Monday, November 30, 2020

Anna's Prayer by Karl Beckstrand

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the biography Ida's Witness by Karl Beckstrand and the different ways in which you can use it in your classroom.  Ida's Witness, if you recall, is about Karl Beckstrand's great-grandmother Ida who immigrated to the United States from Sweden.  When she left Sweden, Ida brought her 10-year old sister Anna with her.  Ida's sister Anna is the subject of Karl Beckstrand's second biography Anna's Prayer (affiliate link to Amazon).  She is Karl Beckstrand's great-aunt.  Keep reading to learn more about Anna's Prayer and how you can use it in a compare and contrast lesson with Ida's Witness!

Compare and contrast two biographies by Karl Beckstrand. Anna's Prayer and Ida's Witness are about sisters who immigrate to America from Sweden.

Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes by Christen Conrad

Early readers start learning about story plot and structure right from the get-go.  They learn that stories tend to follow a pattern and how to identify the story elements within that pattern.  The basic story elements include:
  • characters (the main people or animals in the story)
  • setting (where and when the story takes place)
  • problem (the biggest problem in the story or decision that needs to be made)
  • solution (how the problem is solved or the final decision made)
Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes by Christen Conrad (affiliate link to Amazon) is a fun, fast-paced story with easily identifiable characters, setting, problem, and solution that could be integrated easily into a language arts unit about story elements.  Who is Zester the Zebra?  How did his stripes go missing?  How can I integrate Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes into my lessons?  Keep reading to find out!

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce

I enjoy reading biographies, especially when they are about important figures from history who may or may not be well known.  I recently found the biography Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist... Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša for short... by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce (affiliate link to Amazon).   Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša is a sophisticated picture book packed full of detailed information and some primary sources about the life and accomplishments of Zitkala-Ša, a Native American woman who sought equality and justice for others.  Red Bird Sings: The Story of  Zitkala-Ša would be a good book for upper elementary students.  Read on to learn more about Zitkala-Ša, her interesting life, and how she used her voice to help others.

Learn about the life and accomplishments of Zitkala-Ša in the biography Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

10 Quirky Corona Christmas Books for Children

Christmas 2020 is going to be one for the history books.  Most of the people around the world are under some sort of restriction or lockdown.  What will Christmas look like this year?  How can we have a fun and safe Christmas?  More importantly... will Santa still be able to deliver presents on Christmas Eve?  If so... how will he do it???  These 10 Quirky Corona Christmas books by self-published authors try to answer those questions for you.  Keep reading for the details about each of these books!

A compilation of ten quirky coronavirus Christmas books for children by self-published authors. Perfect for celebrating Christmas during the pandemic!
(affiliate links and descriptions from Amazon)

Friday, November 20, 2020

My Sister Emma by Gina Conger

 Autism... also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD)... is a diagnosis consisting of a wide variety of symptoms and/or characteristics. There are four different types of autism that fall under the ASD umbrella, and no one person experiences it in the same way as someone else. General characteristics of autism may include challenges in verbal communication, repetitive movements, and difficulties with social skills. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, some people will be significantly impacted by it and require lifelong support, whereas others will be highly skilled and able to live independently with minimal or no assistance.

My Sister Emma by Gina Conger (affiliate link to Amazon) is about a little girl Emma who has autism.  She does not 'suffer' from it... she has family and friends who love her and is able to live a full and happy life with the help of a few supports.  What kind of supports does Emma use and how do they help her?  Keep reading to find out!

My Sister Emma by Gina Conger  is about a little girl who has autism. Learn about how she is able to live a full life with help of a few supports.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Hot Chocolate Surprise: A Simple Science Experiment

Teachers are always on the lookout for fast and easy science experiments to complement what their students are learning from their textbooks.  Sometimes science textbooks are dry and not very interesting... even when they are introducing interesting subject matter!  Science experiments are a fun, hands-on way to bring energy and excitement to those pesky pages.  If you are looking for a science experiment that is easy to prepare and conduct, educational, and with a high-interest level, give Hot Chocolate Surprise a try.  Hot Chocolate Surprise appeals to students of all ages and meets a number of objectives.  Read on for a list of materials needed, directions, a free printable, and a (yummy) extension activity.

Learn about chemical changes with this simple science experiment. Mix hot chocolate, baking soda, and vinegar to make a messy HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Draw Me Close to You by Kossim Osseni

When students experience traumatic events in their lives, school counselors are the experts in the building who step in, work with the students, and develop strategies to help them cope.  In essence, they are first responders in the schools when it comes to students' mental health.  I usually write about children's books that teachers and homeschooling parents can use while they are teaching, however, I recently learned about a book school and guidance counselors need to keep in their libraries.  Draw Me Close to You by Kossim Osseni (affiliate link to Amazon) is about a little boy Tunde who loses his mother to a "dreadful disease" and takes comfort and solace in drawing, much to his father's dismay.  His father doesn't want Tunde to draw.  He wants Tunde to do more productive things with his time.  It isn't until something tragic happens that makes him realize how important it is to let Tunde draw and find joy again.  Keep reading to learn more about Draw Me Close to You and about ways school counselors and teachers can help students who are grieving.

Draw Me Close to You by Kossim Osseni is a must-have picture book for school counselors. It explores the healing process after a child loses a parent.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Goose Farm Adventure by Kenyetta Obie

About two months ago, I wrote about a children's book called Grow! How We Get Food from Our Garden by Karl Beckstrand.   Grow! was a rhyming book about all of the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers we can harvest from our gardens.  Today, I am writing about another children's book about gardening.  This one is called Goose Farm Adventure (affiliate link to Amazon) and was just released this autumn by author Kenyetta Obie.  Like Grow!, Goose Farm Adventures teaches children about the foods that come from the garden.  Whereas Grow! was a rhyming book that played with words and alliteration, Goose Farm Adventure is an alphabet book about a little duck who goes on a visit to his grandparents' house and discovers what they have growing in their backyard.  Both are really good books and can be used together.  Are you curious to learn more about Goose Farm Adventure and how you can use it in your classroom?  Keep reading to find out more!

Learn about story elements, gardening, fruits, and vegetables in this fun alphabet book by Kenyetta Obie.  Early childhood to kindergarten read aloud.

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