Using Storytelling Skills and Interactive Books to Create Excitement and Empathy in Your Students and Support the Common Core Reading Objectives.
(geared for Pre K-4+ educators)
presented by Carol Simon Levin, M.L.S.
Youth Services Librarian, Somerset County Library System
and member of the NJ Storytellers' Guild
Description: Find out how Participatory Storytelling and Reader's Theater using picture books can build enthusiasm and excitement in your classroom and develop strong language and reading skills in your students -- and tie in with the requirements of Common Core.
Purpose/Content (200 words or less)
Participants will –
Discover stories and interactive picture books that introduce literature, curricular concepts, and social skills in new and exciting ways
Explore fiction and non-fiction picture books that delight and teach
Add a repertoire of storytelling skills to their reading of picture books
Practice sharing stories in various ways to involve children and improve their reading and comprehension skills
Take home a seasonally thematic bibliography of extraordinary books and stories specifically related to the Common Core and a list of resources and websites
Carol Simon Levin is a Youth Services Librarian, author, storyteller and program presenter based in Bridgewater N.J. Whether she is telling the amazing stories of early women in aviation, engaging families in a rousing Halloween Hootenanny of songs and stories, expanding on the mathematical and artistic possibilities of a simple square, or sharing the story of a dolphin who learned to swim with an artificial tail (along with activities to help children understand what it is like to live with a disability), she always strives to create exciting programs that engage her audience’s interests and expand their horizons. Check out her blog carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com for many more ideas.
She also does historical impersonations/STEM programs of "fascinating women history forgot." Info. here: TellingHerStories.com.
Carol Simon Levin is a member of the New Jersey Storytelling Network, the New Jersey Library Association, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 908 781-6041 (home), 908 361-6519 (cell).
Around the Year Thematic Bibliography
RL.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
Note: I will be sharing many ideas, but there are so many other wonderful ones out there. One of my favorite "idea-generators" is Judy Freeman. I highly recommend her books: Once Upon a Time: Using Storytelling, Creative Drama, and Reader's Theater with Children Grades PreK-6 and Hi Ho Librario. She also does an annual "Winners" workshop (and extensive accompanying manual) on the best of each year's new books with teaching ideas for each one. In addition, check out her three compilations of Books Kids Will Sit Still For. Your local library may have some of these titles. More info. at: www.judyreadsbooks.com.
September: New Beginnings...New School & New Students, Multicultural Understanding & Building empathy (Friendship, Bullying & Bystanders) 3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Book: Lunch Money & Other Poems for School – Carol Diggory Shields (811.54 SHI) and Smelly Locker Silly Dilly School Songs by Alan Katz -- extension ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Poetry.
Book: The Wrong Side of the Bed – Wallace E. Keller (talk about what that expression means, delightful story in which a child literally gets up on the wrong side of the bed and goes through the day upside down!) also a Top 10 Storybook App through I haven't seen it. (Kirkus Reviews): http://www.seeherestudios.com/tickle-books/the-wrong-side-of-the-bed Sarah's Story – Bill Harley (Sarah doesn’t think she knows any stories for school until she gets caught up in an adventure involving a Queen Ant in search of a honey sandwich!) Just Another Ordinary Day – Rod Clement (deadpan language about an ordinary day is very funny when paired with anything but ordinary illustrations) Toll Bridge Troll – Patricia Rae Wolff text-to-text connection to The Three Billy Goats Gruff (great to act out).. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/09/school-age-storytime-school-dazefun.html Other starting school ideas: http:/carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/09/whats-ina-name-school-age-storytime-k.html
Book: One -- Kathryn Otoshi – anti-bullying parable where the number one stands up for the color blue against the red bully and all the colors discover that everyone counts...act out with kids wearing reversible signs for colors & numbers.) Each Kindness – Jacqueline Woodson (a new girl at school is rejected by other students -- kind & unkind acts cause ripples that sometimes cannot be undone) Other ideas at: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/02/school-age-storytime-valentines-day-and.html Leonardo the Terrible Monster -- Mo Willems (Leonardo decides to give up being a terrible monster and be a wonderful friend instead.) Kids can sing Linda Arnold's song It's Monster Day with flannel pieces quickly cut using pinking sheers & google eyes. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Monsters (Useful title to know: City Dog, Country Frog – Mo Willems' beautiful story of friendship, loss, and renewal.)
Book: One Green Apple by Eve Bunting --This beautiful (and beautifully illustrated) story emphasizes understanding and compassion as Farah, a new student from an unnamed country, goes with her class on a field trip to an apple orchard and finds that though she is different and doesn’t know the language, she can be accepted and will find friends here. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/10/school-age-storytime-apples-pumpkins.html
October: Apples & Pumpkins... http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/10/school-age-storytime-apples-pumpkins.html 2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
Participatory Storytelling/Props: The Little Red House with No Doors & No Windows, a Chimney On Top & a Star in the Middle (Lots of versions, here’s one: http://www.missbsclassroom.com/thinking-story-the-little-red-house-with-no-doors-and-no-windows/) Tip: instantly turn flannel pieces into hanging signs for kids to wear using plastic paper protector sleeves with stiff paper inserts & yarn ribbon to hang around each child's neck, prop: real apple & knife to slice horizontally.)
Participatory Storytelling/Props: Big Pumpkin – from the book by Erica Silverman -- In this variant on the folktale, “The Great Big Enormous Turnip,” the witch, ghost, skeleton, and vampire are unable to pull up the pumpkin until a tiny bat ignores their derisive laughter and suggests they all work together. I sing/chant this to a tune from an old Scholastic recording –contact me if you want to learn the tune.
Non-Fiction Book: Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices – 577.16 SCHWARTZ –“UnCommon Core” at its best! -- Told in the first person by the pumpkin, mouse, squirrel, slug, fly, black rot, bread mold, sow bug, Penicillium, earthworm, yeast cell, slime mold, soil, and seed, this is science “on the hoof.” Wonderful writing & delightfully yucky photographs complete this unforgettable tour through the life cycle of a pumpkin that kids will find completely enGROSSing! (Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell and Pumpkin Circle 635.32 LEVENSON offer less-detailed versions for a younger crowd. Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller makes a great fictional companion story.)
Book: Pumpkins: A Story for a Field by Mary Lyn Ray – A splendid modern environmental myth in which a man, saddened by the thought that the field across from his house is about to be sold, sells everything he has, buys seeds, grows pumpkins, and then sends them all around the world (by planes, trucks, ships, and even flying carpets) to get enough money to buy the field and save it.
Story/Flannel or Props: The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams (Props: Old lady puppet, shoes, shirt, pants, gloves, hat, pumpkin face, assembled scarecrow). One Dark Night by Edna Mitchell Preston. "Old McDonald Had a Haunted House." These and many more ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Halloween
November: Immigration & Native Americans...Family & Thanksgiving 3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
Duck for Turkey Day -- – Jacqueline Jules (A kindergartner is terribly worried that her Vietnamese immigrant family has "Turkey Day" all wrong when they eat duck till she learns that many other kids in her multi-cultural classroom didn't eat Turkey either!) Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen (also DVD). Glove Puppets : Uno, Dos, Tres Amigos Tune: “10 Little Indians” (reinforces idea that we all have come from different places but celebrate together; enumeration practice, learn/reinforce Spanish language numbers) Uno, dos, tres amigos, Quatro, cinco, seis amigos, Siete, Ocho, Nueve amigos, Diez amigos son.) http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Immigration
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message -- Jake Swamp 299.7 SWAMP (also available as Reading Rainbow episode with Public Performance Rights called "Stories for Thanksgiving") or Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message from Chief Seattle (811.3 SEA) (Both environmentally-themed books would make a great choral reading for a classroom.) http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/11/school-age-storytime-giving-thanks.html
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons – Eileen Spinelli (When the Thanksgiving turkey sinks in a pond, and all the other trimmings also fail to materialize, a family discovers Thanksgiving can be celebrated with Cheese and Liverwurst sandwiches as long as you have the people you love. Great lead in for Thanksgiving food drives.)
Towel folding story: The Case of the Missing Thanksgiving Turkey -- Rhonda Turley (text and technique at http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/11/thanksgiving-storytimes-preschool-and.html )
Prop/Song: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie – based on the book by Alison Jackson (great song for helping kids work on their memory skills – try to have them remember the different foods in the countdown; can also use rhyming reminders (phonemic awareness) as clues.)
Song: The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven (words: Jack Prelutsky, chorus: Cathy Darby) Tune: “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” on Youtube, subtitled in Chinese! Lyrics and many more ideas at: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Thanksgiving
December: Something Special for the Holidays - Lights, Trees, Gifts http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Winter%20Holidays
Storytimes emphasizing the commonalities of the winter holidays -- lights in the darkest part of the year and how the actions of some people can bring light to others.
Lights for Gita – Rachna Gilmore (When an ice storm threatens her Divali celebrations, a girl discovers that the love of family and friends is what is really important) Poems from: Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts – Ann Grossnickle Hines 811.54 HIN. Other multicultural titles: Too Many Tamales – Gary Soto, Welcome Comfort (others) -- Patrica Polacco, Elijah's Angel -- Michael Rosen
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes – Linda Glasser (Girl figures out a way to include her lonely but stubborn neighbor in their Chanukah Celebration-- wonderful figurative language like:"Mrs. Greenberg's house was always clean and tidy, like its face was just scrubbed and its blouse was tucked in, while Rachel's house always looked like it was still in its pajamas and needed to brush its hair yet.") Hanukkah at Valley Forge --Stephen Krensky (based on a true story -- George Washington came upon a soldier celebrating Chanukah and makes the comparison between the Maccabees and colonists own struggle.)
The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate -- Janice Cohen (Great to act out. True story of how the town of Billings Montana stood up to hate speech and hateful actions -- the text is rather long for a read-aloud, so I have abridged it here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/school-age-storytime-gifts-and-giving.html )
Rabbit’s Gift – George Shannon (Chinese folktale in which each animal tries to share the turnip left at his doorstep.) Boxes for Katje – Candace Fleming (Based on a true story -- boxes from children in America helped townspeople in Holland after WW2) (Also available as a DVD from Spoken Arts) New Old Shoes – Charlotte Blessing (One child's outgrown shoes go on to other children -- told from the point of view of the shoes!) Here's the link for http://www.soles4souls.org/ Silver Packages -- Cynthia Rylant (Loosely-based on a true story. A rich man rides a train through Appalachia every year at Christmas tossing gifts to the poor children who are waiting in order to repay a debt he owes the people who live there. The young boy waiting for gifts each year grows up & also gives back to the community.)
Sing: The Marvelous Toy – Tom Paxton (Several book versions available. hand-me-down toy has special meaning; performed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCjslf_a11c)
The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubel --Construction workers at the Rockefeller Center site help a a boy and his family in need—then many years the boy, now grown to an old man, donates his enormous tree after learning that it will not only give pleasure but will also be used to help another family. Afterward talks about the tradition and logistics involved with the Rockefeller Center Trees and notes that since 2007 the wood from the tree has been milled and used for Habitat for Humanity houses.) Afterward also has great potential for some math problems or further research. First tree in 1933 – how many years. First tree 20 ft. tall; trees now 100 ft. tall – comparisons to each other, to roof of school, etc. Here's a link:
Who knows what a “family tree” is? Sign Language Song: Family Tree Song by Tom Chapin & John Forster, additional verses on their album Family Tree. Video of their performance with signs: http://www.tomchapin.com/docs/lft.htmland and on their video “This Pretty Planet.” Signs handout: http://www.tomchapin.com/docs/ftsigns.html
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco (Based on a true story from the author's childhood – Tricia’s family brings cheer to neighboring families stricken with Scarlet Fever by a surprise Christmas morning delivery of food, candles, and small Christmas trees – using their own Chanukah gifts (handmade wooden animals) as ornaments. – This is a beautiful story but long. Younger grades: Night Tree by Eve Bunting (Family goes out into the woods and decorates a tree with edible treats for the animals.) Tree of Cranes by Allen Say (Japanese boy learns of his mother’s heritage when she decorates a tree with origami cranes), December – Eve Bunting (a mother and son living in a cardboard box share what they have with an old woman one Christmas Eve and find that their luck changes afterward.) The Teddy Bear – David McPhail (A boy who loses his teddy decides that the homeless man who has found it needs it more), Elizabeti's Doll – Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen,
Songs: This Little Light of Mine www.lyricsfreak.com/r/raffi/this+little+light+of+mine_21040774.html
All I Really Need www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/raffi/all_i_really_need.html More at: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/singalong-keep-spiritwinter-holiday.html
January: Warming Stories -- Snow & Bundling Up, Soup & Baking 2.9 Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat – Simms Tabeck (folk tale with great cut-out reveals; Caldecott Award DVD) (Compare with another version of same tale: Something from Nothing – Phoebe Gilman) My Grandfather's Coat -- Jim Aylesworth.
Another Joe who has a problem with buttons...
Action: Hi, My Name is Joe & I work in a button Factory (traditional, left-right identification)
Hi my name is Joe & I work in a button factory.
One day, my boss said “Joe, are you busy?”
“I said “no”” – so he said “Turn this button with your right hand” (do this)
Repeat: left hand, right foot, left foot, head…finally I said YES!!!!!!”
The Mitten by Jan Brett (partipatory storytelling: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/12/winter-storytimetheatercraft-jan-bretts.html. Just for fun on an indoor recess day: Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathon London. More fun on a cold winter's day: Activity: indoor snowball fight using plastic bag snowballs, to the music “Sleigh Ride” details: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search?q=snowball+fight. Song/Flannel: In the Freezer – by Joe Scruggs Song on Joe Scrugg’s “Traffic Jams.” Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woEPJhmQous
Cooperation - Soup Stories: Interactive story with props (pot, puppets, & veggies): Stone Soup (Participatory storytelling, traditional tale many variants – my version is based on the Ann McGovern story with old lady and young man puppets - script here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search?q=soup) Mean Soup – Betsy Everitt or Elephant Soup -- Ingrid & Dieter Schubert (unusual soup recipes for a bad day!) Monkey Soup – Louis Sachar (child makes her father a special kind of soup to help get him well – silly!)
Book/Cards/Song: "Chicken Soup with Rice" – Maurice Sendak, tune by Carole King from “Really Rosie” (concept: the names of the months -- I pause before we sing each month to see if kids know which one is coming next.) Alphabet Soup -- Song on Tom Chapin's album "Moonboat."
Baking: The Little Red Hen (Act out any traditional version) (If children aren’t already familiar with the folktale,, Jerry Pinckney, Byron Barton and Paul Galdone all offer nice versions.) K-1: could add “Mulberry Bush” variant song: This is the way we plant the seeds... Cut the stalks… Thresh the wheat.. Grind the wheat… Mix the batter…Knead the bread… Bake the bread… Eat our toast. Compare with The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges.
Flannel/Song: “I Am a Pizza” from Linda Arnold’s Peppermint Wings (also on 10 Carrot Diamond.) Also traditional "On Top of Spaghetti" (lyrics http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search?q=pizza)
Song/Flannel: Helping (K-1) by Shel Silverstein from Free to Be, You and Me. Lyrics & tune: http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/helping-an-illustrated-song-by-shel-silverstein/
Storytelling with Flannelboard/Masks/Puppets: The Gingerbread Man –Karen Chace has quite a few suggestions on her blog, including a link to Jan Brett’s beautiful printable masks: http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-gingerbread-man-stories-songs-and.html Compare with The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred – Samantha Vamos (Spanish/English cooperation story –fun to act out with masks or puppets.)
Additional possibilities: Book or Flannel: The Cake that Mack Ate – from the book by Rose Robart – the cumulative tale of what happened to the cake baked by the farmer’s wife – with a surprise ending, this silly folktale variation is a version of The House that Jack Built. Bunny Cakes – Rosemary Wells Funny story and great example of Every Child Ready to Read skill “writing”) or Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! Another amusing variant of The Little Red Hen --when Rooster sets out to cook strawberry shortcake, his friends are eager to help but they fill the kitchen with cooking confusion. A great introduction to cooking terminology and measurement with non-fiction notes on the side. Thunder Cake – Patricia Polacco – Based on a true story from the author’s childhood (we discussed autobiography & personal narratives) in which the author’s grandma (Babushka) helped her overcome her fear of thunderstorms by having her gather the ingredients for a “thunder cake.” Bread, Bread, Bread – Ann Morris or Everybody Bakes Bread – Norah Dooley (both provide a multicultural look at breads around the world), How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World – Marjorie Priceman (also available as a DVD), Clever Jack Takes the Cake-- Candice Fleming. carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Baking
February: Groundhogs & Shadows, Valentine's Day & Black History Month RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
What’s That Shadow: A Photo Riddle Book by Christopher Harbo (interactive – read some of the rhymes aloud w/o showing pix to emphasize listening skills) My Shadow -- poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. More stories, songs and science ideas at: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Groundhog%20Day
Black History: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search?q=black+history Sister Anne’s Hands – MaryBeth Lorbiecki (Seven-year-old Anna has her first encounter with racism in the 1960s when an African American nun comes to teach at her parochial school-- end shows two hands together make heart -- > lead in to Valentine's Day?) The Other Side -- Jacqueline Woodson ( two girls, one black and one white overcome segregation (represented by a dividing fence in their town) to cleverly find a way to play together) Freedom Summer – Deborah Wiles (In 1964, Joe is pleased that a new law will allow his best friend John Henry, who is colored, to share the town pool and other public places with him, but he is dismayed to find that prejudice still exists), White Socks Only -- Coleman. Goin’ Someplace Special – McKissick. Show Way - Jacqueline Woodson - follows generations of a family from slave days through the Civil Rights movement to today. Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney 323.1196 PIN. This is the Dream by Diane Z. Shore 811.6 SHO. Compare Rosa's Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights by Jo S. Kittinger and Rosa by Bryan Collier (JBiog PARKS) two excellent tellings of Rosa Parks story.
More ideas for the month:
March: Dr. Seuss & Celebrating Reading & Everything Green, Dinosaurs, Women's History Month 2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
Read Across America -- Interactive storytelling: Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham directions here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/pre-school-storytime-egg-citing-stories.html Script here: http://files.havefunteaching.com/fun-activities/readers-theater/green-eggs-and-ham.pdf or you can read the book aloud and have kids hold up the cards as the words are read. The kids holding green eggs & hams are the enthusiastic chorus waving them about… and everyone chimes in on “I will not eat them anywhere!” http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/03/seussapalooza-read-across-america.html Song: Alligator Pie (poem by Dennis Lee) http://barney.wikia.com/wiki/Alligator_Pie (make up additional verses e.g. “alligator cheese…I think I’m going to sneeze”) More silly Puppet/Action Songs: “I’m Being Swallowed by a Big Alligator” Joe Scrugg’s “Deep in the Jungle” lyrics: http://www.hellojoe.com/lyrics-ditj.html. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0t7RUnF41g. More Read Across America learning & fun including On My Head I Wear a Hat (with Cat in the Hat hat!) http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search?q=seussapalooza
Dinosaurs: Mixing non-fiction & fantasy, science & math, biographies of the girl who first discovered dinosaurs, and the very important concept that we are always learning new things about what we thought we knew! Mary Anning & the Sea Dragon by Jeannine Atkins (JBiog. ANNING) 1st dinosaur bones found by a 12 year old girl 200 years ago! (Common Core – compare with other versions: e.g. Fossil Girl by Catherine Brighton, Stone Girl, Bone Girl by Lawrence Anholt, Rare Treasure by Don Brown) Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! (J567.9 KUDLINSKI) Pair Time Train by Paul Fleischman (…what is happening here? Civil War Uniforms, mastodons, ….traveling back in time) with On This Spot: An Expedition Back Through Time(J974.71 GOO) to take readers on a trip from modern day New York City back to the time of the dinosaurs. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/10/school-age-storytime-on-this-spot-new.html Add Math: Prehistoric Actual Size (J560 JENKINS) If Dogs Were Dinosaurs (513.24 SCH). How High Can a Dinosaur Count? & Other Math Mysteries. Great site: http://bedtimemath.org/?s=dinosaur Chalk by Bill Thomson...magical chalk...how would they get rid of the dinosaur? Can I Have a Stegosaurus, Mom? Can I Please? by Lois Grambling (..what would they do with a T-Rex - encourage them to write the sequel...) Fun riff on a classic tale Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, Dad's Dinosaur Day by Diane Dawson Hearn. Puppet/Song/Story: “There’s a Dinosaur Knocking at my Door” http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/02/school-age-storytime-dinosaurs-galore.html
Women's History Month: Storytimes for grades K-3 celebrating women in history and encouraging girls and boys to go beyond their comfort zones, to take risks and make history. See also the "heroes" theme in June. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Women%27s%20History%20Month
April: Earth Day (and Water too!) Rainforests, Houses & Habitats 4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Earth%20Day%20%26%20Environment
Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children” from Tom Chapin’s Album Some Assembly Required. Used signs: walk, world, children, now, me, love(ingly), forever, day, drink, water, breathe, air, work, soil/land) Signs here: http://www.signingsavvy.com/. Other sign language songs: Pick me up! fun songs for learning signs (419 PIC).
Earth Dance by Joanne Ryder ( 811.54 RYD Ryder) (act this out as we read it -- kinesthetic), Earthsong by SallyRogers (musical book -- can act out the motions) I Love our Earth by Bill Martin (525 MAR) (non-fiction, multicultural, great pix, seasons)
Song/Puppets: “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our hands”… (Indoor recess: pass around Earth ball and animal puppets -- suit verses to puppets e.g. “We’ve got the lions in the plains, …the kangaroos and their joeys,… the birds in the air,…the monkeys in the trees, the whales in the seas, …the squirrels in our gardens, etc.) "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" & "Down by the Bay" also fun!
Tap the Magic Tree Christie Matheson. Creative Non-Fiction Book: Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (572.46 BANG) Sunlight as first person narrator -- converted by plant through photosynthesis breaking up water -- H20 -- breathing out oxygen for us to breathe in -- breathing in CO2 and building sugars (leaves, stems, juices, seeds, fruit) for us to eat -- we are living sunlight!) this creative and memorable explanation of photosynthesis will stick with kids for a long time. Non-Fiction Biography: Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Johnson, Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli, Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter, and Planting the Trees of Kenya all tell the inspiring true story of Wangari Maathai, courageous environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace prize, whose passion & determination inspired hundreds of thousands of women across Africa to reforest their continent. (Common Core: Compare & Contrast the versions.) Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor and The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by Joseph Hopkins introduce two other marvelous role-models.
The Great Kapok Tree – Lynne Cherry (lends itself to acting out). Book/song: The Rainforest Grew all Around – Susan K. Mitchell (This variant on "The Green Grass Grew All Around" wonderfully complements The Great Kapok Tree outlining the life cycle from kapok seed to tree to all the creatures depend on that tree and full circle round to seed pot that releases the seed for new growth. Lots of additional information in the side panels -- including a great image depicting the size of a kapok tree relative to a 15 story building!) Fernando’s Gift/El Regalo de Fernando -- 460 Kei --A wonderful bilingual fictionalized photo essay about a boy in Costa Rica who replants a tree near his home in the rain forest after a large tree is taken down -- great multicultural resource introduces both the value of the rain forest and a child's life in another country. Movement interlude: Song/flannel/puppet: “Deep in the Jungle” by Joe Scruggs (from album of the same name) http://www.hellojoe.com/lyrics-ditj.html (fun musical variant about the croc-provoking monkeys.) http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/11/rainforestschool-age-storytime.html
All the Water in the World –George Ella Lyon (“…is all the water in the world” – interconnected water cycle, beautiful writing and illustrations). Rainstorm Action (listening to directions, kinesthetic learning) Participation story: Rainstick Story (rainstick, frog, owl, wolf puppets) Script for both here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/pre-school-storytime-its-raining-its.html. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/05/school-age-storytime-all-water-in-world.html
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas – 571.455 BANG (fascinating look at the ocean life cycle, photosynthesis, narrated by the sun!) Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea – 591.779 JENKINS (extraordinary non-fiction). Compare the differences: The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino Manfish by Jennifer Berne Jacques Cousteau: Conserving Underwater Worlds by John Zronik (Comparing different biographies -- All JBiog. Cousteau) website to view: www.youtube.com/user/cousteaucontent “fantasea” : Flotsam – David Wiesner More at: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/05/school-age-storytime-all-water-in-world.html
Whose House Is This? -- A Look at Animal Homes -- Webs, Nests, and Shells -- 591.564 GREGOIRE (guessing game book & fun facts--Interactive Non-Fiction): A Squash and a Squeeze – Julia Donaldson (folktale retelling of story about a complaining woman who, after she first brings in and then lets out 4 farm animals, discovers her little house isn't so crowded after all...) Puppets/Reader's Theater "The 3 Little Pigs"; compare with The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - Scieszka. Moving House -- Mark Siegel (environmental fantasy about a house that gets up and moves to escape the fog (actually factory smog) that has engulfed the city, children's delight in seeing the real stars at last...lead in to...) Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust -- 551.511 SAYRE (fascinating non-fiction) More ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/11/houses-homes-habitats-school-age.html.
Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox (J523.1 FOX) and Big Bang: The Tongue-Tickling Tale of the Speck that Became Spectacular (J531.18 DEC) These clever mind-expanding books introduce young readers to the mind-boggling idea of the age of the universe. If You Decide To Go To The Moon (J629.454 MCN) takes the reader on a trip to the moon. Boy Were we Wrong About the Solar System! by Kathleen Kudlinski (523.2 KUD).
May: Baseball & Butterflies 1.5 Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
Baseball Fever: Eight Animals Play Ball – Susan Middleton Ely (bilingual)-- fun to act out. Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson Against the Odds, Teammates, Song/Book: Take Me Out to the Ball Game, The Field Beyond the Outfield – Mark Teague, Summer My Father was Ten – Pat Brisson (responsibility/consequences). There was a time when girls weren’t supposed to play… Players in Pigtails – Shana Corey (Women's Professional Baseball League during WW2. Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen – Marissa Moss, Girl Wonder – Deborah Hopkinson. Film: A League of Their Own) More ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/school-age-storycraft-take-me-out-to.html
Butterfly Hatching: Bob and Otto – Nick Bruel (Kdg-2) - (Otto the worm is saddened when his friend Bob the caterpillar becomes a butterfly until Bob reassures him that his role in digging through the earth is critical in this story which beautifully combines earth science and the power of friendship.) Longer but equally beautiful story with similar theme: Bubba & Trixie – Lisa Campbell Ernst – (An adventuresome ladybug with a damaged wing who cannot fly befriends an apprehensive caterpillar and helps him learn to enjoy life and be happy with what he is and what he becomes.). Butterfly Boy – Steven Kroll (A boy and his disabled grandfather eagerly await the return of the butterflies in this story from Mexico) or Butterfly House – Eve Bunting (A girl and her grandfather hatch butterflies, whose annual return continue to bring joy to her, even after her grandfather is gone.) A Butterfly is Patient 595.789 AST (wonderful book in the An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy series). "Ultraviolet" (Butterfly Poem) from Butterfly Eyes & Other Secrets of the Meadow 811.54 SID (a "guess the answer" poem collection, also shared page on milkweed & butterflies - introduced vocabulary/science: toxin, predator, pollination, ultraviolet). More ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Caterpillars%20%26%20Butterflies Why butterflies may have evolved UV vision: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216140301.htm
June: Biography: Encouraging Kids to Believe in What They Can Become (also relates to 2015 Summer Reading Theme: Heroes) 2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
"Do something every day that scares you." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
There was a young woman who wanted to fly.
But the people said, "Kiss that wish good-bye!
The sky's too big and the sky's too high,
And you never will fly, so you'd better not try."
But this woman laughed, and she just said, "Why?
Nobody owns the sky!"
-- from Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of "Brave Bessie" Coleman by Reeve Lindbergh
Weslandia -- Paul Fleischman's fantasy about a boy who invents a whole civilization from one stray seed in a single summer. Randy Riley's Really Big Hit -- Chris Van Dusen's tale about boy who can't hit a baseballl but manages to save the planet by building a robot that can a hit fireball back into outer space. (Picture Book Extender available on Novelist K-8 Plus.) Thinking outside the box: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/05/preschool-or-school-age-storytime.html
Imogene’s Last Stand Candace Fleming’s funny yet inspiring story of a girl who stands up for historical preservation…peppered with wonderful real quotes from history.
Of Thee I Sing – Obama’s tribute to the many different people who have made this country great. Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama (179 OBA) presents a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America's children.
More ideas at: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/11/big-dreamers-school-age-program.html and http://teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com/2014/02/heroes-of-history.html
Wizard from the Start: the Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison by Don Brown (B Edison) info. about visit to Edison labs: http://www.nps.gov/edis/index.htm amazingly industrious boy/man, New Jersey labs earned over 1000 patents in his lifetime. Compare more Edison biographies to compare with. http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Inventors%20and%20Inventions
Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully and/or In the Bag: Margaret Knight Wraps it Up by Monica Kulling (B Knight) -- the story of a 19th c. woman inventor and her struggle to get a patent on her invention of the flat-bottomed paper bag.
The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont by Victoria Griffith (B Santos-Dumont) incredible story of man who rode his dirigible around Paris to do errands and ended up designing the one of the first self-propelled airplanes in the world in 1906 (his took off on wheels, the Wright Bros. 1904 plane required a launching rail or catapult -- the end note includes a discussion of the controversy over "firsts" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Santos-Dumont. Do a whole unit on flight (S.T.E.A.M.) including forgotten women pilots and designs for unusual paper airplanes: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search?q=flight
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba et. al (B Kamkw) Autobiography of a 14 year old young man from Malawi who educated himself using the books from an American-supplied village library to learn to make a windmill. His windmills now power electric lights and water irrigation for his village. He he went on to study engineering at Dartmouth college. Your kids might enjoy seeing the 6 min. TED talk where he spoke: www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind.html Here's another interesting article about clever developing country solutions: http://www.gizmag.com/pop-bottles-provide-light/19829/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHTD_RX3J2I solar lighting from soda bottles http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/gonzo/soccer-ball-that-makes-electricity-during-the-game. Much more on inventors & inventions: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Inventors%20and%20Inventions
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein (also DVD)-- The Caldecott-winning evocation of Phillippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the world trade towers. Compare with Emily McCully's Mirette on the High Wire. Other fascinating books celebrating NYC: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/10/school-age-storytime-on-this-spot-new.html
Summer is a great time for students to pursue their interests -- Check your library for thousands of books to help them learn about more dreamers and discover their own dreams... Maybe some of the biographies in the future will feature their accomplishments! Celebrating Books and Reading: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/12/school-age-storytime-celebrating-books.html
While you are at your library, ask if it subscribes to Novelist K-8 Plus. This online resource (which is available 24/7 if you have a participating library's library card) has a wealth of useful tools for finding fabulous fiction and non-fiction and integrating these books with the Common Core Standards. Samples of a Picture Book Extender and a Common Core Connection are on the following pages.
Picture Book Extender: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
2012 Grades 1 -- 3
Read-alouds Aligned to Common Core State Standards
Summary: The country of Malawi is suffering from a severe drought when one boy with extraordinary engineering abilities in a small village thinks of a way to build a windmill that will produce electricity for light, and ultimately, to power a well. Jump to Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3
Why is the drought such a difficult time for William’s family? What do they need water for?
RI 1.8 Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
What events and details in the story let you know that William has an engineer’s mind that likes to think about how things work and how to design them? Give examples from the text.
RI 1.9 Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
Read at least one other informational book or article about droughts in North America. When we have a drought in our country, what are the effects? What can people do about it? How is this similar to or different from what William and others in Malawi did in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind?
Grade 1 Activities: RI 1.9 Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
Some people are “born” to invent things. From the time they are young, they have a way of seeing, wondering, and tinkering that prepares them for a future of creating new machines that make a difference in the world. After reading several informational books about inventors, invite your students to create a list of traits that inventors seem to have in common. Now, ask your students to select one of these traits each day (or week) and look for opportunities and activities to encourage that particular trait in themselves and their classmates.
Common Core Connections: Living and Nonliving -- Grade K (May 2013) By: Buzzeo, Toni
Summary: Launch your unit on living and nonliving objects with these books and information that support Reading Informational Texts. Applicable Common Core State Standards and sample questions are provided.
RI K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
In what ways are you like a cat? In what ways are you like a tree? In what ways are you like a bird? Locate key details in the text to answer these questions.
RI K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
Are You Living? A Song about Living and Nonliving Things
What is the main topic of this book and song? Does the title help you to decide? The book helps you to understand the many ways you can tell that you are alive. What are they?
Do You Know which Ones Will Grow?
What is the main topic of the book? Does the title help you to decide what it is? How many things that can grow do you remember from the text?
RI K.3 With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Are You Living? A Song about Living and Nonliving Things
What are the similarities between these two types of living things: animals and plants? How are they different from nonliving things?
RI K.4 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
Do You Know which Ones Will Grow?
Some of the words in this book may be unfamiliar to you. Use context clues and illustrations to help you to decide on their meaning. Then check your definition in a dictionary. The words below are ordered as they are found in the text: kid owlet snakelet kit joey
RI K.6 Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.
RI K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
RI K.8 With prompting & support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
Author Kathleen Zoehfeld discusses four questions used to tell whether something is living. What are the four questions? Ask the four questions about a stone and explain why a stone is not a living thing.
RI K.9 With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
Common Core Reading & Information Literacy Standards Integrated from: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/ & http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/ CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL IL when different, added.
Key Ideas and Details:
K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
1.1Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
RI.1.2 Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
RI.2.2 Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
Craft and Structure:
K.4 Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
RI.1.4 Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
RI.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
3.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
4.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
K.5 Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).
1.5 Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
2.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
RI.2.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
RL.3.5 Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
4.5 Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
K.6 With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
1.6 Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
RI.1.6 Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
2.6 Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
RI.2.6 Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
RI.3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.
4.6 Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events. IL: ...key ideas
RI.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
RI.2.7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
RI.K.8 With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
RI.1.8 Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
RI.2.8 Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
RI.3.8 Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
RL.K.9 With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
RL.1.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
RI.1.9 Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
2.9 Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.
RI.2.9 Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.
3.9 Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series)
RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
RL.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
RL.1.10 With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1. RI.1.10 ...Informational texts.
2.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
RI.2.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
RL.4.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.