summertime books and jams

Vacations aren’t a given for all kids, especially this year. But I think we can all dream about what we would like to do this summer – and these jamboards are meant to get them planning for the vaca they’d like to take after they read a bit from this bitlibrary about summer. First, a jam to plan out the vacation top items, then they can use the pictures to have a friend guess where they are going. Need a writing prompt? Create a postcard on the jam telling about the best day on vacation! Here’s my example jam to get the vaca clues started.

if you wanted more animagi here’s your new series

8c673361b23494e18762b89e004effbcAs a Harry Potter addict who can’t get enough magic, I am here to recommend a series of books for the magic lover. Simon Thorn by Aimée Carter is a great upper elementary to middle school read with a familiar magical element- people turning into animals. No wands involved, but you have to be of a magical bloodline.  Like other magical worlds, members of this one find out as teenagers what their abilities are and how to harness them. Like J.K. Rowling, Carter takes on themes of prejudice and discrimination by showing characters affected by others’ negative beliefs.

The best part? Seeing all of the different communities of animals, reptiles, and more that can switch back and forth between their human or critter forms (I don’t want to offend the insect kingdom, not everyone turns mammal).

The best part of reading this series might just be trying to sort book club members into kingdoms. We’ve already sorted ourselves into Hogwarts houses… let’s try animal kingdoms next! I can’t decide if I would want to turn into a dolphin (sharks are scary) or a black widow spider (she’s pretty tough) or a golden eagle so I could soar (pigeons are looked down upon btw).  I recommend all three books in the Simon Thorn series for nonmuggles looking for their next read. If you haven’t started you get to binge read three before the next release!

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whether you like the weather or not

Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

51XKZD9QZVL.SX316.SY316I found a genius little picture book that has weather in the title but would be perfect to kick off discussions and research far beyond weather. If Frogs Made the Weather is a colorfully illustrated book that at first glance would appeal to younger readers. But wait, there’s more! Each animal presented in the book is shown in an environment it would prefer allowing readers to think about everything from biomes to food chains, weather to rhymes, and of course, ART.   If you are looking for a hook for introducing biomes or animal research this is a great pick. I also love the Salamander Room for these reasons, but it focuses on only one animal instead of the may feature in If Frogs Made Weather.

After reading, students chose to illustrate animals and their preferred weather or to create a short video about their animal. The animals were randomly assigned by library staff and some students wanted to research before creating their response.  This was a short lesson in the library but has so much more potential if used in a classroom with opportunity for students to seek research and create.

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