Author Archive for Kim

Teaching History with Children’s Literature: The Colony of Virginia


The Colony of Virginia written by Brooke Coleman & photos by CORBIS-Bettmann and The Bridgeman Art Library, introduces important events and people from the settlement of Virginia, and gives information on how it is still an important part of the government today.

The Colony of Virginia gives readers information about events starting with the colonists and why they came to America to Virginia uniting with the other colonies to become the United States. It talks about Jamestown and how the colonist built a fort out of logs, and “The walls surrounding the tiny settlement formed a triangle to protect the colonists from attacks by nearby Indians.” The Colony of Virginiaalso gives readers some insight on Captain John Smith and the hardships the settlers faced. “Despite John Smith’s efforts to build houses and trade with the Indians for food, times were difficult for the colonists.” It also talks about tobacco being an important crop for the settlers, when women and African Americans were brought over, and rebelling against the rulers of England in the Revolutionary War.   It ends with how “Virginia is still an important part of our nation’s government since it is so near the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C.”

Curriculum Connections

The Colony of Virginia  is a great resource when you are studying the history of Virginia. It incorporates why the settlers came to Virginia, why they chose Jamestown, the hardships they faced, key people, women and slaves, and why the colonies went to war.  It is connected to VA SOL Social Studies Virginia Studies VS 3, 4, &5.

Additional Resources

  • Discovering Jamestown has a great lesson plan where students role-play as a member of English society as  a reporter asks them questions.
  • The Jamestown Colony is a sheet that they can read about Jamestown and then it has a worksheet to go along with the questions.
  • National Geographic Kids has an interactive adventure on Jamestown that students are able to  learn about Jamestown and Captain John Smith and play mini games on their site.
  • If you are looking for a webquest try Colonization of Jamestown 1607.

General Information

Book: The Colony of Virginia
Author: Brooke Coleman
Illustrator: CORBIS-Bettmann & The Bridgeman Art Library
Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 24 pages
Grade Range: 3-5
ISBN: 9780823954841

Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote


Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote written by Tanya Lee Stone & illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon, talks about how life use to be before everyone was equal.

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote starts off with a question that gets your mind thinking. “What would you do if someone told you you can’t be what you want to be because your a girl?” It talks about how men had a better life, and how a woman lost everything because “Without a husband, the law stated, nothing belonged to her. Elizabeth was horrified by this unfairness.” She set out to do everything men could do. Later on she gathered women together and shared with them ideas that she and her friends had written down in a document. “Their Declaration of Right and Sentiments challenged the idea from the Declaration of Independence that “all men were created equal.””

Curriculum Connections

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote is a great resource when you are studying equality under the law. It incorporates how things were in the past, and one woman’s fight to change it. It is connected to VA SOL Social Studies Civics 3.11 (a). The student will explain the importance of the basic principles that form the foundation of a republican form of government by describing the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and equality under the law.

Additional Resources

General Information

Book: Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
Author: Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: 2-5
ISBN: 9780805079036

Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: Follow That Map! : A First Look at Mapping Skills


Follow That Map!: A First Look at Mapping Skills written & illustrated by Scot Ritchie, is a great introduction on how to use a map.

Follow That Map starts off with a getting started page. It gives kid friendly examples and definitions of different parts of a map from a compass rose to a legend. “The compass rose on a map will always point north. Some compass roses show all four cardinal directions-north, south, east, west.” Sally and her friends notice that her cat and dog are missing. They decide to find them. They use different types of maps to go searching for the missing pets. Each map focuses on a different part of a map. They start off using a map of the park, proceed to use a trail, city, and a country map. It even incorporates a look at a weather map, treasure map, and topographical map. “A topographical map shows the natural features of the landscape. You can use this kind of map to find rolling hills, low-lying lakes, or high mountains.” It even includes steps on how to create your own map.

Curriculum Connections

Follow That Map is a great resource when you are studying maps. It incorporates different symbols, and gives students a look at different types of maps. It is connected to VA SOL Social Studies Geography 1.4(a) & (b). The student will develop map skills by a.) recognizing basic map skills, including refernces to land water, cities, and roads; b.) using cardinal directions on maps.

Additional Resources

General Information

Book: Follow that Map!: A First Look at Mapping Skills
Author:Scot Ritchie
Illustrator: Scot Ritchie
Publisher:Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: 1-5
ISBN: 9781554532742

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: Fleas


Fleas, written by Jeanne Steig & illustrated by Britt Spencer, is a comical look at bartering.

With it’s quirky characters and colorful pictures, Fleas is all about bartering. The main character Quantz starts off by rubbing a dog in his garden and catching his fleas. He trades the fleas for a talkative old uncle and the uncle for some cheese. The bartering continues on until Quantz at the end of bartering has a bone. Fleas has touches of rhyming, “A wig! What a glorious thingamajig!” It also incorporates snippets of alliteration “The tiny creatures dance graceful gavottes, fancy fandangos, and riotous rhumbas.”At the end of the story, Quantz sees the dog, and they step inside a tent where all of the characters, along with all of their trades, have made a circus.

Curriculum Connections

Fleas is a great resource when you are studying bartering. It talks about how you can trade an item with someone else, if that person wants the item you are wanting to trade. It is connected to VA SOL Social Studies Economics 2.8 The student will distinguish between the use of barter and the use of money in the exchange for goods and services.

Additional Resources

General Information

Book: Fleas
Author:Jeanne Steig
Illustrator: Britt Spencer
Publisher:Philomel Books
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: 2-6
ISBN: 9780399247569

Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life


Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life written by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm, illustrated by Molly Bang

This book’s brightly colored pictures not only describe photosynthesis to children, but it also tells why it is important to us and our planet.

The Sun tells the story of photosynthesis by starting off describing itself and what it does for Earth. “My light becomes the energy for all life on Earth.” It goes on to describe photosynthesis in green plants. “Plants suck up water-H2O-from the Earth. In daylight, green plants catch my energy with their chlorophyll.” It also goes on to tell us different reasons why it is important that we know about it, “All the oxygen you living creatures breathe comes from green plants.” There is a notes page in the back of the book that helps to describe photosynthesis in more detail and gives additional information that can be looked at for furthering the education on photosynthesis.

Curriculum Connections
Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life is a great resource for teaching photosynthesis. It helps students understand the process that is involved and how photosynthesis is involved in the life cycle. It is connected to VA SOL 4.4 (c). The student will investigate and understand basic plant anatomy and life processes including photosynthesis (sunlight, chlorophyll, water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sugar).

Additional Resources

  • For a lesson plan on photosynthesis check out A Beginning Look at Photosynthesis: Plants Need Light.
  • A simple explanation is made in the podcast Photosynthesis. There are a few different podcasts on the same page, but just scroll down to the heading of photosynthesis and you will be able to listen to the podcast as you watch some visuals.
  • This is a photosynthesis worksheet where they can label some parts of photosynthesis.
  • Even though the Photosynthesis Rap may be a little advanced, it is catchy and it may spark some curiosity in your students. Even if you don’t want to play the entire song, the first verse and chorus would still be helpful.
  • The photosynthesis activity on Newton’s Apple will take a few days to see the results, but it will be worth it.

Book: Living Sunlight How Planets Bring the Earth to Life
Author: Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Illustrator: Molly Bang
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 40 pages
Grade Range: 1-6
ISBN: 9780545044226

Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature: Science Answers Forces and Motion From Push to Shove


Science Answers Froces and Motion From Push to Shove written by Christopher Cooper, illustrated by Jeff Edwards

This book gives great explanations about force and motion, and students can relate to the modern day real life examples and photographs.

Have your students ever wondered “How Can You Make Objects Move Faster and Slower?” or “Why do Things Float?”. Science Answers Forces and Motion From Push to Shove answers these questions and many more. It contains information on force, motion, and pressure. “The muscles of your body are exerting a force, and the object being pushed or pulled is responding to that force.” It has a glossary in the back for the different terms used throughout the book, and it contains different experiments throughout that help illustrate different laws of motion. It also contains a page on “Amazing Facts” such as “The greatest amount of controlled force produced by humans is developed by the space shuttle. At launch, two solid-fuel booster rockets generate about 1,543 tons of thrust each.” The page on “People Who Found the Answers” gives a little more information about Archimedes of Syracuse and Isaac Newton. 


Curriculum Connections
Science Answers Forces and Motion From Push to Shove is a great resource for teaching motion and force. It helps students understand that motion is described by an object’s direction and speed, forces cause change in motion, and friction is a force that opposes motion. It is connected to VA SOL Force, Motion, and Energy 4.2. The student will investigate and understand characteristics and interaction of moving objects

Additional Resources

Book: Science Answers Forces and Motion From Push to Shove
Author: Christopher Cooper
Illustrator: Jeff Edwards
Publisher: Heinemann Library
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 29 pages
Grade Range: 3-6
ISBN: 9781403435484

Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: Lemonade for Sale


Lemonade for Sale written by Stuart Murphy, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

The kids in this book set up a lemonade stand and keep track of their sales using a bar graph. It is a great resource for showing students how to make a bar graph and how to chart the data.

The Elm Street Kids Club try to make money to fix up their clubhouse by selling lemonade. All of them have a job to do, but it is Sheri’s job to track their sales. She decides to make a bar graph. “I’ll list the number of cups up the side like this. I’ll show the days of the week along the bottom like this.” Each day she tracks their progress. Their sales increase each day until Thursday when hardley anyone stopped by. The kids do not understand so they decide to set out to find out what is going on. When they find Jed the juggler has just moved there and everyone is watching him instead of buying their lemonade, they come up with a plan. The next day Jed juggles right next to their stand. “We sold so many cups today that our sales are over the top.” They have enough money to rebuild their clubhouse, and they ask Jed to join their club.

Curriculum Connections
This book is a great resource for teaching bar graphs. It talks about how to set them up and how to record the data. It is connected to the VA SOL Scientific  Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic 4.1 (f) The student will plan and conduct investigations in which data are displayed using bar graph.

Additional Resources

Book: Lemonade for Sale
Author: Stuart J. Murphy
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 31 pages
Grade Range: 3-6
ISBN: 9780064467155

Grade 4 Multiplication Resources


Here are some resources if you want to teach 4th grade about multiplication.

Text Annotations

9987.jpgAmazing Pop-Up Multiplication Book written by Kate Perry and illustrated by Jennie Maizels– This detailed illustrated pop-up book gives students practice on different parts of the multiplication table through different events.

043921044501_scmzzzzzzz_.jpgThe Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply written by Greg Tang and illustrated by Harry Briggs – This approach teaches students that memorization is not the only way to prevail in multiplication. It gives students different strategies for the multiplication problems they don't know.

51wjb2gkfml_sl500_aa240_.jpgHershy's Milk Chocolate Multiplication written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Rob Bolster – This is a great introduction to simple multiplication problems. It shows the concept of rows, columns, and how the answer is derived.

fc076145070x.JPGTen Times Better written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Leonard Baskin – This rhyming book is a great way of illustrating the concept of multiplying by ten.

now-for-my-next-number-cover.jpgNow for My Next Number written by Margaret Park and illustrated by Sophia Esterman – This book of easy to learn and easy to sing songs will help children to practice and learn multiplication. The pictures in the book will help give students a visual of how the product is achieved.

Web Annotations

At there are a ton of kid friendly games for students to play. My favorite has to be Fleebur & Spinky. Students are trying to put together a robot dog for an alien. Students have to go to 5 different shopping centers and solve different problems to get the different parts for the robot dog.

The Number Monster for Times Tables at CoolMath4Kids students will click on the different times tables facts to practice. Problems go up to the times tables for 12.

At Gamequarium students can play Multiplication Millionaire. This site really works on multiplying 2-3 digit numbers with one or two zeros on the ends.

Students will be able to find multiplication drills at This has multiplication facts from 1-12. Students can work on them as a timed test, dragging and dropping the answer, worksheets, or even digital flash cards.

At Students can practice multiplication facts at Bee Smart Timetable. There is a multiplication fact at the bottom on two flowers and 3 bees with numbers on pots overhead. You have to click on the bee with the correct answer. It gives students 2 minutes to answer the problems.

Additional Resources
A printable version of base ten blocks are available in case you need them. They are essential to teaching multiplication.

Students can also visualize multiplication by setting up the multiplication problem and watching it form a rectangle by incorporating the multiplication table.
Base ten paper is always helpful for students so they will be able to use to work out their multiplication problems.

Another helpful resource and a different way to help students with multiplication is using Napier’s Bones and using the lattice method.