Posts from the ‘teachers’ Category

DIFFERENT YET ALIKE

Family Means…:A children’s picture book about diversity, inclusion, and love

Written by Matthew Ralph

Illustrated by Badrus Soleh

This multicultural picture book reveals the plethora of family groups that may make a family. It includes families of different races, religions and abilities, including those with disabilities.

The author emphasizes the qualities that families share rather than the physical or surface differences. For example, families share activities, work as a team, learn from each other, cheer each other up, and love one another.

At the end of the book, there is a space for readers to interact by defining what family means to them and drawing a picture of their own family. A charming bedtime story or read aloud book for preschool and elementary school children, families, and teachers.

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STORYTELLING STEP BY STEP

HOW TO TELL WRITE AND MAKE UP A STORY: CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING LEARNING BOOK PART 1

Rose Press House

An interesting approach to teaching the art of storytelling. In Part 1 of this series, readers meet Tom, a 12 year old boy who loves listening to stories. Tom, his uncle, spends lots of time doing telling Tom stories. One day, Tom suggests that they change things up. He asks the boy to tell him a story. The boy is at a loss. He says he does not know how to do that.

Patiently, Tom guides the boy step by step. Through their conversation, he guides readers through the process. First, Tom decides on the main character and describes him. Then he sets a moral and theme for his story. The boy decides on a name for his story and develops an outline to put the details that support his character and theme in order. Then the boy writes a draft of the first part of his story and shows it to an adult to read. But the story is not finished. The boy needs to complete the transitions, details, and supplementary characters that will provide a resolution or completion of the story. That will be coming in Part 2.

I liked this casual approach using storytelling as a vehicle not only to develop communication skills, but also to teach the steps necessary to write an effective story. Many middle-grade students who have difficulty organizing both their ideas and putting them down on paper will enjoy this unique approach to oral and written storytelling.

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TAKE A DEEP BREATH

I Feel Anxious: Children’s Book About Overcoming Anxiety For Kids 4-8.

Written by Aleks Harrison

Illustrated by Ferlina Gunawan

Max is a little boy who feels overwhelmed and anxious. He is moving with his parents to a new town two states away. As he rides in the moving truck, worries crowd his mind. What will his new school be like? Will the new children like him? Who will be his teacher?

Max’s parents encourage him to draw and write about his feelings. That makes him feel better. Perhaps, things won’t be so bad.

Through beautiful illustrations and expressive language, Max calms his fears and reaches out to children who may find themselves in similar situations. Recommended for preschoolers and primary grade children.

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WHAT A FUN INTRODUCTION TO CHEMISTRY

Women in Chemistry

Written by Mary Wissinger

Illustrated by Danielle Piolo

This well-written and organized book is a wonderful way to introduce elementary and middle-grade readers to the world of chemistry. Wissinger offers simple explanations with appropriate illustrations making the content clear and easy to comprehend.

The short book packs a ton of information in forty pages. Young scientists learn about matter, elements, atoms, DNA, X-rays, chemical reactions, the periodic table, and so much more. There is a brief history of the contributions by women in chemistry going way back to Cleopatra. The glossary adds additional information to explore. The tone is positive encouraging the young reader to embrace scientific exploration.

I am looking forward to reading more books in this new nonfiction science exploration series.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC to review, which I voluntarily chose to read and review with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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SIMPLY PUT…

Little Bluebird: A Hero in Me and You

Written by Erin Murphy

Illustrated by Mykyta Harretts

Edited by Nadara Merrill

A very short book for preschoolers. This picture book teaches we may look different on the outside, but our uniqueness is also our strength. Cute illustrations that are multicultural and include disabilities.

Recommended for toddlers and preschoolers.

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THE TIMES ARE CHANGING

A Letter to My Fifth Grade Self (The Diary of Janie Ray Book 2)

Written by Lila Segal

Janie Ray gets a diary from her mom as a gift. She has the same problems most fifth graders experience. Janie spends most of her time with her best friend, Sheila. But fifth grade is full of social anxiety. There are snobs, bullies, teacher problems and family adjustments.

One thing about Janie is very different. When she was seven, she found a medallion. Together with Sheila. she has developed a secret language. Soon they would find a connection to the medallion that would allow them to travel back in time. Janie would learn about the perils of interfering with events and the responsibility of being the keeper of the medallion.

The book is a coming of age novel, mixed with fantasy and preteen relationships. It moves along fairly quickly and ends with a cliffhanger that will lead to the next book in the series. I did not read the series books prior to this one and did not find that a problem.

Recommended for readers ages eight through twelve.

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ON SECOND THOUGHT

Superheroes Wear Masks: A picture book to help kids with social distancing and covid anxiety

Written by Chris Stead

Illustrated by Yohan Priyankara

A young boy narrates this story. He explains why he does not like wearing a mask. He cannot recognize the faces of people, they look scary, and these masks are uncomfortable to wear.

When he has a fight with this parents about wearing a mask, they ground him. That gives him time to think about people he knows who wear masks to protect themselves at work, like a doctor, a fireman, a construction worker, and a chemist. That reassures him. Maybe protecting yourself from harm is just being careful and smart.

This book is a good choice for parents and teachers to use in explaining the necessity of masks during the pandemic and reassuring the fears of young children.

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HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

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HALLOWEEN POTPOURRI

Trick or Treat Free For All: A Halloween Kids Book

Written by: Marina J. Bowman, J.K. Campbell, Richard Clark, Eli Cranor, Connor Grayson, Deb Logan, Scott Peters, D.M. Potter, and M.K. Radican

Here is a book that will please beginning and middle-grade readers. There are ten different stories. Each is written by a well-known children’s author.

These stories have different themes that correspond with the genre and characters familiar to each of the authors. Detective story fans, magic fans, folktale fans, and mystery fans will find a story to love. Reluctant readers will be enticed by the shorter length and off-beat characters.

Teachers might read one of these each day or the collection might be read aloud at a Halloween party. Anthologies are not common for young readers, but I think it is a good way to introduce readers to a wide variety of different genres and book series.

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Get the scoop on my latest release!

SHARE THE STORY OF AMERICA’S FOUNDING AND THE OLDEST FEDERAL CONSTITUTION IN EXISTENCE

TRACE THEIR FOOTSTEPS AT INDEPENDENCE HALL & The Museum of the American Revolution with Little Miss HISTORY as your guide.

GET A PREVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE:

https://askdavid.com/reviews/book/children-book/18216

Check out the reviews, videos and other books in this award-winning children’s nonfiction book series.

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