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Author Archives: schliesman

Me and Momma and Big John / Castle

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Me and Momma and Big John / Castle)

me and momma and big john cover

Me and Momma and Big John by Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by William Low. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Why is the boy so disappointed when he finally sees the stone his mother has been working on?

2. How is the boy feeling about his mother’s work by the story’s end? Why?

3. Do you think the boy’s momma is an artist? Why or why not?

 

 

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Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay, with Sheila Keenan. Square Fish / David Macaulay Studio / Macmillan, 2012

1. If you were a visiting the castle in this book, what are some of the things you might see once you cross the drawbridge?

2. If you were an enemy, how might you try to get inside the castle in this book? What are some of the ways you learned those in the castle might try to stop you?

3. Why don’t you think people live in castles anymore?

 

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I Love Saturdays y domingos / Baby’s Day

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on I Love Saturdays y domingos / Baby’s Day)

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I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada. Ill by Elivia Salvadier. Atheneum, 2002

1. What are some of the things that are the same at each of the two houses the little girl visits?

2. What are some of the things that are different?

3. What do you like to do with a grown-up you love?

 

 

 

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Baby’s Day by Michael Blake. Candlewick Press, 2007

1. What color is __________? (name the highlighted object(s) on every page)

2. When would a baby wear a bib and have a bowl? What do you think the baby is about to do?

3. Baby is sleeping with a toy bunny. Is there something you like to sleep with?

 

Poems to pair from Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2007:

“Your Birthday Cake” by Rosemary Wells, p. 22

“Baby Fingers” by Nikki Grimes, p. 20

“Candles” by Wendy Cope, p. 26

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Mighty Mars Rovers / Moonbird

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Mighty Mars Rovers / Moonbird)

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The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

 

 

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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

 

 

 

1. What are some of the ways birdwatchers have helped scientists understand the rufa red knot?

2. How does Moonbird’s story show the interconnectedness of ecosystems?

3. How does the Mars Rover story show the interconnectedness of scientific disciplines?

4. Scientists working with the Mars Rovers seemed to develop emotional attachments to Spirit and Opportunity. Did you feelconcern for these pieces of equipment when they encountered problems on Mars or lost communication with Earth? How does that make you feel about research in space?

5. How are these two extraordinarily long journeys similar and different?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta)

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Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie Lo. Illustrated by Beth Lo.
Lee & Low, 2012

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren, Sarah. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Marshall Cavendish, 2012

 

 

1. In what ways were Auntie Yang and Dolores Huerta similar women? How are they different?

2. What are some things each woman did to bring together people in her community.

3. In Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic food brings people together. What role does food play in Dolores Huerta?

 

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Dark Lord / Friends with Boys

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in October | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Dark Lord / Friends with Boys)

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Dark Lord: The Early Years by Jamie Thomson. Walker, 2012

1. If your arch enemy banished you to an alternate universe, what would it be like?

2. Why do you think the author decided to include a ghost story?

3. Which supporting character(s) in these books would you like to have you welcoming you to a new situation? What appealed to you about this character?

 

 

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Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks . First Second, 2012

1. What are some of the ways Maggie changes in terms of how she sees herself and members of her family over the course of the story?

2. Maggie is not used to the social dynamics of high school. What does she learn from her friendship with Lucy and Alistair?

3. Why do you think it’s so important to Maggie to help the ghost? Why do you think the author chose to leave the ghost’s story unsolved?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Spike the Mixed-Up Monster / Oh, No! / Alfie Is Not Afraid

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | October | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Spike the Mixed-Up Monster / Oh, No! / Alfie Is Not Afraid)

Spike the mixed-up monster cover

Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster by Susan Hood. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. A Paula Wiseman Book / Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. Do you think Spike is a monster? Why/why not?

2. What are ways Spike tries to act like a monster? (Let’s be monsters ourselves–swoosh, bare teeth, etc)

3. Let’s look again at the photographs of animals at the end of the story. What are some ways they are different than the animals in the illustrations? What are some ways they are the same?

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Oh, No! by Candace Fleming. Illustrated by Eric Rohmann. Schwartz & Wade, 2012

1. Name some of the animals that fall into the hole in the story. Why do you think Tiger wants to get the animals out of the hole?

2. Would you help tiger out of the hole? Why or why not?

3. How do you think it would feel to be stuck in a hole?

 

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Alfie Is Not Afraid by Patricia Carlin. Disney / Hyperion, 2012

1. Do YOU think Alfie is afraid? Why or why not ?(Ask them to point out evidence in book)

2. How can you tell the difference between what the boy is saying and what Alfie is really feeling?

3. What kinds of things are you afraid of?

 

Poems to pair from Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2007:

“My Sister” by Margaret Mahy, p. 40

“In Bed with Cuddly Creatures” by Wes Magee, p. 89

“No Need to Light a Night-Light” by Anonymous, p. 100

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Giants Beware / The Scary Places Map Book

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in October | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Giants Beware / The Scary Places Map Book)

giants beware cover

Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre. Illustrated by Rafael Rosado. First Second, 2012

1. Claudette has little patience with the grown-ups in her town who are afraid to go after the giant. Why do you think the adults are so afraid? Why do they go after Claudette and her friends?

2. Everyone thinks the giant threatening the town is a “baby-feet-eating giant.” In the end, they discover it’s just a baby giant that loves tickling feet. How / why do you think the story about the giant got so turned around?

3. Gaston and Marie aren’t as brave as Claudette but they set off with her anyway. How does each of the three play a role in their success? Has there ever been a time in your life when you and friends or family members have all contributed in different ways to a project or journey’s success?

 

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The Scary Places Map Book: Seven Terrifying Tours by B. G. Hennessy. Illustrated by Erwin Madrid. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. All of the maps in this books have several features in common. Name at least two things that all of them share.

2. What are three of the dangers to watch out for in “The Land of the Golden Apples”?

3. Who is Mabel in the Western Territories? What does she carry in her pack?

4. If you were designing a scary place, what would it include?

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Each Kindness

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | October | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Each Kindness)

each kindness cover

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin, 2012

1. Why do you think Chloe ignores Maya?

2. What do you think Chloe’s teacher is trying to show them about kindness?

3. How does the ending of the story make you feel?Why?

4. What do you think Chloe will do if another new student joins their class? What in the story makes you think this?

 

 

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The Pregnancy Project

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in October | High School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on The Pregnancy Project)

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The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer. Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. What were some of the events in her family that made Gaby so adamant about not becoming a teen mom?

2. How would you have felt if you were one of Gaby’s friends or family when she announced her pregnancy was a hoax?

3. Gaby says: “Could it be that people don’t want others to beat stereotypes? Could it be that people who don’t fit the mold make it uncomfortable for others to hold on to their prejudices?” What do you think?

 

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Dog in Boots / I’m the Best

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Dog in Boots / I’m the Best)

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  Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley. Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo. Holiday House, 2011
1. Why do you think all the different kinds of boots and shoes and other things Dog tries aren’t right for him?

2. Do you think you can do everything with your bare feet that Dog can do with his paws? Why or why not?

3. Which of the footwear Dog tries do you like the best? Why?

 

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I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010

1. Why do you think Dog shows off and brags?

2. In what ways do you think that Dog is a good friend?

3. In what ways do you think Ladybug, Mole, Goose, and Donkey are good friends?

 

Poems to pair from Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2007:
“Dressing Too Quickly” by Jill Townsend, p. 14
“My Puppy” by Aileen Fisher, p. 36
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Wonder

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Wonder)

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

1. The kids on Auggie’s welcoming committee have been hand-picked by the principal. Why do you think the kids the principal picked aren’t all as welcoming as the principal might have wished? How do you think you would respond if you were a member of Auggie’s welcoming committee?

2. Jack and Summer both want to be good friends to Auggie but each one struggles in different ways. What do you think is Jack’s biggest challenge? What about Summer’s? How does Auggie respond to each of them?

3. What do you think is gained by telling Auggie’s story from so many different points of view? Which character’s perspective did you appreciate the most, and why?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Rain School / Our Seasons

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Rain School / Our Seasons)

rain school cover

Rain School by James Rumford. Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010

1. Why is Thomas so excited to be starting school? What are you looking forward to this year at school?

2. What are three things about Thomas’s school in the story that are similar to our/your school?

3. What are three things about Thomas’s school in the story that are different from our/your school?

 

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Our Seasons by Ranida T. McKneally. Ill by Grace Lin. Charlesbridge, 2006

1. What is your favorite season? What is something you learned about your favorite season from this book?

2. Which did you like reading/listening to more? The facts about each season or the poems Why?

3. The illustrations in the book show what is happening in each of the poems. How do the poems and illustrations connect to the information/facts on each page?

 

 

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