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Author Archives: schliesman

Lemonade and Other Poems . . . / Tap Dancing on the Roof

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Lemonade and Other Poems . . . / Tap Dancing on the Roof)

Lemonade and Other Poems coverTap Dancing on the Roof cover
Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka. Illustrated by Nancy Doniger. Roaring Brook Press, 2011

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)
by Linda Sue Park. Illustrated by Istvan Banyai. Clarion, 2007

 

 

1. How did these poems surprise you?

2. Which type of poem would you prefer to write? Why?

3. What word would you use to create your own poem squeezed from a single word?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

All the Water in the World

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on All the Water in the World)

All the Water in the World cover
All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon. Illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. A Richard Jackson Book / Atheneum, 2011

1. Name some of the places where water is found.

2. Are there places that don’t have enough water?

3. How can we be careful not to waste water?

Pocketful of Posies / Rain Train

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Pocketful of Posies / Rain Train)

Pocketful of Posies coverPocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated by Sally Mavor. Houghton Mifflin, 2010.

1. (Adult) Tap out the rhythm of a nursery rhyme on a table or chair while reading it aloud. Encourage children to clap the rhythm of rhymes they know well.

2. (Adult) Write nursery rhymes on small pieces of paper to hide around the house. Encourage children to find them and then share them together. (Caregivers: send them home with children and ask adults in the home to hide and then share when found.)

3. (Adult) For ELL families—Through an interpreter (if needed), encourage adult family members to share any rhymes or poems from their own childhoods/native language with their children

Rain Train coverThe Rain Train by Elena de Roo. Illustrated by Brian Lovelock. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2011

1. What does the rhythm/feel of the words as I read them make you think about? (Does it sound at all like rain? Like a train?)

2. Pretend you’re the rain: what sounds do you make? How do you move?

3. Pretend you’re a train. Now what sounds do you make? How do you move?

Beauty Queens

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Beauty Queens)

Beauty Queens cover
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Scholastic Press, 2011

1. What is this book making fun of?

2. What stereotypes are broken down or reinforced in this novel (e.g. stereotypes of the states)?

3. Who would you cast as the characters if this were a movie and why?

Dead End in Norvelt

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Dead End in Norvelt)

Dead End in Norvelt cover
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011

1. What are ways you tell this book is set in the 1960s rather than today?

2. Jack reads history to escape his boredom. What do you do?

3. Why do Jack and Miss Volker make a good team?

Books for Middle School Age

The Unforgotten Coat

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on The Unforgotten Coat)

Unforgoten Coat cover
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Have you ever left something behind? How would you get it back?

2. Who do you think was the demon and were you surprised at the end?

3. How do the photographs help tell the story? Have you told a story with photographs?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Let’s Go See Papá

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Let’s Go See Papá)

Let's Go See Papa cover
Let’s Go See Papá! by Lawrence Schimel. Translated from the Spanish by Elisa Amado. Illustrated by Alba Marina. Groundwood, 2011

 

 

1. What ways can you keep in touch with people you love when you can’t be near them?

2. How would you help the girl in this book if she started coming to your school?

3. Why do you think people choose to move to other countries?

Ten Little Caterpillars / And Then It’s Spring / Insect Detectives

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Ten Little Caterpillars / And Then It’s Spring / Insect Detectives)

Ten Little Caterpillars coverTen Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane, 2011

1. The first caterpillar in the story “crawled,” the second one “climbed,” and the third one “wriggled.” Pretend to be each one of those caterpillars. Is there a difference between crawling, climbing and wriggling?

2. Can you think of other ways a caterpillar might move?

3. Let’s count the caterpillars at the book’s end together. What numbers would come next after ten?

And Then It's Spring coverAnd Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook Press, 2012

1. Compare the colors at the end of the book to the beginning. Have they changed? If so, how and why?

2. What do you think you might hear if you put your ear to the ground in the spring? What else might you hear if you listen closely to outdoor sounds in the spring? How about summer, fall and winter?

3. (Adult) With children, plant seeds indoors in cups. Send home after plants have sprouted.

Insect Detectives coverInsect Detectives by Steve Voake. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010

1. What are some things in nature we can see (any time of year) . . . Let’s choose one to look at more closely . . . Now what do you see?

2. Let’s go outside and find an insect to watch. (spring/summer). . . What you notice it?

3. If you were an insect detective, is there a bug you would want to look for?

Want to Go Private?

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in High School | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Want to Go Private?)

Want to Go Private? cover
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman. Scholastic Press, 2011

1. As a reader, how many red flags can you identify as Abby is “groomed” by Luke?

2. What is the effect of having different perspectives in Parts 1, 2, and 3? How did this work for you as a reader?

3. The characters in the book reference guidelines they were given about online safety. How would you teach online safety to younger kids?

A Monster Calls

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on A Monster Calls)

A Monster Calls cover
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Illustrated by Jim Kay. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Why is it so hard for Connor to sort out what is real and what isn’t real?

2. How do the illustrations affect your understanding of the story?

3. Why is telling the truth so difficult for Connor? How is it difficult for you?

Books for Middle School Age

Soldier Bear

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Soldier Bear)

Soldier Bear cover
Soldier Bear by Bibi Dumon Tak. Translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson. Illustrated by Philip Hopman. U.S. edition: Eerdman’s, 2011

1. What did you learn about World War II that you didn’t know before?

2. How did Voytek win over people’s hearts and minds? What is it about animals that people find so appealing?

3. What animal would you train to help you?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Emma Dilemma

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Emma Dilemma)

Emma Dilemma cover
Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O’Connell George. Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Clarion, 2011

 

 

1. A dilemma is a situation that has good parts and bad parts. What were the good parts about having a little sister? What were the bad parts?

2. Are you more like Jess or Emma?

3. Each poem tells about a small moment in Jess and Emma’s lives. Together, the poems tell a story. Share something you remember from this story.

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