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

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


Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

Stephen Krensky, based on the teleplay by Terrence Taylor

9780316115483

Krensky, S. 1998. Arthur and the scare-your-pants-off club. NY: Hachett Book Group.

Summary

This Saturday is a special one for Arthur Read. The new Scare Your Pants Off Club Book is due in at the local library and he’s ready to check it out. But when he arrives at the library, he’s greeted with a long line of kids who have the same idea. Even worse, it turns out a local parents group has protested the book, and had it removed from the shelves. Arthur and his friends are on a mission to get their favorite book series back in the library, even if it means challenging the parents of one of their good friends Muffy, who think that the book is too scary for the children.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             3.1

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

This book is in chapter format to appeal to children ready to read on their own. It follows closely to the story of the television show. It’s written in third person and follows the main character, Arthur, who is easily recognizable from the television series. The book has minimal illustrations, and large font. The language is simple to appeal to lower grades.

Curriculum Ties

The plot of this book is a familiar look at censorship in libraries, and can be used to reinforce the importance of the library and reading, as well as the negatives of censorship.

Standards

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.

Series website: http://marcbrownstudios.com/

Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Greg Harlin

9780525477381

Krensky, S. 2006. Hanukkah at Valley Forge. NY: Penguin.

Summary

On a cold winter night General Washington surveyed his troops, worrying about the state of his men in the war. As he wandered about the camp, he found a young soldier huddled over a flame in a hut, whispering words he didn’t understand. The soldier was startled by him, but explained what he was doing. In his homeland of Poland he would have to hide what he was doing, but he was celebrating the first day of Hanukkah.

The soldier told General Washington the story of Hanukkah, the battles that the Israelites won, and how they survived eight days on only enough oil for one day of light. Washington was touched by this story and the miracles that came to a people who needed it. The story of Hanukkah brightened Washington’s spirit that evening.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             4.0

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

This picture book focuses on a story that is based on true historical events: George Washington did mention to a Jewish merchant who he had lunch with that he had learned the story of Hanukkah from a soldier at Valley Forge. This story imagines the dialogue of George Washington based on some of his writings, and it fictionalizes the scenario of his learning the story of Hanukkah to fit in with the narrative of the war and how it may have affected him.

The narrative structure of the book is of Middle low complexity; it features a significant flashback, telling the story of the Maccabees and interspersing Washington and the soldier’s dialogue. The book distinguishes between these narratives by background colors of the pages, blue for the current time, and orange for the time of the Maccabees. The pages have a few paragraphs of text each, and may be best as a adult-guided reading book.

Curriculum Ties

This is a great way to tie holidays into history curriculum. It’s also a good look at the history of Judaism in the scheme of world religions.

Standards

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.

 

 

Author website: http://www.stephenkrensky.com/

ABC Animals

ABC Animals

American Museum of Natural History

9781454903864

American Museum of Natural History. 2013. ABC animals. CA: Sterling Publishing

Summary

This book will help you learn the alphabet with fun facts about an animal for every letter. From the long, sticky tongued Armadillo to the plant-eating Zebras, this book is an informative and brightly colored reference on many of your favorite animals.

Quantitative Summary:

Readability Formula        Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level          5

Gunning-Fog Score         5.8

Coleman-Liau Index        12.3

SMOG Index      6

Automated Readability Index     5.6

Average Grade Level      6.9

Qualitative Summary:

This is a board book picture book that features 26 animals, one for each letter of the alphabet. The readability score ranks the animal facts at being on a 6th grade level, therefore it may be an adult-guided book for younger students. Each page features three different animals, with brightly colored backgrounds and colorful photographs of the animals. While there are many generally known animals such as the lion and the giraffe, there are also more obscure animals featured such as the Hoopoe bird and the Okapi, a close relative to the giraffe.

Curriculum Ties

This is a preschool to early-elementary level science book in that it can help acquaint children with animals. Children can use this book to connect pictures to names, letters to sounds and animals, as well as simple facts about each animal.

Standards

MD CCSS

Kindergarten

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

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

INDICATOR
2. Analyze text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

INDICATOR
3. Analyze elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding and interpretation

Science

TOPIC
D.
INDICATOR
1. Recognize that living things are found almost everywhere in the world and that there are somewhat different kinds of living things in different places.

OBJECTIVES
Observe, describe, and give examples and describe the many kinds of living things found in different places in Maryland.

Using pictures, films and illustrated texts identify, describe and compare living things found in other states such as Texas and Alaska to those found in Maryland.

Explain that the external features of plants and animals affect how well they thrive in different kinds of places.

Author website: http://www.amnh.comm