Posts from the ‘classroom resources’ Category

GREEN TEAM

Not for me, Please! I choose to act green

Written by Marie Godsey

Illustrated by Christoph J. Kellner

 

What a clever way to explain the concept of recycling to young children. Godsey uses a young boy presented in the guise of a superhero. At first, Luke is like most children who pay no attention to conserving the earth’s resources. When Luke notices trash all around him, he decides that he will become a part of the solution rather than the problem.

Luke shows his readers how to follow the three R’s: reduce, recycle and reuse. He discusses the problems of trash in the ocean, in our homes and in our schools. He talks about energy conservation tactics a child can practice like turning off faucets, being mindful of unnecessary electricity, and avoiding one-use plastics and paper. While the text is written in rhyme in simple language, the author includes teaching and discussion points at the bottom of each page. At the end of the book, a reflections page summarizes the content in the book and facilitates group discussion. This book is particularly targeted at the elementary school age child, but it is a richly illustrated and pleasing choice for a reader of any age.

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CASE SOLVED?

The MEAN GIRL Who NEVER SPEAKS: (The Maya Dove Case Files Book 1)

Written by Zuni Blue

Maya Dove is a six-year-old detective who has already established her reputation at school. One of Maya’s classmates asks her to determine if a new girl at school, Libby Smith is mean or nice. Instead of chapters, the book is presented as a day of the week chronicle as Maya attempts to solve the case. Readers are brought through the day’s happenings in the classroom. Maya gathers her clues, but when Friday arrives she reveals her opinions in a classroom speech.

I am not sure whether Maya really solves the case. She does not state whether Libby is mean or nice but presents her solution in a way that introduces an important social issue. Certainly, Maya’s opinions are quite sophisticated for a six-year-old.

This book is targeted for 5 to 11-year-old readers. The text and vocabulary are an easy read until readers come to the end and Maya’s conclusion. I am not sure whether younger readers will understand the concept of social anxiety. That part of the book is most appropriate for readers ages nine and older. Younger readers will probably need adult help in understanding this concept. I was left with the feeling that the book ended a bit abruptly and the characters might have been fleshed out with more detail.

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FREE AT LAST

Hey Hilde

Written by Ross Hammond

 

Hilde is an adorable Capuchin monkey who leads a carefree life in the jungles of Bolivia until one day poachers come to capture her. Now Hilde is forced to do tricks while chained to a post by day and sleep in a cage every night. One day a volunteer from the rescue organization, CIWY arrives to rescue Hilde. After a long journey, she arrives at Machia Wildlife Sanctuary where she is free to roam with fellow wildlife creatures once more.

This real-life story teaches children empathy toward creatures who should live in the wild and affords them the opportunity to join the volunteer rescue organization. They raise money by creating awareness through products like this book. The illustrations and photographs are vivid and appealing in this richly illustrated picture book. Bonus activities include a coloring page and related activities. Highly recommended for all ages.

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A WORLD OF MANY COLORS

UNDERSTANDING BOBBY’S AUTISM DIAGNOSIS: A Social Story

Written and illustrated by Bozena Zawisz

This book explains how an autistic child views his world. It is a valuable reference tool for parents and teachers of autistic children to use to explain autistic behavior. Many autistic children on the higher end of the spectrum are educated in inclusive classrooms. Children can become confused when these children avoid eye contact, have slower speech, and sensitivity to stimuli that other children think normal.

The author uses simple analogies like an abundance of twig branches to explain why autistic children may have difficulty focusing. She talks about teacher adaptations and how they assist an autistic child in learning. Different intensities of the colors of a rainbow is another good example of how all of us are different in the way we behave. Bobby and his friend John have overcome all these difficulties and have become the best of friends. Each of us has unique talents and skills All children need to give and receive respect for these strengths and differences.

I highly recommend this book which contains simple sketches for parents and teachers of elementary school and middle-school children who have contact with children on the autism spectrum.

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A WOMAN AHEAD OF HER TIME

Catherine The Great: A Life from Beginning to End

Hourly History Series

This short summary of Catherine The Great’s life provides good insight into a woman who was able to turn ambition into fulfillment. Catherine was born in modern-day Poland. Her mother’s wealthy relatives played a prominent part in her rise to power. She was betrothed to Peter, the prospective Tsar of Russia. Catherine despised Peter, but she did everything in her power to gain the love and support of the Russian people. She learned the Russian language, converted to the Eastern Orthodox faith, and acquired the support of the Russian military guard.

Catherine was an early feminist. She supported educational reforms for men and women, reformed the farming system by introducing European reforms, and introduced the principles of European Enlightenment, counting the philosopher, Voltaire, as one of her friends. Catherine extended the territorial boundaries of Russia and succeeded in many of her military goals. She devoted her life to power and did not shirk from using violence to achieve it. The principles she set forth laid the foundation for modern Russia.

Recommended as an introduction to Russian history or as a reference for student research into the subject. The essay is easy to read and is recommended for middle-grade and young adult readers as well as adults interested in biographies and history.

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SLOTHS 101

Sloths! Two-Toed and Three-Toed Sloths

Written by Leanne Annett

Sloths! Sloth Book On Two-Toed Sloths & Three-Toed Sloths For Children: Fun Animal Picture Book for Kids with Interesting Facts & Wildlife Photos (God's Amazing Creation Series 3) by [Annett, Leanne]

 

This book discusses the two family groups of sloths which are further broken down into six species. Annett presents information about what they eat, where they live, their relatives, the dangers they face, how they move, and daily living habits. There are lots of color photographs that display sloths in all sorts of positions and situations.

Annett introduces the book by explaining that she feels all the creatures in her book series are part of God’s amazing plan. She urges her young readers to marvel at nature’s beauty. The rest of the book is a nonfiction narrative.

The Fun Sloth Facts is a summary of the most important facts contained in the book. It is a good starting point for those who wish to do a report or additional research on sloths. A glossary is helpful for students who may not be familiar with some of the more scientific terms.

I would recommend the book to readers of all ages who are interested in these curious, friendly creatures. Children of all ages will enjoy looking at the photos and learning about them.

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ONLINE SAFETY

How to Protect Children from Online Predators and Cyberbullies: Survival Guide for Non-Techie Parents

Written by Ram Muthiah

I found this guide informative and essential for parents with children growing up in a world dominated by digital technology. The author wrote this book for two reasons: as a supplement to a novel based on true experience and as a practical guide to help parents navigate the rapidly changing world of the internet in which their children engage daily. Muthiah wants to protect children from those who use the internet to engage in crimes that prey on children. The author’s opinion is that the most important thing parents can do is to gain the trust of their children so that they can engage in honest conversations about internet abuses.

Pedophiles use the internet to lure children into meeting them or to collect pornographic pictures of them. Cyberbullies are cowards to hide behind the anonymity of the internet to attack and scar children mentally. The Internet is a tool to set up human trafficking networks. This author covers all the social media networks like Facebook, Skype, Instagram et al and breaks down different social networks and how they can be used as traps to engage children. He provides links to effective tools for screening out the threats and includes an appendix of secret internet language used by children and teens with which parents may not be familiar,

I would urge parents, teachers, and all those who work with children to keep this book on their shelf as valuable reference material.

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