Since I've last posted we've been to the UniverSoul Circus, a loverly puppet show of Hans Christian Anderson tales, and a couple of trips to our favorite garden to spot the early spring blooms. Today we're hoping to go see the Anansi play and somehow fit in a visit with the Richmond Symphony. Yesterday, I was on an 8th grade field trip to Washington, DC visiting the many museums of the Smithsonian. I think on spring break we're going to go back as a family. Alex hasn't seen the dinosaurs since she was 2, so this would be a perfect time to re-introduce them. Note to self- order dinosaur books from library.
Now on to the book reviews from my Cybils challange. I've learned that I'm going to have to put some of these books out of reach. Alex managed to read several on her own and when I tried to read them aloud I got the "I've already read that one" response. She doesn't like to re-read stories too much. At first I use to think, well that was a month ago, you might not remember it- but she has the uncanny ability to remember all the characters names, the setting, plot, lines from the book, etc.
Of the four I listed on the last post:
How I learned Geography- This is a serious book and does not focus on geography in the way one might imagine just from the title. It's the story of a family who must flee their home due to war. They have nothing in their new home and the book touches on themes such as poverty, war and hunger. The father spends money (intended for food) on a map. A young boy uses that map to escape in his mind to faraway places to help cope with their new situation.
How I'd use this book:I think that you could use this book to brainstorm about new countries. I think the better use for this book is teaching about empathy, gratefulness, the evils of war, and the power of imagination/maps/books during hard times to help stay positive.
LadyBug Girl- Cute story of little girl who has no one to play with and has a case of the "I'm Bored". Finds her own superhero adventures in nature and seeks personal (innocent) revenge on older brother.
How I'd use this book: Nice read aloud before a "forced" nature walk or those kids who think the outside is boring. Also great for any little one who's older sibling is too grownup to be seen with them.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant: Story about all the sounds young John heard as a boy and how they all seemed like music to his ears...and in the end culminating in the wonderful jazz he's known for today. Nice picture book. Took lots of improvisions/added rhythms on my part while reading to keep in the spirit of jazz.
How I'd use this book: Intro. to Coltrane. We found some old video footage of him playing on the computer and Alex listened to it while doing some pastel art work- imagining what the sounds would look like.
Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story: Lovely illustrations. An unknown hero from the Civil War period. Born a slave and actually well treated by his master (as best as slavery allows)- he secured a ship Confederate battle ship and joined the Union forces, freeing himself, family and other slaves. I think this book is better suited for approximately 10 year olds and up, would even make a quickie read for up to middle school. I would recommend this early Reader for younger audiences.
How I'd use this book: Sparking interest in Civil War hero's, especially great read for young African American males studying this time period.
I have a bunch of other books I want to post about....I truly appreciate those of you who take the time to review books on a regular basis :)
Oh-with regards to cardgames, that's our primary method of playing math these days. We've been playing blackjack 21 (doesn't something about that sound sinful), addition I Declare War, go fish, math facts, just everything we can think of. It's been a nice break from the workbook math.