Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Poem for the Classroom

Back when I was in the sixth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Grimes, required the entire class to memorize a poem each month and then write it out from memory.

I  don't know whether today's teachers would want to require their students to do this but I do have a very good poem for them to share with their classes: I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes; illustrated by Bryan Collier.

Here is a sample: "I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Planet Hunter

With the start of school, it's time to think about  astronomy, the science of searching for other planets. Many amateur astronomers like to observe the night skys looking for constellations.

This week's selection, Planet Hunter: Geoff Marcy and the Search for Other Earths by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein introduces readers to Geoff Marcy, an astronomer working at the W.M.  Keck Observatory, located on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Astronomy has progressed beyond the telescope. Here's a sample:

"Astronomers like Marcy no longer look directly through a telescope eyepiece. Instead, a device similar to a digital camera records the image in the telescope. The image is transmitted to computers for analysis."

Although this book tells Geoff's story, readers are introduced to other astronomers as well. At 48 pages, it is a good choice for grades 3 to 5.