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Shauna Sanders
Children’s Literature
Summer 2010
Reading Log 3
Historical Fiction
Title: The Babe & I (1999)
• Author: Dav...
important people in history. The children would hear about this Babe Ruth and
could then do their own research about who h...
read during or after the unit. This should not be read as an introductory book
because there are too many words and concep...
of the two different cultures throughout the social studies unit.
Even though the story is a historical fiction story, it ...
online poster with links, videos, and even audio) for the first graders to view. The
older students would learn research t...
Biography
Title: The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq (2005)
• Author and Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
• Genre: ...
strategy would be to conduct further research on Iraq and even some in-depth
research on libraries that might have possibl...
Informational
Title: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why Comma Really Do Make a Difference (2003)
• Author: Lynne Truss
• Illustrat...
Title: Penguins! (1998)
• Author and Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
• Genre: Informational
• Format: picture book
• Awards: No ...
Summary: This short picture book uses many different animals to introduce
young children to the body parts. Each animal cl...
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Readinglog3

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Readinglog3

  1. 1. Shauna Sanders Children’s Literature Summer 2010 Reading Log 3 Historical Fiction Title: The Babe & I (1999) • Author: David A. Adler • Illustrator: Terry Widener • Genre: Historical Fiction (1932) • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: The story takes place during the Great Depression and is about a young boy who finds out that his dad’s job is selling apples on the street for 5 cents each, even though his mom believes his dad is still working in an office. The boy has the opportunity to start selling newspapers and is shown how to sell them at Yankee Stadium. The boy and his friend sell out of their newspapers everyday because they yell out the stories about Babe Ruth. One day, the boy receives a $5 bill from a man for one paper. He finds out it was Babe Ruth and the boy and his friend use part of the money to go and watch Babe Ruth bat one inning during a game. The boy’s dad finds out that he is helping his family and they know that they are a team working together to keep their family together. Strategies: I think many times today our younger generation does not fully appreciate the value of money sometimes. This story would be a good lesson on how precious life can be and the importance of being good stewards with what God has blessed us with. In the story, the young boy is upset that his parents gave him a dime for his birthday because he wanted a bike. In turn, the boy goes and spends the dime on two apples and doesn’t realize how important that dime was until he saw his own dad selling apples also. It’s a good story to show the importance of family and supporting one another, especially during rough times. This story could also be used as an introduction to learning about
  2. 2. important people in history. The children would hear about this Babe Ruth and could then do their own research about who he was and why he was so important to the American people during the Great Depression. The book could also be a read aloud with history lessons on the Great Depression and would allow for students to really see one particular family and how they were affected during this time in our history. A follow up lesson would be for the students to see if they can find someone in their family history who might have lived during the Great Depression and interview them about what specific stories they can remember of when they were growing up. Title: The Cats in Krasinski Square (2004) • Author: Karen Hesse • Illustrator: Wendy Watson • Genre: Historical Fiction (1940’s) • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: According to the author’s historical note at the end of the story, this account of cats in Krasinski Square was a true story. The narrator is a young Jewish girl living as a Polish citizen hiding from the Gustapo in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. The girl encounters some cats that come from inside the Ghetto. She and her older sister are involved in a plot to sneak food inside the ghetto for their Jewish friends when the Gustapo find out and plan to seize the food with dogs at the train station. The young girl and her friends go and gather the cats and release them at the train station to thwart the dogs’ attention in order to sneak the food into the city. The story does a good job depicting the lives of Jews during the worst time in their history. Strategies: One of the fifth grade social studies standards deals with learning about this particular time in history with the Holocaust. Many of the fifth graders this year would ask for the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, so they could learn more about the Jews and what they experienced. This book would definitely be a great read aloud during the unit. However, I think the book would need to be
  3. 3. read during or after the unit. This should not be read as an introductory book because there are too many words and concepts that students would be unfamiliar with and could possibly lose interest in the book. For example, when the young girl talks about walking her Polish walk and talking her Polish words. One idea to use with this book would be to have the students create a timeline of that time period. The students could even start the timeline at the beginning of the unit and then use part of the author’s note in the back of the book to add to their timeline. Title: Encounter (1992) • Author: Jane Yolen • Illustrator: David Shannon • Genre: Historical Fiction (1492) • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: Jane Yolen has allowed the reader to see through the eyes of a young Native American who encounters the new settlers of the late 1400’s. The story begins with a child having a dream about three ships that come to life as terrible and ferocious birds that are there to attack his people. When he wakes, he realizes that the boats are indeed at his shoreline with funny looking humans. He tries to warn the members of his tribe that the people were not there to be friendly, but were dangerous. No one listened to the young child and the story ends with the young man a now grown man recalling his encounter many years ago. He shares how different his world is now and how he just sits and remembers the day. Strategies: What a great read aloud to share with older students, especially our fourth graders who are learning about Native Americans and Christopher Columbus. This story could be followed with many leading questions to get the students’ attention and curiosity flowing. For example, the teacher could ask the students what they thought the settlers’ impression of the experience might have been. The students could also keep up with a comparing and contrasting chart
  4. 4. of the two different cultures throughout the social studies unit. Even though the story is a historical fiction story, it is also a good book to teach students about writing from different points of view. In this story, the point of view is that of a child and from the Native American point of view. According to the short history included at the end of the book, most of the retellings of this encounter are form the Spaniards. The author mentioned how she thought it would be neat for students to hear another side of the story. The students could practice point of view by taking the same encounter and write from the Spaniards’ point of view. Title: Johnny Appleseed (1990) a poem • Author: Reeve Lindbergh • Paintings by: Kathy Jakobsen • Genre: Historical Fiction (1774-1845) • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: This poem was written about the life of someone named John Chapman who was born in September 1774 in Massachusetts. John Chapman loved planting apple trees and spent his entire life traveling around the American Frontier giving away apples and planting appleseeds along the way. He was said to be a man who valued nature and did not really care about his own appearance. He was a Christian missionary of sorts who would also travel with his Bible. He became friends with the Indians and frontiersmen and soon gained the nickname of Johnny Appleseed. Strategies: This book is very popular with first grade teachers and students and many times on Johnny Appleseed day, the other grade level teachers will share the story as well. First graders learn about important people in our history and Johnny Appleseed is on their list. The short history included at the end of the story claimed that there are a lot of untrue stories floating around about Johnny Appleseed. It would be a neat project for our older students to do some research on finding out the true stories about John Chapman and then creating a glog (an
  5. 5. online poster with links, videos, and even audio) for the first graders to view. The older students would learn research techniques and how to use a new Web 2.0 tool and the younger students would in turn enjoy a new way of learning one of their standards as opposed to just hearing a story about John Chapman. Title: Sarah, Plain and Tall (1985) • Author: Patricia MacLachlan • Genre: Historical Fiction (1910) • Format: chapter book • Awards: 1986 Newbery Medal, 1985 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction for Children, 1986 Christopher Award Summary: This is a story of a family that needs a mother and of a woman who wanted a family. The dad in the story, Jacob, finally realizes that his kids, Anna and Caleb, need another mother, since their mother died during childbirth when Caleb was born. Jacob sends off for a wife and finds Sarah, who describes herself to the family as plain and tall. The family lives in the Midwest in the middle of nowhere while Sarah is coming from the seashore in Maine. The story is all about the characters getting to know each other and accepting each other. There are also some struggles for all of the characters especially with Sarah who becomes homesick and misses the ocean. Strategies: There are so many great writing activities or extensions that could be used with this book. One possible writing strategy deals with a fifth grade literature standard that says a student must compare and contrast a book with the movie. After reading the book, then the students could watch the movie with Glenn Close and Christopher Walken and write about the similarities and differences. Another writing strategy would be to have the students see the story through the eyes of Sarah or another character instead of Anna. The students could create a few journal entries as Sarah when she first visits the farm. The students could also write about the similarities and differences between the ocean and the prairie.
  6. 6. Biography Title: The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq (2005) • Author and Illustrator: Jeanette Winter • Genre: Biography • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: The Librarian of Basra is a story of Alia Muhammad Baker, a librarian in Iraq. She is a librarian in a terrible time in Iraq with war raging all around her library. After many of the soldiers set up on her roof, she decided to begin moving the books to more secure locations for fear of losing them all to the bombs. Her neighbor, Anis the restaurant owner and his brothers come over and help her move the books into his restaurant. Nine days later her library goes up in flames. She ends up hiring a truck to move the thirty thousand books to her home, which is overflowing with books and she waits until there is quiet. This story came from a New York Times reporter Shaila K. Dewan, who was at Anis’ restaurant and heard about the library and Alia. Alia came and shared her story with the reporter and then the reporter shared Alia’s story with us. Strategies: This biography is definitely written for younger students and would be a great book for young students to learn why biographies are written. One strategy to use with this book could involve the art teacher and the librarian working together. The pictures in this book almost look like different pictures cut out and placed on top of another pictures. The art teacher could work with the students to help them create their own pictures for the librarian of Basra. This story would also be easy to act the parts out. The students could make paper puppets of Alia, Anis and his brothers and even a few soldiers and then the students could take on the different characters and replay the story. This story would possibly lead into many questions about the war in Iraq and a
  7. 7. strategy would be to conduct further research on Iraq and even some in-depth research on libraries that might have possibly survived. Title: Snowflake Bentley (1998) • Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin • Illustrator: Mary Azarian • Genre: Informational • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: Many years ago, in 1865, a boy named Wilson Bentley was born in Vermont who would grow up absolutely loving snow. Throughout his life, he studies snow crystals and how they form and how and why each crystal is completely different. He spends his entire life learning all about snowflakes and wants to share his knowledge with the world. He tries drawing the crystals using his mother’s microscope, but the flakes would melt before he could finish his drawing. Then, he convinces his parents to spend their life savings on a new camera that would allow him to take a picture on a film. He ended up using the camera on all types of nature shots. Finally, one month before his death he got to flip through the pages of his book that he left for all of us to see called Snow Crystals. Strategies: This book would be a great book to teach students about what biographies are because it is very simply written in a way that students would possibly find interesting. One strategy would be to have students create their own snowflake with scissors and a piece of paper. Art is always a fun way for students to connect their learning from a book to a hands-on experience. Another strategy for this book would be for the students to conduct their own research on either snow or Wilson Bentley. This book is a good introduction to biographies, but there is not a lot of information. The students would likely be able to find quite a bit more information by using a Web 2.0 tool like Wikipedia. The students could then write an extension to the book using their found information.
  8. 8. Informational Title: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why Comma Really Do Make a Difference (2003) • Author: Lynne Truss • Illustrator: Bonnie Timmons • Genre: Informational • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: This book is not the typical informational book for students. However, this book creates great explanations of how commas should be used and how they can completely change the meaning of a sentence or statement. Throughout the entire book, there is a sentence with a comma in a particular place with a picture showing what is meant by that sentence. Then, on the facing page, the same sentence is used but the comma is placed in a different spot with a different illustration from the first one. The book also includes a chart in the back with each sentence and the rule for a comma in that instance. Strategies: One strategy to use with this book would be to help students learn the correct use of commas. The teacher could read the sentence and write it on the board. Then, before showing the students the illustration the students could draw what they think the sentence means. Then, change the placement of the comma and have students draw another picture to go with the new sentence. The teacher could then show the students the pictures the illustrator used and discuss the different meanings of the placement of the commas. Older students could also have this book read aloud with a rich discussion about the effect a comma can have on text. Then, the students could have a writing extension where they create their own sentences in which the meaning could change based on the simple movement of a comma.
  9. 9. Title: Penguins! (1998) • Author and Illustrator: Gail Gibbons • Genre: Informational • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: This is another one of Gail Gibbons’ fantastic informational books that she writes to teach children about a specific animal or other nonfiction subject. The layout of the book takes students from learning about the different types of penguins, the different places they live, and what they eat. It also teaches students about what penguins do, how they lay eggs, and even how a penguin grows up. Students are sure to find out all the essential information they need to know about penguins. Strategies: Gail Gibbons always does a great job with informational stories. This book about Penguins! would be a good book for students to use to assist their informational writing pieces especially with third – fifth graders. The students could learn research skills first and then use the book to find the information they need to write an informational story about penguins. Another extension that students could do would be to create a diagram of a penguin showcasing the different body parts and what each body part is used for. The book shows some good example of diagrams like the Emperor Penguins with the egg and the brood pouch. Title: From Head to Toe (1997) • Author and Illustrator: Eric Carle • Genre: Informational • Format: picture book • Awards: no awards
  10. 10. Summary: This short picture book uses many different animals to introduce young children to the body parts. Each animal claims that they can do something with a body part and shows the young child in the picture. The story is not only helping students learn the different body parts, but it is also showing students that animals can do many of the same things that humans can do and have many of the same parts that we have. Strategies: This book would be a great story to use with my Pre-Kindergarten students to help them learn the different animal names, if they don’t know them yet, and to help them learn the names of the different body parts. For the students at my school, this book would also be good to assist with the English language. Many of our students are second language learners and pre-K is their first time being in an English-speaking environment. This book would help them learn vocabulary words associated with body parts and animal names.

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