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
Feathers and Fools written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Nicholas Wilton is a story about two different flocks of birds living very close to each other. The peacocks lived in the beautiful garden and the swans live on the clear blue lake. One day a foolish peacock told the rest of his flock that it was good that peacocks do not swim or fly like the swans, otherwise they would surely drown and look silly flying around. The other peacocks listened to his words but did not say another. Then the foolish peacock opened his mouth again and this time said that he feared the swans. He felt they had great strength and could run the peacocks out of their garden or force them to swim. The other peacocks became upset and were very worried about their home and happiness. The peacocks decided to gather up feathers and sharpen them into arrows so that they could defend themselves against the swans. The swans heard of their plans and become fearfully. They too started gathering feathers to make arrows to defend themselves. Both flocks continued to gather feathers but as they added more feathers they become more and more frightened and anxious. One day a swan was flying over the peacocks garden with a reed in her beak to make a nest for her eggs, the peacocks saw this and mistook the reed for an arrow and the peacocks rushed down to the lake where the swans where. The swans saw them coming and got ready to defend themselves. The two flocks fought each other and not one survived. As the sun began to set two eggs hatched and out stumbled a baby peacock and a baby swan. They walked over to each other and declared they were the same seeing as they has feathers, two legs, two eyes, and a head. They decided right there to be friends and went off together unafraid.
Feathers and Fools is written for grades K – 3. However, the book has violent imagery that really isn’t suitable for younger elementary. It illustrates a great message for an older audience about unsupported prejudices and rash judgments. For younger grades it would be used to show how friendship sees past small differences. If the story was told without the violent language, it would be suitable to use to teach students about treating others with respect ( VA SOL K.8c, 1.10a) and also about being kind to others (VA SOL K.8a)
- This lesson plan focuses on how to be a good citizen.
- This lesson plan focuses on sharing for lower elementary.
- This website has several awards and certificates that can be used to promote being a good citizen in the classroom.
Book: Feathers and Fools
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Nicholas Wilton
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 36 pages
Grade Range: K-3
Introduction and Summary:
Created Equal: Women Campaign for the Right to Vote, written by Ann Rossi, is a highly informative text outlining the women’s rights movement and their journey towards gaining the right to vote. This resource highlights influential women in history such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony, to name a few. Rossi describes how events such as the Temperance Movement and the Civil War gave women the opportunity to demonstrate how they could contribute. They helped with the effort during the War and gained leadership skills. With these skills, women founded organizations, such as the American Equal Righs Association to fight for women’s right to vote. This text describes how the 14th and 15th amendments were passed, with women still not given voting rights. It discusses how some influential women’s rights leaders disagreed if women should continue to wait or to press to gain their rights with the 15th amendment. This book contains quotes from women’s leaders, as well as from the man who provided the final vote giving women the right to vote, Harry Burn. This resource provides a wealth of information for students and is well written and easy to read. At the end of the book there is a glossary of important terms and an index.
This would be a great resource for a second grade classroom to understand and learn about influential members of the women’s rights movement, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (VA SOL 2.11). It may be beneficial to read this book to a second grade classroom depending on the children’s reading ability. It may be read in separate sections due to the amount of information presented. This text would also be useful as a tool to demonstrate the importance of voting and how citizens can work to achieve change.
This link provides a women’s suffrage word search which will help children become familiar with some of the vocabulary from this time in history.
This link provides several activities that classes could do together; to include matching quotes, multiple choice, and unscrambling words.
This link shows the petition that Susan B. Anthony wrote to the US Congress. This would be interesting for children to see what she actually wrote.
Book: Created Equal: Women Campaign for the Right to Vote (1840-1920)
Author: Ann Rossi
Illustrator: National Geographic
Publisher: Crossroads America
Publication Date: 2005
Grade Range: 3-5
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.
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.
- 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
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Gary Kelley
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Publication Date: 2009
Grade Range: Grades 3-5
Introduction and Summary
The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence was written by Judith St. George and was illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. The book is a historical account of the Declaration of Independence, a powerful document used to commence this nation’s government and more importantly free the colonists from the grasp of England. The book goes into detail about some of the signers of the document and even the person who had to draft all of the copies of the document. From this point, the book reveals the true story of the many places this important document was housed over the past 200 plus years. It goes as far as to describe some of the ways the document was preserved and repaired so that it could be viewed by all, even today.
“On July 4, 1777, the Declaration of Independence was one year old. So was the United States. Like any one year old, the nation was toddling on unsteady feet. The war still hadn’t been won. But it hadn’t been lost, either. Philadelphia threw a wingding of a birthday party. The Declaration didn’t march in the parade…or join the militia in firing a salute…or marvel at the sky-high fireworks. But the forty-four line, one page parchment was the star of the celebration. Huzza! Huzza! Huzza! Now the Declaration could be placed under glass in the Pennsylvania State House for all the world to admire, Right?”
This book discusses one of the most important tools in our nation’s government, the law. It stresses the importance of this document to secure America’s way of life and the ways it has been defended, protected and preserved for all time. While the Declaration of Independence is a lesson in civics about the rights and privileges of free people, the book also provides a strong lesson of American history. One that this books spends a lot of time discussing places and dates with regard to the Declaration of Independence. It might not fit some of the standards for lesson planning but is a fun and insightful book for students in the third through fifth grades. (VA SOL 3.11 or CE.2)
Book: The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence
Author: Judith St. George
Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 45 pages
Grade Range: 3-5