News From the Library–Dec. 12 2014


Narrative Text Features

This week sixth graders worked on narrative text features and showing direct evidence of the features in a fiction book.  I used a worksheet that asks them to find the text feature and write a sentence from the book as evidence.  Using holiday picture books as their source was a lot of fun for them and they enjoyed trying to find their favorite holiday book to use.

Also in the Library this week…


Kindergarten–Kindergarteners love, love, love Pete the Cat.  This week they heard Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin.  We also went to the HarperCollins website and found a short video to go along with the book and they left singing Pete’s Christmas song.


First Grade–As much as kindergarteners love Pet the Cat, first graders love Splat the Cat and this week they heard Merry Christmas, Splat by Rob Scotton.  Splat gets worried he hasn’t been good enough all year to deserve a visit from Santa–something first graders tend to worry about, too.  The illustrations in this book are as wonderful as they are in all Rob Scotton’s other books.  This is definitely a holiday favorite.


Second Grade–After looking at a still from the book app An Elf for Christmas and using the Visible Thinking Routine called Every Picture Tells a Story, second graders figured out that one of Santa’s elves was in for some kind of adventure.  The app by author Michael Garland has his amazing illustration style and it was really great when projected on the TV.  It’s a fun story about an elf who ends up in a present for a boy and must try to get himself back to the North Pole.  However, this app has a few bugs, possibly because it was a bit over-ambitious with the special effects.  I found that reading it myself instead of having the app do the reading worked better.


Third Grade–Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera is another of our holiday favorites.  I took pictures of each illustration spread in the book and projected it on our TV as I read the story and it was a big hit!  This is a fun story about the Kringle family with a nice message about giving.  But it’s the illustrations that really make it work as a perfect holiday read aloud.


Fourth Grade–Patricia Polocco’s books are so interesting to read aloud because not only are the illustrations beautiful, her stories (many based on her own childhood) are so touching.  The Trees of the Dancing Goats is just such a book.  It’s a lovely blend of a Christmas story and a Hanukkah story.

Fifth Grade–This week Fifth Graders did their Holiday scavenger hunt using the iPads.  Do you know what the Christmas Truce was?  They had a lot of fun finding the answers and using the iPads for a lesson like this made is easy and fun.

News From the Library–Dec. 5, 2014


Holiday Internet Scavenger Hunt

This week sixth graders went on a Holiday Internet Scavenger Hunt using our iPads.  The hunt covers holiday traditions around the world and students had to answer 20 questions from the interesting and educational to (my favorite) “What does the Grinch have in his teeth?”  This was a fun way to practice using the iPads for internet research.  Students used our Library Skills Blog where the questions and live links were provided.

Also in the Library this week…

Kindergarten…Kindergarteners watched the ebook, Snowmen At Christmas by Mark Buehner on the wonderful website We Give Books.  The way these ebooks display on our TV is fantastic and they enjoyed the story and even said they enjoyed the lack of animation and sound effects!


First Grade–Jan Brett’s books are always a great choice and this year we had a new one of hers, The Animal’s Santa.  As always, the illustrations are magical and the story is a lovely take on believing or not believing in Santa.


Second Grade–It’s interesting to discover other Christmas and holiday traditions and second graders heard The Baker’s Dozen: A St. Nicholas Day Tale by Aaron Shepard.  We started with a visible thinking routine–Same, Same, Different–and compared St. Nicholas to Santa.  We also compared a dozen to a baker’s dozen.  The book is wonderfully illustrated and the story fascinates the  students.  A great holiday read aloud.


Third Grade–Moving Christmas is an amazing app and we watched it this week.  However, it is a slightly ambitious app and has a few little bugs but it’s worth working them out.  It’s a funny story with fantastic visuals and a nice little side message about the importance of saving our planet.


Fourth Grade–Last year as third graders, fourth graders read The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate as a class book.  With the recent publication of Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by the same author, I wanted to let this group experience this wonderful picture book.  They enjoyed it so much!  At the end, we went to Zoo Atlanta’s website and watched a video and slide show about Ivan.  This added another layer of depth to their reading experience.


Fifth Grade–Our holiday traditions continued with Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and so wonderfully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.  This is our all time favorite Hanukkah story!  It’s great to be able to compare it to other stories they have heard, like Esteban and the Ghost by Sibyl Hancock, and ponder how the stories are the same and different and how different cultures told similar tales.

Sixth Grade–see opening post.