Booktalk: To close Women’s History Month and begin Poetry Month, a free-verse biographical poem about performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker. (Notice the use of primary source quotations in the second image below.)
Mama called her TUMPY, the round baby girl, after Humpty Dumpty.
With her first breath, she made faces.
As soon as she walked, she DANCED.
Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “What information is needed to design a roller coaster?” They will write down the statistics of the Steel Dragon coaster and then add their own statistics about a roller coaster they will design on the graphic organizer. Using the statistics, they will design and draw a roller coaster track and car as a prototype for an amusement park ride lasting two to three minutes. They will plan first on paper and decide on their statistics, which they will put on their graphic organizer. Then they will transfer their design ideas to the large drawing paper and label all the required statistics. Students will share their roller coaster designs with the class.
The Library Activity begins on page 122. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 124.
1. Look at pages 16–17 from the book. Use “The Crypt” ride to calculate the money that could be brought in for that ride using the assignment’s requirements, times, and fees.
2. Write a personal experience story about one of their favorite roller coasters.
3. After reading the book, have the students write a short description of the main idea of the book. Use the phrase, “I am a engineer.. I know that _________.”
Booktalk: In this picture book that looks like a comic, Cookie the dog walks on her hind legs. That catches the attention of a show producer, who turns her into a star. And with fame come benefits: bacon, candy, a fanny pack, her own mini-fridge… But the more Cookie walks, the more people expect from her.
Booktalk: Digger wants to play baseball with his friends. But he isn’t allowed to go out until he’s cleaned his room. Digger starts cleaning at top speed, but the faster he moves the messier his room gets. His big tail and big feet aren’t helping! Will Digger win the race to tidy his room and get to the game on time? (Beginning reader)
“She said yes?” asked Digger.
“She said MESS,” said Stego.
“I can fix that,” said Digger.
Booktalk: Do you know what it’s like to drive a truck that is as big as an elephant? Despite their giant size, monster trucks can pull off soaring jumps, flips, and other epic stunts. These trucks compete head-to-head to reveal the fastest and the most agile of them all. Events such as the Monster Jam World Finals keep the crowds on the edges of their seats.
Snippet: In monster truck racing, two trucks race to the other end of the arena. The trucks do a turn around an obstacle and race back to the finish line. During the last part of the race, the trucks go over a ramp that launches them into the air. After landing, the first truck to reach the finish line is the winner.
Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “How can engineering help me solve problems?” Students will solve an actual engineering problem by designing and testing a paper airplane. They will test their products and have the opportunity to work in groups to redesign a second plane after examining the more successful plane designs. They will use the steps an engineer might follow to address the problem and design a solution, and then retest it.
The Library Activity begins on page 138. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 140.
Extension Activities (sample)
1. Have the students identify a problem they have in their daily life and design an invention that would help solve that problem.
2. Have the students each make new airplanes and test them individually. Measure how far they fly and see if they have improved on their designs following the lesson.
3. After reading the book, have the students write a short description of the main idea of the book. Use the phrase, “I am a engineer. I know that _________.”
Booktalk: Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson’s poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.
Snippet: Everyone at Pepperwood Elementary knows that I live in Treasure Trailers, in the pink-tinted trailer with the flamingo hot-glued to the roof. The problem is, I only told four girls, the ones who were standing by me the first time we lined up for recess.
Booktalk: Little Naomi has a busy day! She gets ready for school, plays with all her friends, builds with blocks, bakes mud pies, colors pictures, eats lunch, and helps mom with the shopping. Little Chick has to stay at home with the other barnyard animals, but that doesn’t stop him from having adventures of his own.
She gives Little Bear a hug.
She kisses Mommy
and gives Daddy’s hand a tug.
Little Naomi is ready to go!
Off to preschool, with Daddy in tow.
One Word Pearl
by Nicole Groeneweg (Author) and Hazel Mitchell (Illustrator)
Booktalk: Pearl loves words. All kinds of words. Words make up songs, stories, poems . . . and what does a lover of words do? She collects them, of course!
But one day, most of Pearl’s words are blown away…
Snippet: Outside her room, safe from the storm, Pearl opened her chest. But the wind had only left a handful of words—not enough to tell a story, not enough to sing a song, and not enough to make a poem rhyme.
So Pearl decided she would use only one precious word at a time.