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Three Books – Same Facts But…

Three books about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Three different authors. Each shape the facts to reveal distinct insight. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Levy, 2016) Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R. B. G. vs. Inequality (Winter, 2017) No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Krull, 2018) Here are two examples of how …Read more

Review & teaching ideas for new book Seeds of Freedom

The new trade book Seeds of Freedom (Bass, 2015, Candlewick Press) is a good fit for 4th-6th grade students because it’s complex and has content worthy of close reading and collaborative discussions. Bass, the author, does not just tell a straightforward narrative about what happened in Huntsville, AL; instead her narrative requires the reader to …Read more

New Book – Accessible Intro to Microorganisms for 1st-3rd

LOVE THIS BOOK. An accessible introduction to microbes for 1st through 3rd grade. Definitely read aloud to students, pausing for space to “oooo” and “aaah.” I’d even be tempted to use it with older students as an introduction to more complex texts on this topic. Davies, the author, talks to you, the reader, in a …Read more

New Book for Reading Aloud, Close Reading – Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (K. G. Davis, 2014) This would make for a great read aloud in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade with opportunities for rereading excerpts of text to think critically about the author’s central ideas and purposes. The main part of the text is written as a narrative with the purpose of …Read more

Close Reading Lesson with Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine by Monica Kulling (2013) Recently I had the pleasure of teaching demonstration lessons in several third grade classes. In one class, the students were immersed in a unit of study with the essential question “How can learning help us grow?” The text for the lesson was All Aboard! Elijah …Read more

Thoughts – CC Appendix B Exemplar Grades 2-3 Read Aloud Informational Txts

Below are thoughts – including notes of caution & outright rejections – on the “exemplars” listed in Common Core Appendix B for Grades 2-3 Read Aloud Informational Texts. At the bottom is a link to a PDF with more extensive notes about the texts’ topics, central ideas, structure and coherence. IMPORTANT to remember about exemplar …Read more

The Mighty Mars Rovers – Close Reading Lesson

If you’re exploring the new Next Generation Science Standards and wondering how to get started, I’d start by reading this book aloud to your students. The standards have added “engineering and technology” to the landscape of science instruction and the authors have shifted from “methods” to “practice” in their descriptions of what scientists and engineers …Read more

Frog Song – TINKTINKTINKTINK! – read aloud, close read, research mentor

Stunning illustrations and tightly focused text make the new book Frog Song (Guiberson, 2013) an ideal read aloud and independent read for k-5 students. On each two-page layout, Guiberson, the author of many many nonfiction books, describes the characteristics of a particular frog including – in varied bold fonts, the frog’s sound (TINKTINKTINKTINK! the male …Read more

Mentor text for narrative nonfiction writing

New narrative nonfiction that can be used as a mentor text for research and writing. Hoop Genius is a narrative about how basketball came to be – a gym teacher was trying to figure out how to engage a rambunctious group of young men in athletics indoors without harming each other. In simple prose, Coy …Read more