Ancient China from Dorling Kindersly’s Eyewitness series is a wonderful guidebook that allows the reader to discover the history of Imperial China, from the Great Wall to the days of the last emperor. The book is very informative and highly engaging. It features wonderful photographs of scenery and artifacts by skilled photographers, Alan Hills & Geoff Brighling. This book is very comprehensive and covers 26 different sections on Ancient China which allows for days upon days of exploration for the reader. The format of the book allows the reader to read as little or as much as they would like about Ancient China, as the reader does not have to read the book cover to cover to gather an adequate knowledge about the topic. The book is written in a fashion that helps take the reader through a virtual tour of China, with sections discussing it’s earliest beginnings to information about China’s emperors, to information about the lifestyle of the Chinese (food, traditions, livelihood, home life, dress, adornment, etc.). In addition to the amazing photographs the book’s content includes time lines,suggested internet resources, and a helpful glossary. This book would be an excellent read for the inquisitive mind and would be a great resource for teaching about ancient civilizations. Both teachers and students would find this book wonderful and interesting and I think this a good book for the upper elementary classroom. The book is written by Arthur Cotterell and is one of many published by the highly proclaimed Dorling Kindersly.
Ancient China is a great and would be most approparite for VA SOL History 2.1 in which the student is expected to explain how the contributions of ancient China and Egypt have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, inventions, the calendar, and written language. Although some of the content and wording in the book may be too advanced for second graders the information can easily be relayed in a more age/grade appropriate manner by the teacher.
- Great website for kids on Ancient China
- Website full of Ancient China lesson plans (for teachers)
- Website with tons of Chinese and Ancient China related coloring pages and other kid friendly activities
- Teacher could hold a Chinese culture day, this website provides ideas and recipes for Chinese dishes
Book: Eyewitness Books: Ancient China
Illustrator: Photographs by Alan Hills & Geoff Brightling
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 71 pages
Grade Range: 2-6
ISBN: 10: 0-7566-1391-4
"What do you know about alligators?" After reading the nonfiction picture book, Who Lives in an Alligator Hole? written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell, readers will have learned facts about alligators, their history, wetland habitat, and their impact on the unique ecosystem they inhabit. During the dry season in Florida’s wetlands, alligators create gator holes by digging in damp muck and thrashing about to shove the thick muck away. “Soon a wide hole fills with water a few feet deep. Then a lot starts to happen in the gator hole,” as numerous species of animals are drawn to the watering hole. The author explains that scientists consider alligators to be a “keystone species” because of their importance to the other plants and animals in their habitat. Next the author traces the dramatic impact that humans have had on the American Alligator who came close to extinction thirty years ago and what has been done to save them. Today, “[t]he American alligator is one of the world’s most successful stories of a species saved from extinction just in time”. Readers are asked to think of ways to save the Chinese alligator who continues to be endangered. The illustrations are simple and work well to support the text. The book ends with an activity designed to help students understand why other animals are dependent on the alligator hole for water and a page of “Gator Facts” that don’t fit elsewhere in the story. This book is yet another successful introduction to basic science concepts from the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out About Science Series.
Like most of the books in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out About Science series, this book addresses several themes from the standard elementary science curriculum. The book is best used to teach living systems and the interdependence of living organisms with their living and nonliving surroundings and the ways that habitats change over time (2.5, 3.5, and 4.5), particularly in water-related environments (3.6, 3.9, and 6.7d). But the book can also be used to teach about the impact that natural events and human influences can have on a species or habitat (K.9a, 3.10a-b, and 6.9d).
- American Alligator – National Geographic Kids- This site includes a number of facts and supporting information about the American Alligator and its habitat, video footage of the reptile in his natural setting, and a map of the areas where he lives.
- Endangered Species Program – Kids Can Help – This site for kids from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service includes a number of ideas for kids to help conserve rare, threatened and endangered species and their habitats.
- Lesson Plan on Endangered Species - This lesson plan is a good extension activity to use when talking about the impact of human intervention on ecosystems and endangered species. It could even be adapted to the Chinese Alligator mentioned in the book.
- Mini-Ecosystems Lesson Plan – This lesson plan is written with a third grade classroom in mind. Students make small-scale environments and describe the interactions between living and nonliving things in their environments.
Book: Who Lives in an Alligator Hole?
Author: Anne Rockwell
Illustrator: Lizzy Rockwell
Publication Date: 2006
Grade Range: PreK-3
We’re Riding on a Caravan is written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Helen Cann. This book chronicles the journey a family makes along the silk road in China. As the family travels from Xi’an to Kashgar over the course of a year they make many stops to trade in places such Lanzhou and Turpan. Throughout their travels the family trades silk for the many items they are going to need to survive their passage on the silk road. The final pages of the book provide the reader with a map of the silk road, a story about the origins of silk and brief history of the silk road.
We’re Riding on a Caravan is a great book to teach students about how far people used to have to travel to get the goods they needed and desired. This book can be used to reinforce a lesson about maps (K.4) and understanding the relationship between the environment and the culture of ancient China (2.4). It can also be used has an opener to lessons about about American journeys similar to the silk road such as the Oregon trail.
- The Silk Road Project this site offers some interactive curriculum and music from the silk road
- Map of the Silk Road clear and easy to read map of the silk road.
- Making silk this site offers a detailed description about the making and history of silk and how it has not changed for hundreds of years.
Book: We’re Riding on a Caravan
Author: Laurie Krebs
Illustrator: Helen Cann
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 28 pages
Grade Range: 1-3
"Do you know how to find a hidden treasure? Do you know how far your house is from the candy store? Do you know the way to your favorite ride at the amusement park? It's easy! Join the friends below and follow that map!" This book teaches kids all about maps in a fun and interactive way. Terms such as legend, compass rose, landmarks, and symbols are introduced. There are also sections on understanding a globe and creating your own map. A convenient index of map terms is also included.
A great introductory level book, this could be used to introduce the concepts of maps. Once introduced, the students could create their own maps.
It would teach them how to demonstrate map skills by constructing simple maps, using title, map legend, and compass rose. (SOL 2.6 ). The book would be most appropriate for grade levels 2-3.
This teacher’s site has many great ideas for class activities about maps. Even contains a video on reading maps for the students to watch!
This activity page allows students to decorate their own compass rose as well as complete the direction labels.
This video clip shows teachers some ideas for teaching kids about map skills.
This site contains learning activities directly related to the book, provided by publisher.
Title: Follow that Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills
Author: Scot Ritchie
Publication Date: 2009
Grade Range: 2-3
ISBN: 978-155453-274- 2
Introduction and Summary
What The World Eats is a very informative factual book written by Faith D’Aluisio. The book provides a snapshot of what people around the world eat. It is a very enlightening book that really engages the reader and would be a wonderful tool to get students thinking. The book includes many maps including a world map which indicates all the countries profiled in the book and then smaller maps for each country that is profiled. The book provides facts about each of the locations and also stats about that particular area’s population and demogrpahic information. A native family is profiled for each country that is profiled and excellent, compelling photographsby Peter Menzel adorn each page. The profile includes information about the country, what the family eats, how they get their food, how much they spend on food, etc.
This book would be great to use in a unit when students are learning about other countries and cultures. Because the book profiles so many different families in different countries studnets can ot only learn about other countries but also the people who inhabit those countries and get a look at their culture. This book could also be used to compare and contrast the United States of America and the American lifestyle with those of other countries, especially developing nations.
In Virginia, this book would be a great resource to use with Virginia SOL standards WG 1 (e) and WG 4.
1. The book includes recipes that each profile family selected to share with the readers. Teachers could select a few of these recipes and bring the dishes into school to share with the class.
2. A great website providing lesson plans and activities for using food to dicuss cultures and countries.
3. This website provides an interactive World map that students can use to explore more about different countries.
4. This is the website that accompanies the book!
Book: What The World Eats
Author: Faith D’Aluisio
Photographer: Peter Menzel
Publisher: Tricycle Press
Publication Date: 2008
Grade Range: 5-8
Introduction and Summary
Travels with Charlie: Travelin’ the Northeast written by Miles Backer and illustrated by Chuck Nitzberg, is all about the Northeast United States. It includes the 12 states from Maine to Ohio to Maryland. The book features a different state on each page with seek-and-find questions in a poetic form. Along the tab of each page is information about the state including the capital, flag, and lots of interesting facts. A dog named Charlie goes to each state and hides somewhere in the state. Can you find Charlie?
“Find Manhattan Island, home to Wall Street.
Find the Statue of Liberty. Find hot dogs to eat.
This is a great book to introduce upper elementary students to the Northeast states as a region. It can be used in conjunction with the other books in the Travels with Charlie series, Way Out West and Way Down South. With the multitude of maps used, it could also be a great way to explore the use of maps and key landmarks on a map in the younger grades (History SOL K.4a,b., 1.4a) The incorporation of the geographical landmarks and bodies of water such as the Great Lakes and the Statue of Liberty would be beneficial for older elementary as well (USI.1f, USI.2b, c)
- Northeast Geography Lesson: A great lesson plan geared for grades 3-5 that focuses on map skills and resources of the Northeast USA
- Northeast and more: This website is a great tool to allow students to research the regions of the United States with lots of information and pictures about each region
- Northeast Info: this site has great information about the products and resources of the Northeast region as well as the geographic landforms, populations, climates, and tourist locations
Book: Travels with Charlie: Travelin’ the Northeast
Author: Miles Backer
Illustrator: Chuck Nitzberg
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 36 pages
Grade Range: 2nd-5th grade