These titles are perfect examples of the “Uncommon Core”
Complementary fiction & non-fiction titles which explore history, geography,
mathematics & science in an eye-opening, mind-expanding, and fun fashion!
Top Job – Elizabeth Cody Kimmel (After other students in the class brag about their parents’ professions, narrator explains about her father’s job – changing the lightbulb on the top of the Empire State Building! -- Lots of math problem possibilities – fun to work out how tall the building is. Final surprise image with the Statue of Liberty. Lots of good non-fiction books to tie in on both Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. Trivia: Please Touch Museum image of Statue of Liberty Torch made from toys!) (9/2017)
Trying to infuse some more math into your daily routine? – check out bedtimemath.org which offers a new math challenge (with three or four levels of difficulty) every day – also available as an app. Here’s a problem related to the Empire State Building: http://bedtimemath.org/trying-to-be-the-tallest/
Sky Boys – Deborah Hopkinson (Going back in time 80+ years to see the amazing story of how the “Sky Boys” built the Empire State Building – lots more math here (e.g. translating tons into pounds yields an enormous number!) Fabulous figurative language (“river of trucks in concrete canyon”) and building details (the riveting process is riveting!) Can also talk about the Depression, mention bread line sculpture by George Segal at Grounds for Sculpture & Roosevelt Memorial, Liberty Science Center “skyscrapers” exhibit and competition for highest building – the secret nighttime raising of the antenna) (9/2017)
Sector 7 – David Wiesner (Sky Boys painted pictures with words – figurative language – this one uses visual storytelling -- telling a story without words. Wiesner is an author/illustrator local boy, grew up in Bridgewater NJ, Caldecott Medal winner, fun wordless fantasy of a boy who goes on an adventure with a cloud and makes quite a stir at the cloud factory. Did you know there really is a cloud machine? Here’s a video.) – mentioned they can find this and other books by this talented illustrator in the Picture Book section. (9/2017)
America the Beautiful – Robert Sabuda illustrates the classic song with extraordinary pop-ups of national images and icons. Many of the kids were eager to make their own pop-ups – here is one explanation: http://ohhappyday.com/2011/05/diy-pop-up-cards/ Google: How to make pop up cards (or books) if you want other ideas.
9/2017 – no time for these – may do them in October:
On this Spot: An Expedition Back Through Time J574.71 Goodman (Non-Fiction – uncommon core!) -- A brilliant tour-de-force tracing NYC from the present back in time 540 million years…lots of mathematical comparisons (e.g.if all the 8 million people in NYC today were laid end to end would reach to California and back, 350 years ago New Amsterdam had 1500 people = about the population of 3 schools today), fascinating historical trivia (e.g. pigs and chickens roamed NYC streets 175 years ago, the Lenape path to winter grounds is now today’s Broadway) and scientific information (the rise and fall of mammoths, ice age glaciers*, dinosaurs, lakes, mountains, and seas). Text is long but can be paraphrased for younger classes.) *mentioned our gorgeous local Buck Garden was carved by a mile high glacier.
Ding Dong Ding Dong – Margie Palatini (clever re-imagining of King Kong, who is just a simple Gorilla representative for Ape-On cosmetics trying to get ahead in the business world…full of puns and other wordplay! -- only had time to read in some classes but this one is great fun!)
The Book of Gold by Bob Staake Isaac Gutenberg isn't a curious boy . . . that is, until he meets an old shopkeeper who tells him about The Book of Gold. This special book, hidden somewhere in the world, holds all the answers to every question and turns to solid gold when opened….
Other NYC titles:
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers -- Mordecai Gerstein
A Picnic in October – Eve Bunting
Old Penn Station – 974.71 LOW
Fireboat -- Kalman
Liberty’s Journey – Dipucchio
Under New York – Linda Oatman High
Building Manhattan – 074.71 Vila
Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of NYC – 598.944 SCHULMAN
The Tale of Pale Male: A True Story – Jeanette Winter
City Hawk: The Story of Pale Male – Meghan McCarthy
Twenty One Elephants & Still Standing – April Jones Prince
Twenty One Elephants – Phil Bildner
This Land is Your Land – Pete Seeger
Bedm 5/08, 10/14, 9/17
Reading Rainbow: Sea to Shining Sea -- shows restoration of Statue of Liberty