All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

pirate books and project for kids, non fiction for kids, GenZ, GenZ online

Summer Reading Fun and Giveaway from GenZ!

Note: I think GenZ Read Together is out of business!

My son and I started reading very short non-fiction stories from GenZ Read Together, a website that makes reading together an entertaining educational experience. We get a wide assortment of non-fiction stories which include:

  • vocabulary building exercises
  • a hangman reveal-the-hidden-picture puzzle
  • an educational video

As part of their Summer Reading program, some of my favorite educational, arts, and children’s book bloggers are hosting a Blog Tour where we come up with activities you can do at home with your kids for one of GenZ’s non-fiction stories.

GenZ Online, GenZ, GenZ Read Together

We are also each hosting a giveaway so YOU can win 20 stories from GenZ Read Together. Finally, if you don’t win but want to try it out, GenZ is offering a special discount to my readers:

20 stories for $3.99!!  Use promo code:  SUM20

Today, my son and I read about the largest pirate treasure ever discovered, The Atocha! After 16 years searching with his family, Mel Fisher finally located $400 million dollars of gold, silver and emeralds — lost treasure from the Spanish Galleon, The Atocha, near Key West, Florida.  Read more…

Alice in Wonderland tea party, Alicewinks

Alice in Wonderland ebook to Celebrate 150 Years

Thank goodness there are so many different ways to experience the magic of Alice in Wonderland. There is the original chapter book plus many, many variations at all different reading levels. There are several movies. And now there is an ebook app, Alicewinks.

Why is Alice in Wonderland so important compared to other classic children’s books? Just think about all the cultural references that are part of our vernacular that originate from this book.

Mad as a hatter.

Grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Down the rabbit hole.

But not all kids, including mine, are ready to tackle the full length original chapter book. It’s a thick tome, after all.

Alice in Wonderland ebook to Celebrate Alice’s 150th Anniversary

Instead, we used Alicewinks to get a multimedia video ebook experience. Yes, that’s a mouthful. But what it is exactly is beautiful illustrations from the time when the book was published — early 20th century — with simple animation and professional voice talent narrating Lewis Carroll’s unabridged text.

Alicewinks, Alice in Wonderland ebookRead more…

summer reading chapter books, summer reading 6th grade, summer reading 8th grade, summer reading list 4th grade,

Summer Reading List for Kids (mine!) ages 8 through 13

Rising 3rd Grade Summer Reading List

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

My son’s close friend is a 4th grader, Connor, and he hates Percy Jackson (gasp!) but loves this book. That intrigued me, especially as the lead character is an 11-year-old girl during in 1899. I bought it a few years ago when it won a Newbery honor — frankly it was the cover that drew me in but it’s the gorgeous writing that has kept us reading. Me mostly to him.

Like a truffle, this book is to be savored in small quantities. We read about 1 or 2 chapters each night so it’s taken us quite some time to finish this chapter book. But it’s so worth it. The evolution is a young girl (perhaps author/attorney/doctor Jacqueline Kelly herself) reimagined at the turn of the 20th century, in a small town outside of Austin, Texas (where Kelly lives now) as she realized that she can be more than a housewife.

We finally finished this book and it was well worth the journey! [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

Read more…

science book list for kids

Great Science Books for Kids

Please welcome Erica from What Do We Do All Day?, a blog that always inspires me. There’s a big push now for non-fiction in the Common Core Curriculum and I am afraid that if we, as parents, don’t introduce non-fiction books to our kids that enchant them, they could be turned off by the onslaught of “boring” non-fiction they will be forced to read at school.

Non-fiction, however, when matched up to a child’s interest can be a great motivator in getting them to read. Erica offers up great science books for kids! I hope you find some ideas here for your child’s summer reading list.

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Do your kids love science and learning about facts? Science picture books are a lovely way for kids to explore their favorite subjects and to discover something new.

At What Do We Do All Day? I share a book list (almost) every Monday, and even though my older son loves non-fiction books, I have made very few lists featuring fact-based books. That is probably a reflection of my own interests, so I am extra excited to be able to share with Pragmatic Mom’s followers this list of science picture books my boys have really enjoyed!

This book list is a hodgepodge and mishmash of all different science topics, so I hope you will find something that is a good fit for your child’s interests. If you have any favorite science picture books, please leave a comment here on this post. We love to get recommendations!


A Seed Is Sleepy. Author/illustrator team Dianna Hutts Aston and Slyvia Long have created a series of gorgeous books about natural wonders which turn kids’ attentions to the beauty of the small miracles of nature. Also discover: A Rock Is Lively,An Egg Is Quiet and A Butterfly Is Patient.


All the Water in the World. Poetry in motion, just like rushing, trickling, dripping water, this book about the cycle of water will fascinate your kids. Lots of facts about where water comes from, where it goes and why we need it are eloquently communicated through gorgeous watercolors and poetry.

Read more…

rising 2nd grade summer reading list, rising second grade summer reading list, 3rd grade book list, 3rd grade reading list

Rising 2nd Grade Summer Reading List

Use this great Summer Reading 2013 book list which is a collaboration of the Newton Public School Library Teachers & the Newton Free Children’s Librarians to find books for your kids this summer. Why use my list? Because these books will (hopefully) be on your shelves. They won’t be at my library shelves so I’ll be either going to a library one town over or using your library’s list!

I learned this trick a few years ago when I was frustrated trying to find great picture books and Every Single Book on the list was not there! I also offer you my daughter, PickyKidPix’s, very popular post on the chapter books she read as a 3rd grader. Her post outranks me on Google which is a source of endless checking and amusement for her.

What are your reading with your kids? Any favorites from this list? Please share!

The rest of the lists are here:

Rising Kindergarten Summer Reading List

Rising First Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Third Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fourth Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fifth Grade Summer Reading List

 

Rising 2nd Grade Summer Reading List

The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder by Tony Abbott

Long-time friends and fellow sleuths Jeff Bunter, Brian Rooney, Mara Lubin, and Kelly Smitts, collectively known as the Goofballs, investigate the disappearance of Thunder the pony in their town of Badger Point.

Read more…

3rd grade summer reading list, 4th grade reading list, 4th grade summer reading list

Rising 3rd Grade Summer Reading List

This great summer reading list for Going Into 4th Grade is from my library. It’s a collaboration between the Newton Public School Library Teachers & the Newton Free Children’s Librarians. PickyKidPix also has a great list of chapter books she read at this same age, when she was assigned five books to read during the summer before going into 4th grade.

Other lists here:

Rising Kindergarten Summer Reading List

Rising First Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Second Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fourth Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fifth Grade Summer Reading List

 

Going Into 4th Grade Summer Reading List

Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer
A boy, a dog, and an old man are lonely before the boy plans a rally, the dog looks for a boy, and all the townspeople run to the old man’s aid when lightning strikes his home and something miraculous happens.

Read more…

Predicting 2014 Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Winners

I should title this post: Books I Am Forced to Buy But That’s OK Because It Will Be My Kids’ Summer Reading

I used these great sources to search for books that might win awards next year but also that I think my kids would like.

  • My son, a rising 3rd grader like humor, math-y and science-y stories, and well written stores.
  • PickyKidPix, a rising 6th grader likes Newbery quality realistic fiction. Extra points for special needs characters. She also prefers a strong girl character.
  • Grasshopper and Sensei will be entering 8th grade. She like action adventure, realistic fiction and YA that revolves around teen relationships.

Fuse #8 Productions Predictions

Goodreads 2014 Newbery Predictions

Reading Learning Teaching

Goodreads 2014 Caldecott Predictions

Goodreads 2014 Printz Predictions

 

Newbery 2104 Predictions

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug.  That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

This seems to be a frontrunner for the 2014 Newbery and it sounds perfect for PickyKidPix. I love the cover too.

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American Revolution chapter books for kids

10 Great American Revolution Chapter Books

To accompany our field trip on the Boston Freedom Trail, I’ve found 10 great American Revolution chapter books for different ages and, more importantly, from different perspectives including silversmith apprentice, Tory loyalist, runaway slave, Native American and even King George.

History is written by the victor. Can you imagine what life must have been like during this tumultous period of the birth of the United States? If you read all ten books, you might feel like you were there! These books support the 5th grade Common Core Curriculum unit for the American Revolution.

What are your favorite American Revolution books for kids? Please share! Let’s build this list together!

 

American Revolution Chapter Books From Different Perspectives

10. Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes

I don’t know if kids read this chapter book anymore but it was one of my favorite books as a child. Johnny Tremain is fourteen and apprenticed to a silversmith and I always pictured that this is what it must have been like to work for Paul Revere. Johnny has a terrible accident and his hand is horribly burned by molten silver destroying his dreams of becoming a master silversmith.

A depressed Johnny finds work as a dispatch rider for the Committee of Public Safety, a job that brings him in touch with Boston patriots—and the excitement that will lead to the Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

9. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

A family divided by war. Tim Meeker has always looked up to his brother Sam, who has now joined the American Revolution. His parents support King George. Tim will have to make a choice — between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father. [young adult, ages 12 and up]

8. Moon of Two Dark Horses by Sally M. Keehn

The Revolutionary War from the Native Indian perspective:

Coshmoo and Daniel have been best friends as long as the Delaware Indians and white settlers have lived peacefully along the Susquehanna River. But now the river is red with blood as people from both sides are killed in the Revolutionary War. The British king wants Coshmoo’s people to fight on his side, and holds out the promise that their land, which has been taken by the settlers, will be returned to them. As the tension grows, Coshmoo and Daniel vow-as they have so many times-to remain loyal friends, no matter what happens. Then, one day, their friendship comes up against the ultimate test. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]

Read more…

Boston Freedom Trail, The Freedom Trail

Lessons From The Boston Freedom Trail

Can you believe that I have not chaperoned a field trip for PickyKidPix since she was in Kindergarten?! And now she is about to graduate from 5th grade to start Middle School!

I had two choices, The Museum of Fine Arts and The Freedom Trail so I asked my daughter to choose and she asked me to come on The Freedom Trail. I had not been on The Freedom Trail myself in over 12 years since we moved to Boston!

 

A History Lesson from The Freedom Trail

We met at Faneuil Hall, the cradle of liberty, where I discovered that this was a guided tour.  This is Bob Miller, our tour guide, from Lessons on Liberty: Boston Freedom Trail walking tours with an 18th century living historian.

The Boston Freedom Trail, The Freedom Trail, Freedom Trail Boston, Paul Revere BostonRead more…