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Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers Titles for April: My First Day / Lucky Ducklings / Wee Rhymes

April 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2014-2015 | April - (Comments Off on Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers Titles for April: My First Day / Lucky Ducklings / Wee Rhymes)

my first day

My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, 2013.

1. Where is the baby?

2. What is the mother doing?

3. Can you find the baby’s eyes? What other body parts can you find?

 

lucky ducklings

Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore. Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.  Orchard / Scholastic Inc., 2013.

1. How many baby ducks can you count?

2. Who helped save the ducklings?

3. What would you name a baby duckling?

 

wee rhymesWee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Jane Dyer.  A Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster, 2013.

1. Find a poem that rhymes. Which words in the poem rhyme?

2. Do the poems describe any things you like to do?

3. What’s your favorite poem? Why do you like it?

 

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October Mourning / My Book of Life by Angel

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on October Mourning / My Book of Life by Angel)

october mourning cover

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. In her introduction to October Mourning, Newman notes that she began writing this book to gain better understanding of how Matthew Shepard’s murder impacted her and the larger world. How did the different viewpoints presented in Newman’s poems meet this objective? Were there specific poems/perspectives you found particularly surprising or unexpected? How did they change or deepen your understanding of these events?

2. The attack on and death of Matthew Shepard was a tragic yet pivotal event in recent history, opening people’s eyes and to hate and injustice, and opening their minds to the need for change. There are several examples of this within the narrative. Why do you think this event has had such a profound impact on attitudes toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people?

3. Which poem affected you most deeply? Why?

 

my book of life by angel coverMy Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

1. Do you think the verse style made it easier or harder to navigate the painful experiences in My Book of Life by Angel? Why?

2. Why do you think Angel is able to fight to save Melli when she hasn’t been able to fight to save herself? What do you think she learns in trying to save Melli?

3. Even if you haven’t read Paradise Lost, what do the conversations between Angel and the professor about this book reveal about Angel? What connections can you make between what you learn about that work and Angel’s story?

 

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Who Likes Rain? / underGROUND

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on Who Likes Rain? / underGROUND)

who likes rain cover

Who Likes Rain? By Wong Herbert Yee. Henry Holt, 2007

1. What are some of the animals/things in the story that like the rain.

2. What do you like about rain? What are things you don’t like about rain?

3. What does the rain sound/feel like? (Imitate the rain/a storm)

 

underground cover

underGROUND by Denise Fleming. Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. What are some of the things found underground in this story?

2. Let’s go dig. What can we find underground?

3. Would you want to live underground? Why or why not?

 

 

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:

“Rain” by Spike Milligan, pp. 72-3

“April Rain Song” by Langston Hughes, pp. 74-75

“Mud” by Flanders and Swann, pp. 76-77

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Outcasts United / Temple Grandin

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on Outcasts United / Temple Grandin)

outcasts united coverOutcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town by Warren St. John. Delacorte Press, 2012

1. The kids in Outcasts United come from various countries, but all have experienced difficult things both before and after coming to the United States. Why do you think being on The Fugees means so much to them?

2. Luma had no background in teaching or social work but seemed to instinctively understand what her players needed. What are some of the things that she does that goes above and beyond what a typical sports coach might do?

3. Why is Luma so strict with her players?

 

temple grandin cover

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

1. What were some of the challenges Temple faced growing up? What were some of the ways she overcame them?

2. Temple notes that the unique way her brain works is the reason she has succeeded. What are some of the specific skills and gifts she credits to her autism that have helped her in her work?

3. Did this book make you think about the food you eat, especially meat, in a different way? Did it make you uncomfortable, and if so, why do you think it had that impact?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Step Gently Out / Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on Step Gently Out / Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems)

step gently out cover

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost. Photographs by Rick Lieder. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Do the photographs in this book make you think more about the words? Why or why not?

2. What do you think it means to “step gently out”?

3. How does reading this poem and looking at these photographs make you think differently about insects?

 

laughing tomatoes cover

Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems / jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primvera by Francisco X. Alarcón. Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children’s Book Press, 1997

1. What makes these “spring” poems? Pick one or two of them—how do you think they connect to spring?

2. What are some ways poems are different than a story? Are there ways the two are similar?

3. Do any of the poems in this book feel like they are telling a story? Which one(s) and why?

 

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The Arrow Finds Its Mark

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on The Arrow Finds Its Mark)

arrow finds its mark

The Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems by George Heard. Illustrated by Antoine Guilloppé. Roaring Brook Press, 2012

1. What is a “found” poem?

2. If the text of a “found” poem is taken from something that’s already been written, what role does the poet play? What kinds of things does she or he do to make it into a poem?

3. Pick a poem from this book that you particularly like. What do you like about it?

 

 

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The Watch That Ends the Night

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on The Watch That Ends the Night)

Watch That Ends the Night cover
The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Which character were you the most drawn to and why?

2. How does knowing the ending of this story affect you as you read?

3. What did you learn about the Titanic that you didn’t know before?

Inside Out & Back Again

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Inside Out & Back Again)

Inside Out and Back Again cover
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai. HarperCollins, 2011

1. What makes newcomers an easy target for bullies?

2. What did Ha miss most about Vietnam? What would you miss if you moved to another country?

3. In what ways is Ha’s sense of herself different from how others view her?

Books for Middle School Age

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?

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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?

Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25

April 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | 2011-2012 | April - (Comments Off on Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25)

Time You Let Me In book coverTime You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2010

1. Select a favorite poem from this collection–what do you like about it?
2. Reflect on a time when poetry has been important to you?
3. Describe several different perspectives on youth reflected in these poems.

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