Wednesday, August 8, 2012


To see my library plans for the year and each month, click on the tabs below my header.  As you can tell, I'm slowly redoing my curriculum and continue to update and add to each month.  I'm currently working my way through the December curriculum.  What do you think?  What is it missing?  I'm up for any suggestions or comments!!!!!!!!


*Author Spotlight:  Jan Brett, Jerry Pinkney


Library Objective:  Students will describe a biography and identify the biography section.

Title:  “Susan B. Anthony” (You may do this lesson plan using any important or famous person you'd like.)

Resources:  Susan B. Anthony by Peter and Connie Roop; Chart or Bulletin Board Paper

Vocabulary:  Suffrage, Quaker, Women’s Rights Movement

Activity:  KWL Chart
Ask students:
What do you already know about Susan B. Anthony?
What do you want to know about Susan B. Anthony?
What are some things you would like to research?
How can we find information about Susan B. Anthony?

Read Susan B. Anthony by Peter and Connie Roop.
Listen for answers to their research questions.
Record the answers on the chart.

Closure:  Read the chart
Discuss biographies and the biography section of the library.
Send students to the biography section to browse and checkout books.


Week #2:  Author Study: Jan Brett. See this incredible web site:  with many, many ideas for an author study of Jan Brett.

Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury: The Book  

Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury is a large and beautiful book. It measures just under 12" by 12" and is 256 pages long. As can be expected in a book by Brett, the illustrations are captivating. For the most part, they consist of large single or double page paintings, with wide frames. The frames themselves frequently include small scenes showing characters in activities that extend the story. The frames also serve to give the illusion of windows that allows readers a peak into another world. The unique artwork enables the artist to succeed in her goal of making readers believe "that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists."

Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury: The Stories

Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury contains seven of her most popular stories, each of which was originally published as an individual picture book. All of the stories take place in winter. Four are Christmas stories. These include beautifully illustrated versions of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "The Night Before Christmas." While none of the stories touch on Christmas as a religious holiday, they do emphasize the Christmas spirit of generosity and sharing. Two of the stories both written and illustrated by Brett, "Trouble with Trolls" and "Christmas Trolls" feature Treva, a clever and kind little girl, who solves problems caused by the impish trolls who live in the woods. In "The Hat," Hedgie the hedgehog, who gets a woolen stocking caught on his head when it blows off of the clothesline, convinces all of the other animals that it's a hat and they need one, too. Other stories include "The Mitten," which is based on a Ukranian folktale, and "The Wild Christmas Reindeer."
Week #3:  Christmas and Happy Holidays
Read Aloud Book List: read Christmas classics and favorites this month
Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett
The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Home for Christmas by Jan Brett
"Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Jan Brett
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett

Here are as few other favorites:

Product Details

I Spy Christmas: A Book of Picture Riddles by Jean Marzollo 

and Walter Wick (Photographer) (Oct 1, 1992)

Product Details

Baby's Christmas (Golden Baby) by Esther Wilkin and Eloise Wilkin 

(Sep 11, 2012)

Product Details

The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson 

and Eloise Wilkin (Aug 1, 2000)

Product Details

What Is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams 

and Amy Wummer (Sep 1, 2006)

Product Details

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore 

and Mary Engelbreit (Sep 21, 2004)

Product Details
The Polar Express by Van Allsburg

Jerry Pinkney's - "The Lion and the Mouse" - This is a wordless picture book that is a Caldecott winner.  The illustrations are gorgeous.  Let the students look at each page quietly and have them write something for each page to describe what is happening.  (Essentially they will write the story.) 

 The Lion and the Mouse 

 by Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney’s book is the perfect example of  pictorial storytelling. The children love the beautiful illustrations, and they engage in discussing the details on each page.
Click on lion for lesson plans on making inferences.
Click on mouse for a mini-book template created by Laura Moore.
This lesson introduces the idea of giving back. Students hear an oral retelling of "The Lion and the Mouse" and relate the ability of the mouse to help the lion with the empowerment of children to make a difference.


One Thirty-Minute Class Period


The learner will:
  • tell an oral story (may use a storybook that doesn't have words).
  • compare the lion/mouse relationship with an adult/child relationship.
  • brainstorm the time, talent, and treasure children may have that can make a difference in the world.
  • describe the concepts of "giving back" and "paying it forward."


Copy of the fable The Lion and the Mouse (see Bibliographic References).


In the story "The Lion and the Mouse," the mouse is captured by a lion. The mouse convinces the lion to let him go so one day the mouse can help the lion. The lion feels kind and decides to let the mouse go. The mouse promises to repay the lion one day. The lion laughed, thinking, "what could a mouse do for me." Later, the lion is caught in a trap. When the mouse hears the lion roaring, he chews through the ropes to set the lion free. The lion learns that size and power are not the only strengths one may have.

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Ask the students, "Do you think you can help someone who is bigger, stronger, or older than you?"  Listen to their ideas. Write some of their examples and sort their ideas into the following categories: talents, time, and treasure. For example, someone may share their talent for social media; share their time with a sick person; share their treasure in the form of a good book or food for lunch. Tell them the fable, The Lion and the Mouse, tells how someone very small helped someone very big and powerful.
  • Ask them to raise their hands if they have ever told or been told a story. Tell the students that people have been telling stories aloud for thousands of years, long before there were written books. Family and friends enjoyed hearing stories because they were interesting and because stories taught them about the world. 
  • Ask the students how books and stories make our lives better. Ask what they think it would be like if they didn't have easy access to books that tell stories or give them information.
  • Explain that you will be telling them a story rather than reading aloud. Students will use their imagination and picture the story in their heads if you are telling it without the picture book. If you are using the picture book that has no text, you may ask the students to participate in the storytelling as much as possible.
  • Tell the story to the class using engaging language and expressive voices.
  • Discuss the story
    What did the lion do for the mouse? Why?What did the mouse do for the lion? Why?Do you think the mouse would have helped the lion if the lion had not freed him? Why or why not?
    What do you think it means "to give back"?

    How is this a story about being good citizens?
  • Tell the students to compare and contrast a mouse and a lion (you may use a Venn diagram). Then ask the students how the mouse and lion are similar to a child and an adult. Ask, "what can a child do to help an adult?"
  • Discuss things children can do that are good for the community. Brainstorm the time, talent, and treasure children may have that can make a difference in the world.
  • Describe the concepts of "giving back" and "paying it forward." When someone does something nice for you, you can pass it on by doing something nice for someone else. Ask. "How does that make the wholecommunity better?"
  • Challenge the students to look for opportunities to help when it is not expected of them. Tell them to bring stories of helping in this way back to the classroom over the next couple weeks. Write a description of what they do on an index card and post the cards on a bulletin board.


Curriculum Connection:

Interdisciplinary: Have the children brainstorm animals. Write their suggestions in two side-by-side lists forming random pairs. Have the children suggest how the animal pairs could help each other. Have the children draw a picture of two animals helping each other. Label each picture with their description of "helping."
Science: Learn about the food chain. What is a possible food chain that includes a lion? What is a possible food chain for a mouse?

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Student Voice: Encourage students to be creative and find opportunities to give back that utilize their talents and interests.

Bibliographical References:

  • Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion and the Mouse. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0316013567

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