Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Leatherstocking Conference: Having Fun with Common Core Handout

Today I’m presenting two talks at the Leatherstocking Conference & Technology Showcase in Vernon, NY. This year’s theme is STEM & Maker Spaces, so it’s the perfect conference for me. I’m sharing my handout here (rather than on paper), so that interested people can simply click on the links. (Plus it saves trees.)

Thanks to blogger’s scheduling option, the online handout for my second talk, The Science of Readers Theater, will magically post at 2:20, when that presentation begins.

This post is the online handout for my first talk, Having Fun with Nonfiction: Using Award-winning Children’s Books to Support the Reading Information Text Standards. It includes teaching ideas and book lists that address each of the Common Core Reading Information Text Standards. Enjoy!

Here are some general resources to get you started:



I have created easy-to-read tables that show how the CCSS RIT standards scaffold from one grade level to the next, and educators seem to love them. They are especially useful for teacher-librarians, reading specialists, and teachers with multi-grade classrooms. You can access them here:
http://www.melissa-stewart.com/PowerPt/Easy-to-Understand%20Tables%20RIT%20Standards.ppt


CCSS RIT #1 and 2: Identifying main ideas/Recognizing supporting details
Reading Buddy programs have many proven benefits. When buddies use nonfiction trade books with layered text, the benefits increase. Younger students read the simpler main text (which includes the main idea) and the older student reads the secondary text (which includes supporting details). Then they discuss the art together. When they are done, they can work together to complete supporting activities.


Recommended Titles
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

Beaks by Sneed B. Collard (illus. by Robin Brickman)

The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre (illus Patricia J. Wynne)

A Butterfly is Patient by Diana Hutts Aston (illus. Sylvia Long)

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart (illus. Sarah S. Brannen)

Meet the Howlers by April Pulley Sayre (illus. Woody Miller)

Move! by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart (illus. Nicole Wong)

A Place for Birds by Melissa Stewart (illus by Higgins Bond)

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins& amp; Robin Page

When the Wolves Returned by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (photos Dan and Cassie Hartman)

 
CCSS RIT #3: Identifying connections/relationships 
It can be tricky to find books that are perfectly suited for teaching this skill. Here are some titles that I recommend:

For Younger Students
Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons by Sarah Levine

Born to Be Giants: How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World by Lita Judge

Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Frog in a Bog by John Himmelman


For Older Students
Energy Island by Allan Drummond
 
John, Paul, George, & Ben by Lane Smith

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonard da Vinci by Gene Baretta

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola

Those Rebels John & Tom by Barbara Kerley (illus. Edwin Fotheringham)

Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre (illus. Kate Enderle)

 
CCSS RIT #4: Building Vocabulary
For younger children, fun songs are a great way to reinforce domain-specific vocabulary introduced in children’s books. Here are some sample songs I’ve written to build vocabulary included in lifecycle units on butterflies and frogs.


For upper elementary students, Readers Theater is a wonderful way to reinforce vocabulary (not to mention build fluency and comprehension). Many science-themed children’s books can easily be adapted into Readers Theater scripts that kids will love practicing and performing.


For information about the benefits of RT and how to adapt books into scripts that are perfect for your students, please look at the online handout for that program in the post immediately following this one.

 
CCSS RIT #5: Identifying text features/Analyzing text structures
This is an important skill twenty-first century learners. Many of my books include a wide variety of text features, so I’ve developed teaching materials to go with them, including a SmartBoard slide and several worksheets and activities that you can download:

 
I’ve also sorted dozens of award-winning nonfiction books by text structure and developed some related activities. You can access them here:




CCSS RIT #6: Visual literacy and point of view
Most of the other RIT standards focus on one skill that is introduced in K and builds from one grade level to the next. This standard looks at visual literacy in the early grades and author intent in grades 2-5.

Grades K-1
Visual literacy is a critical skill for twenty-first century learners. While any book illustrated with art or photos can be used to discuss the role of the words and pictures, here are a few that I particularly recommend:

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton (illus. Tony Persiani)

An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston (illus. Sylvia Long)

Mosquito Bite by Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkle

Redwoods by Jason Chin


Grades 2-5
To meet this standard, students should have experience considering the intent of texts and author point of view. Today’s students are also being asked to imagine themselves “in the shoes” of the authors. They must consider that an author’s world view affects how he/she approaches topics. For discussions of author intent, I recommend two activities.

1.    Compare The Snail’s Spell by Joanne Ryder (illus Lynne Cherry) and Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell, focusing on why two authors might have created such different books about the same small animal.

2.  Imagine author Brenda Z. Guiberson’s thought process as she developed the voice for Frog Song. How do students think the publisher’s choice of Gennady Spirin as the illustrator reinforced the author’s intent for the book?

 
For discussions of point of view, ask students to consider how the authors’ world view inspired them to write the following titles:

City Chickens by Christine Heppermann

A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart (illus Higgins Bond)

Step Out Gently by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

  
CCSS RIT #7: More visual literacy and accessing information quickly
Because visual literacy is so important, this standard addresses it at increasing degrees of complexity from grades K-4. See my notes above for book recommendations.

At grade 5, this standard suddenly switches its focus to building skills for accessing information. The good news is that publishers have already begun beefing up the index and resource sections of all books, especially those for ages 10 and up.

 
CCSS RIT #8: Examining how an author supports points
List books (in which the main idea is stated on the first page and subsequent spreads are essentially a list of examples that reinforce the main idea) are a simple and powerful way to show students how author can support their points. I recommend the following titles:

Bird Talk by Lita Judge

Born to Be Giants by Lita Judge

A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston (illus. Sylvia Long)

An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston (illus. Sylvia Long)

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart (illus. Sarah S. Brannen)

How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly? by Steve Jenkins

Move! by Steve Jenkins& amp; Robin Page

Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

A Rainbow of Animals by Melissa Stewart

A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston (illus. Sylvia Long)

Wings by Sneed Collard

 
CCSS RIT #9: Comparing multiple texts and various media
There are lots of ways to help students develop this skill, and trade children’s books can play a central role. Students will enjoy comparing fiction and nonfiction books that look at the same topic. Here are some book pairs I recommend:

Bring on the Birds by Susan Stockdale + Birds by Kevin Henkes (illus. Laura Dronzek)

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart (illus. Candace R. Bergum) + Under and Over the Snow by Kate Messner (illus.  Christopher Silas)

A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer (illus. John Butler) + Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Htakoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu (photos Peter Greste)

And if you are looking for a resource that combines studying fiction/nonfiction pairs with teaching science, you might want to use Perfect Pairs: Using Fiction & Nonfiction Picture Books to Teach Life Science, K-2, a book I co-authored with former teacher Nancy Chesley. It’s available here:

http://www.stenhouse.com/html/perfect-pairs.htm

Students will also be interested in comparing two, three, or even four or even three nonfiction books covering the same topic but written in different ways by different authors. Here are some great examples:

The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George (illus. Wendell Minor)

When the Wolves Returned by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up by Sarah Albee

The Truth About Poop by Susan E. Goodman (illus. Elwood H. Smith)

The Tale of Pale Male by Jeanette Winter

City Hawk: The Story of Pale Male by Meghan McCarthy

Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City by Janet Schulamn (illus. Meilo So)

Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter

Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire Nivola

Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson and Sonia Lynn Sadler

Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli (illus Kadir Nelson)

A great general resource for planning lessons that take advantage of multiple books and/or various media is Teaching with Text Sets by Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Thulin Dawes. Follow their blog here: http://classroombookshelf.blogspot.com/

Some of the books I've listed above will eventually go out of print. Plus new books are being published all the time. How can you find great nonfiction books in the future?

Keep an eye on these lists:  

AAAS/Subaru Prizes for Excellence in Science Books

ALA Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

CA Reading Association Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award

Cook Prize for STEM Picture Book

Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List

Cybils Nonfiction for Middle Grade & Young Adult

Cybils Nonfiction Picture Books
 
NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
 
NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
 
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

And that's it! Phew.

No comments:

Post a Comment