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Digital copy image of Bird by Jon Scieszka.  Amazon. Web 10 November 2010.>

 

Bibliographic Information:

Scieszka, Jon. Time Warp Trio: South Pole or Bust. Illus. author. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishing. 2007. Print.

Summary:

This book is about three young boys, Joe, Sam, and Fred. They get time warped into Antarctica during the 1900’s. There, they meet Captain Robert F. Scott, who is leading an expedition. England is waiting to hear from the captain to see if they made it to the south pole. The purpose of this expedition is for the team to get an egg from the emperor penguin so that they can prove evolution. They stay until the end of the mission and get time warped back into their current time setting.

Questions about the book:

Why does the author include inappropriate humor and language?

Is the book based on a true story, and if yes is it accurate?

Activity Ideas for the book:

Students can watch a documentary on Captain Robert F. Scott and compare the similarities and differences from the actual story to the one talked about in this book.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“Lets use The Book and go somewhere cooler” (Scieszka 13).

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Antarctica, Time Warp, Friends.

Literary Elements:

Genre: Modern Fantasy, Point of View: Omniscient.

URL Links:

Time Warp:

Time Warp is a literary device. The setting can be a known past, presumed future, or an unknown time. This book is modern fantasy that includes a time warp section because the kids travel to a known past but then return to the current time setting.

Digital copy image of Catching the Moon by Myla Goldberg.  Amazon. Web 10 November 2010. http://www.amazon.com/Catching-Moon-Myla-Goldberg/dp/0439576865/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289435193&sr=8-1

Bibliographic Information:

Goldberg, Myla. Catching the Moon. Illus. Chis Sheban. New York, NY: Authur A. Levine. 2007. Print.

Summary:

This book is about an old lady fisherman. Each night she would cast her pole and each morning she would leave the dock without fish and very tired. People just thought it was because she was old and forgetting things. Little to find out she wasn’t actually fishing for fish, but for the man in the moon. This was the reason that she used a mouse as bait, and not a worm. She wanted to find him because he controlled the tides and she wanted the tides to not be as strong because they were forcing water into her house and ruining it. The moon came and visited her whenever it wasn’t in the sky to have tea, and eventually they became friends and the tide returned to normal.

Activity Ideas for the book:

After reading this book, children can make a model using play dough or clay of the man in the moon and a scene that incorporates him in it. The model of the scene should be put in a shoe box and on display for others to see.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“On those nights, the Fisher woman stayed in her shack and brewed green tea- and the Man in the moon put on his traveling hat” (Goldberg n.p.).

Questions about the book:

Did the lady know that the guy visiting was the man in the moon?

What did she mean by when she said that he the moon looked oddly familiar?

Why was her house full of holes?

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Modern Fantasy, Fishing, The Moon, Elderly.

Literary Elements:

Setting: The fisher woman’s house and dock, Genre: Modern Fantasy.

Fable: Wolf! Wolf!

Digital copy image of Wolf! Wolf! by John Rocco.  Amazon. Web 06 October 2010.<http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-John-Rocco/dp/1423100123#_>

Bibliographic Information:

Rocco, John. Wolf! Wolf!. New York, NY: Hypersion Books for Children, 2007. Print.

Summary:

This book is a twist on an old fable, the boy who cried wolf. It starts out with an introduction of the wolf, who is older now and is having a hard time weeding his garden. He hears someone crying wolf and realizes that it is a boy who is playing a joke. Upon hearing the boy, he sees a goat and asks if he can take it to help him, and instead of eating the goat, he uses him to eat his weeds. This book is humorous and a nice twist to a classical fable.

URL Links:

Activity Ideas for the book:

After reading the story students can then read the original story found at the web address above. Using a Venn diagram or t-chart students can compare and contrast this version from the original fable.

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Telling the Truth, Community, Lying, Fables.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“The hungry old wolf was to slow to snatch birds, and to stiff to chase rabbits, so he tried growing food in a small garden” (Rocco n.p.).”

Literary Elements:

Genre: Children’s literature Fables, Conflict: The wolf is too old to weed his garden, the boy is playing a prank on the town.

Parody: The Runaway Mummy

Digital copy image of The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex.  Amazon. Web 2 November 2010. http://www.amazon.com/Runaway-Mummy-Petrifying-Michael-Rex/dp/0399252037/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288828595&sr=8-1-spell

Bibliographic Information:

Rex, Michael. The Runaway Mummy. Illus. author. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 2009. Print.

Summary:

This book is a parody about mummy son and his mother. It talks about what would happen to him if he ran away, and how the mother would search the earth to find him. This book is humorous in illustrations and style as well.

Activity Ideas for the book:

After reading the book, students can analyze in a few sentences what makes this book a parody. They will be given the definition, and need to pick out specific examples to deduct their reasoning.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“I guess I will just stay here and be your rotten little mummy forever and ever” (Rex n.p.).

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Mummy, Parody, Family.

Literary Elements:

Setting: Egypt and made up places they travel to, Genre: parody.

Question from the book:

What is a parody?

A parody is a type of story that makes fun of something. In this book is a parody because the mother in the story is a mummy and the little boy wants to be good, but she wants him to be rotten, which is amusing.

The Legend of the Loon

Digital copy image of The Legend of the Loon by Kathy-jo Wargin.  Amazon. Web 2 November 2010. 

Bibliographic Information:

Kathy-jo, Wargin. The Legand of the Loon. Illus. Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen. Manitioba, Canada: Sleeping Bear Press. 2000. Print.

Summary:

This book is about the relationship of a Native American grandmother and her  grandchildren. Grandmother Lom lived in the northern woods for a long time, she was an old woman who had an odd walk and long white hair. She taught her grandchildren how to discover many elements of nature, each day on their walks. One day the kids decided to take a boat out to sea and the fog became so thick they couldn’t find their way back home. They called for help and their grandmother ran to the shore and started to wave her hands and cried “Where are you?” Then started to row to her voice, when they saw a loon overhead. The bird lead them to shore, and the grandmother was nowhere to be found, but her spirit lived on.

Questions about the book:

How did the grandmother die?

Where did the legend of the loon come from?

What is the geographical location of the story?

Activity Ideas for the book:

After reading the book, students can create their own legend. They will need to choose a place or animal and create a story of how they came into being.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“And there she was in the midst, a dark gentle bird floating softly upon the water while birch trees rattled in the wind and the air smelled of balsam fir” (Wargin n.p.).

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Native Americans, Family, Death, Legends.

Literary Elements:

Genre: Legends, Point of View: Omniscient, Characters: Grandmother Lom, and her grandchildren.

Question from the book:

What is a legend?

“A legend is a story that is often based on an actual historical figure whose deeds and exploits have been embellished” (Stoodt-Hill & Amspaugh-Corson 297)

Diversity Picture Book

Digital copy image of Bird by Zetta Elliott.  Amazon. Web 28 October 2010.http://www.amazon.com/Bird-Zetta-Elliott/dp/160060241X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288230827&sr=8-1-catcorr>

Bibliographic Information:

Elliott, Zetta. Bird. Illus. Shadra Strickland. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books Inc. 2008. Print.

Summary:

This book is about a young boy name Mehkai who is met with many struggles. Th book first talks about how his brother Marcus is going through a bad stage in his life and how he is subjected to life on the streets and takes a wrong turn because of it. In the end his brother ends up passing away, along with his grandpa. Mehkai nicknamed Bird, discovers that life is hard and sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to create good arround you. In doing so Bird pours out his feelings into his drawing and feeding the pigeons at the park to help him cope with the bad in his life.

Questions about the book:

What does his grandpa die from?

What happens to Bird, does he live the same life as his brother or does he learn from his mistakes?

What type of community/area is he growing up in?

Activity Ideas for the book:

Students can draw a bird of their chosing and write a quote from the book on the page with their drawing and in a few sentences describe what personal meaning the quote has to them and the impact the book had on them as well.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“You can fix a broken wing with a splint, and the bird can fly again… But you can’t fix a broken soul” (Elliott n.p.).

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Drugs Abuse, Family, Death, African Americans.

Literary Elements:

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Point of View: First Person.

URL Links:

Culturally Responsive Teachers:

According to the Alaskan Standards for culturally responsive education, teacher should “seek to continually learn about and build upon the cultural knowledge that students bring with them from their homes and community” (ANKN n.p.). This book ties in with this concept because if a child lives in the inner city, this type of situation may be prevalent, and it is important for teachers to be aware of this and great to have books that students can relate to. by having students read this book it may reiterate the point that they are not alone, and many others are going through the same situations. This can be especially helpful for teachers who are not cultured and cannot relate to the students.

Digital copy image of Fruitlands by Gloria Whelan.  Amazon. Web 28 October 2010.<http://www.amazon.com/Fruitlandsebook/dp/B003XCM5DM/ref=sr_1_3ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1288228874&sr=8-3-spell>

Bibliographic Information:

Whelan, Gloria. Fruitlands. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher. 2002. Print.

Summary:

This book is about a young girl named Louisa May Alcott and her families quest to perfection. Louisa and her family are Quakers and one day they  decide to move to Massachusetts to the “fruitlands” in order to make themselves more pure. They load up their belongings and go ten miles to their new home. Once there, they are joined by others who believe in this vision as well. The idea of moving was her fathers idea, and his goal for them is to live pure and natural lives. This meant giving up meat, and anything made from animals because they were creatures too, and it was wrong to take from them. It also meant giving up possessions, such as clothing and other everyday items. They live on the “fruitlands” for quite some time and along the way they take on new members and after a period those people leave as well, because of the struggles that come with living this way. Eventually they are forced to leave because if they didn’t they would freeze and starve to death. However, they all learned a valuable lesson by living there.

Question about the Book:

What do Quakers believe in?

What is the Shaker religion and is it a real one or made up?

Are Emerson and Thoreau inspired by the real authors/philosophers?

URL Links:

  • http://www.quakerinfo.org/
  • This website is very useful and can tie in with this book, because in the story they state that the family are Quakers, but do not describe what a Quaker is. This website does, and can be useful to further explain the religion.
  • http://www.online-literature.com/alcott/
  • This website is a biography of Louisa May Alcott and can be used in comparing the story to.

Activity Ideas for the book:

After reading this book and the biography of the real character that the story was based on, make a Venn Diagram in which you compare and contrast the book from the real story.

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Massachusetts, Diaries, Family, Louisa May Alcott, Utopia.

Literary Elements:

Setting: Massachusetts, Conflict: The people in the ‘fruitlands” trying to get along together in this utopian society, Characters: Louisa, Anna, Mother, Father, Lizzie, Abby May.

Memorable Passage from the book:

“We are all going to be made perfect. This day we left Concord in the rain to travel by wagon the ten miles to our new home, which father has named Fruitlands” (Whelan 3).

Culturally Responsive Teachers:

According to Alaskan Standards, teachers should be able to “acquaint students with the world beyond their home community in ways that expand their horizons while strengthening their own identities” (ANKN n.p.). The book Fruitlands is a great book in portraying this concept to students. This book discusses the Quakers who were a religious group that was prevalent in the 1800’s. In this book it briefly tells what one would strive for if they believed in these religious ideals. Students can grasp from this that people back then lived very different physically and ideologically then they do now. Students will also be able to relate this to the fact that may of their ancestors shared this belief, and be able to explore their own views and how they are different.

Content vs. Concept

Digital copy image of ABC Safari by Karen Lee.  Amazon. Web 20 October 2010.<http://www.amazon.com/ABC-Safari-Karen-Lee/dp/0977742369>

Bibliographic Information:

Lee, Karen. ABC Safari. Illus. author. Mt.Plesant, S.C.: Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2007. Print.

Summary:

This book is about is about animals that one would see on a safari, having each animal start with a letter of the alphabet.It goes through the entire alphabet and gives factual information about each animal discussed.It is a great book to teach children about animals while incorporating their knowledge of ABC”s.

URL Links:

  • http://www.fisher-price.com/us/fun/games/abc/
  • This website could be used with younger children to help them learn their ABC’s and it ties in with the book. They could first do the game to ensure understanding of letters, then read the book for examples.

Activity Ideas for the book:

Students could make their own ABC book using different themes such as underwater animals, desert animals, etc. to mimic this book.

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

ABC’s, Animals, Safari.

Literary Elements:

Theme: Safari, Poetry: This book also has a poem about the animal.

Memorable Passage:

“If what’s inside were also clear, the X-ray fish would disappear” (Lee n.p.)

Digital copy image of Shape by Shape by Suse McDonald.  Amazon. Web 20 October 2010.http://www.amazon.com/Shape-Suse-MacDonald/dp/1416971475>

Bibliographic Information:

McDonald, Suse. Shape by Shape. Illus.Caldecott Honoree. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Company. 2009. Print.

Summary:

This book explains the different shapes in a very unique way. It starts out by describing a something and then having the reader try to guess what it is. It goes through the body parts of the thing and tells what each shape is along with having a cut out of it. At the end it tells that the thing was a Brachiosaurus.

Question about the Book:

What is a Brachiosaurus?

What kinds of things does it eat?

When was it living?

URL Links:

Activity Ideas for the book:

The teacher will cut out of construction paper the list of body parts mentioned in the book and the students can say the shape and then glue them onto the dinosaur in the appropriate areas.

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Dinosaurs, Shapes, Colors, Body Parts.

Literary Elements:

Theme: Shapes, Imagery: This book explains the images through the use of body parts.

Content vs. Concept:

The book ABC Safari is a content book. A content book can present information about a certain subject, and may do so in a variety of ways. It may have paragraphs or short ideas, but it tries to explain something like number or ABC’s. Teacher need to consider what type of information is being displayed and what form it is in because some students my prefer books set up in different ways. In content books that have ABC’s teachers should also consider the type of vowels presented, whether they are short or long and the sounds that the letters make, because this can be confusing for students.

The book Shape by Shape is a concept book. These type of books have mainly pictures, but can also include text. These books portray a certain concept like shapes colors, ect. This book and the book about content should both be carefully considered to ensure there is diversity presented and that the information is not racist or prejudice in any way.

Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry

Digital copy image of Project Mulberry by Linda Park.  Amazon. Web 14 October 2010.<http://www.amazon.com/Project-Mulberry-Linda-Sue-Park/dp/0440421632/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287101093&sr=8-1>

Bibliographic Information:

Park, Linda Sue. Project Mulberry. New York, NY: Clarion Books, 2005. Print.

Summary:

This book is about an Asian-American and her struggles to accept her cultural heritage. It starts off by presenting this girl, Julia and her friend Patrick, as they decide on a WIGGLE project. Right from the get go, her mom suggests that they should create a silk worm farm for the project, and her friend falls in love with the idea. Not wanting to upset her friend, Julia goes along with it, but secretly tries to find ways to make it fail. Through the process, however, Julia starts to like the project and embrace her cultural differences as well. This book also deals with stereotypes and prejudice and teaching the lesson that it is important to be respectful of others.

URL Links:

Activity Ideas for the book:

Students can create their own silkworm project. In doing so they will raise and hatch silkworms, and record this process like they did in the book. From there students can compare the results of how many hatched and what sex they were, to Julia’s project, in the book.

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Family, Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Culture, Diversity, Insects, Silkworms.

Literary Elements:

Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Conflict: Julia doesn’t want to do the silkworm project, but doesn’t want to tell Patrick and upset him.

Question from the Course Textbook:

  1. Can you make connections between any of the issues and problems presented in these realistic books and problems you may have experienced growing up?
  • In the Project Mulberry, Julia has a mother who is prejudice. Her mother doesn’t feel comfortable around Mr. Dixon because he if African-American, and Julia doesn’t want to know if her prejudice is real because it would be hard for her to handle if she actually had verification that this was indeed true. I can relate to this situation, because my parents are prejudice as well towards homosexuals. This is unfortunate because many people are prejudice because they have false assumptions that they are basing that fear off of, and in return they are taking it out on the group. It is also upsetting because, I feel that people should take the time to get to know others and not make these stereotypes, and I thin if they did, they would be surprised at  what they would find. I think that prejudice is a real problem and therefore fitting to put in a realistic book setting.

Diary of a Spider

Digital copy image of Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin.  Amazon. Web 14 October 2010.<http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Spider-Doreen-Cronin/dp/0060001534/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287099472&sr=8-1>

Bibliographic Information:

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Spider. Illus. Harry Bliss. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher. 2005. Print.

Summary:

This book is a children’s picture book that is a diary of a spider, from the spiders view. It goes on to explain the thoughts an feelings of a young spider and incorporates what this particular spider does and learns on a daily basis, as well as giving some factual information on spiders.

Questions about the book:

  1. What information in this book is actually true?
  2. What is the Spiders name?

URL Links:

Activity Ideas for the book:

Students can write their own Diary of a ______, in which they pick an insect and make a diary of it, as if it were the insect actually creating it. This diary should also include real factual info. on their insect.

Memorable Passages from the book:

“Butterflies taste better with a little barbecue sauce” (Cronin n.p.).

Themes/ Thematic Unit Ideas:

Insects, Diaries, Spiders.

Literary Elements:

Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Point of View: First Person.

Question from the Course Textbook:

  1. What might be the reason for putting the contemporary characters in such a wide variety of settings?
  • I think that contemporary characters are put in such a wide variety of settings because the world is becoming more globalized. People are starting to think outside of their small little communities and are able to think of people and communicate with them on a global scale, so it is fitting that the characters would mimic this idea. The Diary of a Spider is a great book to show this variety of setting because the setting is in nature where spiders reside, and it is a sort of out of the box setting.Which is very educational for children to learn about many diverse settings, that not only apply to themselves or humans, but other living creatures as well.

 

  

 

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