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Friday, November 28, 2008

Usborne Book Holiday Sale!

Big Sale over at my Online Store!! Check it out!!

Click below to take a peek at this exciting sale!!

By-pass the traffic, long lines & stress and SAVE with big discounts!! Hurry- this great sale ends on December 1st!)

Happy Shopping and Reading!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Children's Book of Art

The Children's Book of Art by Rosie Dickins is a wonderful introduction to famous paintings! This book features over thirty of the "world's best known, best-loved pictures." I was a little surprised by the reaction of my daughters to this book. They loved the paintings, analyzing what they liked about each, and deciding and discussing their favorite works of art. They were using words such as "realistic" and "This one makes me think about..." Two of their favorite paintings are The Large Blue Horses by Franz Marc and Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Even with a teaching background, I sometimes underestimate the capability and possible interests of little ones. Now, I can't wait to take them to the art museum to explore real paintings!!
The Children's book of Art is also filled with numerous facts about artists and their lives. I didn't read all of the pages to my girls, but pointed out facts that I thought would be interesting. This book is recommended for ages 10 and up, but my girls enjoyed it immensely. I often use books that are recommended for older children if I think I can enrich my girls in some way with them, especially if the illustrations are eye-appealing.
Their are also internet links in the book for students to extend their learning and create their own art online. I will include a few activities that I think would supplement this great book.

Literature Links!!

1. Have your child explore different types of media or techniques, such as pastels, oil paints, watercolors, or tempera. Share works of art that have been created with the type of media you are featuring.

Mona Lisa
by Leonardo da Vinci: oil paints
The Snail by Henry Matisse: collage
Lavender Mist by Jackson Pollack: action art(splashing and dripping paint in energenic movements)

2. Create an art gallery in your child's room or play room to display framed art work.

3. Visit a local art gallery, showing, or museum.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How Big is a Million?

"A million is a very big number. But exactly how big? Pipkin the penguin wants to know just that. Come with me on a journey of discovery and you can see for yourself."

I fell in love with the book, How Big is a Million by Anna Milbourne and Serena Riglietti, right away. I just love the main character- Pipkin. He asks his mama some of the same questions that we hear as parents from our curious kids! Questions like- How wide is the sea? and Is the moon made of cheese? Besides the fact that I can't resist penguins and enjoy learning about them, this book is just too darn cute! The illustrations are very sweet. My four year old told me that her favorite part of the story is when Pipkin is searching for a million and meets up with a baby seal cub.

Another fun feature is a suprise envelope at the end of the story that reads: OPEN THE ENVELOPE TO SEE WHAT PIPKIN SAW. I had fun reading this story recently to about five children and they enjoyed getting a little surprise at the end! (poster)
I've done projects in the past with my students relating to penguins, so I thought that this would be a fun book to link to websites and other related activities!

Literature Links
Penguins Around the World
I highly recommend this site and can't wait to share it with my daughters! I used this site with my second graders to research penguins from different habitats. They were surprised to see that species of penguins actually lived in Africa or New Zealand. When they think of Penguins, the first thing that comes to mind is a cold habitat! So this was so much fun for them to discover and a great geography lesson, too. I used an interactive map- click here, to teach the kids where the different penguins lived around the world. They researched a penguin of their choice and created a PowerPoint presentation to share with other children.

How can I use this website with younger children??

1. Have your child select their favorite penguin. Create a little penguin booklet that answers simple research questions such as-

What is the name of your penguin?
Where does it live?
What does it eat?
Describe your penguin.

They can draw picutures or you can print out photos for them to glue.

2. Compare and contrast two penguins from two different habitats!!

Decision making, research, science, geography and more!!!!

Other fun links, activities, and resources for young children:

Itsy Bitsy Penguin Booklet

Penguin Songs and Poems

Lots and Lots of fun Penguin craft ideas- finger print penguins, puppets,and more!

This was so much fun to write. I can't wait to do a little penguin unit with the girls soon!!

Happy Reading!!


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