Monday, November 11, 2013

Picture Book Month: Seasons of Learning #IMWAYR

Picture Book Month Day 11 theme: Seasons
Find out more about Picture Book Month here
Download the daily themed Picture Book Month Calendar. 
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My Picture Book Month pick for a book about seasons is The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provenson. Here is an audio version to enjoy from Watch Know Learn (a website for free educational videos). I like to use the big book version of the book so students can see all the farm animals.

This is a book about farm animals, and what happens during one year on a farm. In January, the cows stay in the barnyard, and the chickens don't lay many eggs. By March, you can tell spring is coming: the barn is filled with baby animals. Month by month, the animals at Maple Hill Farm sense the changing seasons and respond to the changes. (Simon and Schuster)

Getting Ready for Winter

I love this Sesame Street video of a child describing how Fall evolves into Winter and how plants and animals know it's time to begin to prepare and settle in for the season. 

What I have been reading: 

I have been reading picture books galore but each book shown here was one I wrote a blog post about for Picture Book Month. I have included resources to use for all books.

I am trying to finish  Veroinica Roth's Allegiant as quickly as I can. I introduced a student to the series this past Monday and she has blown through the first two books already. 
I have to give her my copy on Monday! I love an inspired reader. My big problem now is what next? She is rabid reader so I went out today and bought her a copy of Seraphina. That ought to keep her busy for one or two days. Here is the Seraphina book trailer
Rocket Writes a Story resources

Click here for The Hallelujah Flight resources

Knufflebunny Resources

How I Learn Geography Resources

One is a Feast for a Mouse

Read Alouds in the Library:

Life Oak Media's  Educator's Guide
Dancing With the Indians by Angela Shelf Medearis 
Illustrated by Samuel Byrd
Our teachers are focusing heavily on poetry in preparation for the Texas STAAR test so I am always seeking unique ways to integrate poetry into the topics I am covering in my library. Dancing with the Indians is a wonderful choice for accomplishing this. The rhyming story has a beat, a rhythm, a cadence to its telling that matches the flow of words. The images are beautifully striking. 

Medearis offers a clear explanation of the author's purpose in writing her story. It is based on her ancestor's experience and stories that have been passed down through her family. Her great-grandfather was a run-a-way slave that was welcomed into the Seminole tribe. Every year, he would bring his wife and children back twice a year to take part in purification and religious rituals. My students really liked this image when the warriors leap out in front of the young girl giving her a scare. They liked the colorful ribbon dance and felt it was similar to their own Folkloric dancing. 

I enjoying sharing history with my students. Teachers have a hard time squeezing in Social Studies into daily lessons so I usually have one or two historically related interactive displays set up in my library. During November's American Indian Heritage Month I set up a photographic museum of images with an emphasis on Texas tribes.
A university colleague of mine, Ernest Graywolf Salazar, has performed a spiritual drum circles over the past several years. He also made this wonderful replica of a village for our students. There are several items that students may touch and handle including animal hides, antlers, a ceremonial leather shirt with sea shells that jingle while dancing. The land our school is built on was Karankawa tribal land. 

Here are some wonderful educational resources on Texas Indian tribes. 


  1. There's nothing like the pressure of a teen reader to get you moving! I have a reader who has beaten me to the top of the holds list for two books this month. I recommend Blood Red Road to fans of Hunger Games and Divergent. Have a great week ~Megan

    1. I have Blood Red Road on my nightstand. I have started and stopped many time but I do like it.

  2. Julee, I can't tell you how much I appreciate such creative effort being put in by teachers and librarians. This display is SO terrific, and I LOVE Ernest's replica! Beautiful stuff :)

    (Donna a.k.a. writersideup)

    1. Thank you Donna. I will tell him you liked it. He is so pleased when I set it up each year. He brings his buddies in to see it. He has been a great friend to my library and a source of inspiration to our students.

  3. Great stuff is happening in your library!! Thanks for sharing all your titles!

    1. Things are always changing daily. Today I set up for a big parent meeting and luncheon in the library. I could really use a crew to help me move furniture and set up presentations. I am also planning a big Family Reading Celebration event and trying to come up with some outrageously creative ideas. I have had surf demonstrations, re-enactments, etc. I am trying to get Star Wars characters right now. Oh, I did get Curby the Recycling Robot. The even will be so much fun if I survive it.

  4. Your book displays look simply wonderful! Love how you are trying to stay one step ahead of your keen reader! Enjoy!

  5. Wasn't Hallelujah Flight fun?! Love the displays, too!

    1. Hallelujah Flight is one of my favorite stories.

  6. So many great titles here. And yes I agree with all the comments above, the book displays are lovely. My eye was caught by Hallelujah Flight and How I learned geography as I am a huge Uri Shulevitz fan - will definitely check that one out. Have a great reading week!

    1. I love Uri's backstory behind How I Learned Geography. I could relate in some ways. I loved peering at the giant world map at school so much as a kid that when I grew up and had kids, I bought one and hung it in the hallway so my kids go travel with their eyes to amazing places. My son has one in his bedroom. It's great wall decor.

  7. These are awesome displays! I wish I had these Native American displays in my library. So perfect for connecting to the curriculum. Can you come recreate this for me? Truly tremendous!

  8. Love the idea of historical interactive displays… inspired! :)


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