Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Reading: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Kinetic Learning Pairings

School’s out for summer! Many summer reading lists combine nonfiction and fiction reading recommendations. It was exciting to see Steve Sheinkin’s Bomb: The Race to Build, another INK contributor, on the list from my son’s English teacher.

Since summer’s here and it’s time to play, I thought that it would be fun to add other senses to the mix and a little play. A few years ago I taught a class at the Games for Education Conference at the Chicago Toy and Game fair. The class was titled Play and Creativity in the Classroom.  Here’s what I wrote about the class on the INK blog titled Play in Classroom with several nonfiction book recommendations. Why not add a little kinetic learning to the summer reading schedule?

A teacher friend is taking her children on an extended vacation to New England this summer. They are reading fiction and nonfiction books in preparation. When she mentioned that they were creating KWL charts to go along with the reading, I was curious. Many teachers reading this will know about KWL charts, but my friend explained, “It is a 3 column chart- list what they KNOW, list what the WANT to know, and then after reading list what they LEARNED. It is a great way to assess prior misconceptions as well as knowledge, see if they learned anything from their reading, and can be a basis for further research for unanswered questions.” Here’s a link that explains how to make KWLcharts.

Kind of wish I had made a KWL chart before our recent London and Paris trip. After we were back home, while recuperating from jetlag, I tried to remember what my preconceived impressions of Paris were. For example, my mind had a different vision of what Notre Dame was like. Being there right in front of Notre Dame was rather surreal.

Everywhere we went on our vacation, I would point out what we were seeing to my children. I think they became a little tired of me by the end of our trip. Last Christmas, I bought the family a puzzle of the London Underground and a puzzle of a map of Paris. I do this because of my childhood.  Growing up, we would go almost every other summer to Germany for a month to visit Oma. Most of what I remember was my little brother and I creating a dividing line in the back seat of my uncle’s Mercedes and constantly tapping my mom on the arm while she spoke in German to all my relatives. We went to some cool places, but I have no idea where I was, why the place was significant, or how it related to European history.  

Here’s a few nonfiction and fiction reading ideas for the summer with some added senses, kinetic learning, and play.
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steven Sheinkin
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
Modern Marvels - The Manhattan Project (History Channel)

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
King of the Mound - My Summer with Satchel Paige by Wes Tooke
Watch a baseball game or go to a game.
Major League Baseball Scrabble
Eat a hot dog, peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Football Hero: A Football Genius Novel by Tim Green
Sports Illustrated Kids 1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Football by Sports Illustrated For Kids Jukem Football Card Game by Jukem
Play football in the backyard

My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier or Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes
The American Revolution for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Janis Herbert
City Doodles: Boston by Chris Sabatino
Educational Trivia Card Game - Professor Noggin's American Revolution by Professor Noggin

Chicago History for Kids: Triumphs and Tragedies of the Windy City Includes 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Owen Hurd
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
City Doodles: Chicago by Anna M. Lewis
Chicago-Opoly by Late for the Sky
Build a Skyscaper model

Fact, Fiction, and Folklore in Harry Potter's World: An Unofficial Guide by George Beahm
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson
Eat Harry Potter Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans by Jelly Belly
(This list could be endless.)

Sandy's Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone (author), Boris Kulikov (Illustrator)
The Calder Game by Blue Balliett(Author) , Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Make a Mobile
Go to an art museum

For Younger Readers:
The First Teddy Bear by Helen Kay (Author) , Susan Detwiler (Illustrator)
Made in the USA - Teddy Bears by Tanya Lee Stone
The Teddy Bears' Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy (Author) , Michael Hague (illustrator)
Baby Bear Counters by Learning Resources
Gather all your teddy bears and have a tea party
Play the song Teddy Bear’s Picnic

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein
New York City by David F. Marx
New York for Kids: 25 Big Apple Sites to Color (Dover Coloring Books) by Patricia J. Wynne
50-Piece Double 2-Sided Jigsaw Puzzle - New York City by Pigment and Hue

This list is just a jumping off point to get everyone thinking about all the possibilities. I had to stop somewhere or I’d be still writing this blog post. Please add your recommendations to the comments and I’ll add it to the list. On my website, I will add a hand-out form when I’m done compiling.

Here’s to a happy summer with lots of reading and playing.

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