Book of the Month

Book of the Month

  • First Day Jitters

    by Julie Danneberg Year Published: February 1, 2000

    PRINCIPAL’S BOOK OF THE MONTH – September 2019

    FIRST DAY JITTERS       Written by JULIE DANNEBERG

    Pre-K - 5

     

    SUMMARY: First Day Jitters covers all of the anxieties of starting out at a new school. It's the first day of school and Sarah Jane Hartwell is nervous and wants to stay in her bed. Mr. Hartwell tries to ease her nerves with calm reassurance and wise advice. The plot leads to a very cute and surprising twist at the end of the story when the readers learn that the teacher is the one who is nervous about her first day of school.

     

    Objective(s): This lesson is designed to introduce students to the readings strategy making connections. Using evidence from the e-book, First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and their background knowledge, students will find the main idea to help them to relate to the text for a deeper understanding of the text and the author’s message.

     

    Pre-K - 5 Prompts:

     

    1. Tell about your favorite first day of school. What grade were you starting? Why was this day so memorable?

     

    1. Which character from the novel was your favorite character? Cite three reasons this character was one that you like best. Discuss the character traits, actions, and other aspects of this person that made them relatable to you.

     

    Rewrite the ending of the story.

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  • The Three Little Javelinas

    by Susan Lowell Year Published: 1992

    PRINCIPAL’S BOOK OF THE MONTH - MARCH

    The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell   Illustrator: Jim Harris     Pre-K - 5

     

    SUMMARY: Susan Lowell’s take on the tradition three little pigs’ story, The Three Little Javelinas, is set on the Tohono O’Odham reservation in Arizona. Her characters face the Southwest’s choking dust storms and blazing heat, building houses of tumbleweeds, saguaro ribs and adobe, before defeating Coyote, who plans to serve them up with “red hot chile sauce.

    Objectives: Utilizing the text in THE THREE LITTLE JAVELINAS students will - 1. make connections between concepts covered in the book and the world around them. 2. make sense of new vocabulary using evidence from the text.

    Pre-K - 5 Lesson Suggestions with a Science Connection

    The brothers and their sister duel with Coyote in the Sonoran desert, which introduces a study of the desert ecosystem.

    What Is a Desert? Divide the class into groups and let them read their science textbooks or other materials about one of the following: 1. Desert Landforms 2.Desert Climate 3. Desert Plants 4. Desert Animals. Have each group create a chart with a bulleted list of important facts about their topic. Give the groups 10 to 15 minutes to prepare their lists and a three to five minute presentation of these key points.

    VOCABULARYXeriscape - landscape (an area) in a style which requires little or no irrigation. Irrigation - the supply of water to land or crops to help growth, typically by means of channels.

    Desert Landscaping - Discuss with students the idea that lush lawns and flower gardens aren’t a practical option for homeowners in the hot, dry Southwest. Explain the idea of xeriscapes and of using native plants for hardiness. Allow students time to research cacti and other types of plants appropriate for yards or public gardens in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and other hot, Southwestern areas. Ask students to create a one page fact sheet about the different plants, in the style that a plant nursery might provide to customers interested in xeriscaping.

    • Follow up by assigning groups or individuals the making of a desert habitat/ecosystem diorama. Diorama - see attached directions.

    EXIT TICKET - End the lesson with a 3-2-1 exit ticket activity. Give students 3-inch by 5-inch index cards on which they write:

    3 things I learned about deserts.

    2 things about deserts that I’m not sure of or have questions about.

    1 thing about deserts that I could teach someone else.

     

    POETRY IN MOTION LESSON SUGGESTION -

    Write A Shape Poem You, too, can write a shape poem. Picture the twirling whirlwind, the rolling tumbleweeds, the hot rays of the desert sun, and the adobe house. Choose one of these. Brainstorm describing words or phrases. Then write a poem in the shape of the thing you chose. When you're finished, draw the shape around your poem.

    RESPOND - Before students begin to write, have them develop answers to these questions:

    • Which desert item will you write about?
    • How does it feel, smell, taste or sound?
    • What does it look like? ** Students may wish to illustrate their poems and display them on a class bulletin board.

     

    TEACHERS – THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN HARD COPY FORM. PLEASE PUT YOUR REQUEST IN WITH MS. LORD. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO RETURN THE BOOK TO MS. LORD UPON COMPLETION.

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  • Follow the Drinking

    by Jeanette Winter Year Published: 1988

    PRINCIPAL’S BOOK OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY

    Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter     Pre-K - 5

    Background Information: The American folksong Follow the Drinking Gourd was first published in 1928. The Drinking Gourd song was used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and a map. These directions then enabled fleeing slaves to make their way north from Mobile, Alabama to the Ohio River and freedom. Taken at face value, the "drinking gourd" refers to the hollowed out gourd used by slaves (and other rural Americans) as a water dipper. But here it is used as a code name for the Big Dipper star formation, which points to Polaris, the Pole Star, and North.

    In the ensuing 80 years, the Drinking Gourd played an important role in the Civil Rights and folk revival movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and in contemporary elementary school education. Much of the Drinking Gourd's enduring appeal derives from its perceived status as a unique, historical remnant harkening back to the pre-Civil War South – no other such map songs survive. But re-examining the Drinking Gourd song as history rather than folklore raises many questions. And the Drinking Gourd as it appears in roughly 200 recordings, dozens of songbooks, several award-winning children's books and many other places is surely not "traditional." The signature line in the chorus, "for the old man is awaitin' for to carry you to freedom," could not possibly have been sung by escaping slaves, because it was written by Lee Hays eighty years after the end of the Civil War.

    Objectives: Utilizing the text in Follow the Drinking Gourd students will -

    1. explore the nature and implications of the Underground Railroad as it relates to the slaves. 2. make connections between concepts covered in the book and the world around them. 3. make sense of new vocabulary using evidence from the text. The song can be found here: Follow the Drinking Gourd Music

     

    Pre-K - 5 Writing Prompt Suggestions:

    1. What are some ways the people communicate throughout the story? (singing, following the stars, symbols like the foot and the peg, seasons, hoot, drawing of map, lamp being lit) Why did they choose those particular forms? Why didn’t they write a note or draw a map to carry? Why did they sing a song? How does your understanding of the song make you feel now that you understand the meaning of the words? Explain why?

     

    1. How can communication help us navigate various situations in our lives? Have each individual student choose a challenging situation in his or her life. Complete the following writing assignments based on that situation: · A short paragraph describing that situation · A description of a form of communication that can help to rectify the situation · A short role-play of how the situation will play out · A defense of your choice of communication for that situation. (Role-play a situation of your own for the students and discuss how you would follow this writing pattern for your situation.) Challenge students to use their proposed solution to rectify the situation they have described. Do not force students to share this writing as some may choose to write about sensitive subjects.

     

    TEACHERS – THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN HARD COPY FORM. PLEASE PUT YOUR REQUEST IN WITH MS. LORD. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO RETURN THE BOOK TO MS. LORD UPON COMPLETION.

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  •  

    HOW TO MAKE A DIORAMA

     

    Diorama: “a life-size, three-dimensional scene from nature”

     

    1. Find a box at least as big as a shoe box - a slightly larger box works even better. Cover the outside of the box with construction paper.

     

    1. Decide on a scale. This is key, because a diorama becomes believable to the extent that it looks "real." If you've got a focus (plastic animal), use that scale.

     

    1. Collect your materials - animal figures, palm trees or sugar cubes to build an igloo, for an interior scene.

     

    1. Decide on a background - you can paint or draw your own or use wallpaper or wrapping paper (or anything else you can find). Remember, though, that the background images should be consistent with the scale you've chosen. Decorate the Walls: Most every diorama has three walls or views, a ceiling or sky and a floor, ground or base. You need to decorate these inside walls first. There are lots of ways to do this. You can paint them or color them with markers, crayons or paint. You can measure them, cut construction or other paper to fit on them, and glue that on. Or you can go to your computer and design something to look more realistic.

     

    1. Build your diorama working from the back to the front - start with the background (don't forget the sky/ceiling and ground/floor). Then place large objects such as trees. The smallest objects should go farthest forward. Use glue or putty to secure the objects. Objects such as birds, clouds, balloons, and airplanes can be hung from the top using black thread. Tape or tie the thread to the object and to the box.

     

    1. Attach a title to the box where it can easily be seen.