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Multimedia Bibliography – Titanic

Introduction

I compiled this bibliographic resource for use by educators, particularly middle grade teachers and school librarians, who wish to present students with an instructional unit on the historical aspects of the Titanic sinking of 1912. The materials selected for this bibliography are suitable for middle grade students (grades 3-6). However, certain materials listed are also acceptable for students as young as the second grade, including the picture books Polar the Titanic Bear and Titanicat. I opted to include these picture books to accommodate younger readers or readers with low reading comprehension skills.

In compiling these resources, I visited several branches of the Austin Public Library to peruse their collections of juvenile materials relating to the Titanic. I also consulted the School Library Journal, which offers reviews of several seminal children’s works about the Titanic sinking. Ultimately, I selected five books which provide insight into varying aspects of the Titanic’s history. A school librarian could use these five books to create a Titanic display for students at a variety of reading levels who are interested in learning more about the Titanic, whetherfor a report, for pleasure, or for both.

Furthermore, I also utilized the internet to locate websites and videos which usefully underpin the books I selected. The “ALSC’s Great Websites for Kids” list provided me with one particularly useful website on the Titanic called “Titanic Destination…Cyberspace.” I also discovered that reputable websites like the History Channel website and the Discovery Channel website have digital content suitable for middle grade students and younger. Having personally visited several Titanic exhibits, I was also aware of several great community resources available for students in the state of Texas. I also chose to include potential field trips, realia, and games in this bibliography because of the value of immersive, experiential learning.

Books

Brewster, Hugh. Illustrated by Ken Marschall. Inside the Titanic (A Giant Cutaway Book). Little, Brown & Company, 1997.

Illustrated by one of the foremost Titanic authorities, this book realistically depicts the experiences of two children who sailed aboard the Titanic in 1912. Impressively sized and richly illustrated, this book will immerse even very young readers in the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. The “cutaway” nature of the book’s illustrations allows readers to “explore” the Titanic in a literal way. Readers can view the interior of each deck in vivid detail, from the first-class cabins to the steerage compartments. When presenting a unit on the Titanic, this resource will attract reluctant readers who are turned off by text-heavy books.

Crisp, Marty. Titanticat. Illustrated by Robert Papp. Sleeping Bear Press, 2011.

Jim Mulholland is a cabin boy aboard the Titanic. As the ship prepares for its maiden voyage, Jim is tasked with taking care of the ship’s cat, whom he dubs 401. What follows is a fictionalized version of true events, providing a lighthearted perspective on a usually somber subject. Young readers will delight in this beautifully-illustrated picture book and the whimsical, slightly mysterious story it tells. Rendered in oil on canvas, the cover of this book will add visual appeal to any displays created about the Titanic.

Kentley, Eric. Illustrated by Steven Noon. Story of the Titanic. DK, 2012.

This beautifully-illustrated book tells the story of the Titanic from start to finish. Beginning with the construction of the Titanic in Belfast and concluding with the inevitable legal inquiry which followed her sinking, no detail is spared in describing this important historical event. In addition to key facts, Noon’s artwork includes highly-detailed illustrations, cutaway views, archival and photos. As an oversized book, Story of the Titanic provides more visual detail than the average Titanic book aimed at children, making it an essential addition to any library or classroom collection. Read more…

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“Famous Americans” Multimedia Bibliography

By Sarah Traugott

This is a multi-media bibliography for elementary school social studies teachers.

The concept behind this bibliography project is to provide interesting electronic and written resources for an elementary school classroom that may be investigating “famous” Americans as a part of their curricular studies.  The Texas Essential Knowledge (TEKS) for social studies at this level expresses the goals for this unit as follows:

1.1 The student understands how historical figures helped to shape our community, state, and nation. The student is expected to:

(A)  identify contributions of historical figures such as Sam Houston and Abraham Lincoln who have influenced the community, state, and nation;
(B)  identify historic figures such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison who have exhibited a love of individualism and inventiveness; and
(C)  compare the similarities and differences among the lives and activities of historical figures who have influenced the community, state, and nation.

Therefore, in an effort to provide academically appropriate and relevant information, I reviewed several links to websites that discuss various points in our nations history.  I have decided to categorize my findings into six sub-headings on Texas History, Women’s History and Black History, Colonial History, World History, and US Political and Presidential History.

Texas History

Texas Beyond History—http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/

Created by the Texas State Archeology Department and the Department of Anthropology at the Texas State University, this site is dedicated to interpreting and sharing the results of archeological and historical research on the cultural heritage of Texas with the citizens of Texas and the world.  They imagine themselves as an on line museum with six special exhibits to express the story of Texas from its very early beginnings.  The site also provides lesson plans for teachers as well as a games and learning page for students.

Texas State Capitol—http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/tspb.htm

While the State Capitol is a favorite destination for all Texas students at some point in their school career, it is also an interesting and informative on line destination.  The website offers a great deal of information on the history of the Capitol as well as an on line virtual tour, an on line gallery and links to historic documents that not only discuss the history of Texas, but provide visual evidence of the actors in that history.

Texas Independence–http://www.txindependence.org/

This visually appealing and historically specific website offers a good deal of detail on Texas history at the time of the battle for Texas independence.  It specifically addresses the role of Washington on the Brazos as the birthplace of Texas democracy.  But it includes the timeline of independence, a movie about Texas independence, links to primary source documents, teacher resources, and a 3-D game about the revolution. Read more…

Families Text Set (Multimedia Bibliography)

Multimedia Bibliography: Families

by Angela Barratt

Introduction

I set out to create a bibliography for kids to learn about different types of families.  I soon found, however, that aside from picture books there is precious little out there (and even some picture book topics could use expansion).  I hope someday to see better resources for kids (and maybe even help create them?) but for now I have created a guide for adults (parents, teachers, librarians, etc.) to use when teaching children about families.  The bibliography is divided by family type; so if, for example, you are doing a week on adoption you could simply reference that section.  I have tried to be inclusive but it is sometimes difficult to define family types and there is not always good information about them.  The sections I have created are: General Family Diversity, Adoptive/Foster Families, Same-sex Parent Families,  Grandparents as Guardians, and Single Parents, Divorced and Blended Families.  The Web Intro of each section introduces the topic for the adult, while the other resources can be moderated by the adult for use with children.  The resources for kids are most appropriate for grades 1-5, though certain listings may not appeal to the oldest or youngest.

General Family Diversity

Web Intro

Provides an overview of many types of families, including statistics.

Discusses different forms families may take and makes suggestions as to how to talk to kids about them.  While aimed at parents, this is a very useful tool for educators as well.  Presents activities that could be done in the classroom or library.

Coloring Pages

  • Willhoite, Michael. 1991. Families: a coloring book. Boston, Mass: Alyson Wonderland.

There do not seem to exist coloring pages about diverse families online, but this somewhat elusive picture book seems like a great alternative.   It depicts traditional, modern, multi-generational and multi-cultural families as well as same-gender parents.  It was ahead of its time, and I am guessing that’s why it went out of print.  It is still available online through used book retailers for less than $10; my suggestion would be to make copies of the pages for use in the classroom or library.

Picture Books

  • Parr, Todd. 2003. The family book. New York: Little, Brown.

Brightly colored illustrations celebrates the fact that “there are lots of different ways to be a family.”  Depicts families with variations in size, color, parents (gender and number), noise level, eating habits and more but emphasizes that all are families and they still have a lot in common.

  • Moulton, Mark Kimball, and Karen Hillard Couch. 2000. One enchanted evening. Delafield, WI: Lang Books.

Queen Spider and Sir Fieldmouse fall in love at the Annual Midsummer Eve Dance.  The rhyming verse and charming illustrations ask: “why question the happiness true love doth bring?” This is not specifically about one of the types of families, but it does emphasize that love can surprise you and that real love can exist between very different people.

Song

  • Rule, Jim. 1994. “A family is what you make it” in Share this world. Lake Forest, CA: PNO Tuna.

Rule’s song celebrates family differences, stating that he used to believe a family was the stereotypical mom, dad and 2.3 kids but now realizes that that is not the only kind of family.  The album was well reviewed in SLJ: “add this one to your collection.”  Unfortunately unavailable through youtube or other free sites, but available for purchase as CD or digital download on Songs for Teaching website.

Video

• Chasnoff, Debra, Ariella J. Ben-Dov, and Fawn Yacker. 2000. That’s a family! San Francisco, Calif: Women’s Educational Media.

Kids talk about their families in this 35-minute documentary.  Stories include single-parent, mixed race, grandparent guardian and adoptive families as well as same-gender parents and divorced parents.  The online trailer would be great in class as well.  DVD available for purchase as institutional or individual; institutional comes with licenses, discussion and teaching guide.

Web Resource

• Nemours. “Feelings.” KidsHealth. Last modified 2011.

The “My Home and Family” section contains articles like “Living with a Single Parent,” “Living with Grandparents,” “Living with Stepparents,” “Being Adopted” and “Foster Families.” Not an exhaustive resource (contains nothing about same-sex parents), but very informative and reviewed by medical doctors and PhDs.  The articles are written so that any kid could read them, and provide an understanding overview of the topics. Read more…

Multicultural Literacy Text Set

This collection of resources focuses on introducing and discussing American culture as a diversity of many different cultures. Its primary audience is literacy teachers who want some resources to explore multiculturalism in their classroom. My goal is go beyond thinking of multiculturalism as something we talk about during a holiday, month or festival but as the norm thereby reflecting the reality of our country. While most resources are primarily literature about different cultures or from individuals in different cultures, there are also resources that focus on issues of multiculturalism and encourage students to explore their own position within the cultures they belong to. This is by no means a complete list but is a beginning.

Books

Walter Dean Myers. We Are America. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. HarperCollins, 2011.

Just as the subtitle indicates, this is a book from the heart. Walter Dean Myers in a video expressed that he wished this book would help people feel ownership and connection by making up America. His theme is together we make America. He includes several individual voices ranging from Native Americans to artists. He includes quotes from famous Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life. This is a great book to introduce multi-culturalism at any grade level due to its vivid pictures and sincere, powerful choice of words.
Alexie, Sherman . The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009.

Already an esteemed Native American author, this is Alexie’s first book for Young Adults. Based on his own experiences of growing up on the Spokane reservation then going to an all-white school, the narrative is wry, hilarious and heartbreaking. Alexie’s own illustrations add to the overall feeling of the book of a kid trying to figure these out for himself. This is a theme any kid could relate to and indeed Alexie’s narrative sounds very much kid-like. Yet this is also a perspective of growing up in America that ironically is not as well-known even in minority literature. Native American literature is usually limited to historical fiction or romantic narratives of pastoral people. While Native Americans have been in this land longer than anyone else, they feel as much strangers in America as do people from different countries. Honest, blunt and moving this is a great book but not for young readers.

Dillon, Leo and Diane. Jazz on a Saturday Night. The Blue Sky Press, 2007.

The whole book has the rhythm of jazz from the smooth, lyrical words to the gorgeous, thoughtful illustrations. It is clear that this is more than a simple picture book to entertain a child. This is a powerhouse tribute to a genre and a culture. Through the words and illustrations the reader is caught up in this imaginary event where great jazz musicians share the stage for a Saturday night audience. While the even might be fictional, it registers more as metaphorical of a golden age in the history of African Americans. This book reminds the reader of the beauty, grace and power of the jazz and the African American culture which has so heavily influenced American culture at large.
Park, Linda Sue. Project Mulberry. Clarion Books, 2005.

Julia is a Korean American girl attempting to find her place between two worlds. Korea, the native country of her parents, and her homeland, America. At many times these two worlds seem to compete against each other, but the real question is how much does Julia allow them to within herself. Many second generation Americans find themselves in Julia’s shoes. They cannot erase the culture of their parents but do not necessarily feel at ease in American culture. This is a great book to read to help students who may or may not be in Julia’s position to work through the issues of what it means to be American.
Conkling, Winifred. Sylvia and Aki. Tricycle Press, 2011. Winner of the Tomas Rivera Award, Sylvia and Aki tell the story of an unlikely but true friendship between a young Hispanic girl and a Japanese-American girl. Both face huge dilemmas presented to them the racism of their time. Sylvia is refused admittance to a regular school and must go to “Mexican” school. Aki is forced from her home to live in an internment camp. Despite these difficulties, the two girls find courage to face their problems and overcome the effects of racism. The whole book is told alternating between each girl. This book helps readers face the less noble side of America and yet simultaneously give hope to change. Read more…

Multi-media bibliography on The Great Depression

The purpose of this project is to compile a bibliography of materials related to the Great Depression, including the New Deal and the Dust Bowl. I believe that history is best taught by utilizing a variety of media, including print, film, and audio, including fiction and non-fiction elements. Elementary and middle school history teachers would benefit the most from this collection, as the intended audience is ten to twelve year olds. However, I also believe a public library could use this collection as it would help students with research projects or those simply interested in history. It was difficult to find material on this subject that was directed toward the specified age group, so teachers should be advised to review all content before using it in the classroom, as each teacher and school will have their own standards by which to judge the appropriateness of the content.

Fiction books:

Moss, Marissa. Rose’s Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Great Depression. San Diego: Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2001. Print.

Though Rose is a fictional character, Moss creates a highly educational and factual book about the Great Depression centered on her. Written in journal form and packed with photographs, doodles, and comics, this book easily captures young readers attentions. Rose’s Journal is filled with pop culture and contemporary news, as well as a realistic account of rural farm life.

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997. Print.

When Billie Jo was born, her father hoped for a boy. When he realized she was a girl, he took little notice of her. She eventually wins over his affections by helping with the farming and daily work. When her mother becomes pregnant again, they all wish for a boy to fill the family. However, when the drought strikes and the earth dries up, Billie Jo must learn how to cope with tragedy. Written in beautiful free-verse form, Hesse has created a sad, but realistic view of life during the Dust Bowl.

Non-Fiction Books:

Freedman, Russell. Children of the Great Depression. New York: Clarion Books, 2005. Print.

“His prose is straightforward and easily comprehensible, making sense of even the complexities of the stock-market crash. The use of primary sources is outstanding. This is a book told by chorus, featuring the voices of those who endured the Depression, and is embellished with black-and-white photos by such luminaries as Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Walker Evans, and Russell Lee. Eight chapters cover the causes of the Great Depression, schooling, work life, migrant work, the lives of children who rode the rails, entertainment, and the economic resurgence of the early ’40s.” – School Library Journal

Nardo, Don. Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression. Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books, 2011. Print.

“Occasionally, a single photograph becomes the emblematic image that defines an era, and this quality series tells the stories of four of those iconic pictures. Each book places its subject photo in historical context, profiles the photographer, describes the conditions under which it was taken, and analyzes both its immediate and its continuing impact. The texts include ample background information and details and are enhanced by large photos and sidebars. These books will help students understand the influence of the individual images and the eras they epitomize, making them strong choices.” – School Library Journal

Marrin, Albert. Years of dust: the story of the Dust Bowl. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2009. Print.

An overview of the Dust Bowl, starting with the history of the great plains and covering the events leading up to the dust storms. Plentiful pictures, sidebars, and maps help grab readers’ attentions. Read more…

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