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Multimedia Bibliography: Ecosystems

Purpose and Scope
This bibliography is intended to serve as a resource for elementary school teachers or librarians working with a student population between fourth and fifth grade.  The expected age of children should range from approximately nine to eleven years old.

In Texas, teachers follow the Texas Administrative Code which specifies knowledge and skills to be taught as part of the curriculum. Beginning in the 4th grade, students are expected to learn about ecosystems as part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills(TEKS).

According to TAC Chapter 112, the  TEKS dealing with ecosystems in the fourth grade are as follows:

(9)  Organisms and environments. The student knows and understands that living organisms within an ecosystem interact with one another and with their environment. The student is expected to:
(A)  investigate that most producers need sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to make their own food, while consumers are dependent on other organisms for food; and
(B)  describe the flow of energy through food webs, beginning with the Sun, and predict how changes in the ecosystem affect the food web such as a fire in a forest.

The TEKS in TAC Chapter 112 states fifth grade students will learn the following about ecosystems:

(9)  Organisms and environments. The student knows that there are relationships, systems, and cycles within environments. The student is expected to:
(A)  observe the way organisms live and survive in their ecosystem by interacting with the living and non-living elements;
(B)  describe how the flow of energy derived from the Sun, used by producers to create their own food, is transferred through a food chain and food web to consumers and decomposers;
(C)  predict the effects of changes in ecosystems caused by living organisms, including humans, such as the overpopulation of grazers or the building of highways; and
(D)  identify the significance of the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle to the survival of plants and animals.

The materials discussed in this bibliography address the TEKS as well as other relevant material useful for creating a holistic understanding of an ecosystem, and are organized first by media type and then alphabetically within the type divisions. Where possible, annotations include information on how well each item meets the criteria of factual accuracy, elimination of stereotypes, concept clarifying illustrations, encouragement of analytical thinking, clear organization, and interest stimulating style. Read more…

Multimedia Bibliography – Bullying Resources

 by Mary Jane McClendon

Bullying is one of the hardest realities students face. According to a 2011 report issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center of Institutional Statistics, around 28 percent of 12 to 18 year old students reported being bullied at school during the 2009 school year, while 6 percent reported being cyberbullied. Undoubtedly, many more instances go unreported. The purpose of this project is to identify and annotate resources for children and teens who experience bullying, as well as both students and adults who want to ensure a safe, comfortable learning environment for all students. Originally, I intended the bibliography to be dedicated to students, perhaps as a reference that a school librarian or counselor might offer students in need.  However, the further I explored the materials, the more I realized the value of a collective approach to addressing bullying, and that young people are not the only ones who need guidance. In the end, I included organizations and websites that adults would find helpful as well. Because bullying is ubiquitous across age groups, rather than limiting the selection of bullying resources in this bibliography, I have included resources that are appropriate for a range of ages. This list of multimedia resources is intended for elementary, middle school, and high school students, as well as for teachers, parents, and other educational professionals who take part in providing a safe, comfortable learning environment. For each item, I have indicated the age groups appropriate to the resource.

The scope includes websites, organizations, videos, and printed materials related to various types of bullying, including verbal, physical, gender, racial, and bullying associated with sexual orientation. While children may not be dealing with their own sexual identification during early childhood, it is important to remember that they may have parents or siblings that are experiencing issues with sexual orientation and/or bullying.  Cyberbullying is another aspect of bullying addressed by some of these resources. To select materials for this bibliography, I began exploring government and educational websites, as well as review sources such as the American Library Association’s Booklist and School Library Journal.  The ALA’s website offered several lists of recommended bullying resources, including the GLBT Round Table’s “Speaking OUT Against Bullying” list and Helen Foster James’ “Bullies and Bullying” list, which, in addition to professional resources and websites, identifies novels for both younger and older readers that address bullying in their themes. While this is by no means an exhaustive bibliography, I have selected materials which I believe to be relevant, well reviewed, and interesting to both children struggling with bullying and the adults who care about them. Read more…

Elementary Visual Arts Curriculum Text Set

Prepared by Melissa Mote for Dr. Barbara Immroth’s INF 382E

Statement of Purpose

 The purpose of this collection is to provide resources for elementary educators, art teachers or otherwise, who want to include visual art in the curriculum. An arts-rich curriculum supports creativity in learning and shapes interdisciplinary thinkers. The Texas Fine Art TEKS for Elementary School learners (available at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter117/ch117a.html) include four strands: perception, creative expression/performance, historical and cultural heritage, and critical evaluation. The following resources take many formats, but all support these four strands by providing ideas for educators and resources for art appreciation, offering children insight into the minds and lives of great artists, and encouraging creative play. Some of the resources listed below are intended for use by educators before entering the classroom, while others are suitable for using directly with an elementary audience.


Heine, Florian. 13 Art Inventions Children Should Know. Munich: Prestel, 2011.

“From the use of perspective to the invention of the paint tube, 13 examples of some of the most important breakthroughs in artistic technology offers kids an exciting new perspective on the world of art. This new volume in the highly successful “13” series uses colorful reproductions, glossaries, and a timeline to explore milestones in the history of art. Kids will learn about important innovations in art while they discover answers to questions such as: Why was oil painting invented? What were the subjects of the first photographs? How do you depict the world on a flat canvas? Filled with accessible, fascinating facts as well as creative suggestions for independent art projects, this unique introduction to art history shows young readers how art is made as well as how to enjoy it.”

Description from Amazon, available at http://www.amazon.com/Art-Inventions-Children-Should-Know/dp/379137060X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354055137&sr=8-1&keywords=13+art+inventions+children+should+know

TEKS: Perception, Historical and Cultural Heritage, Creative Expression

Intended Audience: children

Kneightley, Moy. Investigating Art: A Practical Guide for Young People. London: Elek, 1976.

Kneightley lays the foundation for this all-inclusive volume by teaching children to “think visually” by identifying the elements of line, color, pattern, texture, and shape that define artistic expression. The book offers children an extremely thorough knowledge base, encouraging them to become both critical visual thinkers and artists themselves. Each artistic principle is supported by an art project, each of which can be executed by children without much adult intervention and makes use of common household and classroom items.  A range of disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture are addressed.

TEKS: Perception, Critical Evaluation, Creative Expression

Intended Audience: children and educators (for project ideas)

Kohl, MaryAnn F. Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters. Bellingham, WA: Bright Ring, 1997.

“Featuring more than 150 activities, this guide teaches the styles, works, and techniques of the great masters—Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and more.”

Description from Amazon, available at http://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Great-Artists-Hands–Children/dp/0935607099/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354055274&sr=1-1&keywords=discovering+great+artists

TEKS: Cultural and Historical Heritage, Creative Expression

Intended Audience: children and educators (for project ideas) Read more…

Greek Mythology: A Multimedia Bibliography

This bibliography is designed for 4th or 5th grade teachers who wish to teach a lesson or a unit on Greek Mythology. I reviewed items from ALSC’s list of Great Websites for Kids, and also used general search techniques to find a number of resources from museums, universities, and trusted publications like National Geographic.


Riordan, Rick. “Episode for Families: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” Interview by Sean Hemingway. MetMuseum. Web. http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/audio/kids/068-episode-for-families-percy-jackson–the-olympians-the-lightning-thief-at-the-met

This podcast is a recording of Sean Hemingway, an Associate Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of art, interviewing Rick Riordan, the author of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. The interview covers Riordan’s interest in Greek mythology and the how his readings of Greek mythology affected his books. The podcast is both informational and entertaining, and gives listeners a chance to connect to a popular YA novelist as well as learn about how Greek mythology can be seen and understood in our modern lives.


ODYSSEY Online. Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art. Web. http://carlos.emory.edu/ODYSSEY/GREECE/home.html

This interactive website allows users to explore many different ancient cultures. Of particular interest to this bibliography is the sites section on ancient Greece and Greek mythology. This section of the site allows users to interact with Greek myths, Gods and Goddesses and teaches users about the concept of myths and their importance to ancient Greek society. The site uses visuals like constellations and photos of statuary to represent the Gods and Goddesses, which helps users to connect mythology to art and astronomy.

Windows 2 the Universe. National Earth Sciences Teachers Association. Web. http://www.windows2universe.org/

This website allows users to explore many aspects of our planet and and solar system. Included in this broad scope is information on myth and mythology, especially in terms of myths about the planet or natural phenomenons. Read more…

Volunteering and Philanthropy

Multimedia Bibliography on Volunteering and Philanthropy

While many children’s fiction books feature philanthropy as a theme, non-fiction materials are more difficult to find. Much of the non-fiction focuses on the environment, so this bibliography should help teachers and caregivers develop a more well-rounded selection when teaching about philanthropy. These items are suitable for a range of ages, from 3 to 12, as noted below. I used library catalogs, WorldCat.org, audible.com, and A to Zoo by Caroline Lima to find these items.

Phone and Tablet Apps

Bee Kind. Available from the Apple App Store. Free version.
A cartoon bumblebee teaches you to be kind to yourself and to others. Spin a wheel to generate ideas for good deeds. This creates an interactive To Do List that allows you to check off tasks and add your own. This is a very simple app that has a bright kid-friendly interface. Some tasks may be better suited for parents like “Give money to a charity,” but it works well overall for ages 6 and up.

Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty. By Lisa Dunn-Dern. Illustrated by Andrea Yomtub. E-book app available from the Apple App Store. $0.99.
With charming watercolor illustrations, this interactive e-book demonstrates the power of service. The little girl tells us that even the family pet has a job to do: he is a therapy dog. Readers are introduced to the idea that everyone has talents to share, and one important talent of dogs is their therapeutic presence. Features include read-to-me audio narrated by the pleasant voice of a young girl, auto play, and personalization of narration.

The Berenstain Bears Hurry to Help. Oceanhouse Media. Available from the Apple App Store. $3.99.
The Bear Scouts are earning their Good Deeds Merit Badge in this interactive e-book featuring Christian-oriented themes of philanthropy. The app features professional narration, background audio, and enlarged illustrations. Read to me, read it myself, and auto play.

Doing Good Deeds. Available from the Apple App Store. Written by Umm Ilhaam. $1.99.
Part of Darul Kitab’s Learn About Islam Series, this e-book app for the iPad introduces young children to a variety of good deeds that are in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah. Engaging narration accompanies beautiful illustrations.

Mitzvah Hunt. Available from the Apple App Store. Free.
This game app for the iPad features Jewish-oriented philanthropic lessons. Learn to observe the good rather than the bad by tracking the good deeds of others.


Franklin. / Franklin helps out
Author: Paulette Bourgeois; Brenda Clark; Nelvana (Firm); Family Channel (U.S.); Canadian Television Fund.; All authors
Publisher: [Toronto, Ont.] : Visual Education Centre Ltd., [2009]
Edition/Format: eVideo : Animation : Juvenile audience : English
Summary from WorldCat.org:
Mr. Owl sends his class out into the community to learn first hand, the benefits of volunteer work. By day’s end, Franklin has found jobs for everyone except himself and feels he hasn’t accomplished his goal.

Two Bobbies : a true story of Hurricane Katrina, friendship, and survival
Author: Kirby Larson; Mary Nethery; Jean Cassels; Nutmeg Media (Firm)
Publisher: [S.l.] : Nutmeg Media, [2010]
Edition/Format: DVD video : Juvenile audience : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary from WorldCat.org:
Based on a true story, Two Bobbies takes place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when many pets were lost or abandoned. A dog and cat wander together through the devastated city and miraculously survive hunger, floods and other dangers. When they are finally taken to an animal shelter, the volunteers discover that the cat is blind and could not have survived without the dog’s help. Although their owner or owners are never found, the two friends, re-named Bob Cat and Bobbi, find a new home and a happy ending to their ordeal. The story includes an authors’ note and a photograph of the real Bob Cat and Bobbi. Includes a conversation with the authors.

We all contribute & make a difference
Author: Noon E. Productions.; Clearvue & SVE, Inc.
Publisher: [United States] : Clearvue & SVE, [2007], ©2003.
Series: Government & citizenship collection.
Edition/Format: DVD video : Juvenile audience : English
Summary from WorldCat.org:
Illustrates the ways we all can make differences in others’ lives and in our country, and stresses the importance of participating, volunteering, and leading.

Winnie the Pooh: Helping Others. 1988. VHS Video. Also available in four parts on YouTube.
Four classic episodes of the 1990s television series are brought together in this compilation that features the theme of helping friends. The friends help Owl learn to sing, Piglet learn that his small size doesn’t make him any less important, etc. Read more…

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