Saturday, April 17, 2021

Text Set: Short Texts for Grades 3-8

 Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 

Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!

As teachers, we are always looking for quality short texts. Short texts are great for mini lessons, read aloud, book clubs and more.  I've been finding so many great new publications with short pieces that I wanted to share them. The books I'll share this week are best for grades 3-8. I haven't necessarily read these books cover to cover and that is part of the beauty of these books--they offer short, stand alone pieces. When I get books like this, I usually do a pretty intense preview to get a sense of features and format. Then I read a few to get a sense of what is in the pages. I then dip in and out of them when I am looking for something specific.

I love Wonder Women of Science, a new book filled with women in science. The subtitle, "Twelve Geniuses Who Are Currently Rocking Science, Technology, and the World" says it all. This book shares the stories of incredible women and their journeys to the work they do now. Each 10-20 page piece has facts, photos from childhood, and more.  Readers learn about the people behind the science as well as a bit of science.  There is so much to each one of these mini-biographies.

These two books focus on stories of people taking action.  In Our Future, the author gives us a two-page spread about each activist, telling us a bit about their work and their motivation for the work.  Illustrations, photos and quotes are part of this book. In Muslim Girls Rise, each two page spread tells the story of one Muslim woman and the change she is creating in the world.  Both books focus on current issues. being addressed. These books show how much you can learn from short texts.

The short pieces in Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration start with a drawing.  Artist and author George Butler observed people migrating and captured many in drawings. From Syria to Kenya, Butler records human stories through art and writing. Each story is unique and the visuals can also be studied independent of the text.  An incredible book.

Poetry is always a great choice when looking for short texts. The poetry by poet Naomi Shihab Nye gives readers so much to think about. Everything Comes Next is a newer anthology that included past and current poems by the author. Honeybee includes poetry as well as short paragraphs/pieces that can be used independently.

There is nothing like a great short story and these two books are filled with incredible short stories. Both edited anthologies, Ancestor Approved and Once Upon an Eid include the voices of many authors. The stories have depth and most can be read in one sitting.  Not only do these books provide fabulous short texts but they may also introduce readers to Indigenous and Muslim authors who may be new to them.  Short texts are a great way to discover and fall in Leo with new-to-you authors

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous independent children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Three for Earth Day


When will we decide
to stop squandering our home?
We act like there's time.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Nowhere Else to Go
by Linda Sue Park

Go read Linda Sue Park's poem. I'll wait.             There. You understand now why I couldn't excerpt it, right? You need to read all the way to that powerful last line, which sends you back to the title, and then down through the poem again. 

This was our Weekly Poem for this past week. Our routine goes like this: on the first day, I just read the poem.  My students follow along on the share screen, but we don't talk about the poem. Just read it and let it start soaking in. Then, each day after that, we dig deeper into what we notice about the words, the shape, the craft. Finally, towards the end of the week, we get to possible meanings.  It took most of the week, but they totally got this one. Got what Linda Sue Park was doing with the clues at the beginning and that last line that sends you back to the title.

The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics
by Susan Hood
Illustrated by Christiane Engel
HarperCollins, 2021

An introduction by Milo Cress, founder of
17 poems
Facts on every page
Fabulous illustrations and quotes
Scientists and children from around the world working on the problem of plastic
An author's note
A timeline
"Sources and More" to go with every poem/topic (great websites!!)
Poetry notes about the forms used in each of the poems
"For Further Reading"

Jama has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.15

ask those hard questions
spotlight inequalities
then make good trouble

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.14


white privilege abounds
black lives matter on yard signs
and I write haiku

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.13


we teach the wrong things:
task completion, not passion
test taking, not joy

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

We've got seven weeks left, and I'm focusing as much as possible on passion and joy. Our newest fun: about 1/4 of the class is learning a new language using the DuoLingo app. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.12


this kitchen table
we are aging together
worn at the edges

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.11


after the cold snap
glorious magnolias
wear brown in mourning

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.10


sun shines through dirty windows
with no prejudice

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Text Set: Research-Books that Invite Readers to Learn More

 Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!

If we want our students to understand that research can be about so much more than Googling an answer to a single question we have, we have to help them recognize their own curiosities. We also want them to know that often, the more you learn about a topic, the more you want to learn. There are several books that give readers just enough information to want to know more. This week's list features books that invite readers to learn more.

Go Show the World introduces readers to several Indigenous people who have impacted our world.  This is a picture book format so each person is introduced with an illustration and several Ines of text. At the end of the book, the author shares a short biography about each person introduced.  Using this book as a springboard for discussion about which people you are interested in learning more about, now that you know a little bit, could be powerful.

Many readers have people they love to read about. For me, I love to read about Jane Goodall. I tend to buy almost any book that comes out about her.  Books like yesterday's and the updated version of Enough! introduce readers to people they may be interested in learning more about.  The people featured in this book are featured because they changed America by protesting in some way.  So, readers learn a bit about people (who they may want to learn more about) as well as the issues they stood up for (which they may want to learn more about.) in this book.

Picture books are a powerful and effective tools for introducing young readers to times in history that demand more study and understanding.  Unspeakable shares the horrific events of The Tulsa Massacre and readers may want to learn more about this time in history.   Readers will leave with an understanding of this tragedy along with questions that would require more learning.

This book, by the author of We Are Grateful introduces readers to several Native American Truths in We Are Still Here. Traci Sorrell teaches readers about times in history that is often left out of history classes.  This book covers so much and each truth is a big topic on its own. Readers will definitely want to dig deeper to understand and act.

Poetry naturally invites engagement and curiosity. These three poetry books (Bravo, Shaking Things Up and Voices of Justice) introduce us to people who have shaped our world.  The poems and illustrations are powerful and give us just enough to want to know more. These poems can be used independently or as part of the entire anthology.

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!


Friday, April 09, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.9


singing in the dark
first one voice, then a chorus
early morning birds

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Hmm...looks like I wrote a version of this haiku last week! These two haiku reflect not just the glory of springtime, but also my despair about (and hope for) the direction our country is poised to go. Let's be the wrens! Let's be the chorus!

Happy First Full Week of National Poetry Month! I can't wait to get caught up on all you've created! Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.