Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Truthful Tuesday - 3 Reviews for Today

Today's post brings to you non-fiction books about three very different topics: the Civil Rights Movement, Flotsam, and Nouns.

I included The School is Not White!: A True Story of the Civil Rights Movement because as we draw nearer to inauguration day, January 20, I believe that we are going to see issues of Civil Rights matters once again surfacing as Barack Obama takes office as the first African-American president of the United States.

In this true story, Rappaport retells Constance Curry’s Silver Rights in a language familiar to children. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court having declared segregation illegal, Mississippi schools remained segregated in 1965. The “freedom of choice” plan opened the doors for the Carter Family children to sign up for and attend the local all-white school. Despite the resilience they felt, the children showed courage and other black children began registering in the all-white schools. Great resource for teaching about the Civil Rights Movement.

Lesson Plans/Book Activities:

The second review for today is, Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam and the Science of Ocean Motion. This would make a great companion to go along with David Wiesner’s Flotsam, a book that I have previously reviewed. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is an oceanographer who studies the trash that shows up in the ocean (flotsam). This particular story by Burns describes the May 27, 1990 in which a cargo ship carrying Nike sneakers and bath toys dumped a load of the cargo into the ocean and began showing up along Seattle beaches. The book goes on to explain how Ebbesmeyer used the information and objects collected along the Seattle beaches to track ocean currents using a computer program known as OSCURS. Ultimately, the book is trying to make readers aware of the dangers of ocean pollution and the need to protect the environment.

Lesson Plans/Book Activities:

Last but not least, and perhaps my favorite, If you were a Noun, by Michael Dahl. As one book of the “Word Fun” series, Dahl attempts to help students learn about nouns – singular, proper, plural. Dahl has readers entering space in this edition. Students are sure to quickly catch on that a star, an astronaut and a spaceship are singular nouns. They will start considering themselves proper nouns when asked to give an example of one. The book also introduces the concept that nouns would answer the questions: who, when and where. This is a must have for any elementary classroom!

Lesson Plans/Book Activities:
Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun?, Brian P. Cleary
Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day, Robin Pulver