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Sunday, January 18, 2015

When a statue has a biography



STONE GIANT by Jane Sutcliffe is a picture book biography of a statue: David by Michelangelo. The city of Florence had a huge block of marble everyone hoped a sculpture could make into a statue of David but no sculptor would take on the challenge, until Michelangelo.  And it was a challenge.


Sample: “Every night he went home floured with the dust of not-David. He combed bits of not-David from his beard.”

Jane has thoughtfully provided a teacher resource for this book.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

GOLDIE TAKES A STAND



Let’s say that you want to write a picture book about a historical event but you have only the briefest information available. What do you do?
You can follow the example of Barbara Krasner who wrote Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade. She wrote a book on an incident from Golda’s childhood. Poor children couldn’t afford books so Golda helped raise money for them.  Barbara’s only documented information was a newspaper clipping. She invented first person dialogue, which makes this book biographical fiction. But still a learning tool.
Sample: “Will the meeting come to order?” I announced to the girls crowded into our two-room Walnut Street apartment.”
What does this tell us about Golda? That she was a take-charge person.
That she lived in a crowded apartment.
ACTIVITY
Take any historical figure that interests you. Pick an event from that person’s life. Write a skit imagining the conversation that could have gone on during that event. Answer these questions: Who else was there? What did the event accomplish?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

MISS MOORE THOUGHT OTHERWISE








MISS MOORE THOUGHT OTHERWISE

By Jan Pinborough

 Anne Carroll Moore ran the Central Children’s Room at the New York Public Library and was responsible for making the children’s room inviting for the child patron. This picture book biography will introduce the reader to the important contributions she made.

Sample: “She gathered collections of shells and butterflies to display. Then she filled the shelves with the very best children’s books she could find.”

Activities

1. Miss Moore had a wooden doll named Nicholas Knickerbocker she used during story hours.

Pretend that Nicholas could talk and was interviewing a child who had just immigrated to the U.S. and was at his or her first story hour.

What questions would Nicholas ask the child about his or her life?

What country the child came from? What customs from that  country did the child  especially like?

Pick one and write a paragraph about one of them using the Who, What, Where, When of journalism.