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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…

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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…

“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…

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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