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Archive for the ‘non-fiction’ Category

Every Monday, kidlit bloggers celebrate the fantastic non-fiction available for kids and teens.  I’m excited to be today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round Up!  Leave a link to your post about a non-fiction title in the comments, and I’ll update throughout the day.

My contribution for today is Serengeti Journey: On Safari in Africa, a National Geographic Science Chapters book. The book includes an introduction, chapters on elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs, a short summary chapter, and information on writing a report.

We’re using it as part of a unit study on African animals. My 7-year-old devoured each chapter this week and then told me fact after fact that she had learned. I loved seeing her so excited about reading non-fiction. Next week, we’ll do a writing project based on what she learned.

There are lots of titles in the National Geographic Science Chapters series, including Amazon Journey, Mysteries of the Sea, and All About Ants. We’ll definitely be using more of them in the future.

Post from around the kidlitosphere:

Read about an amaizng graphic novel about violence among children, Fist Stick Knife Gun at Pink Me.

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff has a review of Get to Know Wedges.

Hop over to Charlotte’s Library to read about DK’s Ask Me Everything.

Abby the Librarian tells us about The Buzz on Bees.

Learn about Creative Kitchen Crafts at A Patchwork of Books

Read a review and enter a giveaway for The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories, a mix of non-fiction and folktales.

Learn about Survival at 40 Below at Wild About Nature.

Wendie Old has a review of The Little Kids First Big Book of Animals.

Get Face to Face with Wolves at Book Dads.

Learn more about Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie at Rasco from RIF.

Jupiter joins Non-Fiction Monday for the first time with Recycle This Book.

Read about Time is When at The Cat in the Hat blog.

Roberta from Wrapped in Foil shares Beautiful Oops.

Shirley Duke at Simply Science shares her own Infections, Infestations, and Diseases.

Rock out with  Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow at Bookends.

Anastasia Suen shares The Shocking Truth About Energy.

Read about Benno and the Night of Broken Glass at Maclibrary.

Michelle Markel at The Cat and the Fiddle shares a post on story arcs in picture book biographies.

Check out a few National Geographic Easy Readers (Ants and Great Migrations: Elephants) at The Reading Tub.

Another book blending folklore and non-fiction, How the Moon Regained Her Shape is the subject of today’s post at A Wrunge Sponge.

Learn about What Rot! Nature’s Mighty Recycler at Apples With Many Seeds.

Head over to Chicken Spaghetti to read about Liberty or Death, Candy Bomber, and The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

Janet Squires joins us with a review of Math Appeal: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles.

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We’re continuing our study of African animals, and lions are our focus today. Both of my daughters were fascinated by the stunning photos and cool facts in Face to Face with Lions by Beveryly and Dereck Joubert. The authors have spent 25 years studying the lions of Africa and living among them, and their passion for these amazing creatures shines through in their book. Readers learn about the impact of habitat loss and hunting on lion populations and receive information about what we can do to make the world a better place for lions and other top predators. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in big cats, predators, animals conservation, or animal life in Africa.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is at Capstone Connect.

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One of our favorite homeschool activities this year is our nature study time. Either on Friday or over the weekend so Brent can participate, we read about a topic in a book and/or field guides, then we take a walk, usually just around our neighborhood, looking for our subject. When we come home, we draw in our nature journal. We don’t always find what we’re looking for. The week we hoped to find lots of birds to observe, we didn’t see many that weren’t high in the trees, but we saw plenty of birds the next week when we couldn’t find any butterflies. We always see something interesting and our walks have become a favorite part of our week.

A few weeks ago, we discovered a nature park close to M’s art class and while we were exploring, we discovered lots of cool mushrooms. The girls insisted we bring their dad that weekend and have a mushroom nature study session. I searched the library for mushroom books and discovered The Mushroom Hunt by Simon Frazer. We brought it along with us and the girls loved listening to it while nestled in a pile of leaves.

The book begins with a young girl named Ruthie and her family preparing to go on a mushroom hunt in the woods. The story of their explorations is interspersed with facts about mushrooms such as their ability to grow in the dark and how a network of tiny threads spread into the soil underneath them. By following Ruthie on her family outing, the reader learns how mushrooms grow, how they differ from plants and the characteristics of many different species.

Today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-Up is at Write About Now.

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We’ve been studying Egypt over the last few weeks and doing lots of reading. Two books stuck out as particularly well-written, engaging and educational: Pharoah’s Boat by David Weiztzman and The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann.

Pharoah’s Boat tells the story of shipwrights building a funerary boat for the Phaoroah Khufu (Cheops). M and I were amazed at the detail of their work and the skill with which they constructed a boat that survived thousands of years buried in a limestone pit next to Khufu’s pyramid (The Great Pyramid at Giza). The boat pit was discovered in 1954 when sand was being cleared from the side of the pyramid. Ahmed Youssef Moustafa, an Egyptologist who’d struggled as a young man to be respected in his own country, spent 15 years re-constructing it including time apprenticed to modern Egyptian shipwrights and much trail and error as attempts were made to understand how the 1224 pieces fit together. The boat now stands in its own museum next to the Great Pyramid.

The Great Pyramid begins with a short, fictional tale of a boy called to Giza to work on the pyramid which Khufu (Cheops) has ordered constructed for his burial chamber. The rest of the book tells what Egyptians believed about the after life, describes the construction of earlier, simpler tombs, and explains how such a massive structure as the Great Pyramid (2,300,000 stone blocks) could have been constructed with no wheeled vehicles.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is at Wendie’s Wanderings.

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Both my girls enjoyed reading The Rabbit by Sally Tagholm (part of her Animal Lives series). We’re going to do a re-read when we study rabbits for nature study next week. The book follows a litter of rabbits from birth until maturity. Readers learn about rabbit family structure, challenges the young rabbits face, how they stay safe and what they eat. Since my girls are such animal lovers, I’m excited about having found another good series. I’ve got The Frog on request at the library.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is hosted by The Miss Rhumphis Effect.

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M and C and I have been catching up on books we’d checked out of the library but not gotten around to reading yet. One evening we read through A Tree Is Growing by Arthur Dorros. Both girls were excited to see features of trees they recognized and all three of us learned many new facts about the various trees included. This book would be an excellent choice for a nature study day or the jumping off point for a unit study on trees or a nature study. We’re going to follow up by taking a nature walk today, seeing if we can count the species of trees we recognize and making a sketch of a tree once we get home.

Another night last week, we read Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Catcus by Barbara Bash. I realized that I knew very little about Saquaro cacti, certainly not that they could grow as high as a five-story building. We learned about many different animals that make their home in the Saquaro, how the fruits are used by people and animals and the fascinating details of the Saquaro’s life cycle.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday is hosted by Zoe by Playing by the Book.

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As I mentioned earlier, we’ll be working through R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey’s Chemistry Level 1 course this year. The course includes suggestions for living books to go along with the curriculum and I’ve been making a list of suggestions from other sources as well.  I’ve planned the first few weeks of experiments and books but so far, we plan to use How to Think Like A Scientist by Stephen P. Kramer, The Periodic Table: Elements With Style by Simon Basher, What’s Smaller Than A Pygmy Shrew? and Can You Could To A Googol? by Robert E. Wells and Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake by Joanna Cole.

In the past we’ve done lots of informal nature study but I’d like to formalize our studies some more this year. I’m going to encourage both girls and myself to keep nature journals.  I’ve ordered The Handbook of Nature Study (the paperback is currently deeply discounted at Amazon) and we may follow along with the Outdoor Hour Challenges. I’ll also read plenty of books on nature topics with the girls. Right now, we’ve got several great titles from the library: Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus by Barbara Bash, Houses from the Sea by Alice E. Goudey, Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane by Susan Korman, A Tree is Growing by Arthur Dorros.

I’ve also been keeping a list of books about famous scientists, inventors, and adventures for M to read or for us to read together.  Here’s what I have so far: The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky, Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick, A Wizard From the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison by Don Brown, Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Ben Franklin by Gene Barretta, and Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, a graphic novel by Sarah Stewart Taylor

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When C spotted this interactive Discoverlogy title on the library shelf, she said we must get it. And she was right, both girls have been fascinated by Creatures of the Deep by John Woodward.  Each page spread covers a different topic on deep ocean science from early diving equipment to modern research to bioluminescence. The pages are filled with flaps, pull tabs, pop-ups, and wheels that bring the reader into a journey to the deep ocean and accentuate the fascinating photos and illustrations of animals that live in the ocean’s deepest waters.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday is hosted by Apples With Many Seeds.

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We’re going to cover Ancient Civilizations this year using History Odyssey as a guide but also pulling from Sonlight Core 1 and bringing in some of our own resources. We’ll do history twice a week on average (not that we ever really have an average week) and we’ll pick and choose between the activities and book choices given in History Odyssey, probably only doing about 1/4 of the suggested work. We’ll use Story of the World and The Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History as our spines and each week we’ll read a few short books and do a hands on project.

Our Booklist for the first several weeks:

Archaeologists Dig for Clues

The City of Rainbows: A Tale From Ancient Sumer

Pepi and the Secret Names: Help Pepi  Crack the Hieroglyphic Code

Ms Frizzle’s Adventures: Ancient Egypt

Adventures in Ancient Egypt (Good Times Travel Agency)

Pyramid

Pharoah’s Boat

Egypt in Spectacular Cross-Section

We’ll be using Ancient Science and Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide for science, art and cooking projects.

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Every Monday, kidlit bloggers celebrate some of the fantastic non-fiction available for kids and teens.  I have the pleasure of hosting today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round Up!  Leave a link to your post about a non-fiction title in the comments, and I’ll update throughout the day.

My contribution this week is the DK Encyclopedia of Animals. Recently, we borrowed a copy from a friend and had to order our own before we gave it back. This encyclopedia is a beautifully-photographed, reasonably-priced reference that would be useful to any animal lover.  The first pages explain how to use the book.  The next section covers general information about animals including topics such as classification, camouflage, organs, senses, and various habitats.

The bulk of the book is comprised of “Animals A to Z”.  Each animal covered has 1-3 pages of annotated pictures, captions and a fact box. I can think of numerous ways we will use this book as homeschoolers, but one way we’ve already incorporated it into our studies was as a practice book for using an index and a table of contents and finding alphabetically arranged entries.

Posts from around the Kidlitosphere:

Learn how 1+1=5 at 100 Scope Notes.

Read about The Horrors of Andersonville at Bookish Blather.

Tammy from Apples with Many Seeds has reviewed books that turn research into a mystery hunt.

Read about two burros who delivery books in Biblioburro at Shelf-Employed.

Click over to Charlotte’s Library to read about Swords: An Artist’s Devotion.

Abby the Librarian joins us with Project Seahorse.

To read about Fainting Goats And Other Weird Mammals head over to Simply Science.

Learn what animals do before a hurricane at Wild About Nature.

Jean Little Library has a review of Summer Birds.

Check out the short list for the Mock Sibert Awards.

Rasco from Rif is sharing ANTics an alphabet book filled with ant antics.

Head over to The Fourth Musketeer to learn more about The Candy Bomber.

NC Teacher Stuff has a great book for these hot summer days: The Coldest Places on Earth.

Jennie from Bibio File has reviewed Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It Kelly Gallagher, a book for adults who care about reading.

Take an alphabetical tour of Walden Pond at Check It Out.

Join Carrie in her Comfy Cozy Reading Nook for Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors.

Visit Bookends to learn more about Sir Charlie Chaplin: The Funniest Man in the World

MotherReader has a review of My Stroke of Insight.

Brenda at proseandkahn joins us with a review of Planet Hunter.

Read up on the Famous Places series at A Patchwork of Books.

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian have also reviewed a series, Media Literacy.

Learn about A Log’s Life, part of Wrapped In Foil’s Festival of the Trees.

Click over to Books Together for a review of A Boy Named Giotto.

Wendie Old discovered the difference between Alligators and Crocodiles at Wendie’s Wanderings.

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