Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's Election Time: Grace for President

Election day is near and what better time to read Grace for President! Grace realizes that there has never been a female president, Grace begins her political career in a classroom election that helps students understand the process of the election and voting. There are some details that may be too much for very young children but older students will be able to understand how an election works. It's a perfect read for this time of year!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book of the Month: Jacob O'Reilly Wants a Pet by Lynne Rickards

I often spend time in my local library or book store where I am surrounded by mountains of good selections. But what gets me most excited is when I find a treasure in an unexpected place. I took a trip to my local Ollie's Bargain Outlet to get some things to redecorate the bedroom. Every time I go to Ollie's, I peek at the children's books. Usually I will see a few familiar classics, a lot of cool activity books, some mediocre stories, and every now and again I find a pretty cool gem like Jacob O'Reilly Wants a Pet. I've had the book for a little more than a week and I've already read it to my niece 5 times! Trust me, you won't be disappointed if you add this one to your library.

So, Jacob really wants a pet: "He asked for a dog but Dad didn't want fleas. He tried for a cat, but the fur made Mom sneeze. He went through a list of small rodents for sale, but the very idea turned Mom and Dad pale." Finally, he starts a pet sitting business and ends up with  four dogs, five hamsters, six cats, one mouse, a python, two donkeys, five sheep , one horse, rabbits, hares, and zebra. You will be surprised at the pet Jacob finally chooses in the end!

Related Activities:
  • In the book Jake refers to some animals that may not make good pets (like a walrus and an emu). Make a list of animals and discuss why they would (or would not) make a good pet. Draw some funny pictures of how it would be to take care of some pets (like a walrus in the bathtub!).
  • Make a graph similar to this one  and talk about the number and types of pets the students have.
  • Visit a local veterinarian's office.
  • Have children bring in photos of their pets and make a class collage.
  • Paint pet rocks.
  • Sort pets by herbivores and carnivores.

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