The Kindergarten class had a special visitor during their library class on exploring Australia. Aidan’s dad, Wayne Wasserman, visited us and brought along some unusual instruments. The students were fascinated to learn about the didgeridoo, which is made from a tree branch that’s been hollowed out by insects. They liked hearing the low humming sound that it made. Then they had turns playing the clap sticks, also carved from wood and used in Aboriginal ceremonies. Mr. Wasserman also spoke about the unique and dangerous animals that he and his family encountered on their recent trip to Australia. Aidan showed his friends the sign on shark warnings that the lifeguards had given his family.
It was great to have this opportunity to see real objects up close from The Land Down Under, and we thank the Wasserman family for this special visit!
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”―Dr. Seuss
The link below is to a collection of inspiring children’s books that are noteworthy for their meaningful messages. The lists were compiled by author Julie Handler, who is the co-founder of Positively Positive, an organization whose goal is “to bring uplifting voices and messages to our community every day. Our growing supply of blog posts, videos, and handpicked quotations are designed to remind us that there is good in every situation, and possibility in every person.”
Books with a Positive Message for Children
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Elliot
This quote appears at the beginning and is a great introduction to a fantastic book.
Ivan, the book’s narrator, is a lowland gorilla who has been living in captivity in a mall-based circus for 27 years. At 300 pounds, he is a male silverback, who would be fiercely protecting his family if he were still living in the wild. But Ivan barely remembers what life in Africa was like. He spends his days looking at the humans who visit him at the mall, watches TV and talks with his neighbor Stella, an older elephant, and to Bob, a tiny stray dog who sneaks into a hole in Ivan’s glass walls. Ivan’s boredom is spared by Julia, the daughter of the man who cleans the mall, when she notice’s Ivan’s apparent interest in her sketches and slips him crayons and pieces of paper. Although at times, he eats the art supplies, Ivan begins to explore the world of color and lines and produces drawings that his enterprising owner sells at the gift shop. Then Ruby, a baby elephant is bought to increase attendance at the circus, and Ivan’s world begins to change. He sees the world through Ruby’s questions and realizes that he must act to save her and himself. The book is a wonderful tale of courage and hope, and its short chapters will make it a great read-aloud, even for younger readers. The author is well-known for her Animorphs series, and based her book on a
real gorilla who had been kept in captivity.
The book just won the Newbery medal, so I was curious to see what it was all about. I read it in one sitting, at times laughing, and at others, tearing up. Its message of kindness to others will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. After Wonder, it is the best book for kids that I’ve read this year.
Our theme this year in library is Reading is Your Passport to the World, and we have been learning many interesting things about people and places in different countries.
During this time of the year, many people around the world are celebrating different traditions and holidays. Use the first 2 sites below to learn more about different celebrations around the world, use the third site to explore ways that you and your family can help others during this time of the year, then have fun and play some creative holiday games.
National Geographic Kids: Winter Celebrations
Christmas Around the World
Ways to Give Back During the Holidays
Build a Snowman
Create & Share a Snowflake
Decorate a Gingerbread Man
BrainPOP, creator of animated educational resources recently launched GameUp, a free resource that offers top online educational game titles. Topics include Science, Math, Social Studies, and Health for elementary, middle, and high school students.
According to their press release, BrainPOP editors state that “increasingly, educators around the globe are recognizing the impact educational games can have in their classrooms: games engage and motivate students in a way that’s meaningful for them.”
For example, in the game Master Mines, created by the JASON Project, student explore geology and the properties of rocks and minerals and practice classifying them in a real-world context.
Even younger students in grades K-3 can play games that reinforce skills and new content introduced.
For some topics, there are related movies, quizzes and more. Have fun learning!
The entries this year for the Book Cover Contest were simply fabulous! The students used all different types of materials in artful and creative ways. Below are links to photos and a short video, but please stop by the library & the bulletin board in the hallway to see all of the actual entries. We hope that everyone enjoyed the experience and congratulations to the winners!
Here’s a link to a video of the K-8 student entries
Below is a gallery of the winning entries:
We’re sure you’ll agree that the entries are great–please post a comment below.
Sophia C’s Grand Prize Winning Entry 2011
Here’s your chance to create an original work of art based on a book you have read.
Imagine that you have been chosen to design a book cover and could use any art medium at all (paint, crayons, markers, collage materials, etc).
All students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade may participate and can pick up a piece of poster board in the library. Instructions are here: Book cover contest flyer 2012
All entries must be returned no later than Monday morning, October 22nd in order to be viewed by our panel of judges. Winners will receive gift certificates to spend at the East Woods Fall Book Fair.
Have fun being creative!