Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas with Pete

Picture Book Month Celebration
Day 30 theme: Holidays

I did it! Big pat on the back. I dutifully wrote a posting for each themed day of Picture Book Month. This has really been an eye opener for me. I now have such respect for Writers and the discipline it takes. Now I understand why writers set daily writing goals for themselves. I think I will stick to what I do best-introduce the magic of wonderful books to readers. I perform a pretty darn good read aloud and I am also a whiz at creating finger-plays. 

Picture Book Month has been a happy success at my school. The library tables were overflowing with colorful choices beckoning readers to choose them. My voice has been hoarse almost all month from reading so many titles. Today kiddos will finish up their Picture Book Month challenge and will earn library badges for reaching their reading goals.

We will take Picture Book Month to the finish line with our good friend Pete the Cat as he comes to Santa's rescue and saves Christmas.

Browse inside the book here

'Twas the day before Christmas and Santa was ill.
In the cold winter wind he had caught a bad chill.
Will Christmas be canceled? Will it come to that?
"Never!" cried Santa. 
"Let's call Pete the Cat!"

In this rockin' new spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.

Pete the Cat Crafts and Activities
 Download all the groovy  Pete the Cat songs here
Harper Collins Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Activity Booklet
Pinterest is a great way to find curated Pete the Cat crafts and activities
Check out these two boards:  Bonnie Munn    Erin Meehan

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Picture Book Month
Day 29 theme: FOOD

Hot Diggity Dog

The History of the Hot Dog

by Adrienne SylverIllustrated by Elwood H. Smith
Did you know that the first astronauts to eat hot dogs in space were aboard the Apollo 11? The year was 1969. Did you know that each July, Americans eat enough hot dogs to circle the Earth seven times? These are just a couple of the fun facts you’ll discover in HOT DIGGITY DOG – THE HISTORY OF THE HOT DOG. The book tells the story of how the hot dog was brought to America and how it became one of our favorite foods.(from the author-Adrienne Sylver)

Play this old radio commercial 
Armour Hot Dogs - 1950s Commercial Song

Hot dogs, Armour hot dog
What kind of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks
Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox
love hot dogs, Armour Dot Dogs
The dogs kids love to bite!

Here is a fun video someone made to match the song.


1965 Oscar Mayer Wiener commercial

Have you ever heard of the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile?

Follow @Wienerbobile on Twitter

Tour the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile
Learn what a "Hotdogger is"

Visit Hot Dog City and learn more about franks.

How are we using this book in our school? 
Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee Hot Diggity Dog

student created book project for Hot Diggity Dog


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dang! That's a Bright Idea!

Picture Book Month Celebration
Day 28 theme: Clothing

Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea 
A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants
by Tony Johnston
Illustrator: Stacy Innerst
Publisher: Harcourt's Children's Books
September 2011
Oh to pay homage to the humble blue jeans. 
The pants that built American and kept it in comfort too.  

"GOLD!" somebody yelled. Next thing anybody knew, the whole world rushed to California and started digging up the place. The trouble was, they rushed so fast, they lost their pants.

Dang! What a fun way to introduce this book. My students will be laughing before page two and clamoring to claim the right to read it first. In fact, most of the vocabulary in this story is hilarious. The story is quick paced and pops with excitement. Everyone is rushing here and there either for gold or with needles. This clever tale is a good introduction into many topics:inventors and their inventions, goods and services, west-ward movement, the birth of a city and more. The Book includes an author's note about a bit of the real history of the life of Levi Strauss, an apparently good man, but I like this version much better.

(Book Description:)
Wild West chaos and creative problem solving are the force behind a well-loved American institution. What’s a California miner to do when gold dust sifts right out of his holey pockets? With such a raggedy wardrobe, he may as well be mining in the vanilla (that is, his birthday suit)! Good thing Levi Strauss is out west, ready with his needle and a head full of bright ideas. With some quick thinking, quicker stitching, and handy arithmetic, Levi keeps all the gold rushers clothed—and becomes a modern American hero. A Wild West tall tale, Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea celebrates creativity, innovation, and the ubiquitous item that fills the closets of grateful jeans wearers worldwide.

 Literacy Connections:

How are Blue Jeans Made? (Discovery Channel)

The Invention of Levi's Jean

The Inventor of Blue Jeans from Inventor of the Week

Re-purposing  Blue Jeans

Blue jean crafts

Squidoo recycled blue jean crafts

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ginger and Petunia

 Picture Book Month Celebration
Visit the website
 Day 27 theme: PIGS

 I could think of so many wonderful picture books to use today but I decided to select one that I had not yet read. I chose Ginger and Petunia by Patricia Polacco. She is a masterful storyteller and it has been too long since I have picked up one of her books. They look so beautiful, all nice and tall, on my library shelf, but lately few have been checked out. This is my fault because I have not been acquainting students with these delightful and imagination filled wonders. Goal this week: Book Talking Patricia Polacco picture books.

Here is my summary of this very funny pig tale.

Elegant Virgina Vincent Folsum lives in an equally elegant home in an exclusive neighborhood. She drives a snazzy red sports car, is a wine aficionado, gourmet cook, and quite the clothes horse. Her motto is "You are what you wear!" Ginger, as she is affectionately known, is also an accomplished pianist who trains young piano proteges in her home. Ginger is devoted to her closest confidant and friend- a pig named Petunia. One day, Ginger accepts an invitation to travel to England to perform as a guest soloist at a prestigious affair and quickly arranges for a house and pig sitter for Petunia-who cancels after Ginger has left. What is poor Petunia to do? Ginger has always taken care of Petunia so now it's time for Petunia to return the favor. Masquerading as Ginger by donning her flamboyant attire, Petunia skillfully takes over the piano classes, runs errands, and attends a whirlwind of events fooling and charming everyone in the process. Alas, without her daily soothing mud baths Petunia becomes frazzled  until desperation drives her to leap into a vat of chocolate taking the Governor along with her.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Non-Fiction Monday: Prehistoric

Picture Book Month
visit the website
Day 26 theme: Non-Fiction Monday-Prehistoric

I LOVE DINOSAURS! Always have, always will. I even kept my son's old Playskool brand dinosaurs. They were THE best. We have a huge bin full of them being played with by a new generation in our family. Does anyone ever quit loving dinosaurs? Even the youngest kids can spout out the most difficult dinosaur names. Dinosaurs are part of that magical world of childhood that some lucky grownups have been clever enough to turn into a profession.

Love those dinos

During this morning's hall duty, a first grader handed me a book about dragons. So I asked the assembled first graders:

Me  "Are dragons real or pretend?"

First graders  "Pretend"

Me  "What about Dinosaurs? Real or pretend?"

First Graders "Real"

Me  "How do you know dinosaurs were real? Had any of you ever seen one in real life or in a zoo?"

Pause, Fist graders 
"They are real because they lived a long time ago." 
"We have heard stories about them."
"We read about them."

Still I pressed them, "Some stories aren't real. What proof do you have that dinosaurs were real?"

First graders. (Now they grasp what I am after) "There are bones left behind." "Fossils"

Me: I have some really interesting books all about fossils and dinosaurs in the library that I would love to show you guys.

First graders: "Yeah!" 
"I love dinosaurs"
"I read a book about a _____________________ (insert hard to pronounce dinosaur name)."

Fossiles Tell of Long Ago by Aliki
Publisher Harper Collins

Summary: What is a fossil? Sometimes it's the imprint of an ancient leaf in a rock. Sometimes it's a woolly mammoth, frozen for thousands of years in the icy ground. Sometimes it's the skeleton of a stegosaurus that has turned to stone. A fossil is anything that has been preserved, one way or another, that tells about life on Earth. But you can make a fossil, too--something to be discovered a million years from now--and this book will tell you how.

Teaching Resources
lesson plans, videos about fossil hunting, and activities.

Here is one in particular I really like. Plus Click here for a PDF version
The folks at Texas Parks and Wildlife are the best. They believe in sharing the knowledge.