stephanyk_5

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Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

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This book would be appropriate for the fourth and fifth grade. There is a lot of dialogue and writing on each page that may be harder for younger students to follow along. The story is about a slave girl named Sweet Clara who has to leave her mother to work on a Plantation at a young age. She always dreams about reuniting with her mother again. One day she hears people talking about the Underground Railroad and how they help slaves runaway. The only problem is that they do not have a map. So, Sweet Clara begins to create a map by making a quilt. She carefully listens in on conversations to hear about where certain fields and rivers are. At the end she memorizes the quilt and finds her way to her mother and freedom. Uses in classroom:- Lesson on slavery.-Teach children to make a map.- The class can make quilt. Each student will design a part of the quilt by sewing something special to them on it.
Strega Nona

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This book is a Caldecott Honor Book that is appropriate for the grades pre-k through third. The book is filled with pictures and is not too long. The story is about Strega Nona, a witch who takes care of her town with magic. Strega Nona is getting old and so she decides to hire Big Anthony to take care of her house work. Her only rule is that he must not touch the pasta pot. One day Big Anthony sees Strega Nona use the pasta pot to make dinner. He brags to the town and shows off the pasta pot when she is out of town but he does not know how to stop the pot from making pasta. At the end, as a punishment Strega Nona makes him eat all the pasta out of the town. Uses in the classroom:-Discuss the moral of the story which is that we shouldn't touch things that we are told not to.- Have children make a text to world connection. Have them discuss a time when they touched something they were not supposed to and got in trouble.-As a fun activity I would give children a picture of a pot and have them draw a food that the pot will make. Something that they would never get sick of.
Sylvester & The Magic Pebble

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This book is appropriate for the grades pre-k through second. Sylvester Duncan is a donkey that lives with his parents in Oatsdale. His hobby is to collect unusual pebbles. One day he finds a magical red pebble that grants him his every wish. On his way home to show his parents he becomes startled by a lion and wishes to turn into a rock. Sylvester is no longer holding the pebble and so he cannot wish himself to turn back into a donkey. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan go searching everywhere for Sylvester but are unable to find him. Seasons pass and finally, one spring day Mr. and Mrs. Duncan decide to have a picnic on Strawberry hill on top of Sylvester! Mr. Duncan finds the red pebble next to the rock and puts it on top of Sylvester. Sylvester wishes to be a donkey again and is reunited with his family. At the end the Duncan family decides to put the pebble away because they have everything they need. Uses in the Classroom:- I would have students write out three wishes they would make if they had a magic pebble.- Discuss the moral of the story, be happy with what you have. - I would have students write out three things they are lucky to have in their lives.- As an art activity I would bring in pebbles and paint so that children can make their own magic pebbles.
The Snowy Day

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This Caldecott Medal book is appropriate for the grades pre-k and kindergarten. The book would be a good read aloud book because it is short and mostly filled with pictures. The book begins with a young boy named Peter waking up to find snow on the ground. He immediately gets out of bed, puts on his coat and goes to explore the snow covered world. He spends the day making snowmen, snow angels and just making tracks in the snow. Peter also uses his imagination to pretend that he is a mountain climber. The next day he goes on to do the same thing with a friend. Uses in Classroom:-Have students draw what they do when it snows.-Introduce onomatopoeia because it used often in the story (crunch, plop)-I can prepare pictures of different kinds of tracks in the snow and have students guess who made them.
The Cat in the Hat

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This book is appropriate for first and second graders. Although this book seems lengthy, it repeats many words and sentences that students can practice reading. The book is about a cat who brings chaos to the house when two children are left alone with a fish. The cat tries to entertain the kids and their fish just wants him out of the house. At the end when the children are freaking out because of the mess (because their mother is right outside) the cat comes in and cleans up all his toys. Uses in the classroom:-The books ends with the children asking the reader if they would tell their mother everything that happened while she was gone. I would have students answer that question and tell me why they picked their answer.-I would have children practice writing short dialogues. -As an activity I would have children illustrate what they would do if there mother wasn't home.- I would ask the children why it is important to clean up after they play. (The children in the book probably would have gotten in trouble if the cat did not pick up after himself)
Green Eggs and Ham

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The appropriate age group for this book would be kindergarten and first grade. The same sentences are used over and over again or just mixed around in a different order. In the story Sam-I-am tries to get his friend to eat green eggs and ham. Each time the friend refuses to eat green eggs and ham no matter where he is. At the end though he finally tries it and ends up liking it. The book teaches readers to try new foods.- I would ask children if they had a food they didn't want to try but ended up liking it. I would have children draw a picture of the food they didn't like and then share it with the class.-I would have children draw some of their favorite foods and foods they do not like or cannot eat. Children can learn more about each other through this exercise.
A Chair For My Mother and Other Stories

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This Caldecott Honor book is appropriate for the grades pre-k through first. The book is colorful and not too lengthy. The narrator who is a young girl starts off by saying that she sometimes goes to the diner where her mother works after school. There her mother's boss Josephine gives her small jobs to do and then compliments her and pays her. The narrator lives with her mother and her grandmother. Their house caught on fire a year ago so they now live in a small apartment. They don't have much furniture so they are saving up for a nice comfy sofa. At the end they fill up the coin jar and end up getting a nice sofa that her mother could rest on. Uses in classroom:- Talk about the different families that people can have.- I would have students write a story about their family and make a poster to share with the class.
Cinderella

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Classic literature appropriate for second and third graders because although it is filled with pictures, it is a bit wordy. There are also picture book versions of this book for younger children. The book is about Cinderella who lives with and is constantly annoyed by her two step sisters and step mother. They tell her the things that she cannot do and order her around. Cinderella dreams of meeting her prince by going to the ball but when her dreams are crushed by her step sisters and step mother she almost gives up. Her fairy godmother steps in and helps her dreams come true. At the end Cinderella finds her prince and lives happily ever after. Uses in classroom:- I can use the step sisters and step mother as an example and teach a lesson on bullies.- I would have children write a short paragraph on what their dream is and share it with the class. Then I would post the paragraphs somewhere in the room that children are free that change and edit throughout the year.- Discuss how it is not always easy to achieve a dream and how we have to work for it. I would have volunteers to share who could help them achieve their dream.- I would have children write out a list of goals they have for the end of the year. I would collect it and then give them back at the end of the year.(All these uses are to help children discuss and use text to world connections. Also children get practice writing their goals so that they can know them.
Backpack Stories

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This graphic novel is appropriate for the grades pre-k through third. The book is humorous and has four short chapters. Also the pictures are bright, colorful and eye catching. The book begins with the history of the backpack and how cavemen and Egyptians tried to create a backpack but failed. I.C Clearly the narrator also jokes that 21st century children do not need backpacks because they have their moms carry everything. The following chapters are even more silly stories about a volcano backpack, super backpack girl and a backpack that is always hungry. Uses in classroom:- I would have students create their own backpack story.- I would have pre-k students design their own backpack.- I would show children how to read a table of contents.- As a class we can make a volcano.- A lot of onomatopoeia is used in the book so I would go over that with students. I could even have students listen to a number of different sounds and write an onomatopoeia.
The True Story Of the Three Little Pigs

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This book is appropriate for the grades pre-k through fourth. Younger children would probably enjoy having this story read to them because it is a twist of the original three little pigs. Alexander T. Wolf tells his side of the story in jail of what happened with the three pigs. He makes the readers think that the pigs are cruel and dumb. He says that he is innocent and that the news reporter made him out to be the big bad wolf for a good story. - I would ask the students to choose which side of the story they believe, the three little pigs or the big bad wolf. Then I would have them split up into two groups. If there are students who cannot choose a side, I would make them the judges. I would have students put on a trial. - I would teach the children about point of view and how the narrator cannot always be trusted.
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