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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Put Yourself in Phillis Wheatley's Shoes







A VOICE OF HER OWN: the story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet by Kathryn Lasky is a picture book biography of Phyllis Wheatley that would be good for grades 3-5.

It has more information than the shorter picture book biographies which is important for school projects.

Take this sample which brings the reader into the mindset of a slave.

“At first there was just blackness….. Then the blackness dissolved into darkness, and the world in the creaking hold of the slave ship slid with shadows.”

Teachers, here’s  possible school assignments for Black History Month.

Have your students write a play about how a slave would feel on one of these ships .What smells would they encounter? What sounds? What would it feel like to be chained up?


Have your students write poems with Phillis Wheatley as the subject.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Why Birds Need Feathers













Melissa Stewart is at it again in FEATHERS : NOT JUST FOR FLYING.  I can see many uses for this title in the classroom. Teachers can use it to show what the feathers of various bird species look like. Melissa thinks it can be used for grades K-5. (See her teacher's guide.) The break-down of text and illustration is very effective.

Let's examine one spread. On the left: "Feathers can warm like a blanket..." Under the illustration on that page is this text box "On cold, damp days a blue jay stays warm by fluffing up its feathers and trapping a laying of warm air next to its skin."

A full page illustration of a blue jay appears on the next page.

Each spread illustrates the various ways birds use feathers.

Melissa explains her process in her author's note.