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Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has a new Classroom Reading Challenge in which we gift a FREE diversity hardcover book to teachers who commit to reading four diversity books to their students during the month of January. This program is generously underwritten by the Junior Library Guild. A sample of the books that we will be donating are here.

I totally get that teachers are busy and stressed trying to cover their curriculum and that time is precious. To complete the Classroom Reading Challenge, we encourage all teachers to use picture books for the four books. I am creating lists for grades 4th through 8th of advanced picture books that tie to the Common Core Curriculum. Valarie is creating advanced picture book lists for grades 9th through 12th.

During the fourth grade, my kids have always studied the Civil Rights Movement, turn of the century immigration, and geography of the 50 U.S. States. I also found Native American, and specifically Trail of Tears, on the Core Curriculum, but I believe that my kids studied colonial history of the United States in 5th grade but I will include Native American picture books for both grades.

What books am I missing? Please share! Thank you!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

4th Grade Multicultural Picture Books

Native American Picture Books for Fourth Grade

Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Karen Clarkson

Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) blog has stressed the importance of showing contemporary Native Americans because kids seem to think that Native Americans do not exist now. I can see that misconception — it’s the similar to our 2nd grade unit on Ghana where kids think everyone lives in a rural village and that cities don’t exist in Africa.

Tim Tingle is an excellent children’s book author that I encourage everyone to check out. His picture book covers a multitude of Common Core and elementary school topics including bullying, immigration, Civil Rights and contemporary Indian Americans.

Tim’s grandmother, a member of the  Choctaw Nation, moves from Oklahoma to Texas as a young mother where she is greeted while standing on her front porch with a rock thrown to her head. It cuts her eye which leads eventually to losing her vision. Tim’s father is two years old at the time.

While there is certainly anger and a desire for revenge, his grandmother redirects this energy with “Saltypie”, a term that means “bad things happen; let it go.” Many years later, his grandmother undergoes successful eye transplant surgery but the blessing she taught those around her is to see without eyes. [advanced picture book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

Left Brain STEM Toys for Kids

Left Brain STEM Toys for Kids

Jeanette and I love doing the Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids list. She is taking the Right Brain art toys today and I’m tackling Left Brain STEM toys with a math or science bent. Is that even right? I looked it up from About Education:

The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity

The Left Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking. The left-brain is described as being better at:

  • Language
  • Logic
  • Critical thinking
  • Numbers
  • Reasoning

Recent research has shown that abilities in subjects such as math are strongest when both halves of the brain work together. The upshot? Get both sides of your kids’ brains working! This is the last day of our gift giving series. Thanks for reading them!

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

STEM Toys for Kids

Anatomically Correct Dolls with STEM Careers!

Are you seeking an anti-Barbie doll that is anatomically correct thus subliminally sending a message of body acceptance to your kids? You might like the Lottie dolls!

Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll, $25

Fossil Hunter Lottie Read more…

5th Grade Books from 5th Grade Boy

5th Grade Books from 5th Grade Boy

My 5th grade son is assigned more reading homework than my 8th grade daughter. He is supposed to read 30 minutes a day; my daughter just 2 hours a week. At my son’s Curriculum Night, his teacher explained that reading just 20 minutes a day dramatically increases a child’s vocabulary. Hence, she assigns them 30 minutes a night.

Educator's Briefing

From Educator’s Briefing

It’s not easy to get kids reading. My son will always choose screens over books so it’s helpful to assigned reading. I think it’s also important to making reading pleasurable so it becomes a lifelong habit. I choose a shortlist of books carefully for my son that he then selects from.

I also read out loud to my son every night. Reading aloud has the same benefit as independent reading but with an added incentive. I get to quiz my son as he reads, just to make sure he’s paying attention. Usually, I ask him about a vocabulary word in the book. One easy way is to give him a pair of opposites and have him pick the word meaning.

I hope your son can find books from my son’s list. Tell him that my son recommends them! It’s more convincing when it’s a peer recommendation so I have my son reviewing his book list.
Read more…

Grateful to Boston Children's Hospital

Grateful to Boston Children’s Hospital

It’s been a year since my son had surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. November is a good time for gratitude and I’m grateful to have such an outstanding medical facility in my backyard.

son's surgery at Boston Children's Hospital

Our road to surgery started off innocuously enough. My son had a small lump on his throat. I thought it was swollen lymph nodes and paid it no mind. The lump got bigger and my husband expressed concern. We took our soon to the pediatrician who was quite sure that surgery was not going to be necessary but referred us to an eminent Ear, Nose, Throat pediatric specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital. This is the doctor, our pediatrician said, that he’d send his own kids too. I like those kinds of recommendations!
Read more…

Lynda Mullaly Hunt Author Visit: Fish in a Tree

Lynda Mullaly Hunt Author Visit: Fish in a Tree

PickyKidPix skipped her club soccer practice so we could see Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s author visit for Understanding Our Differences. Her sister, Grasshopper and Sensei, had the pleasure of hearing Lynda Mullaly Hunt speak to her middle school two years ago. She hadn’t even read her book but she raved about how Lynda was a  inspiring and down to earth speaker who overcame a tough childhood.

Fish is a Tree is a story of dyslexia through the eyes of a girl named Ally and how a middle school teacher changed her life.

Lynda Mullaly Hunt Author Visit: Fish in a Tree

PickyKidPix, however, read both One for the Murphys and Fish in a Tree so I thought she would enjoy meeting the author. She hates being left out so it was her chance to meet the author her sister had. Both chapter books are realistic fiction for ages 9 and up.

One for the Murphys is a powerful story about a foster child in the loving care of a family for the first time and how that experience changes her life.

I like to give my readers a sense of being there as well, so I taped Lynda’s presentation and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Do you have questions for Lynda? Let me know and we can email her! Read more…

5 Books Like Harold and the Purple Crayon & Kid Lit Blog Hop

5 Books Like Harold and the Purple Crayon

Because four is considered a bad luck number in Asian culture, I offer you five books like Harold and the Purple Crayon … which is to say, books with art supplies that have magical properties including transporting readers and characters into wildly imaginative adventures and worlds.

What are your  favorite books with magical drawing items that I should add to my list? Thanks for sharing!

Harold and the Purple Crayon (series) by Crockett Johnson

I loved Harold and the Purple Crayon when I was a kid and now it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary! The idea that a crayon can transport anywhere you can dream up — well, that’s rather like a book too! This is the granddaddy of picture book adventures through a drawing implement. Read more…

Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones

Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones

Jeanette Nyberg of Craftwhack and I are back for year two to bring you a holiday shopping series. Today we are back with our ever popular gifts to steal from loved ones. Our clever idea was to gift something that you can steal, share or snag a taste of. A gift for you is a gift for “us.” We’re sneaky that way. Her post is here.

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

 

Cook Books

Cook books are the gift that keeps on giving … imagine your loved one making food out of that cookbook for everyone to enjoy! Kids and teens are also learning a great life skill. I also really like this new hybrid of cookbook: the cookbook memoir. Sometimes it’s in the guise of a cookbook; othertimes it’s a paperback that looks like a novel but has recipes at the end of every chapter. I like them all!

Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach magazine

Read more…

Numbers 1 to 11 Drawing Game

Numbers 1 to 11 Drawing Game

My husband learned this drawing game using numbers 1 to 11 in numerical order as a little boy growing up in Korea which is probably why I have never seen it before. He must have learned it really well because he whips it out whenever a restaurant that we are waiting at has brown paper and crayons on the table.

It’s a fun way to entertain the kids! Here it is:

Number 1: Draw it in the center of the page.

Numbers 1 to 11 Drawing Game

Number 2: Draw the number 2 right below number 1.

Numbers 1 to 11 Drawing GameRead more…

DIY Gamer Kit STEM Toy

DIY Gamer Kit STEM Toy

I thought my son would enjoy the STEM toys from Technology Will Save Us, so I was thrilled when they offered me two kits. As soon as they arrived, my son wanted to build the DIY Gamer Kit in which you build your own remote control. We opted for the version with the parts already soldered in as my husband thought soldering might be too dangerous for our 10-year-old son.

DIY Gamer STEM Toy

My son looked for the instructions in box and was puzzled not to find any. Instead, he figured out that he needed to go to their website to watch video tutorials.

DIY Gamer STEM Toy Read more…