Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Chinese American Who Wanted To Fly

Everyone has a dream.  Mine is to swim a mile next summer.  Maggie  Gee wanted to
fly airplanes.  During World War II, she joined a group called Women's Air Force Service Pilot or Wasps for short. Their principal job was to  ferry airplanes from the factory to the field where male pilots would fly them in battle.
This week's curriculum tie-in is Sky High : The True Story of Maggie Gee by Marissa   Moss. This picturebook tells  Maggie's story from her childhood  through her flying adventures, in  the first person. You feel like Maggie herself is talking to you.The  author's note includes more information plus some photographs from Maggie herself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to learn about animal migration

Why Do Animals Migrate? by Bobbie Kalman is my curriculum tie-in this week. I'd recommend this to grades 3-5. It is a chapter book;  32 pages in total.
It starts with definitions. Example: "All animals have areas where they live. These areas are called habitats." The book gives the reason for migration: because when seasons change it becomes too difficult to stay in their habitats. So they move to a new habitat for a certain period of time. They migrate.
Teachers, here are two questions to ask of your classes.

Q. Why do Canada geese fly in a V-formation?
A.  Flying in a V-formation keeps them from getting too tired. p.10

Q. Which animal migrates the farthest?
A. The arctic tern. p.12

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Feel of the Early 1960's

Curriculum tie-in
The early 1960's in New York City was a period where folksingers met in coffeehouses. For teachers doing a section on the '60's I recommend this slice of life picture book biography, When Bob Met Woody ;written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Marc Burckhardt.  Bob Dylan is still with us but Woody Guthrie passed away many years ago. This biography takes Bob  from his early interest in folk music to his meeting Woody Guthrie. A nice feature of this book is "Quotation notes" where the actual sources of the quotes in the book come from.