Category Archives: Nonfiction

Library Lessons: Oct 30-Nov 3, 2017

Week 10!

PreK:

Week 2 of the BEARS unit.

Two stories, one set of riddles, a giant bear walk around the library…and I should have had more.  Note to self: 40 minutes with 4 year olds requires a LOT of activities, especially when they take less than 5 minutes to select books and check out!

Grades K/1:

Week 1 of a new author study with MAC BARNETT.  Mac is one of my favorite

Each week in this study, I’ll be teaching how to read a spine label on a book. With LEO, the 2 questions listed are WRONG! (I saved the wrong slide…oops!). Students reacted to what they wondered about the story.

Grade 2:

Week 4 in our Haiku Animals study.  Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3 are here.  (note: this would be a 3 week unit if students are already familiar with PebbleGo. Mine were not.)

This week, students used their notes to share information learned.  They created short videos using ChatterPix.

Here were the directions, made using ChatterPix:

And here was a sample video I made using the notes I took during one of the classes:

At the end of the lesson, students uploaded their videos to Seesaw.  Want to know more about how I use Seesaw in the library?  INFO TO COME!

Grade 3:

Goal: students will brainstorm wonder questions following a reading of Katherine Applegate’s Ivan: the remarkably true story of a shopping mall gorilla.

Why are we doing this?  Well, Destiny has been a beast, and not all students are able to access it at this point (I’m working on discovering WHY this is).  Until Destiny allows all students equal, successful access, we are taking a break. A mini-unit on nonfiction and research is just what the librarian ordered!

Next week, we’ll do a group research lesson on identifying trustworthy websites and using keywords as we search online for answers to the questions.

Grade 4:

Week 1 of a 5 week unit on FAKE NEWS!

This week, prior knowledge of fake news kicked off our discussion.  Students knew A LOT and kept bringing up certain US-based examples – even in an international school!  We played a short game of “two truths and a lie” to get them prepared for the 3 stories we read in Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson’s book, as most had never heard of it.  Interestingly, two students were able to correctly identify my LIE using nothing but reasoning.  Hint: it involves knowledge of history!

As a class, I read aloud Chapter 5 from Two Truths and a Lie. Recognizing the challenge of reading a book like this aloud, I scanned the pages into a PPT so that children could read along (another idea: use a doc camera…I don’t have one, so scanning worked).  This lesson allowed discussion on how nonfiction books are read (one can skip and choose) and text features in nonfiction (captions, bold words, photographs, etc). We talked about keywords to search, which we’ll be doing next week.

Cheers, y’all!  –arika

Find Momo by Andrew Knapp

Pet books – specifically dog books – were hot commodities for readers in MTigersLibrary.  There was an overflowing shelf of them in the 600’s which was usually decimated by the end of September.  While my elementary readers liked books on each breed, they really liked the ones with good pictures.  Forget the words: they wanted to coo over the photos of the doggies.  Like Momo.

Find Momo Coast to Coast & Let’s Find Momo by Andrew Knapp

The original Find Momo isn’t a typical addition to the elementary library: it’s a photo-journal of a dog, Momo, in landscapes and interiors.  But one element makes Momo a bona fide hit: the black and white dog hides in each photo.  This I Spy aspect is age-appropriate and perfect for readers of any age, language, or ability.  Momo’s first book had enough fans (my students included) to spur more titles: Find Momo Coast to Coast and a board book for the youngest readers Let’s Find Momo.  Both keep the element of I Spy and showcase beautiful photography with one hidden dog.  Momo Coast to Coast gives young readers a picturesque view of the United States through the adventures of an appealing dog.  Imagine the mapping activities one could do with Momo! The board book Let’s Find Momo is great for emerging readers and English-language learners, as it showcases four words and objects in a quadrant, inviting readers to find the matching objects on the following page…along with Momo, of course.  The only drawback may be if readers learn the name “Momo” as representing a dog.  Fun and appealing, share these with dog-lovers of all ages.   

Find Momo published in 2014.  Find Momo Coast to Coast published in 2015.  Let’s Find Momo is released April 18, 2017.

One of the previewed titles at 2017 London Book Fair at the Quirk books booth.

Cheers, y’all! 🙂 arika

Best of 2016: Early Readers, Graphic Novels, Nonfiction…

Broad category here, so please forgive me. As usual, I didn’t read enough nonfiction. Or graphic novels (to my daughter’s chagrin). I did read lots of beginner readers/transitional books, and these are exceptional.  Here are some great choices from 2016:

Best retelling of a fairy tale in graphic novel format: Snow White by Matt Phelan

Best cover of the year that also happens to be a stellar graphic novel for young readers: Narwhal: unicorn of the sea! by Ben Clanton

Best for super-fans of Ezra Jack Keats (um, ME!): A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Best use of language to describe the essence of seasons: When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano

Best nonfiction story to use to develop growth mindset among students: Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s super-soaking stream of inventions by Chris Barton

Best math concept book since The Greedy TriangleThe Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

Best gift for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week: The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Best realistic portrayal of divorce through a child’s eyes: Weekends With Max and His Dad by Linda Urban

Best “bad boys…but not really” story: The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau

Best must-read of the year as chosen by my 7-year-old son: Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

…and now, a little lagniappe.

What is lagniappe?  A bonus or unexpected gift. Also, a little bit of my Louisiana years coming out. 🙂

I didn’t read much YA this year (shame on me!), but these stood out:

Three completely different stories, characters, problems – but similar in that they’re each unforgettable. Like YA? You won’t be disappointed by these.

Happy reading, y’all!

Game Changer by John Coy

Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game by John Coy

Duke University is known as a college basketball powerhouse. But in the 1940’s, the all-white team secretly – and illegally – met to play the North Carolina College of Negros in the first non-segregated basketball game.  An important and true story on the need for inclusivity, understanding, and acceptance. (Ages 7+)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney

On the 100th anniversary of Keats’s birth in 1916 comes the story of his life. From his early years in poverty to his time in WWII to creating the character of Peter as inspired by a series of pictures of an African American boy, the life and impact of Keats is remembered and celebrated. Releases 11.01.16 (Ages 7+)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steve Jenkins

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Animal movement – from jumping to swimming, sliding to soaring – is highlighted in short, easily digested vignettes complete with Jenkins’s unique collage artwork. Both common and more unusual animals are included, from penguins to sloths to tenrecs. To extend learning, further information on each animal is included in the back matter.  (Ages 6-10)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.

Aaron and Alexander by Don Brown

Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History by Don Brown

Meet Aaron and Alexander: two men more similar than different. Both were orphans, soldiers, and politicians. Alexander deeply disliked Aaron; Aaron’s duel challenge was met with Alexander’s unfortunate death.  A condensed yet thorough account of their actions and lives with detailed, divisive illustrations. Hamilton fans, don’t miss this one! (Ages 7+)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.