Keeker and the Sneaky Pony

Keeker and the Sneak Pony

By Hadley Higginson, Ill. Maja Andersen

9780811852173

Summary

Keeker has always dreamed of owning a pony; she’s read every book and took riding lessons every summer but it seemed like it would never happen. Then one day Plum cantered into her life, thanks to her mom and dad. But it wasn’t as easy as she imagined. Plum didn’t want to ride with her right away, and she wasn’t easy to pet or play with. Finally, when riding day comes, Plum pushes her luck and winds up throwing Keeker off in the woods. It takes coming to understand how to interact with the pony for Keeker to be able to gain the trust of Plum and ride her back home safely.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 730L

ATOS Book Level:             4.0

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

An easy reader book with some illustrations on most pages and large font to instill confidence in beginners. This book focuses on the thoughts of two characters, Keeker and Plum the pony, as they learn to understand each other. The language is simple and the chronology is straight forward, broken up in to small chapters. The message taken from the book is one of navigating a new friendship and learning to be patient with animals.

Curriculum Ties

Good book for girls interested in horses, especially as the book features a “Pony Facts” section at the end. It also imparts good messages about friendship and family.

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English Gr. 3

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

TOPIC

A.

INDICATOR

  • 1. Develop comprehension skills by reading a variety of self-selected and assigned literary texts including print and non-print

OBJECTIVES

  1. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of literary texts representing diverse cultures, perspectives, ethnicities, and time periods
  2. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of different types of fiction and nonfiction texts

INDICATOR

  • 2. Use text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify and explain how organizational aids such as the title of the book, story, poem, or play contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how graphic aids such as pictures and illustrations, punctuation, print features contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how informational aids such as introductions and overviews, materials lists, timelines, captions,glossed words, labels, numbered steps, bulleted lists, footnoted words, pronunciation keys, transition words, end notes, works cited, other information aids encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how print features such as large bold print, font size/type, italics, colored print, quotation marks, underlining, other print features encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text

INDICATOR

  • 3. Use elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify and distinguish among types of narrative texts such as characteristics of the general categories of fiction versus nonfiction, realistic fiction, tall tales, legends, fables, fairy tales, biographies

Assessment limits:

  • Grade-appropriate narrative texts
  1. Identify and explain the elements of a story

Assessment limits:

  • Main problem, sequence or chronology of events, and solution to the problem
  1. Identify and describe the setting and the mood

Assessment limits:

  • Details that create the setting
  • Details that create the mood
  1. Identify and analyze the characters

Assessment limits:

  • Character’s traits based on what character says, does, and thinks and what other characters or the narrator says
  • Character’s motivations
  • Character’s personal growth and development
  1. Identify and explain relationships between and among characters, setting, and events

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text or across multiple texts
  1. Identify and describe the narrator

Assessment limits:

  • Conclusions about the narrator based on his or her thoughts and/or observations
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The Greatest Science Stories Never Told: 100 tales of Invention and Discovery to Astonish, Bewilder, & Stupify

The Greatest Science Stories Never Told: 100 tales of Invention and Discovery to Astonish, Bewilder, & Stupify

By Rick Beyer

9780061686968

Beyer, R. 2009. The greatest science stories never told: 100 tales of invention and discovery to astonish, bewilder, and stupefy. NY: HarperCollins.

Summary

Brought to us by the network that continually surprises us with history facts comes a book that reveals many facts about science (invention, anatomy, space, electricity, etc.) that are surprising. The book is organized by year, from 265 BC to 2004, with each fact written as a small narrative illustrated by related photographs and drawings.

Quantitative Summary:

Readability Formula        Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level          5.2

Gunning-Fog Score         8.8

Coleman-Liau Index        11.1

SMOG Index      6.4

Automated Readability Index     4.6

Average Grade Level      7.2

(http://readability-score.com)

Qualitative Summary:

This is one of those books that inspires further research through brief encounters with very interesting non-fictional narratives. It spans the STEM discipline, with stories focusing heavily on inventors and inventing (Motorola music, telephones, vacuums to name a few), naturalists, anatomy, and outer space.  It gives just enough information on each fact to inspire interest, but not enough to serve as a definitive reference source. The chronology is straightforward, with years written at the tops of the pages and going forward in time. There is no singular character to this book to follow, and the knowledge requirement is rather

Curriculum Ties

Great jump off points for high school papers on inventors and inventions.

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

Technology Ed 9-12

Indicator Statement:

Develop an understanding of the role of society in the development and use of technology. (ITEA, STL 6)

7

Objective(s):

Explain that throughout history, new technologies have resulted from the demands, values, and interests of individuals, businesses, and societies. (ITEA, STL 6-D)

Explain that the use of inventions and innovations has led to changes in society and the creation of new needs and wants. (ITEA, STL 6-E)

Explain that social and cultural priorities and values are reflected in technological devices. (ITEA, STL 6-F)

Explain that meeting societal expectations is the driving fore behind the acceptance and use of products and systems. (ITEA, STL 6-G)

Explain that social and cultural priorities and values are reflected in technological devices.

Identify historical examples of human innovation in the areas of food production, clothing, and self-defense.

Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the Snow

By Mei Matsuoka

9780805087925

Matsuoka, M. 2007. Footprints in the snow. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

 

Summary

Wolf was curled up in his house on this cold winter night looking through his shelves for a nice book on wolves. All the wolves in his books were nasty, scary, greedy and mean, so Wolf decided he would write a book about a nice wolf. He wrote about a wolf one winter morning who left his house for a nice walk. When he spotted footprints, he decided to follow them to find out who left them. None of the woodland creatures he encountered, however, would tell him who left the footprints; they all thought he wanted to eat the source of the prints. Finally the wolf found the source, a duck who was swimming in the pond. Despite his best intentions, wolf began to imagine how tasty that duck might be. Suddenly, Wolf awoke, and he was no longer writing a book; he was taking a bath! Thankfully his story didn’t end like all of those other stories with mean wolves. But when there was a knocking at the door, he was surprised to find a set of prints, leading into the woods, and he wondered whose they were.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             2.8

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

Beautifully illustrated, this picture book illustrates how sometimes you can’t escape your own nature. Wolf certainly can’t – even when he tries to write a book about a nice wolf, he comes to find that nice wolf still wants to eat ducks. The chronology in this book can be a little complex, as the wolf goes from writing a story, to suddenly being in the bathtub, to being presented with the same scenario that began the book ending it as well. The language is simple and the font is big, often curving with  the action on the page. The narrative follows just the wolf, although it is a little bit unclear whether the wolf in the actual book and the wolf in his story are one in the same.

Curriculum Ties

Learning about animal nature, how the wolf is not necessarily “bad” for following his nature. Can also be used in conjunction with other books that feature wolves to talk about tropes of good and evil, how wolves are often featured as evil/conniving characters.

 

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in

both formal and informal situations

 

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Notebook of Doom: Rise of the Balloon Goons

Notebook of Doom: Rise of the Balloon Goons

By Troy Cummings

9780545493260

Cummings, T. 2013. Notebook of doom: Rise of the balloon goons.  NY: Scholastic Press.

Summary

Alex Bopp is new to town and understandably, he’s a bit nervous about being the new kid at school. What he doesn’t expect is all of the weird things he encounters in Stermont. Balloon goons are rampant on the street, those rubbery flappy guys with their big goofy faces. Alexander finds a notebook filled with drawings of monsters. Flat tires seem to be everywhere. Then, the school isn’t even where it says it is on the map! And when he gets to class, he’s given a horrible nickname by the teacher. Alexander finds himself trying to face his greatest fears all in the span of a few days.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: AD 490L

ATOS Book Level:             3.3

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

A compact chapter book brimming with doodles and illustrations that enforce the “notebook” aesthetic. The illustrations are very dominant in this book, making it a good bridge from picture books into chapter books, lending confidence to less experienced readers. The monster notebook is represented by doodles and graph paper inserted into the narrative. The narrative structure follows one character on a simple chronology of a few days, making it low complexity. The language and sentence structure is simple and straightforward,appealing to less confident readers.

Curriculum Ties

Good for new students, and for facing fears. The “monster notebook” provides a good format for students to document their own kinds of monsters, learning how to describe animals and creatures by physical characteristics and their environment.

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in

both formal and informal situations

 

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Bow Wow Meow Meow: It’s Rhyming Cats and Dogs

bow wow meow meow

Bibliographic info

Florian, D. 2003.  Bow wow meow meow: It’s rhyming cats and dogs. NY: Harcourt Books.

Plot Description

These colorful poems introduce young readers to a wide variety of dog and cat breeds through rhyming poetry.

Quantitative Reading Level

Grade Level: 2.9

ATOS Book Level: 2.4

Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Reading Analysis

Content Area

  • English/Language Arts

Content Area Standard

RL4 CCR Anchor Standard
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone

RL5 CCR Anchor Standard
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

RL10 CCR Anchor Standard
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Curriculum Suggestions

Learning about poetic structure as well as animals through these poems. Learning onomatopoeia concepts through the poems in this book. Using these poems as a starting point for students to write their own poems about animals in their lives.

Links to Digital Content


Awards

  • Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award


Ben’s Guide to the Government

Ben’s Guide to the Government: 6-8

http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/index.html

 

Summary

This government website houses a collection of reference information and activities about the government broken down by grade level. Ben Franklin serves as a cartoon guide to the website, posing on each page and illustrating elements. There are pages that discuss certain elements of government, a glossary of terms, games and activities (both online and to print out for offline use), and links to other relevant sites.

 

Quantitative Summary:

Readability Formula        Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level          7.4

Gunning-Fog Score         10.2

Coleman-Liau Index        7.9

SMOG Index      8.3

Automated Readability Index     6.7

Average Grade Level      8.1

 

Qualitative Summary:

This website is great for basic facts about government working, broken down into age appropriate reading sections. As a .gov website, it is a reliable reference resource for students to use in research projects. The readability score seemed to rate some information sections as being more complex textually than other.

 

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

Social Studies

1.0 CONTENT STANDARD: POLITICAL SCIENCE‐ Students will understand the historical development and current status of the fundamental concepts and processes of authority, power, and influence, with particular emphasis on the democratic skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens.

 

7.B.2 Analyze the importance of civic participation as a citizen of the world

a. Analyze the relevancy of sources and perspectives of information such as internet sites and online newspapers

 

Grade 6-8

A. Read to Learn and Construct Meaning about Social Studies

1. Use appropriate strategies and opportunities to increase understandings of social studies vocabulary

a. Acquire and apply new vocabulary through investigating, listening, independent reading and discussing a variety of print and non-print sources

b. Identify and use new vocabulary acquired through study of relationships to prior knowledge and experiences

c. Use context clues to understand new social studies vocabulary

d. Use new vocabulary in speaking and writing to gain and extend content knowledge and clarify expression

E. Organize Social Studies Information

1. Organize information from non-print sources

a. Prioritize information gathered according to importance and relevance

b. Distinguish factual from fictional information

c. Find relationships among gathered information

d. Display information on various types of graphic organizers, maps, and charts

e. Summarize information obtained from surveys and field work

National Geographic Kids: Countries

National Geographic Kids: Countries

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/places/find/

Summary

This website allows kids to browse countries by name or by continent. Each country opens a new page with facts about the country, pictures, videos, an E-Card, and maps.

 

Quantitative Summary:

Readability Formula        Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level          7.4

Gunning-Fog Score         10.2

Coleman-Liau Index        7.9

SMOG Index      8.3

Automated Readability Index     6.7

Average Grade Level      8.1

 

Qualitative Summary:

This website could be helpful to students in World History or World Cultures classes, as it provides basic reference facts and colorful overviews of many countries. The facts range in text complexity according to readability-score.com, so while I think this is a middle-school level reference, some of the information may need to be reinforced by a teacher.

 

Standards

MD CCSS

Grade 6

Standard 3.0 Geography

TOPIC A.

INDICATOR

1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics in early world history

OBJECTIVES

Use maps to compare geographic locations of civilizations from world history to:

  • Mesopotamia
  • Africa including Egypt
  • Nubia/Kush and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Indus River Valley
  • Northern China
  • Greeks and Romans
  • Mesoamerican, such as the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs

Use photographs and thematic maps, to identify and describe physical and human characteristics of early civilizations

TOPIC

B.

INDICATOR

1. Examine how physical and human characteristics shape the identity of places and regions and influence the development of civilizations in world history

OBJECTIVES

Identify and describe physical characteristics that influenced human settlement

Explain how physical characteristics of a place influenced human activities, such as agriculture, transportation, art and architecture and economic activity in the ancient world

Explain how human perceptions of and interactions with the environment changed over time in due to technologies, such as road building, dam construction, and agricultural improvements