Author Archive for Laura

Addition and Subtraction in the Second Grade

Students will use basic addition and subtraction facts everyday for the rest of their lives, so it is extremely important they have a good foundation of knowledge on which to use and further build upon. Included below are books, online games, and other websites and resources available to enrich the learning experience of this crucial topic. The Virginia Standards of Learning covered include: 2.5 The student will recall addition facts with sums to 20 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts;  2.8 The student will create and solve one- and two-step addition and subtraction problems, using data from simple tables, picture graphs, and bar graphs, and 2.9 The student will recognize and describe the related facts that represent and describe the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction.

Book Suggestions

  • Red Riding Hood's Math Adventure
  • Written by Lalie Harcourt and Ricki Wortzman
  • Illustrated by Capucine Mazille
    61gada85n1l_ss500_.jpgIn this interactive math tale, the reader plays a role in choosing how many cookies Little Red Riding Hood gives to the fairy tale characters she meets on her way to Grandma's house. On each page there is a wheel that the reader can turn to change the dialogue and number of cookies to be shared. Readers are encouraged to use copies of the dozen cookies Little Red Riding Hood starts out with to help keep track of the subtracted cookies so some will remain for Grandma!
  • 12 Ways to Get to 11
  • Written by Eve Merriam
  • Illustrated by Bernie Karlin
    97806898089202.jpg This story starts out by counting to twelve, with the number eleven missing from the list. Throughout the rest of the book, twelve different ways to add to eleven are showcased. Examples of the objects used in the number sentences include the pinecones and acorns on the forest floor, items found on a sailboat, babies, and a mother hen and her hatching chicks. Readers are exposed to a variety of number combinations that all add up to the missing number eleven.
  • Panda Math: Learning about Subtraction from Hua Mei and Mei Sheng
  • Written by Ann Whitehead Nagda in collaboration with the San Diego Zoo
    pandamathbig.gif Real photographs of the panda cubs Hua Mei and Mei Sheng grace the pages of this informative non-fiction book. Readers have the option to read only the story of the baby panda cubs or they can learn more about pandas, and subtraction, as they explore the real life math issues on the left-side pages of the book. Some of the interesting math problems include how much less time pandas in the zoo spend eating bamboo compared with those in the wild or how much weight Hua Mei gained in three months. The adorable pictures and engaging facts will surely keep readers interested in both the life of the baby pandas and the math that goes along with it!
  • Lights Out!
  • Written by Recht Penner
  • Illustrated by Jerry Smath
    51p8nzvdnnl_sl500_aa300_.jpgThe narrator of this story is a little girl who not only has to go to bed before everyone in her family, but as she notices by the lights on in all of their windows, before everyone in the apartment building across the street. One night she convinces her parents to let her stay up until all of the thirty-two lights across the street have gone out. Throughout the night the narrator describes both some of the fun things she sees, a pillow fight and a parrot for example, as well as the steps she takes in subtracting the lights that go off, until one stubborn light remains.
  • Math Fables Too
  • Written by Greg Tang
  • Illustrated by Taia Morley
    9780439783514_xlg1.jpgThis beautifully and colorfully illustrated book provides readers with fun science facts as they read about different animals. The animals, ranging from one sea horse to ten seagulls, are described through playful rhymes that portray the animals' behaviors done in smaller groups. By breaking down the larger number of each animal, readers are exposed to a variety of different addition facts that add up to the sums one through ten, as they also learn fun facts about a variety of creatures!

Web Suggestions

  • A Day at the Beach Subtraction – In this activity, an ocean scene is the background for the demonstration of subtraction using colored balls. A group of the balls are crossed out and separated from the original group and students must choose which of the two number sentences provided matches the balls. After selecting it students are then prompted to answer the fact before moving on to the next sentence.  After about five of these, one beach-themed word problem is given, and at the end students can color in a fun beach scene.
  • Alien Addition – This game can be modified for ability levels by entering in the highest sum the facts provided will go to. In the game, students are instructed to use the cursor to move the laser beam that has the desired sum written on it below the UFO with the corresponding number sentence. They have one minute to get as many of the correct UFOs as possible before moving on to the next stage where the game continues to get harder.
  • Addition Chart Surprise – Students are directed to drag the given number to a spot on the chart where the row and column add up to the sum. When they drop the number in the correct spot, the entire diagonal of facts that add up to that sum is uncovered and pieces of a larger picture are shown, which can help students visualize addition patterns.
  • Number Jump – For this activity students use the calculator buttons, either to add or subtract, the number of spaces the green ball should jump to be able to smash the flies that are resting on a number. Students need to switch back and forth between the operations in order to get from one level of numbers to the next as they try to smash all of the flies in the least number of moves possible.
  • Ten Frame – Available from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this online ten frame allows students to choose whether they want to use the manipulative to answer how many?, build, fill, or add and a variety of fun counters are available for the students to choose from. The ten frame lets students work in terms of fives and tens, two very important numbers in our number system, which can help them develop stronger addition and subtraction understanding and skills.

Additional Teacher Resources

  • Grapher – This online grapher can be used within the classroom to create bar graphs which students can then analyze. It is a great way to get students involved and connected with the subtraction facts they are working on!
  • It's a Fact! – This website provides teachers with a variety of different types of activities to teach students addition patterns including counting on, doubles, doubles plus one, fact families, and combining ten.  It has lists of the materials needed for each activity, including the PDF files for any forms or necessary worksheets, and step-by-step directions for each activity. There is also a list of books that go along with the topics being covered.
  • Numbers Away – Very similar to the addition site above, this website provides many ideas on how to teach subtraction throughout the year. It gives activity ideas for lessons that teach subtraction using a number line, subtracting from 10, subtracting doubles, and counting up. Included are downloadable forms, step-by-step instructions, background information for teachers, a related book list, and assessment ideas.
  • Manipulative Templates – This site provides teachers with templates for a wide variety of manipulatives. There are printable base-ten block sets, Cuisenaire rods, and colored tiles which would be very useful in the teaching of addition and subtraction.

Teaching Civics With Children’s Literature: Rosa

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Have you ever been curious at the story of Rosa Parks? Nikki Giovanni tells the story of how Rosa Parks refused to get out of her seat along with a brief synopsis of the civil right’s movement and the final ruling by the supreme court that “segregation on the buses, like segregation at schools, was illegal” in her book Rosa.

The book starts off by describing Rosa as a good citizen, taking care of her sick mother and being the best seamstress in Montgomery.  Giovanni describes Rosa leaving work early and getting on the bus.  She pays the 10 cents at the front, gets off the bus, and goes to the back door to enter the bus from the rear.  The section for blacks was full so Rosa went to the neutral section in the middle, reserved for both whites and blacks.  An officer yells at Rosa to give up her seat but she refused to get up.  The officer threatened to call the police, but Rosa refuses to get up.  Here is an excerpt from what happens next:

As Mrs. Parks sat waiting for the police to come, she thought of all the brave men and women, boys and girls who stood tall for civil rights.  She recited in her mind the 1954 Brown versus Board of Education decision, in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that separate is ‘inherently unequal.’  She sighed as she realized she was tired.  Not tired from work but tired of putting white people first.  tired of stepping off sidewalks to let while people pass, tired of eating at separate lunch counters and learning at separate schools.  She was tired of ‘colored’ entrances, ‘colored’ balconies, ‘colored’ drinking fountains, and ‘colored’ taxis.  She was tired of getting somewhere first and being waited on last.  Tired of ‘separate’, and definitely tired of ‘not equal’.

Giovanni continues to explain how a group of women snuck into Alabama State and made posters all night long that read “no riders today; support Mrs. Parks; Stay off the buses; walk on Monday.”  Giovanni tells the story of Emmett Till, of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and how people walked and walked.  And finally on November 13, 1956, almost a year after the arrest of Rosa Parks, the supreme court ruled that segregation was wrong.  ”The integrity, the dignity, the quiet strength of Rosa Parks turned her no into a YES for change.”

The book is very well written and contains beautiful illustrations.  Students would definitely love reading this book and would gain a lot of information from doing so.

Curriculum Connections
This book offers a great way to teach students about Rosa Parks and give an introduction to the Civil Right’s Movement.  The book brings up important decisions, people, and events in civil right’s history as well as describing the individual story of Rosa Parks.  The book is very simple and well written and students would enjoy reading it.  In Virginia, this book could be used to identify the contributions of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as describing the individual rights to equality under the law (Standards of Learning for Civics 3.11).

Additional Resources

Book: Rosa
Author: 
Nikki Giovanni
Illustrator:
Bryan Collier
Publisher: 
Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date:
 
2005
Pages:
 40 pages
Grades: 
2-4
ISBN: 0439898838

Teaching History with Children’s Literature: A Flag For Our Country

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Have you ever wondered who made the American flag?  A Flag for Our Country by Eve Spencer explains the story of how the first flag of the United States of America was made and the influence that George Washington and Betsy Ross had on it. The short story explains how in the year 1776 America was fighting a war to be free from England.  It starts off by explaining that Betsy Ross was a woman who owned a small shop in Philadelphia for making clothes and who run it by herself after her husband died in the war.  General George Washington came to her store one day and asked her for a favor; he wanted Betsy Ross to make a new flag to represent the United States of America and it’s freedom. Washington showed the design to Betsy Ross, who suggested a few changes, and they worked together to design the new flag.  The story continues with the Betsy Ross cutting out the stars and sewing the flag.  Washington was so pleased that he wanted her to make more flags.

The story goes on the explain that the story of Betsy Ross and the making of the flag is not completely proven.  Spencer explains that Ross told the story to her children and grandchildren, and that her grandson, William Canby, made a speech about it.  ”Many people believed the story about the first flag.  but other people weren’t sure.  The story was almost one hundred years old when William made his speech.  In in telling the story, William could only say what he remembered hearing.  William tried to show proof but he could not find any.  There was only the family story.”

This is important and could definitely be used to explain to students that sometimes history is ambiguous and we may not always have proof for things that happened in the past.  The last page on the book explains Flag Day and that we celebrate it on June 14th.  It explains that over the years our flag has changed and that instead of thirteen stars, there are now 50 starts representing each one of the states.  However, our flag still stands for the same ideas that it did in 1777.I thought this book was particularly interesting because it has great illustrations and lots of interesting facts that students would find interesting.  For instance, it explains why there were 13 starts and 13 stripes on the original flag.  Also, the book explains that bunting is a cloth used for making flags and that is the material that Ross used.  I also really like this book because it exemplifies the idea that history can sometimes be legend or fact and that some stories are passed on through people, for even as long as 100 years!

Curriculum Connections
This book offers a great way to introduce students to a variety of topics relating to our history.  These include Betsy Ross, the first flag of our nation, how the flag has changed over time, an introduction of George Washington (before he became president) and details about Flag Day.  It provides a very simple story that students would find interesting, while also bringing up the important distinction that sometimes history isn’t based on proof, but can sometimes be based on stories passed down from generation to generation.  Specifically in Virginia, this book could be used to describe contributions made by George Washington and Betsy Ross (Social Studies Standards of Learning K.1, 1.2).

Additional Resources

  • This site shows a flag timeline of all the different versions of the flag that kids can look at, including the “Betsy Ross” flag.
  • This site gives directions on how Betsy Ross cut the five pointed star with “ONE SNIP”
  • Here is a Betsy Ross homepage for more information on her.

Book: A Flag For Our Country
Author: Eve Spencer
Illustrator:
Publisher:
Steck-Vaughn
Publication Date:
 
1992
Pages: 32 pages
Grades:
K-3
ISBN: 0811480518

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

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Have you ever been curious to know specific interesting facts of all 50 states! What makes each state unique and different from each other? Loreen Leedy provides tons of information on each of the fifty states in her book entitled Celebrate the 50 states! Leedy explains each of the fifty states in the same structure.  She uses half of a page that contains the state’s name, a representation of what the state looks like on a map with some key cities, the state bird and flower, scale of the map, ocean or lake and rivers, products from each state as well as other interesting facts about each of the states.  Here is an example.

Virginia: The first successful English colony was founded in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.

Visitors come to Williamsburg to see how the colonists lived.

Illustrations include a dogwood, cardinal, ham, and some Jamestown artifacts. There is also a map of Virginia with some key cities (Richmond, Alexandra, and Norfolk).

Each of the state also includes information on the year it entered the Union and the state rank.  In addition, Leedy asks questions about each of the states.  To stay with our Virginia example, the question that is asked is “George Washington is known as the father of our country.  Why is Virginia nicknamed “Mother of Presidents”?  At the end of the book there is an answer key with all of the answers that children can flip back to.  If you were all wondering, Virginia is nicknamed the “Mother of Presidents” because eight presidents were born there, including Washington.  The last two pages of the book before the answer section include a full map of the United States with each of the states labeled so children can see the “big picture” and how all the states look in relation to each other.  This book is a great way to get children excited about learning all the states and the corresponding facts.  The illustrations are colorful and fun to look at.  In addition, Leedy includes interesting information that children would want to know as well as teaching about general geography information, such as reading maps and locating waterways and key natural resources or products each state makes.  

Curriculum Connections
This book offers a great way to introduce the study of the fifty states. Specifically in Virginia it can be used to locate the 50 states and cities most significant to the historical development of the United States as well as locating and describing the location of geographic regions as well as water features in the United States (Social Studies Standards of Learning USI.2 and USII.2). This book can also be used in studying basic elements of geography. For instance understanding basic map skills, learning map symbols, and describing how the location of a community, climate, and physical surroundings affect the way people live, including their food, shelter, transportation and recreation (SOL 1.4).

Additional Resources

  • This website is a great resource for teachers and kids to learn more about each of the states.
  • Here is a map students can print out and fill in of the fifty states!

Book: Celebrate the 50 States!
Author:
Loreen Leedy
Publisher:
Holiday House
Publication Date: 1999
Pages:
32 pages
Grades:
1-5
ISBN: 0823414310

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: Clothes and Crafts in Roman Times

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Have you ever wondered how producers in ancient Rome used resources in the production of goods? Luckily, Philip Steele provides a comprehensive book that explains how Roman craft workers used the resources available to them to and produced beautiful jewelry, woodwork, metalwork, pottery and clothing in his text, Clothes and Crafts in Roman Times. The book starts off by giving a brief introduction of the Roman times including a map as well as a small history lesson.  The book then goes on to explain how Romans made their crafts (pottery, glass, woodwork, metalwork, stonework, and mosaics), clothes and fashion (weaving and textiles, clothing, boots and shoes, hats and sunshades, jewelry, makeup) as well as things they made for different festivals and holidays.Each section provides lots of pictures and representations of how Romans used the resources available to them to make things they needed in their every day lives.  In describing how the Romans made clothes, Steele explains:

 The Romans used woven material, or textiles, for clothing.  A plant called flax was used for making linen cloth.  it was grown in Egypt.  cotton and silk were rare and costly imports from Asia.  The most important material was wool, which was produced all over the empire.  After the sheep were sheared, the wool had to be washed to remove its natural greasiness and any dirt.  it was then dried and wound onto a stick called a distaff, which spinners held under their arm.  The woolen threads, or fibers, were pulled out and tied to weighted stick called a drop spindle… (the section goes on to provide in further detail how they produced their clothes from natural resources).

The book also provides some interesting facts about the Romans including some mottoes that Romans put on their pottery: BIBE (Drink!), REPLE (Fill Up!) and DA VINUM (Bring Wine!).  At the end of the book, Steele offers some fun activities where directions are provided for students to make their own mosaics or crowns!  The back of the book also contains a useful glossary with very simple and student-friendly definitions.

Curriculum Connections
This book can be a fun way to introduce students how producers in ancient Rome used natural resources, human resources and capital resources in the production of goods and services.  Although the book doesn’t explicitly use these phrases, there are multiple examples of each of them throughout the text that students can use to understand the concepts.  In Virginia, this book would be suitable to fulfill the Social Studies Standards of Learning 3.7.

Additional Resources

  • This lesson plan can explain the concepts of natural resources, capital resources, and human resources.
  • Here is a fun activity for students to make a Roman mask while also learning about different types of resources they are using.

Book: Clothes and Crafts in Roman Times
Author:
Philip Steele
Publisher: 
Gareth Stevens Publishing
Publication Date:
 
2000
Pages:
 32 pages
Grades:
 3-4
ISBN:
0836827376

Teaching Earth Science With Children’s Literature: Where in the Wild?

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Have you ever wondered how an animals uses it’s surroundings to protect itself from predators or to silently hunt for prey? David Schwartz shows kids how animals can camouflage themselves to blend in with their surroundings in the book Where in the Wild?: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed … and Revealed.

Schwartz starts off the book by explaining to kids the importance of an animal being able to camouflage itself for survival. He explains that:

Whether an animal is looking for something to eat or trying to avoid being eaten- or both- it will probably survive longer if it blends into its environment. That’s why some creatures hide with their colors. It’s called “camouflage.” An animal can be so well camouflaged that it practically vanishes in plain sight. To stay camouflaged, some creatures change their appearance from one minute to another or from season to the next.

Schwartz then allows kids to actually try and find animals that are camouflaged in their surroundings. Each picture has a poem that goes along with it providing hints on how to find the animal or what type of animal it may be. An example for the green snake is:

Silently gliding, slithering, sliding, in the grass hiding, coiled and cunning, swift and stunning, on a rock sunning, long and lean, smooth and green, serpentine.

Then, once kids have found the animal, or give up, they can open the flap and see where the animal was. In addition, there is a little summary of the animal including facts about physical properties, how they camouflage themselves, habitats, etc. The animals included are: a coyote, a gray tree frog, fawns, a weasel, a moth, a killdeer, a crab spider, a flounder, a green snake, and a red spotted newt.

The book is a fun and interesting way to introduce camouflage and gets kids active in their learning. In addition to exploring the advantages of camouflage they are also being introduced to different types of animals that they have never heard of or seen!

Curriculum Connections
This book can be used as a fun way to introduce how animals camouflage themselves in their own surroundings. In Virginia it can be used to explain how seasonal changes affects animals and their surroundings including effects on the behavior of living things, including camouflage (Science Standards of Learning 2.7a).

Additional Resources

  • This Website offers a great explanation of the different types of camouflage!
  • Here is a lesson plan that includes activities for kids to learn about camouflage!

Book: Where in the Wild?: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed … and Revealed
Author:
David Schwartz
Publisher: Tricycle Press
Publication Date: 2007
Pages:
44 pages
Grades:
1-3
ISBN:
1582462070

Teaching Life Science With Children’s Literature: Butterfly Story

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Have you ever wondered what the life cycle of a butterfly is?  What are the different stages of that process? Anca Hariton provides a simple and illustrative explanation in the book Butterfly Story.

Hariton’s explanation of the life cycle of the butterfly is done with colorful illustrations and simple wording that younger elementary students would easily understand- particularly second or third graders. The book starts out by setting the scene as springtime.  The main butterfly throughout the story is described as having bright red strips on its dark wings.  Hariton explains that the butterfly lands on a nettle bush and lays one tiny green egg.  The stages are extremely distinct as she continues to explain that the egg contains a tiny caterpillar that hatches out of the egg after about a week.  The caterpillar is described physically in basic terms: “its body is soft and fuzzy, with fourteen stumpy legs.”  The caterpillar is very hungry and eats so much that it outgrows it’s skin four times!  Hariton also explains the dangers of predators and how the caterpillar uses it’s surroundings and physical traits to save itself.  Finally, the caterpillar is full grown and becomes a pupa.

Hariton uses simple illustrations to exemplify this simple transformation.  After two weeks, the pupa hatches and the illustrations and text explain how “something wet and plump” becomes a butterfly!  The physical traits of a butterfly are now explained and shown through drawings as well as how the butterfly attains nutrients.  Finally, this butterfly lays an egg on a nestle bush as well, completing the life cycle of the butterfly.  The most interesting part of this book is that on the last page it explains everything that happened to the butterfly in the book in more scientific ways.  It also explains the type of butterfly that was portrayed throughout this short story.  We learn that the butterfly was a red admiral butterfly and that the transformation of this particular butterfly is the same as all other butterflies as well as moths.  In addition, we learn every more information about the life cycle that the book leaves out.  For example: “the pupa that forms around the caterpillar as it begins its transformation into a butterfly is also called a chrysalis.”  This back page is an excellent resource teachers or parents can use to further explain the life cycle of a butterfly after the simple stages are introduced in the story.

Curriculum Connections 
This book provides a simple explanation of the life cycle of a butterfly.  It can be used to introduce the life cycle of butterflies as well as help explain some simple vocabulary terms associated with the life cycle of butterflies as well as moths.  In Virginia it can be used to explain that some animals (butterflies) undergo distinct stages during their lives (Science Standards of Learning 2.4a).

Additional Resources

  • Here is a lesson plan that can help students learn about the butterfly’s life cycle by observing real caterpillars turn into butterflies.
  • Make a butterfly life cycle mobile using these tips!

Book: Butterfly Story
Author:
 
Anca Hariton
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: 1995
Pages:
 32 pages
Grades:
 2-3
ISBN: 
0525452125

Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature: Hot As An Ice Cube

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Ever wonder how temperature can turn hot chocolate into chocolate milk and then again into a chocolate Popsicle?   How about why a squishy beach ball can expand to it’s full size on a hot, summer day?  Philip Balestrino helps explain these basic concepts in a very simple and fun way in the text Hot as an Ice Cube. Although this text was written in 1971, it still succeeds in introducing a rudimentary understanding of how heat affects temperature as well as how temperature affects molecules.  The book follows a young boy and his pet dog to different locations, such as the boy’s kitchen and the beach, and shows how “everything in the world has heat in it.” The boy uses simple explanations that kids can easily relate to.  For instance, when explaining what has heat he says:

 ”The coffee my brother drinks for breakfast has a lot of heat in it.  Sometimes it is hot enough to burn    you.  My sister’s bottle of milk has heat in it too.  It is warm, but not as hot as my big brother’s coffee.  There is the same amount of milk in my glass and in the baby’s bottle, but her milk has more heat in it.”

After explaining what heat is, the little boy explains what happens when you heat something and why the temperature increases.  The book then goes into an explanation about molecules.  He uses examples that kids would find interesting, such as “there are more molecules in one grain of sand than there are grains of sand on the whole beach” and “the molecules of a sizzling hot dog move faster than they do when the hot dog has just come from the freezer.” The language is very simple and easy for students to read on their own.  In addition, Balestrino offers a few experiments that students can replicate to gain a better understanding of heat.  One of which is dropping some ice cubes into a glass of  warm lemonade and seeing what happens.  The book also shows how the properties of temperature can affect the world around us by explaining that sidewalks have spaces between the squares so that the sidewalks don’t crack when they expand in the heat.

Curriculum Connections 
This book, although very simple, provides an easy way to introduce ideas of heat, temperature, and molecules to young students.  Although not extremely scientific, it offers basic understandings of these three concepts and applies them to the world around us.  In Virginia, this text would be a great introduction to Science Standards of Learning  about processes involved with changes in matter from one state to another (2.3) and concepts about molecules and the effect of heat on the states of matter (5.4).

Additional Resources

  • Changing state is a fun, interactive website kids can use to understand temperature.
  • Here’s a lesson plan that includes experiments students can do or observe to see how temperature affects movement of molecules!

Book: Hot as an Ice Cube
Author: Philip Balestrino
Illustrator:
Tomie dePaola
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s 
Publication Date:
 
1971
Pages:
33 pages
Grades:
 2-5
ISBN: 069040415

Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: The Science Book of the Senses

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Have you ever wondered how your five senses work and how they help you take in information around your world? Neil Ardley has written a book entitled The Science Book of the Senses that offers fun and simple experiments you can do to learn more about how your five senses work.

We all know that the five senses are extremely important in absorbing information about the world around us and are “your brain’s link to the world [we] live in.” The five senses include: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Ardley’s book gives students an extremely hands-on way to not only learn how the five senses actually work but to also understand ideas such as why we have two ears or how someone who can’t see can “read” even though they are missing the sense of sight. He starts off the book by first explaining what the five senses are and ways that our senses are often combined, for instance when playing basketball. In describing all the senses throughout the rest of the book, he provides ways students can build an ear or an eye using simple materials to actually see how they hear and see or creating taste and smell tests to show how they use their noses and taste buds to distinguish between different smells and tastes. The book also investigates questions such as:

  • Why do we have two ears on either side of our head instead of just one?
  • Why are two eyes better than one?
  • Can you trick yourself into seeing two pictures one?
  • Can you always believe your eyes?
  • How do optical illusions work?
  • How can you measure your reaction time?

An interesting part of the book is that after each sense is explained and tested, small excerpts on real world applications to the senses are included on the bottom right hand corner to help students understand another aspect of the senses. For instance, explaining that the black hole in the middle of the eye is the pupil which changes size to control the amount of light that the lens focuses on the retina.

Curriculum Connections
This book provides a fun and experimental way for children to learn how we can use our senses and corresponding sensing organs in order to learn about one’s surroundings. After reading and completing the experiments, students will investigate and understand that humans have senses that allow one to seek, find, take in and react or respond to the world around them using senses, organs, and sensory descriptors (in Virginia this could be corresponded to Science Standards of Learning K.2). Since this book is extremely hands on, it could be used in the classroom with supervision and students working together.

Additional Resources

  • Here are some coloring worksheets for the five senses!
  • Students can see how they can use all of their senses to figure out mysterious substances using this lesson plan!

Book: The Science Book of the Senses
Author:
Neil Ardley
Publisher:
Harcourt
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 29 pages
Grades: 1-5
ISBN: 0152006141

Measurement Podcast – All in a Day

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In this podcast, Laura Bradlee introduces listeners to the book All in a Day by Mitsumasa Anno.

Introduction
Mitsumasa Anno and eight other amazing artists have created an exceptional picture book all about measuring time and the different time zones in All In A Day. The book is comprised of unique illustrations depicting the activities of children in various parts of the world in one 24-hour day and encourages readers to accept and embrace cultural differences. Most any age audience would enjoy this book; however, if it were being used to help students understand the more complex concepts about measuring time, I would use it in a 3rd to 5th grade classroom. There are many activities that could be done to enhance the educational value of this book. Since the book only gives the time in digital format (standard and military), one way to help students would be to have them use models or diagrams of real clocks to represent the time in each country as the book is being read. Students could also practice elapsed time by giving and/or depicting the time on a clock in one country if it is a certain time in another (use examples other than what the book gives). Students could also come up with other activities that children might be doing in the eight different countries based on whatever time it is when the book is being read. This book is a great way to integrate science into math and teach across the curriculum on a very interesting subject. Subsequently, depending on the depth desired, students could investigate different time zones, how the Earth's orbit plays a factor in night & day and the seasons, and then give oral presentation of their findings to the class.

Additional Books by Mitsumasa Anno
Anno's Counting Book
Anno's Journey
Anno's Magic Seeds
Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar

More Information
Learn more about the author in this interview.
This sample from the The Big Book of Picture-Book Authors & Illustrators features Mitsumasa Anno.