Field Trip Mysteries: The Mount Rushmore Face That Couldn’t See

Field Trip Mysteries: The Mount Rushmore Face That Couldn’t See

9781434241993

by Steve Brezenoff, ill. Marcos Calo

Brezenoff, S. 2013. The Mount Rushmore face that couldn’t see. Minnesota: Capstone.

Summary:

Catalina Duran is going with the History Club on a field trip to Mount Rushmore, but there is more than meets the eye at this historical landmark. When the group arrives, they notice a group of protesters in the parking lot, protesting that the land belongs to the Lakota tribe. A series of strange events begin to unfold during their trip: the ranger is tied up, old machinery runs by itself, and it’s seeming more and more like the place is haunted by ghosts, either the ghosts of presidents or of the Lakota. Catalina is on the case figuring out what it is haunting Mount Rushmore.
Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 490L

ATOS Book Level: 3.4

Interest Level:   Middle Grades (MG 4-8)

Qualitative Summary:

This book has moderate illustrations, but each page has a few small paragraphs of text. Each chapter has a few pages that feature block quotes of sentences significant to the plot. There is a glossary in the back of the book that helps students with some of the bigger vocabulary words in the book. The structure and chronology is straight forward, and the language is on par with a middle school level. The narrative structure is somewhat like a Scooby Doo mystery, complete with a red herring and a reveal at the end.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

Discussions of the mystery genre and the types of characters in mysteries: the detective, the red herring, the culprit.
Standards

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

Author’s website: http://www.stevebrezenoff.com/

Personal Thoughts: The illustrations in the beginning and end of this book really drew me in and reminded me of books I loved at this age, ones that really gave off a “solving a mystery” aura with newspaper clippings and images of notepads.

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Pinkalicious: The Pinkerrific Playdate

Pinkalicious: The Pinkerrific Playdate
By Victoria Kann

978006192840

Kann, V. 2011. Pinkalicious: The pinkerrific playdate. NY: HarperCollins.

Summary
There’s a new girl in school named Rose. Pinkalicious and her friend Alison invite her to play jump-rope with them, and then they eat lunch together. Pinkalicious invites Rose over for a fun playdate that she has all planned out. They do some of the things that they planned, but spend a lot of time talking too, so much so that before she knows it, its time for Rose to go home. This just might have been the best playdate ever.
Quantitative Summary:
Lexile: 210L
ATOS Book Level: 1.8
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:
This is a beginning reader book which bridges the gap between picture books and chapter books. Pinkalicious is a series that focuses on the main character, Pinkalicious. This is a level-1, so it consists of simple sentences and concepts along with illustrations. The complexity of this book is low, with a simple narrative storyline, very few characters, one single narrator, relatable experiences (new friends, playdates), and straightforward chronology. The language was simple and easy to understand, and there was no allusion to other texts.

Curriculum Ties
This book reinforces positive elements of female friendships, and positive relationships with siblings. It could be used in units on family or friends, and especially when navigating new children to the class. The level-one readers are great for kids who are just beginning to learn to read on their own, especially those excited at more “grown up” looking kids books.

Standards

MD CCSS

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.thinkpinkalicious.com/victoria

Tea Party Rules

Tea Party Rules
By Ame Dyckman, ill. K.G. Campbell
9780670785018
Dyckman, A. 2013. Tea party rules. NY: Penguin.

Summary:
Cub was playing in the woods when he smelled something delicious, and he came upon a tea party. When he asked the bear seated at the tea party for a cookie, it just stared straight ahead. And when he discovered the bear couldn’t eat cookies, he decided to eat the cookies for him. Just as he was about to eat the cookies, the little girl hosting the tea party returned, so Cub pretended to be that bear. But he soon found out that there were many rules to the tea party, rules he didn’t understand, but he would put up with them for cookies. There was one rule he couldn’t put up with though and that was to eat daintily. This surprised the girl. But it also inspired her to try out a new game, one that he knew the rules to: bear!

Quantitative Summary:
Readability Formula Grade
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 3.4
Gunning-Fog Score 4.6
Coleman-Liau Index 11.5
SMOG Index 3.8
Automated Readability Index 3.6
Average Grade Level 5.4
(http://www.readability-score.com/)

Qualitative Summary:
This book covers the concepts of playing by the rules in order to receive rewards, and encourages sharing. It also enforces the concepts of formal vs. informal play (fancy vs. bear). There are two characters, the bear and the girl, and the narrative is straight-forward and follows a linear chronology. Readability website (with the lack of lexile/AR scores) gives it an average 5th grade rating, which could be read to younger/Pre-K classes aloud.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

Great for discussions about rules, and about different types of play (formal vs. informal.)

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’s website:
http://www.amedyckman.com/Ame_Dyckman/home.html

Ah ha!

Ah Ha!
Jeff Mack
9781452112657
Mack, J. 2013. Ah ha! San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
Summary:
Those four letters can mean so many things. This book is about a frog who is escaping dangers, first being a little boy who wants to catch him. He thinks he’s safe on a rock, but it turns out to be a hungry turtle. What he thinks to be a log is in fact a hungry alligator. And when he escapes that, climbing what he thinks to be reeds, he’s actually found a hungry flamingo. Just when he thinks he’s escaped being eaten, he finds himself right back where he started: in the little boy’s jar. Ah ha! says the little boy, and Ha Ha! the frog says to the hungry animals, as they watch him being carted off. As the boy carries him along, the frog gets the last laugh, Ah ha! he says as the lid to the jar slips off, allowing him his freedom.
Quantitative Summary:
The only words used are Ah ha, ha ha, and aaah. There are not scores for this book, but I think it is easily a Pre-K-3 picture book.
Qualitative Summary:
A lot happens in this book with just the manipulation of those four letters: Ah ha! Ha ha! Aahh! The illustrations are what give those words context, where Aahh can be both an expression of fear and of contentment. The complexity of this book is very low: the story follows one character in a chronological order, and the language is limited to one or two straight forward words. The complexity comes in interpreting the illustrations and how they add to the context of the words.

Curriculum Tie Ins:
Could be good for basic spelling and phonetics, how letters put in different positions make different sounds, and how those words mean different things in different contexts. Also to a lesser extent teaches about animals, and that humans should leave them alone (the frog is unhappy in the jar, and contented when he is left alone in the pond).
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’s website: http://www.jeffmack.com/

A Very Witchy Spelling Bee

A Very Witchy Spelling Bee
George Shannon, Ill. Mark Fearing

9780152066963

Shannon, G. 2013. A very witchy spelling bee. NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Summary:
Cordelia is a young witch who loved to spell. She loved to spell words instead of speaking them, and even more so, she loved turning words into other words using only one letter. She practiced her spells and her spelling by mixing the two, turning objects from one thing to another by adding a letter. When the town has an annual spelling bee for witches, Cordelia wants to enter, even though she is the youngest contestant. While her mother wants her to wait until she is older, she is confident she can win. The long-time winner Beulah Divine, age 203, is jealous. Many witches enter, but it comes down to the last two, Cordelia and Beulah, and while Cordelia plays fair, Beulah takes to attacking her personally, turning her EARS into PEARS, and her HAIR into a CHAIR. This gives Cordelia her winning answer, by turning Beulah, the FIEND, into a FRIEND.

Quantitative Summary:
ATOS Book Level: 3.3
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)
AD590L

Qualitative Summary:
This is a really fun book that plays on the same concept as laddergrams: adding a letter to make one word into another book. The language is dense and uses wordplay, suggesting that it might be better for older students and that it would be a good read-aloud book. Its knowledge demands are low, using no allusions to other texts, and playing on a relatively common experience: spelling and spelling bees. There is a singular narrator and one main character with no viewpoint shifts. The language is what strikes me as Middle low, while everything else is low.
Curriculum Tie Ins:
This would be a great book to work with spelling. The class could be involved in their own “spell-ing bee” with objects used to illustrate the change made with the addition of a letter.

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’s website: http://www.georgewbshannon.comcastbiz.net/

Possum and the Peeper

Possum and the Peeper
By Anne Hunter
9780395846315
Hunter, A. 1998. Possum and the peeper. NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Summary:
There is a peeping that awakens Possum from his sleep, but who could it be? It’s not the catbirds in the tree above his hole, so who is it? The catbirds accompany the Possum on an adventure to figure out who is making that peeping sound. Along the way he is joined by other animals who have been disturbed by the peeping. Finally they find the source of the racket: a tiny little frog who just wants everyone to wake up because it is spring time. At first they are mad for being woken up, but as they look around they realize that while trying to find the peeper, they have taken a beautiful spring walk.

Quantitative Summary:
ATOS Book Level: 2.7
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)
510L

Qualitative Summary:

This book is a sweet story that imparts the message that it’s important to look around and not take the world around you for granted. These animals are disturbed by the loud peeping of this little frog, but in their journey together to find the source of their annoyance, they are taken on a lovely spring walk. The book has a very simple narrative, with minimal characters and very few words on each page. It would lend itself to being read aloud very well.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

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’s website: http://www.annehunterstudio.com

My First Ramadan

My First Ramadan
Karen Katz
9780805078947
Katz, K. 2007. My first Ramadan. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

Summary:
A young boy participates in his first Ramadan, the holiday for Muslims around the world. Because he is old enough, this is the first year the young boy will fast. He describes in simple detail all the things that he encounters on his first Ramadan, from the morning meal (suhoor), the morning prayer (fajr), the school activities during the day, the sweet date eaten when they are ending their fasting, the evening meal (iftar) and prayer (Maghrib). He also attends the Mosque, and the big celebration in town square for the end of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr).
Quantitative Summary:
ATOS Book Level: 2.8
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)
Lexile: AD700L

Qualitative Summary:
This is a small book with big print, and the illustrations are mixed-media collages by the author. This book discusses the basics of Ramadan, making it relatable to small children by giving them a young narrator who illustrates how he participates in his family’s observance of the holiday. The book’s complexity is overall pretty low; the meaning is simple, the language is straight-forward (and the native words for the different elements of the religion are spelled out phonetically in parentheticals to help further comprehension), the knowledge demands require the student to understand religions, which may be a Middle Low concept.

Curriculum Tie Ins:
This book would really help to illustrate religions of the world, and holidays of the world.

Standards

MD CCSS

Social Studies

2.0 CONTENT STANDARD: PEOPLES OF THE NATIONS AND WORLD –Student will understand the diversity and commonality, human interdependence, and global cooperation of the people of Maryland, the United States, and the World through a multicultural and
a historic perspective.
(PreK-3 STANDARD) PEOPLES OF THE NATIONS AND WORLD -Students will understand how people in Maryland, the United States and around the world are alike and different.

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’s website: http://www.karenkatz.com/