Ms. Moore reads dozens of new nonfiction picture books each year, and chooses about 10 to share with grade 2 during second trimester. While she reads, the students take notes on a graphic organizer that matches the text's structure: For 2023, these were description, problem/solution, and sequence.
After each readaloud, the students discuss what they liked, what they didn't like, and whether the book should remain in the running. We are focusing on the "Delight" factor of the "Three Ds" developed by Melody Allen (and shared with me by colleague Steph Mills): can the reader tell that the author is passionate about the subject? is the book written in a lively, engaging style? are explanations clear? We also discuss one of the "Design" factor questions: do the graphics/illustrations help further explain the facts?
In February, they cast ballots for the winner and we compare ours to the American Library Association Sibert Award winner.
All book summaries courtesy of Goodreads.
Pizza! - Written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Do YOU like PIZZA? Because right now, somewhere in the world, someone is eating it. Did you know that in the United States we eat 350 slices of pizza every second? Or that in Sweden they serve pizza with bananas and peanuts? All over the world, people love pizza--but where did it come from? And who made the first pizza?
Blue - Written by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, illustrated by Daniel Minter
For centuries, blue powders and dyes were some of the most sought-after materials in the world. Ancient Afghan painters ground mass quantities of sapphire rocks to use for their paints, while snails were harvested in Eurasia for the tiny amounts of blue that their bodies would release.
And then there was indigo, which was so valuable that American plantations grew it as a cash crop on the backs of African slaves. It wasn't until 1905, when Adolf von Baeyer created a chemical blue dye, that blue could be used for anything and everything--most notably that uniform of workers everywhere, blue jeans. horse.
Blips on a Screen: How Ralph Baer Invented TV Video Gaming and Launched a Worldwide Obsession - Written by Kate Hannigan, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
Do you ever wonder how video gaming was invented? What came before your PlayStation or Xbox? This is the story of Ralph Baer, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who used his skills--and a lot of ingenuity and persistence--to make life a little more fun. Television was new when Ralph returned from serving in World War II, but he didn't settle for watching TV. He knew it could be even more fun if you could play with it. He tinkered and tested, got help and rejected, but with perseverance and skill, he made his vision come true!
The Animal Toolkit - Written by Steve Jenkins, illustrated by Robin Page
Did you know animals can use tools? Until 1960, when Jane Goodall observed a chimpanzee using a blade of grass to “fish” for termites, it was believed that humans were the only animal to use tools. Since her discovery, we’ve learned that many creatures use sticks, leaves, rocks, and other natural items as tools.
In this book, readers learn all about what makes a tool a tool—and the remarkable ways animals that use them to interact with our world. From the tailorbird, which repurposes spider silk to stitch a leaf into its nest, to the gorilla, which uses sticks to test water depth and build bridges, these animals are intelligent, innovative, and creative.
Harriet's Ruffled Feathers - Written by Joy McCollough, illustrated by Romina Galotta
Harriet Lawrence Hemenway loved hats. She loved them with ribbons and flowers, embroidery and pearls. And feathers! What was better than a hat with grand, glorious feathers? But then Harriet discovered that millions of birds died so that she and her friends could soar at the height of style. A passion for fashion was one thing, but this was feather-brained!
So Harriet led the charge to take feathers out of fashion, getting laws passed that made it illegal to buy or sell wild bird feathers. In 1896, she and her fellow bird protectors founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society, which grew into a national organization that still protects birds today!
The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan - Written by Kristen Mai Giang, illustrated by Alina Chau
Pow! Bam! Wow! Jackie Chan has been making movies and amazing audiences with his original and comedic stunts for decades.
Pow! Bam! Ow! But before he was an international star, Jackie grew up in relative poverty in China, studied martial arts at the grueling China Drama Academy, and worked for years trying to find his way in film.
Pow! Bam! How? Twist, tumble, and train alongside martial arts hero Jackie Chan in this picture book biography. Discover how Jackie used his goofball acrobatics to make a name and a style all his own.
Up Your Nose - Written by Seth Fishman, illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
Did you know that there are quadrillions of germs in the world? And that hundreds of billions of germs may be in the room around you--and inside you as well?
Acclaimed creators Seth Fishman and Isabel Greenberg explore the five main types of germs--bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, and helminths--and the human immune system that protects us from them.
Fighting for Yes! The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann - Written by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger
From a very young age, Judy Heumann heard the word NO. When she wanted to attend public school, the principal said, "NO." When she wanted her teaching license, the New York Board of Education said, "NO." Judy and people with disabilities everywhere were tired of hearing “NO.”
In the 1970s an important disability rights law, Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was waiting to be signed. Judy and other disability rights activists fought for “YES!” They held a sit-in until Section 504 was signed into law. Section 504 laid the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was established thanks in large part to the ongoing work of Judy and her community.
AASL: I.B.3 - Generating products that illustrate learning; II.B.1 - Interacting with learners who reflect a range of perspectives; II.C.1 - Learners exhibit empathy with and tolerance for diverse ideas by: 1. Engaging in informed conversation and active debate. 2. Contributing to discussions in which multiple viewpoints on a topic are expressed.; III.B - Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks; III.D.1 - Actively contributing to group discussions; V.A.1 - Reading widely and deeply in multiple formats and write and create for a variety of purposes.
Common Core: SL.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1/2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups; SL.2 Ask and answer questions about/recount or describe key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media; RL.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text; RL.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events; W.1 Write opinion pieces in which they name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure
Rhode Island Cross-Curricular Proficiencies: Collaboration - Incorporate diverse perspectives to promote an exchange of ideas with reasoning and evidence; Communication - Organize information to communicate ideas and responses when using any mode of communication
Rhode Island School Library Curriculum Priority Skills: 1.1 - Shares what is known about the general topic; With help, finds facts and briefly summarizes them via writing, drawing, or verbalization to answer basic research questions; Develops own opinion about a topic with evidence to support the opinion; 2.1 - Participates in discussions about stories and other texts that have been read aloud; 3.2 - Participates in collaborative conversations with peers and adults to share ideas and information