Posted tagged ‘Africa’

LEARN SOMETHING NEW 2014

May 14, 2014

Ahhhh, “Learn Something New” day. This is one of my favorite special projects in Fifth Grade every year. The students are challenged to take home a non-fiction book that will teach them something, and then share it with the class. We’ve had everything from go-karts to fairy houses in the past. Here are a few standouts from Mrs. Keane’s class this year:

boywhoharnessedthewind_zunonWhen the students had finished sharing their learning, I read THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND, by William Kamkwamba.  This is the ultimate “learn something new” book!  It is the true story of a fourteen-year old boy living in drought ravaged Africa who learned how to make a windmill to bring electricity and running water to his poor village.  And how did he learn to make the windmill?  From a BOOK that he got at his LIBRARY!!  Hurray for creativity and determination.

Advertisements

A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park

May 11, 2011

Here is a true story for children old enough to handle an intense  situation.  There are two stories that alternate:   Nya, a girl living in Sudan, Africa, must walk 8 hours every day to bring water back to her dry village.  Salva is one of Sudan’s “lost boys”:  separated from his family by war in the 1990’s, he was forced to travel on foot through hundreds of miles of hostile territory.  He survived the desert, animal attacks, a crocodile-filled river, and spent years in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.  His life, which was so full of tragedy,  took a hopeful turn when he relocated to New York, attended college, and returned to his home country to establish wells in remote villages that are in desperate need of clean water.  And that is where his life intersects with Nya’s.  As you are reading the two interwoven stories, you know that they are going to come together, and that is what keeps you reading despite the sadness.   This is a powerful book that will touch your heart and inspire you to reach out to others in need.

Caldecott Medal winner!

January 24, 2010

Drumroll, please! The Caldecott Medal, awarded each year by the American Library Association to the artist of the best American picture book for children published that year, was awarded last Monday to Jerry Pinkney for The Lion and the Mouse, a wordless adaptation of the famous Aesop fable.

How about this for an unusual, daring book cover?  No title, no author’s name!  And who do you think the lion is looking at out of the corner of his eye?  Guess who is pictured on the BACK of the book?

Check The Lion and the Mouse  out and see how Pinkney’s glowing watercolor paintings deliver the heartwarming old tale about the unlikely friendship between a strong lion and a meek field mouse. And remember:  no act of kindness is ever wasted!