Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wadda Ya Know Wednesday: Timelines in Books

The other day I mentioned that I would be borrowing an idea from over at Babbling Abby, a first grade teacher who has a ton of creative, adorable and engaging ideas.   If you scroll down to the bottom of her post, you'll see that she has come up with a timeline activity using Eric Carle's A Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I intend to use her idea with my first graders, but since I see three first grade classes, I wanted to mix it up a bit when it came to the books.  I will be using each of the following books with each of my first grade classes:

The original used by Babbling Abby!

My choice for the second class of first graders.
For use with my third class.  BTW, this book is out-of-print.  Unacceptable!
What are your favorite timeline/days-of-week books that you would use?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turn it Around Tuesdays - A Nation's Hope

On the eve of World War II, African American boxer Joe Louis fought German Max Schmeling in a bout that had more at stake than just the world heavyweight title; for much of America their fight came to represent America's war with Germany. This elegant and powerful picture book biography centers around the historic fight in which Black and White America were able to put aside prejudice and come together to celebrate our nation's ideals.
~ Summary from GoodReads 

Last week I shared A Nation's Hope:  The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis with my fourth graders.  By coincidence we had just read two other Kadir Nelson-illustrated books:  Henry's Freedom Box and Mama Miti.  My students were riveted by this story.  Although they are in fourth grade, they don't have a lot of background knowledge about World War II (curriculum-wise, I mean) but nonetheless the importance of this American versus German boxing match-up was not lost on them.

Here's one of the reasons I love my job:  I told them that this book was probably being considered for a Caldecott Medal and after finishing the book I said, "So, what do you think the chances are that this book will win the Caldecott?"  Hands went up.  "85%", "97%", "95%".  They took my question quite literally, as you can see!

My fourth graders made some very astute observations about how realistic the pictures were, how Kadir Nelson seems to illustrate books about African Americans, how Kadir Nelson's name seems to be before Matt De La Pena's name on the front cover, and there was much discussion over how much the text and the pictures complimented each other.  Many students agreed that this was a book where the words and the pictures were equally powerful.

I know my students would love it "100%" if this book won a Caldecott and so would I.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday News

Here are a few links to library news of interest I've had my eyes on this week:

Oh yes, I did order these notepads for the librarian at my children's school.

I found this super fun site by accident while I was searching for contraction activities for first grade.  I also found this The Very Hungry Caterpillar time line activity which I will be adapting for my first graders!  More on that this week.

Have you ordered your free Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service promotional materials yet?  I have a feeling they may not last long!

I spy with my little eye...Bats in the Parking Lot!
I had the privilege to hear Brian Lies speak at the Mid-Atlantic Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference.  He talked about the pre-publication marketing steps he took to promote his first book Bats at the Beach - he then spoke about the use of shadows, light and perspective in his work.  His website is chock full of useful activities related to his books and to bats! 

And finally, if you want to get anything done today do not, I repeat DO NOT, go here.  Don't do it.  I'm warning you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grateful for Grace (Lin)

On Thursday we were honored to have Grace Lin visit our Library.  She taught our first and second graders about the publishing process from idea to published book (which most guessed took, oh, approximately two days) and read to us from her books Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat.  She was gracious, energetic, and made a lot of dreams come true, to be sure.

Thank you, Ms. Lin!  What a fitting time of year for your visit; we are so thankful for the opportunities we have to meet wonderful authors and illustrators like you!

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