FAMILIES – Summer Reading Week 8 (2-8 August 2020)

Greetings, Eagles!  Welcome to Summer Reading Week 8.  Like you, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family.  So, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at families in our summer reading program.  What do we love most about our families?  How might families be unique?  What are some great family stories?  If you’re ready, let’s get started!

1.  Introduction:  Fry Bread.  One of the most beautiful family stories in children’s literature was recently published in 2019.  Written by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard,  together with illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is a must-read for everyone. It’s about family, food, and tradition.  By hearing this book, you’ll also learn about a new culture.  Listen to SAS’ own Ms. Laura Nossal share this book with us:

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story (Read-Aloud by Ms. Nossal)

2.  Learn About Families: 

Pebble Go Articles for PK-Grade 3:  Start on our PXES Library Guide home page, linked here: PXES Library Guide Home Page Choose PebbleGo.  Log in with Username:  sas1912  Password: eagles#1.  Then, choose PebbleGo Social Studies. Next, choose “Families.”  Choose any of the ten topics (pictured below) and discover more about families.  Remember that by using the yellow speaker icon, the articles can be read to you!

Britannica School Article for Grades 4+: Start on our PXES Library Guide home page, linked here: PXES Library Guide Home Page Choose “Britannica” then choose “Elementary.”  If prompted, log in with Username:  sas1912  Password: eagles#1.  Using the search box, enter the key word “family.”  You can read the article on “family (kinship)” or any of the other articles that return from your search.

3.  There is a saying that “every story  is a family story.”  With that in mind, consider doing some family-themed reading.  

SORA, our digital lending library, also has some fabulous titles to complement this week’s art theme.  Log on to SORA using your student or parent ID and look for these titles:

PreK-Grade 2:

      • Anna & Elsa’s Childhood Times by Disney (see all 7 Anna & Elsa titles)
      • The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room (see all 6 Berenstain Bears titles)
      • Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
      • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

Grades 2-4: 

      • Judy Moody (series) by Megan McDonald
      • Alvin Ho (series) by Lenore Look
      • Stink (series) by Megan McDonald
      • Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
      • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
      • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Historical Fiction)

Grades 4+, Longer Reads:

      • Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
      • The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
      • Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
      • Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
      • Far from Fair by Elana K. Arnold
      • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
      • The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
      • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
  • In SORA, only one user at a time may access the material.  After you read the book, please return it early so that others can have a look at the same title. Thanks!

4. Write About It:  Your Family TreeDid you know that you can organize your family on a family “tree”?  By using a graphic organizer, children can see relationships between family members more easily. 

Below are three family tree graphic organizers that you can try.  Help your children complete the “tree” and talk about your family while you fill in the information.

Basic Family Tree Chart (PK-Grade 2):  Basic Family Tree

Decorative Family Tree, Child at Top:  Decorative Family Tree

Four Generation Family Group, Child at Bottom:  Four Generation Family Group Chart

After you create a family tree, Interview one or two of your relatives and record their answers.  Or, use technology to create a family interview video.  Families have a lot of interesting stories to share!  How many family stories can you gather?  Consider asking questions such as:

    • Where did you grow up?
    • What were your parents like? Your siblings?
    • What do you remember about your grandparents?
    • Who were your friends?
    • What was school like for you?
    • What did you do for fun when you were a child? When you were a teenager?
    • What movies and songs did you like when you were young?
    • How did you meet your spouse?
    • What important lessons have you learned in your life?

What did you learn from your family?  What might be the same or different from your own life?

5.  The Family in Art: 

Cartoons:  Kids love to draw.  Here, they can learn to draw a cartoon Grandma and cartoon Grandpa.  Pause the videos so that you and your child can follow along:

Art for Kids Hub, Cartoon Grandpa

Art for Kids Hub, Cartoon Grandma

Ancestor Portrait Restoration (For older students):  Watch this video in which a Chinese Ancestor portrait is carefully restored by the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Chinese Ancestor Portrait Restoration

6.  Authors who write about families:

Cynthia Ryant:  Using Brain Pop Jr., search for and watch the “Cynthia Rylant” segment.  Find out why Cynthia often writes about families. Start on the PXES Library Guide Home Page linked above, and look for the “Brain Pop Jr.” icon.

Grace Lin: Author and illustrator Grace Lin considers family so important, that she tells her readers all about her own family on her web site!  Why did Grace raise money for cancer research?  What funny stories do Grace and her sisters tell about their mother?  What amazing books has Grace written about Chinese children? Find out here:  Grace Lin, Author, Family and Books  

Allen Say:  Allen Say is a Japanese American author and illustrator.  His book, Grandfather’s Journey, is a story about his family that won the Caldecott Medal!  Using his publisher’s website, look at the covers to Mr. Say’s books.  How many of these do you think are family stories?  Allen Say Author Page (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)David Shannon:  David Shannon is a grown-up who writes a lot of stories about himself as a child.   How many of his amazing stories do you know?  Could you write a story like “No, David!!” but using yourself as the main character?  David Shannon Books

7. Family Traditions and Going Further:  Many families have traditions that center around births, baptisms, birthdays, weddings, holidays, graduations, harvest festivals, and historic events.  What does your family celebrate?  Find an article or story in your mother tongue that celebrates a family tradition.    

To go further, use our Britannica Image Quest Database, available from the PXES Library Guide Home page linked in #2.  Search for special family events, like “birthday” or “wedding.”  What do these events look like in your own culture?  In neighboring cultures?  Here is an example of a beautiful image of a family wedding that can be found using Britannica’s Image Quest:

Indonesian Wedding, Britannica Image Quest

Some people are interested in famous families, or parts of the world that still maintain royal families.  If your child is interested in royal families, kings, or queens, you could consider starting here:  Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Always Adapt!  I mention this every week, but please remember that it is best to adapt these activities to your own resources, languages, and children’s interests.  I hope that you enjoy our eighth week’s “Family” theme.

Your Friend in the Library, Miss Betty

ART: Summer Reading Week 7 (27 July – 2 August 2020)

H-E-L-L-O Eagles!  Welcome to Summer Reading Week 7.  This week is extra wonderful because we have another amazing visitor.  He took time away from his studio to be with us and I am excited to introduce you to him.  We’ll get to meet several artists, but one of them we will meet in person because he made a special recording just for you.  Others we will meet in by visiting an exhibition and viewing their most recent work. Ready?  Let’s get started:

  1.  Introduction:  Lots of kids love to read comics, so I thought you might like to meet a real comic book artist.  I’m delighted to introduce you to Jason Piperberg, a Comic Book Illustrator:

The link above takes you to Jason’s professional website, but please listen to Jason talk about art, artists, illustrators, and his specialty work in comics.  Watch Jason’s video here: Jason Piperberg, Art, Illustation, & Comics Video

Take a look at Jason’s storyboard for Chinese New Year, 2016:  Lays.  The writer scripted the commercial, Jason designed it visually, then the actors and actresses brought it to life.  First, look at the storyboard (the full storyboard can be found on Jason’s website), then watch the commercial.  Can you see Jason’s conceptual work in the final product?

Here is the final 15 second Lays commercial, based on Jason’s storyboard:

Here is another example.  This is Jason’s partial storyboard for Chinese New Year, 2016:  Pepsi

And here is the final, 15 second Pepsi commercial based on Jason’s storyboard,

Pop by the PXES Library anytime to see examples of Jason’s work in posters and comics!  Thanks for introducing our “Art” themed week, Jason!

2.  Now that we’re all thinking about art, let’s do some art-themed reading.  

SORA, our digital lending library, also has some fabulous titles to complement this week’s art theme.  Log on to SORA using your student or parent ID and look for these titles:

Everyone, How to Draw:

      • Learn to Draw Pets by Peter Mueller
      • Learn to Draw Sea Creatures by Russell Farrell
      • Learn to Draw Dogs & Puppies with illustrator Diana Fisher

Everyone, Shorter Reads: 

      • The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPre (Kandinsky story)
      • Boys of Steel by Marc Tyler Nobleman (Superman story)
      • The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola
      • The DayGlo Brothers by Chris Barton (Daytime fluorescence, history)
      • Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life by Laurie Wallmark (film star, history)

Grades 3+, Longer Reads:

      • Jim Henson by Kathleen Krull (Creator of the Muppets)
      • Who Was Walt Disney? by Whitney Stewart
      • Who Was Dr. Seuss? by Janet B. Pascal
      • Who Was Claude Monet? by Ann Waldron
      • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (Historical Fiction, Celadon Pottery)

When reading from the SORA library, only one user at a time may access the material.  After you read the book, please return it early so that others can have a look at the same title. Thanks!

3. Visit an Art Museum:  The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is widely recognized as being one of the best art museums for children.  Together with Mo Willems (who had the original idea), the museum has put together an exhibit called Art in Place: Social Distancing in the Studio.  In this virtual exhibit, 21 leading children’s illustrators showcase what they have been working on during long stretches of lockdown and isolation.  Take a peek inside their studios, read their words, and learn how important art is for each of us in this difficult time.

4.  Create Your Own “Art Museum”:  Help your children create a mini art museum of their own!  Use your digital device to take photos of pieces of art at home.  Look for paintings, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, mixed media, Crayon masterpieces, fashion, and even graphics from advertising or packaging!  Remember what Jason taught us – art is all around us.  

Using your photos, create a little slide show, Power Point, or collage.  Below is an example I made to show the children.  I used PicCollage, a free app, to combine my photos into a single image.  If you don’t have PicCollage, use whatever you have at hand.  Children love to show off their work, so a mini-museum full of your student’s own projects could also be a fun idea!

Miss Betty’s Mini Art-Museum

5.  Play Art Games:  

Grades 3+ (This is very challenging!):  Do you remember FreeRice, the educational web site that is a collaboration between the United Nations and World Food Programme?  One of the FreeRice games is “Famous Paintings.”  See how many you recognize:

FreeRice Famous Paintings Game

Everyone:

      • Start on our PXES Library Guide home page, linked here: PXES Library Guide Home Page
      • Choose World Book
      • Choose World Book Kids
      • Choose “Play Games” from the menu at the bottom.
      • Click on the “Game Type” tab.
      • Choose “Puzzles.”
      • Work some of the puzzles WorldBook Kids offers!  Try the Canyon, Scarlet Macaw, or Thailand Puzzles.  (Note:  You do not need to flip the pieces around.)

6. Complete an Art Project:  World Book Kids also offers suggestions for activities.  If you have supplies at home and want to create an interesting art piece, you could try:

      • Make Your Own Palette
      • Shape Pictures
      • Color Puzzle

To find lists of supplies and instructions, log on to WorldBook Kids using the instructions in Step #6.  Choose “Activities” from the menu at the bottom.  Choose “Doodle and Design” and then you will see cog wheels with each of the above activities listed.  Click on the cog wheel and you will have all the information you need to complete the project.

7.  Brain Pop Jr., Art Topics:  Brain Pop Jr. has some great topics that apply to this week’s exploration of “Art.”  To access these video segments:

      • Start on our PXES Library Guide home page, linked here: PXES Library Guide Home Page
      • Choose Brain Pop, Jr.
      • If you are prompted for passwords, please use:  Username:  sas1912 Password: eagles#1
      • Once inside BrainPop Jr, search for these segments:  Elements of Art, Colors, Sculpture, Collage, Taking Photos.
      • You can also learn more about these specific artists:  Vincent Van Gogh, Ezra Jack Keats (highly recommended), Georgia O’Keefe, Pablo Picasso, and Dr. Seuss.

8.  Write (or Talk) About It: For our writing this week, we’ll use an “I See, I Think, I Wonder” routine.  Parents, you will need to show your students a piece of art for this activity.  After examining it, the students will write an “I See, I Think, I Wonder” response.  Here is an example:

Sample Painting: Old Woman and a Boy with Candles by Peter Paul Reubens

Sample Response (from an Adult):

What do you see?  I see an old woman and a boy.  They are in a dark room sitting close together, the boy is just behind the woman’s right shoulder.  The old woman is holding a candle stub and the boy is attempting to light his candle from what is left of her flame.  The old woman holds her candle with one hand and protects the flame with the other hand.

What do you think?  I think that they don’t have much light in their home and it is night time.  I think that they have to carefully guard the light so that the candles do not go out.  I think that they are in the same family, perhaps a grandmother and grandson.  And, because they are so close together, I think that they care for each other.

What do you wonder?  I wonder why the artist chose to paint this scene.  Could the light be a symbol?  What do older generations pass to younger generations?  Could the light represent knowledge, wisdom, tradition, language, or culture?  Is sharing the candle’s light a sign that precious things, as precious as a candle’s flame, can be shared with young people?

Please Remember:  It is best to adapt these activities to your own resources, languages, and children’s interests.  I hope that you enjoy our seventh week’s “Art” theme.  Thanks again to Jason for being our special guest this week.

Your Friend in the Library, Miss Betty

ANIMALS – Summer Reading Week 6 (20-26 July 2020)

Greetings, Eagles!  Welcome to Summer Reading Week 6.  The holiday is zipping by, but I hope that you remember to read and create every day!  Summer can be an amazing time of personal growth and exploration.  So, let’s get going with our theme this week of “Animals!”

  1.  Introduction:  Last week you tried DKFindOut.  DKFindOut is an incredible web site, free for everyone, with high quality non-fiction content and phenomenal visuals.  This week, to get everyone thinking about animals, do a little exploring here:  DK Find Out Animals
      • Why do woodpeckers drum holes in trees? (Look in Birds)
      • What does a honey badger look like? (Look in Badgers)
      • How many humps does a Bactrian Camel have? (Look in Camels)

For a bit of extra fun, and to experience what it might be like to be a bird, soar above the Orkney Islands with this Sea Eagle in a coastal flight.  Marra, a sea eagle from Elite Falconry, in flight!  Video Credits:  Elite Falconry of Fife, Scotland.

2.  Now that we’re all thinking about animals, let’s do some animal-themed reading.  

      • Begin with National Geographic Kids.  Start on our PXES Library Guide home page, linked here: PXES Library Guide Home Page.  Choose either the “Early Elementary Magazines” or the “Upper Elementary Magazines” tab.  Click on National Geographic Kids. (Note: If you are accessing magazines for the first time, you may be prompted for a password.  The Username is:  sas1912  and the Password is: eagles#1).  Magazines are found on Flipster and you can add a Flipster app to your mobile devices if you like.  Search for National Geographic Kids and then choose:
          • August 2020:  “Sea Pups.  How do sea lions act like dogs?”
          • May 2020:  “Koala Rescue:  Why do people sometimes have to rescue koalas?”
          • March 2019:  “Gorilla Talk: What are five ways that gorillas communicate?”

SORA, our digital lending library, also has some fabulous titles to complement this week’s animals theme.  Log on to SORA using your student or parent ID and look for these titles:

PreK-Grade 2:

        • On Kiki’s Reef by Carol L. Malnor and Trina L. Hunner
        • They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
        • Bear Came Along by by Richard T. Morris and LeUyen Pham
        • Duck & Goose (series) by Tad Hills
        • Rocket (series) by Tad Hills

Grade 2-4:

        • Dog Heroes by Mary Pope Osborne
        • Manatees by Precious McKenzie
        • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
        • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
        • The Frightened Kitten and other titles by Holly Webb

Grades 4+

        • An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo
        • The Dancing Bear by Michael Morpurgo
        • The One and Only Ivan by Kate DiCamillo
        • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
        • Marley by John Grogan

Note, when reading from the SORA library, only one user at a time may access the material.  After you read the book, please return it early so that others can have a look at the same title. Thanks!

3. Play Games / Compare Animals:

To play animal-themed educational games:

      • Start on our PXES Library Guide home page, linked here: PXES Library Guide Home Page
      • Choose World Book
      • Choose World Book Kids
      • Choose “Play Games” from the menu at the bottom.
      • Click on the “Subject” tab, then on the “Animal” button.
      • Play Creature Challenge, No Place Like Home, or Name That Baby Animal.  If you miss some of the questions, use WorldBook to find out more!

For older students, use the “Compare Animals” tool.  This is an exciting way to see which of two animals is the biggest, has the longest life, has more newborns at a time, or lives in larger groups.  You can compare similar animals, like two birds.  Or, you can compare animals that are nothing alike, like a boa constrictor and a goose!  Which two will you choose?

To play “Compare Animals”:

    • Click on World Book Kids to return to the home page.
    • Choose “World of Animals” from the menu at the bottom of the screen.
    • In the center of the screen is a big, green button, “Compare All Animals.”  Click on it.
    • Choose your first animal by scrolling or searching through the animal options.  It will autofill on the left under “#1.”  Then, follow the same process to choose a second animal.  Your second choice will autofill on the right under “#2.”
    • Click on the dark purple button “Compare Now” and view your results!

4.  The Koko Project:  Do you think that humans can talk to animals? Could an animal talk back?  The most famous attempt at interspecies communication began in 1972 with a researcher named Dr. Francine (Penny) Patterson and a baby lowland gorilla named Koko.  Koko lived a very long life and passed away in 2018. But, for over 40 years, Koko helped humans learn how to communicate with animals.  Maybe you would like to read about Koko in your own language.

All students:  Watch this video to gain an overview to The Koko Project.

Students and families who want a bigger challenge can read more about interspecies communication here:  The Gorilla Foundation: Communication

5. Project Idea / Guess the Animal Game:  Start on the PXES Library Guide Home Page, linked above.  Using PebbleGo Animals as a fact source, write four clues for several animals.  Put your clues on index cards.  Assembly at least five cards, then play “Guess the Animal” with your family.  Can you trick them??  Here is an example:

Guess the Animal Clue Card (Sample)
        1. Has 10 legs
        2. Lives in the ocean
        3. Often live up to 30 years
        4. Delicious to eat – they turn red when boiled

Guess the Animal!!  (Answer:  Lobster)

6.  Write About It:  Diary Entries or Stories from an Animal’s Point of View.  This is the most difficult challenge of the week.  The challenge is to write a simple story from the point of view of an animal. 

For example, a story about kittens might begin, “When I was born, I could not open my eyes.  My brothers and sisters and I found our mother by responding to her licks and using our sense of smell.  I like to climb and I’ve discovered that I have claws!”

Use what you know – there is no need to do research.  But, if you like, you can use some of the facts you learned through your reading.

For three excellent examples of 1st person animal stories, use Tumblebooks.  Start on the PXES Library Guide Home Page, linked above. Choose Tumblebooks.  Username:  sas1912 and Password: eagles.  Search for:

      • Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin
      • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
      • Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin

7.  Craft: Choose one of these crafts to enjoy or share with a friend.

Please Remember:  Always adapt these activities to your own resources, languages, and children’s interests.  I hope that you enjoy our sixth week’s “Animal” theme.

Your Friend in the Library, Miss Betty