Read a thon coming to an end!


The Read a thon ends this Friday!  Be sure to enter your student’s minutes in this tally form. Deadline to enter minutes is Feb. 15, 2018.  Winner will be announced on February 19th, 2018.

Big Changes on OverDrive!



Good News! We now have the capacity for many more menus on OverDrive, and we’ve made some major changes, investing significant time making improvements to the way you search our collections.


First of all, take a look at our all-new “Curriculum” tab…

 

 

 

New Curriculum Tab

All the subject lists by grade reside here!  So, instead of searching through all the titles in our former “Grades 2/3 Titles for BC’s New Curriculum” curation, for example, you’ll now see a screen that looks like this:

 

 

 

New Collections Lists

New to our “Collections” tab are CORE COMPETENCIES curations and much more!  Take a look at some of the new collections we’ve been working on.

 

 

The new capacity for multiple lists in this “Collections” tab opens up many new opportunities to share curated lists with you to meet your needs.

We’re incredibly excited to be launching these improvements to serve you better!  There are still a few tweaks and additions that we’ll be making over the next few weeks, and so if you have any suggestions for us, or if you are having trouble finding what you’re looking for, your Learning Commons Team is here to support you!

MORE CHANGES YET TO COME … STAY TUNED!


 

I love reading new Non Fiction on Overdrive!


February purchases on Overdrive this month include some awesome high school and elementary reads!

High School!

Only Remembered by Michael Morpurgo,

Published to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, this beautiful anthology collects favourite extracts, poems and images from some of the UK’s leading cultural, political and literary figures.

Poems, short stories, personal letters, newspaper articles, scripts, photographs and paintings are just some of the elements of this astonishing collection, with cover and artwork by renowned illustrator, Ian Beck.

Among the many contributors are Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Andrew Motion, Miranda Hart, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Antony Beevor, Emma Thompson, David Almond, Dr Rowan Williams, Richard Curtis, Joanna Lumley, Raymond Briggs, Shami Chakrabarti and Sir Tony Robinson.  Link in Overdrive when signed in:

A Fair Deal:  Shopping for Social Justice by Kari Jones.  Middle Grades

Fair trade is not about spending more money or buying more stuff. It’s about helping producers in developing countries get a fair price for their goods. In A Fair Deal: Shopping for Social Justice, Kari Jones provides a history of trade, explaining what makes trade systems unfair and what we can do about it. By examining ways in which our global trade systems value some people over others, the book illustrates areas in which fair trade practices can help families all around the world and suggests ways to get involved in making the world a more equitable place. Link in Overdrive when signed in.

Speaking our Truth:  A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith

Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.  Link in Overdrive.

Elementary School

Around the World Right Now by Gina Gascone

In this multicultural travelogue through each of the 24 time zones, young readers are invited to travel the world and experience all the people, places, and things that exist on our planet right now. In every minute of every hour of every day, something wonderful is happening around our world. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, an artist sits behind his easel working on a painting. While at the same time in Greenland, an Inuit boy begins training his first pack of sled dogs. While in Madagascar, a playful lemur is trying to steal treats from a family’s picnic, just as a baby humpback whale is born deep in the Pacific Ocean. A perfect read-aloud to help introduce geography and time-telling as well as a celebration of the richness and diversity of life on our planet.  Link in Overdrive.

The Industrial Revolution: INVESTIGATE HOW SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CHANGED THE WORLD with 25 PROJECTS by Carla Mooney

Imagine a world without brand-name products! Before the Industrial Revolution it was not possible to produce enough of the same item to have a brand, but in 100 years the world changed from make-your-own everything to a society of manufactured goods. The Industrial Revolution: Investigate How Science and Technology Changed the World introduces the dynamic individuals who led this revolution and how their innovations impacted the lives of everyone, rich and poor, city-dwellers and farmers alike. Elements of history, biography, civics, science, and technology combine with activity-driven enrichment projects that kids can do with minimal supervision. Activities include creating a water-powered wheel, designing a steam ship, building a telegraph machine, and making a pinhole camera.  Access this book here.

Traditional Stories of the Northwest Coast by Carla Mooney Traditional Series of the Northwest Coast

The Northwest Coast region covers the strip of land along the Pacific coast of Canada and the northern United States. Traditional Stories of the Northwest Coast Nations features stories from several of the region’s Native Nations, including the Haida, Quileute, and Lummi. Easy-to-read text, vivid images, and helpful back matter give readers a clear look at this subject. Features include a table of contents, infographics, a glossary, additional resources, and an index. Aligned to BC standards. Core Library is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.  Link in Overdrive

Sea Turtles by Cindy Rodriguez

Series :  Eye to Eye with Endangered Species

Beautiful photos and text examine the issues endangered sea turtles face and how they can be saved.  Link in Overdrive.

Where is Easter Island by Megan Stine

Unearth the secrets of the mysterious giant stone statues on this tiny remote Pacific island.
Easter Island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean thousands of miles from anywhere, has intrigued visitors since Europeans first arrived in the 1700s. How did people first come to live there? How did they build the enormous statues and why? How were they placed around the island without carts or even wheels? Scientists have learned many of the answers, although some things still remain a mystery. Megan Stine reveals it all in a gripping narrative.
This book, part of the New York Times best-selling series, is enhanced by eighty illustrations and a detachable fold-out map complete with four photographs on the back.  Link in Overdrive.

 

How to be Research Savvy with Pippa!


February 6th

How to be Research Savvy with Pippa.  3:00-4;00 pm.  PAC time

What:  Pippa Davies will share some of the important criteria needed to evaluate the web as well as some essential tools we can use to make our work more authentic and valid, including copyright and online privacy.

Who:  Students in grades 5 and up, parents, teachers.

Where:  Zoom classroom.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://onlineschool.zoom.us/j/556887929

Or iPhone one-tap :
Canada: +16475580588,,556887929#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 647 558 0588
Meeting ID: 556 887 929
International numbers available: https://onlineschool.zoom.us/zoomconference?m=sRWsgcPbbWi9gLojIRSVW6zY9BDa2x6C

Click on this poll to register

 

Read Aloud Day!


Not to late to sign up for our Read Aloud Day on Zoom! Check it out!

Sign up at this poll or in the comments area.

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));

HCS Learning Commons

Welcome to the World Read Aloud Day on February 1st 2018 @ 10 am!  To celebrate this auspicious day we are inviting students to come and hear famous author Christine Pakkalashare her love of reading and her fabulous books from the series : Last But Not Least Lola! These early chapter books are perfect for your students in grades 2-5.  They are also available on Overdrive and should be read as a prelude to the session if possible.

What:  Author read aloud with information on Christine Pakkala’s books and writing.

Who may attend?  Students in grades 1-7 and parents/teachers

Where?  Zoom Video conferencing platform.

Time :  10 am PAC

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://onlineschool.zoom.us/j/337380724

Or iPhone one-tap :
Canada: +16475580588,,337380724#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 647 558 0588
Meeting ID: 337…

View original post 16 more words

Finding New Books in L4U


Have you ever wondered how to find the newest items added to our physical library, L4U?  It’s very easy!  Just log in and go to the Home page, where you will see the search bar and below are three options:  New Items, Top Ten Subjects and Top Ten Series.  You can scroll through the most recently added new items or click on the View More link to see everything added in the last 90 days.

new items

Another handy tip is knowing how to find more books on the same subject. Once you click on the title of a book, the book record opens. Under Subjects you will see a number of blue highlighted subject options.  These are links that will take you to a list of books that share that subject!

subjects We hope these tips help you find resources more easily!

February News -> Learning Commons


February brings snow and the Olympics!!  The Learning Commons brings creative,  fun activities, and engaging learning resources to help you with your February learning!

sagradart-80571

sagradart-80571 Unsplash.com

Hopefully, many of our students have achieved some new reading scores with their Read-A-Thon goals.  Keep reading, don’t stop!  The more words you read or listen to the more literate you become!

This month we also celebrate Black History Month, Valentines Day, and lots of awesome events in our Techie Tuesday line up, and for our students on Ning some wonderful contests.

 

New in the Learning Commons!

Kits!  We have the following new kits available now:

Gr. 8 Electromagnetic Spectrum and Light Digital Unit Study Kit

Gr. 8 Middle Ages Digital Unit Study Kit

Middle Ages Kit Extension:  The Crusades Digital Mini-Unit Study Kit Guide

Gr 8 Renaissance Digital Unit Study Kit

Reformation and Counter-Reformation Digital Mini-Unit Study Kit Guide

 

New Books in L4U!

New Core Competency Packs!  Also curated collections on Overdrive.

Inquiry based Picture books!

New Maker Sessions in Kelowna!

Do you have students in K-3 in Kelowna?  Check out our amazing Maker ed days this semester in this post.

Highlight Special Education Resources on Overdrive!

Did you know that we have many materials on Overdrive to help you plan your curricular goals for your students?  From Hi/Lo books (books with high content and lower lexile level) to; graphic novels, audio books, reference books and workbooks,  we have a plethora of curriculum and fiction to keep your students busy reading at their confidence level.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 2.10.02 PM

This beautiful graphic-novel adaptation of The Breadwinner animated film tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.

To find materials with an SE focus please go to Overdrive e library-> Collections-> Special Education->Hi/Lo Resources-> Graphic Novels.

Also, check out the format for read-along picture books in this post, here.

 

New from the Web Linking Library!

Valentine’s Day.

Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913-1918

STEAM resources

Salmon in the Classroom

Endangered Species Canada

Winter Olympics resources

 New from Ning!

Photography contest– all grades.

Book Trailer contest– all grades

STEAM contest- all grades

To join Ning please contact Erin Duncan.

One-Minute Dare

I have the suspicion that many families have not yet viewed our “Grade Resources Pages” for K-9 students.  Take a minute to go to https://hcslearningcommons.org/bc-ed-plan-resources-for-each-grade/, scroll down to choose any grade (K-9), then scroll down through the subjects, which are listed in alphabetical order.

Just take one minute to look—I dare you!  (It can be done in 4 seconds!)

  • At the top of the page you will find the link to the BC Curriculum for that grade
  • Next, you will find information about how to access (1) the Learning Commons, (2) our subscriptions usernames and passwords, and (3) BC ExamBank for practice tests.
  • Under each subject heading (E.g. ADST, Math, Science, etc.) you will find information related to that grade, coming from our Learning Commons (Library), Subscriptions, and available Online Resources.
  • Under the heading “Curriculum and Unit Study Kits”, you will find that grade’s list of kits, reading list, booklists, curriculum suggestions, and novel/literature studies available.
  • One particularly helpful heading is “First Peoples Integration”, which will give you information on where to find First Nations information you can include in your studies.
  • At the bottom, you will find Special Education Resources (from the OverDrive and L4U libraries), Subscriptions Correlations and Weblinks.

 

New Techie Tuesday and Literacy Events Happening Soon – Mark Your Calendar!

February 1st

Read Aloud Day!  Come and join author Christine Pakkala share on her books from the Lola series.   Middle grades.   To sign up please go to this article here.

 

February 6th

How to be Research Savvy with Pippa.  3:00-4;00 pm.  PAC time

What:  Pippa Davies will share some of the important criteria needed to evaluate the web as well as some essential tools we can use to make our work more authentic and valid, including copyright and online privacy.

Who:  Students in grades 4 and up, parents, teachers.

Where:  Zoom classroom.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://onlineschool.zoom.us/j/556887929

Or iPhone one-tap :
Canada: +16475580588,,556887929#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 647 558 0588
Meeting ID: 556 887 929
International numbers available: https://onlineschool.zoom.us/zoomconference?m=sRWsgcPbbWi9gLojIRSVW6zY9BDa2x6C

Click on this poll to register

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018,  at 3:00 p.m.

Gizmos Webinar – Gizmos Presenter:  If a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, a Simulation Is Worth a Million!

Math topics come to life and student depth of understanding soars when using online simulations to introduce, develop and expand conceptual understanding. With simulations, students are more engaged and more likely to explore and rediscover concepts, just like a true mathematician. Join us to learn how you can use Gizmos to support your students at home and guide them to success.   (Topic to be illustrated:  Density and Distance/Time)

Gizmos main photo

What?  Webinar about using Gizmos for exciting math learning, taught by a Gizmos trainer

Who?  Parents, students (especially Gr. 7-9), teachers

Where?  https://zoom.us/j/757702827

Answer this poll to register for the webinar:

 

Feb 20, 2017   3:00 p.m.

Blogging, Digital Writing, and Personal Learning Networks with Cynthia, Pippa and Beth

What:  Join HCOS Curriculum Consultant, Cynthia Duncalfe, as she gives an overview of how blogging using platforms like our HCOS KidBlog subscription can enrich learning experiences and even serve as a portfolio of learning for your students.  Pippa Davies, teacher-librarian and Director of our Learning Commons will share the importance of digital writing and how simple it is to develop your own personal/professional learning network.

Who:  Students, parents, teachers

Where:  Zoom classroom: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://onlineschool.zoom.us/j/7918784239

Blessings from your learning commons team!

Fake News – What???


Did you know that in the last US election, “fake news” outperformed mainstream news?  I was shocked to learn that by going to the right sites and “messing” with the true news, I can 1.  fill a candidate’s mouth with totally different words; 2. change his facial expressions; and 3. totally change a piece of media making it almost indecipherable from the original.  People spread false reports for commercial or malicious reasons, or even just for fun.  So how are we to know that the articles we are viewing are the truth?  And even more, how are we to encourage our students to care about finding the truth?

First, what is fake news?  It can include such things as:

  1.  False information posted on a website to mimic real news.
  2.  Satirical websites being taken seriously.
  3.  Native advertising, which is advertising disguised as “news” articles.
  4.  Slanted or biased news.  It could speak truth, but omit critical information.

How can we check to find out whether our news is accurate or not?

As was mentioned in the embedded video, check the source sites.  People will often believe sites even though they state clearly that they are fake news.

  1. Read the “about us” in a site.
  2. Note the domain name.
  3. Consult the experts.

Learn to do a “Reverse Google Image Search”–this is a basic skill for all students.  Just right click on an image, hit “copy image address”, then go to the original site where the image was found.

“Satirical websites” and memes are often forwarded as truth.  It is so important to check the source.

“Native advertising” camouflages ads by making them look like real news.  This allows them to misrepresent scientific studies, for example.  Students can actually phone the organization to ask for their scientific results!

We need to realize, also, that our interests will drive what media content we will see on the internet.  You may have noticed this in a Facebook site, for example.  The Wall Street Journal created Blue Feed, Red Feed to illustrate how Facebook specifically shows what viewers want to see and engage with.

There is a great site to use in response to the problems of satirical or slanted news media:  “Media Bias/Fact Check“.  This site will list media sources and rate them for you according to their bias:  left bias, left-centre bias, least biased, right-centre bias, right bias, pro-science, conspiracy-pseudoscience, questionable sources, and satire.  It will show where the media involved would fall on a scale of extreme left to extreme right,  expresses whether the reporting tends to be factual or not, and gives a link to the “about page”.  Unfortunately, it is an American site and did not include the “The Beaverton” in its listing of satirical sites.

A fun way to teach students about spotting real or fake news is to use the “Fact-itious” website .  If you are working with several students together, you can use “Two Truths and a Lie”–finding 3 stories and then getting the group to assess which two are true and which one isn’t.  This gives opportunity to encourage students to read articles beyond the headlines.

Resources for teaching students to evaluate media:

Contents and resources for this article were inspired by the Cinematheque workshop ‘Dissecting Fake News’ ( http://thecinematheque.ca/education/media-literacy/ ), delivered by Liz Schulze at the 2017 PSA Superconference.

 Presentation Summary of the workshop presentation “Dissecting Fake News: Media Literacy in the Post-Truth Era”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Book Alert!


Great books recently added to L4U!

Patterns of Power: inviting young writers into the conventions of language, pow
grades 1-5
Jeff Anderson and literacy coach Whitney La Rocca take you into primary and intermediate classrooms where students are curious about language, engage with the world around them, and notice and experiment with the conventions all writers use. Instead of chanting grammar rules or completing countless convention worksheets, we invite young writers to explore conventions as special effects devices that activate meaning. Our students study authentic texts and come to recognize these “patterns of power”—the essential grammar conventions that readers and writers require to make meaning.
The first part of the book introduces a vibrant approach to grammar instruction and sets up what you need to immerse yourself in the Patterns of Power process, inviting students to experiment and play with language. The second part of the book offers over seventy practical, ready-to-use lessons, including:
•Extensive support materials
•Over 100 mentor sentences, curated for grades 1-5
•Student work samples
•Tips and power notes to facilitate your own knowledge and learning
•Examples for application

Books for that discuss Character, Feelings, Social Responsibility and more:

 

Interesting Books:

MORE FUN WITH MAKER-ED!


stock photo, technology, computer, cardboard, diy, virtual, google, tech, virtual-reality

It’s time to be a maker! Being a ‘maker’ is to be innovative and creative. It is hands on learning , doing project work that is collaborative and fun.

Last semester HCOS students had a chance to learn about coding using Lego mazes,’Microbits’ and Lego Wedo. They were able to research and design their own catapults and build their own cardboard arcade games inspired by Cain’s Arcade Cardboard challenge. This semester the themes are a mixture of STEAM based activities using both technology and art.

If any of your grade 3-6 students are interested please email Justine Dehod at learningcommons@heritagechristian.ca to register or if you have any queries.

 

Themes and dates for Maker-Ed Sessions this semester:

 

January 25th 2018: Animation Lego and mixed media.

February 22nd 2018: Makey Makey + Lunchbox conductors!

March 15th 2018: Tunnel Books- For the Love of the Classics!

April 19th 2018: Robotic Coding+ Programming.

May 24th 2018: Google Cardboard! ( Please bring an iphone).

June 7th 2018: Self Portraits+ Chatterpix + Quiver!

Animation, cartoon, cartoon character

All sessions are held at Heritage Christian School’s Learning Common’s Library on 907 Badke Road, Kelowna from 1:30pm- 3:30pm ( unless otherwise stated).

What a Mystery Read-a-thon!


The Read-a-thon starts on Monday, Jan. 22nd so be sure to sign your students up soon!

Here is the link to all of the information you need!

Inquiry Based Picture Books!


Inquiry based picture books are an excellent way to introduce many subjects into your core curriculum and encourage wonder and curiosity.

Overdrive Library has many Dawn Publications Science Picture Books . These books include wonderful ways to engage your students in wanting to learn more about a wide variety of subjects. Many of the Dawn Publication books have corresponding free extension activities (or a longer guide from Overdrive) to help you with expanding your student’s learning. Just type in ‘Dawn Publications’ as your keyword search and you will find many awesome picture books.  Or look under Teachers Lounge at our Inquiry Based Picture book collection.

New in this series!

 

Here is a sample of the books that we have already added:

A Drop Around the World

A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney and Teacher’s Guide

This book is a year-after-year favorite with teachers. It engagingly leads readers around the world following a drop of water—whether as steam or snow, inside a plant or animal, or underground—teaching the wonders and importance of the water cycle. (There is lots of geography, too.) Four pages of science about the qualities of water are included.

Going Around the Sun

Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Marianne Berkes has a gift for making science fun, and this book is exhibit A. Mother sun and her “family” of planets spin, roll, tilt, blow and whirl around the Sun to the tune of Over in the Meadow. Each of those actions is astronomically correct. For example, Earth is the one that tilts, and that is what creates the seasons. It is also astronomically up-to-date, with Pluto being a dwarf planet. Bright illustrations create an exciting mood, and there is plenty of interesting supplementary information in the back along with tips on related ways to integrate science, art, and literature in the classroom.

Going Home

Going Home by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Teachers! This book is like a whole unit on migration wrapped in a winning combination of easy verse, factual language, and beautiful illustrations. For animals, migration is a powerful compulsion to travel, sometimes over long distances, often skipping many meals. Sometimes, as in the case of the monarch butterfly, a round-trip takes several generations. Why do they do it? How do they succeed? The ten featured species offer a broad representation of migration: loggerhead turtles, monarch butterflies, manatees, ruby-throated hummingbirds, Pacific salmon, Canada geese, California gray whales, caribou, Arctic tern, and emperor penguin. The book is loaded with additional tips for teachers. Once again Marianne Berkes combines her teaching, writing, and theatrical skills to combine entertainment with education—creative non-fiction at its best.

How We Know What we Know about Climate Change

How we Know what we Know about Our Changing Climate and Teachers Guide

When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth’s climate is changing? Here is the science behind the headlines – evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young “citizen-scientists.” And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope. Kids can make a difference!

Natures Patchwork Quilt

Nature’s Patchwork Quilt by Mary Miche and Extension Activities

Just imagine all of nature – mountains, prairies, oceans, and all – lying on your bed as a patchwork quilt! Take flora and fauna in their unique habitats, fold them up and you have a book, this book. Earth’s major habitats are spread before you, ready to be examined. Here in this beautiful package are revealed the key concepts of natural science. This patchwork quilt of nature covers the whole Earth, your home – yours to learn about, to enjoy, to care for, and to love.

Over in Australia

Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Australian animals are unique. Their babies may be riding in mama’s pouch, or hitching a ride on daddy, piggy-back! Children will sing, clap and count to the rhyme of “Over in the Meadow” as they learn about wallabies, koalas, wombats, and more. Cut-paper illustrations add to the fun.

Over in the Arctic

Over in the Arctic by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Teachers and parents, here is another favorite from Marianne, who has a special talent. The kids think it is entertainment while teachers and parents think it is a great lesson about the Arctic! This book combines singing, counting, and full-body action with terrific cut-paper illustrations that kids will want to imitate. Over in the Arctic, the snow goose honks and the wolf howls. Children too will joyfully honk and howl while they count the baby animals and sing to the tune of Over in the Meadow. And they will hunt for hidden animals on each page. A big plus for educators are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.

Over in the Forest

Over in the Forest by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Jump like a squirrel, dunk like a raccoon, and . . . uh-oh . . . watch out for the skunk! Children learn the ways of forest animals to the rhythm of “Over in the Meadow” in this delightful introduction to the woodland habitat. They will also count the babies and search for hidden animals. And when they see how each illustration is made from cut paper, they may be inspired to try cut-paper art, too.

Over in the Jungle

Over in the Jungle by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Teachers and parents, here is the easiest, most entertaining way ever to teach about this important habitat. The special talent of this author is entertaining kids while the adults think it is a lesson about the rainforest. Kids will sing, clap, and count their way among monkeys that hoot, ocelots that pounce, parrots that squawk, and boas that squeeze! It will not take much to have your child joyfully hooting and squawking too. And the illustrations are painstakingly all done in polymer clay and then photographed, giving a 3-D effect. They are truly remarkable, vividly conveying the abundant energy of a rainforest, and will inspire many an art project. Plus there are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.

Pass the Energy Please

Pass the Energy, Please! by Barbara Shaw McKinney and Teacher Guide

Here is a favorite of elementary science teachers for the food chain. Each of the creatures passes the energy in its own unique way. In this upbeat rhyming story, the food chain connects herbivores, carnivores, insects and plants together in a fascinating circle of players. All beings on Earth—from the anchovy to the zooplankton—depend upon the green plant, which is the hero of the story. The special talent of the author shines again (see also A Drop Around the World) for being able to present the science curriculum so concisely, creatively, and cleverly.

Salmon Stream

Salmon Stream by Carol Reed-Jones

Named a prestigious CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, this is a poetic yet accurate description of the life cycle of salmon. For kids, it is fun and eye-opening. For teachers, it is a valuable supplement to a unit on water, fish and ocean animals, and life cycles. Fast-paced prose and brilliant illustrations follow the salmon from their form as eggs in a stream to the wide ocean, eventually making a hazardous journey home to their stream of origin. As in her earlier best-selling book, “The Tree in the Ancient Forest,” author Carol Reed-Jones uses cumulative verse – a literary technique that is not only enjoyable but suggests how interconnected salmon are with their habitat. At the back is a section on salmon facts and what makes a good habitat for them, teaching the basics of ecology and why clean streams and waters are so important.

Seashells by the Seashore

Seashells by the Seashore by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Both classroom teachers and vacationing parents will find this little book to be a charmer. Counting from one to twelve, Sue picks up shells—periwinkle, kittens paw, scallop—and carefully adds them to her bucket as a gift for Grandma. She and her friend identify the shells, and when they discover one that still has the mollusk living inside they put it back in the water—learning that shells are actually the abandoned homes of sea animals—but sometimes the animal is still home! The paperback edition contains a tear-out shell identification card to enhance the hands-on lesson in simple wonders from nature.

Sunshine on my Shoulders

Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver

This heartwarming book—an adaptation of one of John Denver’s best-loved songs—is a lovely reminder of the good, pure things in life. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” celebrates friendship, sunshine and simple joy. Children and adults alike will love Christopher Canyon’s whimsical and humorous illustrations, that capture the innocence of childhood. This is one of a series of picture book adaptations of John Denver’s songs that reflect the gift of friendship and nature.

The Sea that Feeds Us

This is the Sea that Feeds Us by Robert F. Baldwin

From the delightful opening verse of this poetic nonfiction book, the reader learns the important concept that plankton is the first link in the ocean food chain. The rhyming text continues and covers each link—the shrimp who eats the plankton, the sea bass who eats the shrimp and the humans who catch the sea bass for dinner. This is a wonderful resource for studies on ocean plankton, habitats, and food chains.

What's in a Garden?

What’s in the Garden? by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Good food doesn’t begin on a store shelf with a box. It comes from a garden bursting with life, color, sounds, smells, sunshine, moisture, birds, and bees! Healthy food becomes much more interesting when children know where they come from. So what’s in the garden? Kids will find a variety fruits and vegetables, and a tasty, kid-friendly recipe for each one to start a lifetime of good eating. A “food for thought” section presents interesting facts about each fruit and vegetable, and a “how does your garden grow?” section explains facts about gardening and the parts of plants.

reviews by Overdrive

%d bloggers like this: