Saturday, July 24, 2010

Green Be The Theme—Presenting A Text Set

Part II Of Presentation Series

A little over a week ago, I co-presented a mini-workshop with my mom (a first grade teacher) on new nonfiction books (which was Part I) and what to do with them in the K-5 classroom. We introduced a multi-level text set based on a new title, Our Footprint On Earth by Jeanne Sturm (grades 3-6). We went with the theme: Green, with relative topics covered with books such as Prince William by Gloria Rand (grades 1-3) and Oil Spill! by Melvin Berger (grades 1-4)--both titles deal with the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I will highlight a few other titles here:

The book Varmints by Helen Ward (grades 3-6), is a story about creatures that inhabit an undisturbed land and flourish in peace, until the others (varmints) come. The story progresses through the destruction of natural habitat for construction of skyscrapers and even mentions noise pollution (so much that no one could think anymore). Hope does prevail by the end of the book. The illustrator Marc Craste created a short film based on the book.

There is always the classic, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Even my high school Environmental Science teacher, Mr. Wilson, used that one. If I can remember that (and trust me, there’s a shameful amount of titles I don’t remember)…need I say more?

Science and math concepts together?! You will find that in Earth Day—Hooray! by Stuart Murphy (by K-3). That is a “Hooray!” The story deals with schoolmates coming together to recycle aluminum cans so they can earn enough money to buy flowers for a nearby park. How will they keep track of how many cans they collect? A lesson in place value is explained.

Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change by Garth Sundem (grades 4-8) features 30 stories about kids all over the world making a change, from perseverance after a disabling accident to fighting segregation. The stories are short, which makes for a good read aloud and maps indicate where in the world these kids are from. The first five stories in the book focus on environmental action.

Another book featuring short stories to inspire is Recycle This Book edited by Dan Gutman (grades 5-8). The authors offer practical advice from reusing items to reducing consumption. Authors who contributed range from Mem Fox, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Ralph Fletcher to Gary Schmidt, Lois Lowry, and Rick Riordan.

Other books featured in this set include:

And Still the Turtle Watched by Sheila MacGill-Callahan (grades 1-4)

Clean Air by Andrew Bridges (grades 3-7)

Common Ground by Molly Bang (grades 3-6)

The Adventures of an Aluminum Can by Alison Inches (grades P-1)

Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg (grades 1-4)

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye (grades 4-7)

Interrupted Journey by Kathryn Lasky (grades 3-5)

Judy Moody Saves the World! by Megan McDonald (grades 1-4)

Part III of this series will be featured next week

Berger, M. & Mirocha, P. (2005). Oil spill!. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Gutman, D (Ed.). (2009). Recycle this book. New York, NY: Random House, Inc..

Murphy, S. (2004). Earth day-hooray!. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Rand, G. (1994). Prince william. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Co.

Seuss, Dr. (1971). The Lorax. New York, NY: Random House.

Sturm, J. (2009). Our footprint on earth. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publishing.

Sundem, G. (2010). Real kids, real stories, real change. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub.

Ward, H. (2008). Varmints. Cambrisge, MA.: Candlewick Pr.

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