Author Archive for Amanda

First Grade Math: Counting Money

This mathematical concept is meant for first graders who are learning about money and its value.  Students need to understand that 5 pennies equal a nickel, 10 pennies equal a dime, etc.  Also, they need to learn what amounts and types of coins add up to 100 cents or less. In this plan I intend to help students learn the value of different coins and how they can add up to 100 cents (a dollar) in a variety of ways through a book, centers and certain websites with games they can play either in centers or at another time.  I also want them to see the importance of money in the real-world and realize that their parents probably use some form of these coins daily.The actual SOL is:SOL 1.10 The student will a) identify the number of pennies equivalent to a nickel, a dime, and a quarter; b) determine the value of a collection of pennies, nickels,and dimes whose total value is 100 cents or less.

Text Annotations

51bxvuecopl_sl500_aa300_.jpgHow Much is $1? 

  • This book seemed like a great resource for showing students what coins, in different combinations, can add up to one dollar. It even came with a Pocket chart with a piggy-bank stencil plus a storage pocket for money cards. Can be used for K-3, but in this case it would of course be used for first grade and specifically for SOL 1.10.

51olmh6fql_sl500_aa300_.jpgMy First Book of Money

  • This book,"My First Book of Money", seems to be a great way to introduce students to the way money works and how it relates to counting in general. It shows students examples of how to count coins in various ways.

54369389jpg.jpegOne Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent

  •  I think this book by Dr. Seuss would be a great way to get students thinking about money, how it works, and the fact that it is something used all over the world. In addition, it is written in the typical way of Dr. Seuss, which students would enjoy.

Find Out Reader: Counting Money 

  • This book is fairly short but packs quite a bit of information into it and shows the equivalencies and values of coins and money in general. It is easy for first graders to read and helpful in getting them to grasp concepts such as different coins’ values.

penny-pot.jpg The Penny Pot

  • This is a fun book for students to read because it is about a teacher who paints children's faces at a carnival for 50 cents. Students must face the dilemma of not being able to get their faces painted because they have made other purchases; if they want to, they have to wait until the penny pot has been filled by other students. The book shows multiple types of children having to learn to count money and understanding that money is limited and one can't buy everything he or she wants.

Web Annotations

  • Counting Different Coins – I really liked this lesson plan idea (and some of the other ones on that site) because it helps students realize that money is connected to the real world and I feel the students would enjoy it.
  • Money Worksheets With Pennies, Dimes, Quarters  – I thought this website could be useful for its worksheets in assessing students' understanding of money; I especially liked the worksheets where students work with either pennies, dimes, quarters, etc. such as this one .
  • Webquest: Counting Money – This is an awesome webquest about counting money for grades K-2 with many different activities for students, ranging from videos about coins and what each coin looks like to various worksheets.
  • Counting Money – This is an interactive activity/game where students are presented a certain combination of coins and have to type in the total amount of cents shown. The game tells the students whether they are right or wrong and also shows the front and back of coins so that students learn what the coins look like from both sides.
  • Math Money  This website had a ton of games and activities for students to participate in when trying to learn about money.  I thought this would be a great resource to have on hand for extra practice for students as well as for students who might finish a math activity early in class.

Additional Resources

  • Smartboard–Making Change – This is a link to a great smartboard created b another teacher where students must figure out how much change needs to be given back to buy, for example, a Hershey bar.   It even has an example where the student's have to deal with a "cashier" and figure out how much change they would get back.
  • Suggestions for Manipulatives and other Resources for the SOL – Under 1.10B, there are suggestions for manipulatives that I would like to use in my instructional resource set; real money, objects with price tags, and money bingo.  There are also great suggestions for books, technology resources, and other resources.
  • Math Worksheet Generator – This website is a great resource for teachers to use to create worksheets for addition, subtraction, fractions, etc.  In my case, there is a worksheet generator to create a 100's chart which can be used to help students understand counting money.  The site takes you step by step through what you want on your worksheet and comes up with a finished product at the end.
  • Counting Activities  – This link has a whole host of activities linked to the 1.10 SOL for learning to count money. This could be a good resource to have handy for students who finish their work early or for students who need extra practice either in the classroom or at home if they have computer access.
  • Counting Game – This is a great game for students to play to reinforce learning to count money.  One great thing about it is that it has easy-medium-hard levels so all students can play it comfortably no matter what their ability level is.

Teaching Economics With Children’s Literature: 26 Letters and 99 Cents


Introduction and Summary

26 Letters and 99 Cents is a great introductory book for students regarding money. It goes through multiple ways of making different amounts of cents, such as 6 cents (6 pennies, or 1 nickel and 1 penny).  Each example shows the number next to the examples, which show actual coins so students start understanding the coins’ values.  Examples go up to 99 cents. This is a great way to introduce the concept of money to students and help them understand its value.

Curriculum Connections

26 Letters and 99 Cents can be used to go with SOL K.7, where students begin to recognize that money is what people use to buy goods and is an important things to understand. This book is a good resource and can be used in teaching introduction to economics or even in mathematics.

Additional Resources

Scholastic had this great extension activity to do with the book once the students have read it. 

Here is a lesson plan called Number Cents where students get to work with real nickels and pennies like they saw in the book. 

Lastly, this is a lesson plan where the book can even be utilized while teaching second graders. 

General Information

Book:  26 Letters and 99 Cents

Author:  Tana Hoban

Illustrator:  none

Publisher: Mulberry Books

Publication Date: 1987

Pages: Grade Range: K-1

ISBN: 0-688=06361-6

Teaching Ancient Civilizations With Children’s Literature: 500 Things You Should Know About History


Introduction and Summary:

This book is a great resource for students who need help with learning specific concepts about Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Egypt, whether it is out of curiosity or for a paper or project.  The book has great illustrations and hundreds of pages about almost anything anyone would like to know about these civilizations.  Examples include pages on Sparta, The Olympics, and city-states for Ancient Greece, Roman style, Roman armies, and prayers and sacrifices for Ancient Rome, and royalty, mummies, and tombs and temples in Ancient Egypt.  Students can learn a lot from the pictures (both illustrated and real) and the text in this book full of information.

Curriculum Connections:

This resource would go well with SOL 3.1, which has a purpose of explaining that Ancient Greece has influenced many things we have today, from governments to sports.  It would also go well with a unit on Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt.

Additional Resources:

This website is a great resource for students to build upon knowledge about Ancient Greece and is an easy way for them to discover more with links to different subjects involving Ancient Greece, including literature, people, and mythology.

Under “Lesson Plan” on this page, there are a lot of great ideas to get kids thinking about Ancient Rome, Greece, or Egypt.  For example, students can write a diary entry from the perspective of a person living in one of these times or from the perspective of a god or goddess, or a reader’s theater can be created where students act out important events relating to a certain god or goddess.

This is a whole list of great video clips to further explain Ancient Greece to students.


General Information:

Book:   500 Things You Should Know About History

Author: Miles Kelly

Illustrator: Joe Jones, Sally Lace, Louisa Leitao, Elaine Wilkinson

Publisher: Sandy Creek

Publication Date: 2009

Pages: 224

Grade Range: 3-5

ISBN: 13 978-1-4351-1980-2

Teaching Civics With Children’s Literature: Eleanor-Quiet No More-The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt


Illustrator Gary Kelley said it well when he said that this book about Eleanor Roosevelt, “In this age of celebrities and politicians in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, [is] not only refreshing but essential”.  This book about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life is not only a biography but a book of life lessons and things Eleanor Roosevelt strongly believed in.  Throughout the story of her life told in this book there are many inspiring quotes from her about life, being a good person, and believing in oneself.  Some examples of quotes throughout the book include “You must do the things we cannot do” (19), “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (34), “I have never felt that anything really mattered but knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could” (37), and “We must cherish and honor the word ‘free'” (back cover).  I felt that this book not only talked about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life but had another purpose in helping students to understand how important it is to appreciate freedom and the idea of being a citizen in this country.I also liked that the book had a timeline of important dates in Eleanor’s life for student’s to look at.

Curriculum Connections
This book can be used in the classroom during talk of the first world war as well as to show Eleanor Roosevelt’s role in history as a strong woman.  Specifically, this book could be used with SOL USII.5 while students are studying WWI and discussing Franklin Roosevelt.

Additional Resources

  • This website had a lot of good ideas for ways to incorporate Eleanor Roosevelt activities into the classroom, such as drawing pictures of her or findings pictures of her helping people and hanging them up in the classroom to remind students that being a good citizen is important.
  • I felt the activity on this page entitled “Special Activities for Children” could be a great way for older students in elementary school classrooms to write about Eleanor Roosevelt with some friendly competition involved as well. This would encourage them to write well as well as learn more about this important figure.
  • Lastly, students can find out more interesting facts about Eleanor Roosevelt on this facts page.

Book:  Eleanor Roosevelt: Quiet No More.  The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt
Doreen Rappaport
Gary Kelley
Disney Hyperion Books
Publication Date:  
Grade Range:  
Grades 3-5

Teaching Geography With Children’s Literature: The Santa Fe Trail



Introduction and Summary

The Santa Fe Trail by Judy Alter is a book about settlers traveling West in order to find a better life in the United States.  However, much of what is talked about in the book is the different terrain that the settlers come across while on their journey out West.  The book includes many photos and illustrations of the types of terrain settlers dealt with on their long journey, including overgrown grassy fields, the Rocky mountains, and even deserts.  The book also illustrates maps of the trail as well as states it ran through. The Santa Fe Trail goes into depth as well about westward expansion, important figures who were involved, and even gives a list of important vocabulary words in the back of the book as well as a timeline of events.


Curriculum Connections

This book would be great to use in a unit about traveling out West, particularly on trails such as the Santa Fe.  This book would be best for grades 3-5 because it involves quite a bit of text as well as vocabulary words that might be somewhat advanced for younger grades.  In Virginia, this book would be a great resource to use with Virginia SOL standards USII.2 and USII.3.

Additional Resources

 1. Here is a fun way for students to learn more about the Santa Fe Trail through a webquest.

2. This site is not a webquest but allows students to visit various interesting sites about the Santa Fe Trail in order to fill in the blanks for questions they are supposed to answer (listed on site).  Teachers can go over these questions in class once students have completed the assignment.

3. This is an activity book with lots of fun games about the Santa Fe Trail for students to play.

General Information

Book: The Santa Fe Trail

Author: Judy Alter

Illustrator: n/a

Publisher: Children’s Press

Publication Date: 1998

Pages: 30

Grade Range: 3-5

ISBN: 0-516-26396-X

Teaching Earth Science With Children’s Literature: I am a Rock


I am a Rock, written by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Judith Moffatt, is a good book for introducing earth science o young students (K-1) because it explains different kinds of rocks through a “Rock Hall of Fame” theme and what many of their functions are in real life.  The descriptions of what the rocks’ uses are are given in a riddle format, where the students are given clues as to what the rock can do and then they are asked to guess what rock it is.  For example, the book introduces slate by saying ” I [slate] am flat enough to walk on. I am flat enough to write on. Who am I?” Here the students can answer or guess what rock they think is being described.  A total of twelve different rocks are described in this fashion throughout the book.Curriculum Connections
This book is useful in introducing students to the concept of earth science in the early grades.  The students learn that rocks are important parts of the earth and actually all have different uses depending on what they’re made of and what they look like.

Additional Resources

  • This is a 3-day long activity for first grade students to do with their teacher, where each student gets their own special “rock” made from dough that the teacher prepares.  The students will describe what their rocks look like to their fellow classmates, write down observations, and do Internet activities where they pretend to be archaeologists.
  • Here is a lesson along the same lines, but the students get to use real rocks and go outside for 20 to 30 minutes to do their observations of different rocks.  They would also get to work in groups.
  •  I found this interesting because it came up in my search as a site where teachers can buy rock kits for their classrooms.  Some are pricey, but it would probably be very helpful to buy a kit in order to really show the students a variety of different types of rocks.

Book: I am a Rock
Author: Jean Marzollo
Illustrators: Judith Moffatt
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 1998
Pages:  29
Grade Range: K-1
ISBN: 0-590-37222-X

Teaching Physical Science With Children’s Literature: Wired



Wired, written by Anastasia Suen and illustrated by Paul Carrick, is a physical science book for students related to electricity.  The book starts out explaining the importance of electrons and describing how electricity is made at the power plant.  It then goes on to explain the different types of vehicles used to transport electricity to surrounding areas and cities (transformer towers, feeder lines, secondary wires, etc.).  As one reads the book, he or she can see that the author is explaining the process of how electricity is created and moved to other places step by step.  The pictures start out showing the power plant, and end up illustrating the ways electricity is used around the house in lamps, computers, breakers, and more.  The book ends with a few tips for children on how to “Be Smart About Power!” and lists some websites and other book resources where children can find out more about electricity.

Curriculum Connections
Wired is a great resource to help upper elementary school students learn about an important part of physical science, electricity, because its describes in great detail about the electricity is created and how it is transports to different places, while still being fun with its illustrations and catchy subtitles throughout (“Lamps glow, heaters blow” ]p. 24], “Clocks tick, computers click [p.26]).  I feel that this book might be difficult for some lower elementary school students to understand as some of the words might be difficult for them to read, and some of the concepts might still be a bit advanced for them as well.

Additional Resources

  • This experiment could be fun to do with students during a unit on electricity; the students can make their own simple generators in the classroom using a cardboard box, magnets, a nail, wire, and a tiny light bulb.
  • This is an example of a science fair project elementary students can do using magnets and static electricity.
  • This is a link to several interactive games students can play to learn more about electricity.

Book: Wired
Author: Anastasia Suen
Illustrators: Paul Carrick
Publication Date: 2007
Pages:  32 pages
Grade Range: 3-5

Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: A Second is a Hiccup


A Second is a Hiccup

Author: Hazel Hutchins

Illustrator: Kady MacDonald Denton

This book is a good resource for helping young students learn how to measure time and understand different lengths of time.  The author uses fun ways of telling time in order to make learning how to measure it simple and exciting.  For example, as in the title, the author says that a second is like the length of a hiccup, or "The time it takes to kiss your mom/Or jump a rope/Or turn around (pgs. 2-3).   She goes on to explain measures of time for a minute, an hour, a week, a month, and finally, a year.  The author also makes the book interesting by incorporating rhyme into her explanations.  For example, to explain the length of a week, she explains that a week is "Seven wake-ups, seven sleeps/Close your eyes and do not peek/But you'd never/ Ever ever/Stay asleep for one whole week" (pgs. 12-13).

Curriculum Connections
This book is important in helping students with process skills because it relates to measurement, which is an important part of science. Knowing how to measure time is an important element of learning science concepts as well as how to conduct one's own science experiments.  For example, knowing how to measure time helps students to better understand things such as when the Earth came into existence and when certain species first appeared on Earth.

Additional Resources

  • This PDF file actually has activities to do with the book "A Second is a Hiccup" that will help students learn about the book's concepts.

This link provides elementary school teachers with ides on helping children understand concepts of time and how to estimate.


This is another resource that helps teachers with ideas for activities in order to teach students about measuring time.

Book: A Second is a Hiccup
Hazel Hutchins
Illustrator: Kady MacDonald Denton
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: K-2
ISBN: 0-439-83106-7