers, then it will be spring”, and orders him to go back to sleep. Alfie continues to misinterpret the winter patterns until Spring finally arrives.
This book can assist teachers with the introduction of understanding basic patterns and cycles that occur in nature and how those patterns such as seasonal changes affect animal’s behavior and life cycles (SOL 2.7a, 3.8a,b). Another way this book can assist teachers is by starting discussions about how adaptations allow animals to respond to their environment, specifically hibernation (SOL 3.4a,b). Lastly, this book is a great example of how natural events are sequenced chronologically (SOL 3.1d).
- Worksheet that states what animals do during the different seasons. The student must match which animal belongs with which characteristic.
- “A Black Bear’s Year” activity is an interactive activity for the computer where there are eight sentences that describe the life of a black bear in every season. The student must drag the correct word to make the sentence correct.
- An interactive webpage that allows the student to move the cursor over the pictures of all four seasons. In each picture, descriptions pop up that give examples of how different animals are affected by that season.
Book: When Will It Be Spring?
Author: Catherine Walters
Illustrator: Catherine Walters
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: 1998
Grade Range: K-3
Dolphin by Robert A. Morris, illustrated by Mamoru Funai, is an informative nonfiction book that takes the reader on a journey through the life cycle of a dolphin. It starts off by introducing the reader to a female dolphin, a cow, that is about to have a baby. Then you follow along with the baby dolphin, a calf, as he goes through his cycle of life. You observe what he eats as a young calf as well as when he gets older. The dolphin shows another aspect of his life by protecting himself after encountering enemies such as sharks and whales. While traveling along the life cycle with the baby dolphin, the reader is exposed to vocabulary words as well as the characteristics that classify a dolphin as a mammal. The following excerpt from the book is an example of this, “Dolphins are mammals. They must breathe air. The new baby must breathe air soon, or he will drown.” Dolphin is a great resource for teaching the life cycle to young readers.
Dolphin will help students to gain an understanding of how animals undergo a series of orderly changes. It specifically investigates the animal’s life cycle (SOL 2.4a). It also investigates the basic needs and life processes of animals by showing how they change as they grow and their needs to survive (SOL K.7a,c). Lastly, this book is a great resource to show how animals have certain distinguishing characteristics that allow them to be classified accordingly (SOL 1.5c).
- Life cycle worksheet. This worksheet shows the 3 stages of the (simple) life cycle of a shark.
- A webquest that allows students to investigate, observe and record the life cycle phases of many different animals.
- An online mini slide show that allows students to view an object and decide if it is living or non-living according to its characteristics.
Author: Robert A. Morris
Illustrator: Mamoru Funai
Publication Date: 1983
Grade Range: K-3
Who Said Red?, written by Mary Serfozo and illustrated by Keiko Narahashi, is a story where a young boy has lost his red kite. He and his sister frolic through the countryside landscape looking for his kite while exploring different objects and their colors. Along the way the sister tries to distract the brother by asking him if he really means another color instead of red. “A pickle green, A big frog green, A leaf, a tree, a green bean green. Did you say green?” The brother is insistent that he said red. After their journey through color identification, the boy finds his kite and shows his sister that he meant red.
This book will assist in teaching students physical science by investigating the physical properties of an object, specifically the colors of objects. (SOL K.4a) Who Said Red? also helps students with understanding that sets of objects can be separated into groups based on a physical characteristics. (SOL 1.1c) Lastly, students can explore this book while developing their sensory descriptors by seeing how common objects are described. (SOL K.2b)
- Color The Rainbow is an online story that teaches the colors of the rainbow by relating each color to a familiar object.
- Rainbow Cards Color Game is a game that is played with flashcards. These flashcards have black and white images on them and the students are to name the color that the object should be.
- A printable booklet that has different items that are red. There is a page that has a black and white object the students are to color in red. On the last page they are required to draw and color a picture of their own red object.
Book: Who Said Red?
Publication Date: 1992
Grade Range: K-2
Introduction and Summary
Clyde and Rosemary are best friends and partners for their science fair project in Science Fair Bunnies, written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Marylin Hafner. The only problem is that their plants have died that they were using for their experiment. Not knowing what to do, Clyde suddenly gets an idea when he feels his loose tooth over breakfast. He calls and asks Rosemary if she would like to do an experiment using their teeth. The only catch is that no one can decide if they want to use their tooth for “science or the Tooth Fairy”. In the end Clyde and Rosemary both choose science. Their choice pays off because their project wins a blue ribbon. Clyde explained to the Tooth Fairy in a dream “We did it for science”. The next day he had a shiny coin and his tooth under his pillow.
This book would be a great source to teach students scientific reasoning, logic, and science by performing investigations. During these investigations, predictions are made based on observations. (SOL 1.1h) These observations are recorded as data, analyzed, and communicated orally with graphs, pictures, numbers, and written statements. (SOL 1.1i) The book also describes and gives a great example of a simple experiment that is conducted to answer questions. (SOL 1.1j)
Book: Science Fair Bunnies
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Illustrator: Marylin Hafner
Publisher Date: 2000
Grade Range: 1-3