High School: Science

bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Part V. Life Itself

22. Good-bye to All That

Bibliographic information:

Bryson, B. (2004). *A Short History of Nearly Everything. Crown Publishing Group

Plot description:

Part V covers:

A synopsis of organisms, atmosphere, water, proteins, microbes,fossils, lichens, Natural History Museum in London, cells, Darwin’s Singular Notion, and the Stuff of Life.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Not available

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

The book is sectioned into parts:

  • Lost in the Cosmos
  • The Size of the Earth
  • A New Age Dawns
  • Dangerous Planet
  • Life Itself
  • The Road to Us

Language demands:

Some scientific concepts or words may need secondary explanations even at the high school level.

Knowledge demands:

Some basic scientific elements or knowledge for example the section I selected referenced the Lichens-“any of numerous complex plant like organisms made up of an alga and a fungus growing in symbiotic association on a solid surface (as a rock)”. -Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition via  Nook

Meaning/purpose:

Bill Bryson explains scientific information in an interesting way and covers many different topics and makes understanding it more plausible.

Include a section that is your recommendation and how it matches or does not match the Quantitative Level.

Content Area:

Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy.

Content Area Standard:

English Language Arts Standards » Science & Technical Subjects

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.5
Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.6
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, identifying important issues that remain unresolved.

 

Curriculum suggestions:

Selecting one part and then one section as the vast information contained in a chapter within the parts have so much information on each topic. A class broken up into groups could take a section and share with the class a divide and conquer approach and students as teachers.

Links to supporting digital content:

Suggested other Science Non Fiction books- http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2011/03/28/great-science-books-for-high-school-students-the-hive-mind-speaks/#.VutxUeYf1yE

Bill Bryson Quotes to expand on a topic- https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2305997-a-short-history-of-nearly-everything

Genre:

Science

Subject/Themes:

Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy

Personal Thoughts:

Discovering Bill Bryson is a Iowa native (Des Moines) and having recently moved to Iowa that was a draw for selecting this title. I also read many reviews about how Bryson’s writing style made reading and learning the scientific information more attractive. i couldn’t agree more I felt I had learned more in a few paragraphs in comparison to previous science courses.

“Perhaps an even more effective way of grasping our extreme recentness as part of this 4.5 billion year old picture is to stretch your arms to their fullest extent and imagine that width as the entire history of the Earth.”-Bryson

 

 

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Picture Book: Science

how-things-grow-lib-ed

My First Book About How Things Grow

Bibliographic information:

Brooks, F., Young, C. & Wood, H. (n.d.) Usborne

Plot description:

Picture and reference book about how to identify seasons, how to grow vegetables, fruits, nuts, trees, and the  learning the parts of a plant.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Beginning Readers

Suggested ages:4 to 8

Grade levels: K-4th grade

Lexile: 200L-400L

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

Book is organized in to sections beginning with “Things that grow” and ends with a quiz. The sections have a chronological order from a seed to a flower, seasons, trees, fruits, vegetables and games.

Language demands:

A lot of information that may lose the interest of younger readers although not a lot of challenging vocabulary.

Knowledge demands:

This book does an excellent job of explaining the whole process of growing things from seeds and how the season affect plants.

Meaning/purpose:

To teach readers about plants, seasons, and all the edible items that can be grown from seeds.

This book matches the Quantitative Level recommendations at it balances visuals  with information about the growing process.

Content Area:

Science: growing, seasons, plant anatomy

Content Area Standard:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5
Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

Curriculum suggestions:

A great way to learn about growing something edible or a flower by reading over the book a section at a time and using each section to prepare to grow something from a seed. Small groups or a class project.

Links to supporting digital content:

See how a deciduous tree changes through the year
Click on “Science in Motion”. http://activities.macmillanmh.com/science/ca/grade1/g1_ch5.html

Desperate House Plants -Sesame Street http://www.sesamestreet.org/videos#media/video_1c104d18-4142-11dd-a2c3-4d6bdc929d13

Interactive game of seed gathering-PBS Kids http://pbskids.org/plumlanding/games/seed_racer/index.html

Genre:

Science: Life Science

Subject/Themes:

Plant anatomy, seasons, seeds, trees, fruits, vegetables and growing.

 Series:

http://www.usborne.com/quicklinks/eng/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&loc=uk&series=1415

world-library-editionfood

Picture Book: Math

twozoo

Two at the Zoo A Counting Book

Bibliographic information:

Smith, D., & Petrone, V. (2009). Two at the Zoo A Counting Book. New York:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Plot description:

A trip to the zoo with a little boy and his grandpa. This picture book uses the animals at the zoo for counting up to the number 10. Colors, rhyming, descriptive words and a fun filled day at the zoo make this a good book to read over and over.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Early Reader/Beginning Reader

Lexile: BR150L

Suggested age range:2-3

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

The story begins at the entrance to the zoo and goes to the end of the trip and the counting is done in order from 1 to 10

Language demands:

A preschool reader can identify the numbers and will need help with the descriptions.

Knowledge demands:

Different types of animals and the sounds they make.

Meaning/purpose:

Learning about counting, rhyming and use of descriptive words.

This books suggested age range is 2-3 years old and I do not agree due to the language is more difficult “Penguins marching, penguins dive. Waddle, toddle.” It would be better suited for Kindergarten and Pre-K the 2-3 age range would need assistance.

Content Area:

Math, counting, rhyming

Content Area Standard:

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4.a
When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.1
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.2
With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.3
With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Curriculum suggestions:

Best used in a Pre -K to Kindergarten class room for counting, rhyming, colors and descriptive words. Story can be used as a class activity or a one-on-one.

Links to supporting digital content:

After reading the book the students can look through magazines and cut out an item for each number through ten. http://lessons.atozteacherstuff.com/439/class-number-book/

Counting bracelets-“You need a pipe cleaner and ten beads. Thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner and fold over the ends and make a bracelet. Then they use the bracelet as a manipulative.” http://lesson-plans.theteacherscorner.net/math/counting/

Genre:

Math, Picture book

Subject/Themes:

Counting to 10, colors, descriptive words and rhyming.

Personal Thoughts:

My four year old son was excited to have this book read to him. He is a preschooler and identified the animals and the numbers as well as made the sounds of the animals. The pictures were a great guide for him to make his own comments such as “I am afraid of spiders”. It was also a great way to practice rhyming which is an important skill we are working on for Kindergarten.

Picture Book: Historical

pigtitanic

Pig on the Titanic

Bibliographic information:

Crew, G. & Whatley, B.(2005). Pig on the Titanic. Harper Collins Publisher

Plot description:

Maxixe the musical pig tells its story of its adventure aboard the Titanic and how it was able to comfort the children during the tragedy. Maxixe was a good luck gift for a passenger Edith Rosenbaum who was a fashion buyer headed to Paris. The end page of the book gives an Authors note supplying more information about the book being based on actual events on the Titanic.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Suggested age: 5-8

Lexile: 200L-400L

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

Chronological order, first person point of view of Maxixe from the moment it is received as a gift to the end when they are rescued.

Language demands:

The pronunciation of Maxixe. “The maxixe (Mah-sheesh) and many other pronunciations” and “It is said that the maxixe fad was launced the same year as the Titanic and lasted about as long.” https://socialdance.stanford.edu/Syllabi/maxixe.htm

Also the pronunciation of some of the French words.

Knowledge demands:

The outcome of the Titanic and how not many people survived.

Meaning/purpose:

To inform younger readers about the events of the Titanic, to share lesser known stories of its passengers and items that aided them until they were rescued.

 This title does match the suggested quantitative level since the language and vocabulary is appropriate and the pictures are interesting to keep readers focused on seeing the outcome. The focus is not the loss of life it is alluded to however it is about Maxixe being a comfort.

Content Area:

Social Science, History of Titanic

Content Area Standard:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Curriculum suggestions:

Pig on the Titanic can be  great introduction to the history and what happened to the Titanic and a spring board of underwater exploration of artifacts, research about passengers on the Titanic. Also looking at the French terms and the origin of Maxixe’s name. Many classroom activities for the Titanic or if a student is interested specifically in this topic this may spark an way to narrow down such a large subject.

Links to supporting digital content:

 

 

“Students draft, edit, and publish a newspaper article on the Titanic after researching the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why.” http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/summing-disaster

Artifacts-“The students will become familiar with artifacts as they relate to shipwrecks, specifically the Titanic.” http://www.cbv.ns.ca/sstudies/titanic/lessons/les5.htm

Genre:

Historical Fiction, Picture book

Subject/Themes:

Titanic, survivors, artifacts, passengers

 Character names/descriptions:

Maxixe-the good luck white musical box pig, main character, readers at first may think the pig is real yet it is revealed that Maxixe plays music when its tail is wound. The gender of Maxixe is neutral.

Edith Rosenbaum was a famous fashion buyer traveling to Paris who got Maxixe as a gift from her mother.

Non-Fiction Historical Work

popular

Popular A Memoir:Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

Bibliographic information:

Van Wagenen, M. (2014)Popular A memoir: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek. New York:Penguin Group.

Plot description:

Maya’s mom suggested Maya test and apply the tips from a popularity book written in the 1950s by a former teen model to see if they would still be useful and relevant to her as an eighth grader in the 21 century. Maya chronicles her experiences. Her family adds to her quest and Maya gives us the play by play of each experiment along with the reactions of each person she encounters, interacts with and how they influence her perspective of friendships and life in general.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Lexile: 730L

Recommended ages:  12 – 17

Suggested Grade Level: 6th grade and up

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

This is a first person narrative from the perspective of eighth grade Maya.The chapters of the Teen-age Popularity Guide are excerpted at the beginning and throughout each section along with corresponding month the tip/topic is attempted. Great photos that correspond and show Maya’s before and after.

Language demands:

A bit of Spanish is used but is explained and defined. Also there are some words from the 1950s that have changed and are clarified.

Knowledge demands:

The drug war on the border of Texas and Mexico yet this is briefly explained and the focus in not on drugs or drug use. Fashion of women in the 1950s through Maya’s photos and descriptions so the reader gets an idea of the style.

Meaning/purpose:

This is a self-discovery book with the aid of the advice/guidance of Betty Cornell the author of Teen-Age Popularity Guide. This selection does match the Quantitative level of ages 12 and up and 6th grade and up. I wouldn’t recommend for any younger readers as the subjects and topics may not be appropriate.

Content Area:-

English/Language Arts-writing, 1950s fashion and terminology

Content Area Standard:

CCSS English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.6
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.9
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person)

Curriculum suggestions:

In English/Language Arts course this can be used for topics such as discovering ones own identity, figuring out how teens relate to one another,family issues such as a autistic sibling, the experience of losing a sibling.  The setting of this book which is southern Texas near the border of Mexico can be a great discussion of social norms of the students school routines that involve law enforcement and drug sniffing dogs versus where they live. This title can also be used for individuals searching for their own place in this world, primarily directed at females yet males may identify with some of the male characters and their contribution to Maya’s experience.

Links to supporting digital content:

Maya’s Van Wagenen’s Resources-tips on writing and relevant topics from Popular http://txla.org/sites/tla/files/groups/YART/docs/2015SPOTMiddle-VanWagenen_AnnotatedBibliography.pdf

Thirteen ed online “Who am I? In this lesson, students reflect on this question through discussion, writing and art.” http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/lessons/whoami/

Genre:

Historical Nonfiction, Memoir

Subject/Themes:

Identity discovery, teen relationships, becoming a writer, family issues: autism and death.

Awards:

2015 Texas Lone Star Reading List

2015 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Winner

2015 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalists

Personal thoughts:

As a Hispanic woman I finally have read a book that I found I could relate to. This book  explains what I have been reading about why multicultural books are so important for readers. Finally I was able to identify  and see myself within the situations and experiences Maya shared as a “brown skin”, girl with a panza Spanish for belly”among other things. This book will be recommended to my daughter, sister, and my good friend who is a middle school librarian at a predominately Hispanic school so they may also have the same opportunity to see themselves in a book.

 

 

Historical Fiction Novel

jacob

Jacob Have I Loved

Bibliographic information:

Paterson, K. (1980). Jacob have I Loved. New York:Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited

Plot description:

It all begins at birth of two twin sisters. Immediately after the rivalry began. Louise also known as “Wheeze”was the first born however the spotlight was stolen in her mind when her sister Caroline was born. As they grew up and had piano lessons again Caroline  showed some talent but soon she showed a “gift” of her voice. Louise took on the role of a “son” at age 6 to help her father gather crab on the island of Rass in Chesapeake Bay even though she wasn’t allowed to be aboard the crab boat. Over the years Louise’s feelings of not having not only her own value or identity only intensified. World War II is going on during this story as well as The Great Depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. Louise throughout this book is on her own path to seek out affirmation and her place outside of the shadow of her sister.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Lexile: 880L

Suggested Age Range: 13 – 17

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

Straight forward format for a novel no chapter titles and twenty chapters.

Language demands:

Challenging vocabulary:

  • semblance
  • lugubriously
  • petulant
  • remonstrance

 

Knowledge demands:

The time period of Pearl Harbor, small island living, The Great Depression, events that occurred during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Methodist and Catholicism religions.

Meaning/purpose:

Author Katherine Paterson has captured the feelings of the sibling who has felt out of place, unwanted and unimportant since birth. Louise is berated and referenced from the bible by her grandmother (who is most likely declining mentally) “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” only adds to her feeling as the lesser sibling.

 This title matches the quantitative level suggested reading level as younger readers may not get the subtle reference of the attraction Louise has for the Captain.

Content Area:

Pearl Harbor, The Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Content Area Standard:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Curriculum suggestions:

A classic award winning novel to display the perception of sibling rivalry between twin sisters can be used in a Language Arts/ English Classroom. Along with activities that include the time period of World War II and The Great Depression as well as the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Links to supporting digital content:

Sibling Rivalry- http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/unitplan/unitplan.asp?ID=3001

Saddleback Educational Publishing-Focus on Learning- http://www.sdlback.com/content/sa1117e.pdf

Genre:

Historical Fiction

Subject/Themes:

Sibling rivalry (twins), Identity, Self-discovery, Self-worth.

Awards:

Newbery Medal (1981)

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Booklist Editors’ Choice

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Nominee (1982)

National Book Award Finalist for Children’s Books, Fiction (Hardcover) (1981) & (Paperback) (1982)

 

 

Poetry for Youth

places

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Bibliographic information:

Seuss, Dr. (1990). Oh, the Places You’ll Go! New York: Random House Children’s Books

Plot description:

The journey of life is explored, illustrated, explained in this incredible book. It is about choosing your own path. It’s about what happens after you pick a route. How some good things happen or some not so great things happen. There are obstacles to overcome and things to accomplish either are whatever you decide.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Lexile: AD600L

Suggested Age:5 – 17

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/format:

Second person narrative starting with a new day with colorful two-page illustrations and traditional Dr. Seuss rhyming/rhythmic verse and format.

Language demands:

For younger readers made up names may need explanation or pronunciation, “Hakken-Kraks”. Also some more complex words, “dexterous and deft”.

Knowledge demands:

Most readers will have an understanding of the ups and downs in life and choosing a path and the varied outcomes otherwise it is also a great explanation of how life can be experienced.

Meaning/purpose:

Inspiration and guidance for young and old to keep moving forward in life.

 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! doesn’t match the quantitative level for the suggested reader age range. Fifty six pages is a long book for age 5. Even though there are some pages with only a few words I would recommend middle school readers and beyond.  

Content Area:

English

Content Area Standard:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

 

Curriculum suggestions:

This book has been suggested to be gifted to graduates and retirees so individuals can benefit from this book for inspiration and guidance. Class projects are plentiful for this book, such as sharing what each person aspires to be in the future.

Links to supporting digital content:

Pinpointing Main Themes – Groupwork

Divide students into five groups, and hand each group a note card that contains one of the following lines from the book:

  • I Don’t Choose to Go There
  • Bang-Ups and Hang-Ups Can Happen to You
  • Everyone is Just Waiting
  • You’ll Be Famous as Famous Can Be
  • All Alone!

http://www.brighthubeducation.com/middle-school-english-lessons/67035-a-fun-oh-the-places-you-will-go-last-day-of-school-lesson/

“Not only do Dr. Seuss’s imaginative stories make reading and learning fun, they also spark lively discussions about subjects as varied as conservation, racism, greed, perseverance, and self-discovery. These guides will help you think of fun and interesting ways for your students to learn about Dr. Seuss’s world and their own.” http://www.seussville.com/activities/OTP_ClassroomDiscussion_0.pdf

Genre:

Poetry

Subject/Themes:

Choosing the right path in life, obstacles, and inspiration.

Personal thoughts:

I haven’t read a Dr. Seuss book that I have gotten very attached to until this book. Immediately after reading I had to get and give this book to my oldest son. He is a college sophomore and this year he will turn 20. He is still in the early stages of choosing his path and experiencing a lot of what Seuss illustrates and explains in this book. I want my son to  know “Life’s a Great Balancing Act” and to  keep moving mountains.