Loewenstein Spring 15 Grad. Children's Lit discussion

Text Set Experience Reflection-Due February 13th

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message 1: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Loewenstein (wendyl612) | 32 comments Mod
You have just completed compiling an interactive text set of 3 picture books and 1 intermediate book. Please post your reflection on this experience on this discussion board. Below are some topics to consider during your reflection:

How did you come up with your text set idea?
Did you change your mind on your topic? Why?
What resources did you use in order to find your book selections?
How will you use this text set in the near future?

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy Jewell | 7 comments As I mentioned in our text set thread last week, I thought of my text set (winter weather) while watching the snow fall all morning on Wednesday. As soon as I thought of this idea, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I was inspired by others on the thread talking about how they wanted to tie their text set into something they were already doing in the classroom. In my classroom, we predict and talk about the weather every day. We check my Weather Channel app before we make our predictions. My students were so excited by the snow fall and our two snow days, I knew they would enjoy reading some books about winter weather.
In order to find the 4 books for my text set, I searched both Mackin and Titlewave. I did advanced searches for books on the subject of snow at a 1st through 3rd grade level, published after 2010. I got fairly lengthy lists of books from both site. I narrowed down the books I ultimately used by choosing books that were readily available at Lincoln City Libraries. One of the titles (Disaster Strikes: Blizzard Night) was not in the library however I was able to download it to my Nook for $3.99. So quite honestly, availability played a large part in the books I chose.
This is a text set that is perfect for my classroom currently, although a little anti-climactic now that the snow has melted. I plan on using it during our next big storm-whether it is still to come this winter or next!

message 3: by Alicia (new)

Alicia | 5 comments Originally I was thinking about doing a text set on bullying or character building for books, but due to the fact that all of the books that I was interested in using were either checked out or not within our date requirements, I decided to change my angle just a bit. I have also been focusing on a lot of critical thinking skills such as theme/main idea, point of view, inferencing, making predictions, making a judgement, etc. Many times the reason bullying is such an issue is because students still need to work on their empathy skills. They need to be able to see an event, idea, or action from another point of view. For that reason, I changed my text set idea to point of view so that I could focus on a specific component of critical thinking while also directing students toward more empathetic thinking.
My greatest quandary in choosing this text set (and I decided to focus on fifth grade since those are the students I am having the most issues with both critical thinking as well as empathy)was how to find literature that would be able to help students see how point of view is an important aspect of a story. I was at a loss for what to even start searching for. So I decided to go to my good old friend Pinterest and see if anyone else had already gone before me to find books with a point of view theme. I was in luck! There were several educators who had posted text set ideas for teaching point of view to students. While the books were not in the year specifications that I needed to follow, it gave me an idea of what to search for. I saw that the point of view is often switched up in the newest literature when they do a remake of a popular fairy tale or fable. So I looked up some fairy tales and found 'Puss in Boots' along with 'Dog in Boots.' Unfortunately, when I looked more closely at the 'Puss in Boots' book, I discovered that the date was actually a reprint date. Bummer! Despite that set back, the 'Dog in Boots' book did a great job of showing the point of view of a dog and his interpretation of reading literature. That gave me the idea to look for more books using animals as the main characters to help the students see how authors are able to create a story from an animal's perspective. I found an intermediate book (Wonder) that would rotate between different people's perspectives surrounding similar events to help students see how that can develop the story line and provide solutions to the plot. Last of all, I saw a recommendation on one of the Pinterest accounts to extend the point of view reading instruction into a writing application by utilizing a wordless picture book. So I decided to find an appropriate wordless picture book to use as the culmination of all the other books that they would read on point of view.
It is my hope to use this text set directly with my fifth grade reading comprehension group and to help them practice extending their perspective and being more cognizant of the point of view that the writer is presenting in a book. This will help set up perfectly for the critical thinking skill I want to focus on directly afterward, which is author's purpose.

message 4: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 6 comments In the past, I have used picture books to reteach complicated ideas such as allegory, theme, and the story plot to my ninth graders. This year our new curriculum requires the students to do a full literary analysis paper, which I think will be rather difficult for my co-taught and regular classes. I am combining a unit on The House on Mango Street and poetry with the literary analysis essay. I wanted to find books that matched the themes found in The House on Mango Street so my students could practice identifying theme and analyzing texts that didn’t contain so many words. Students will also be able to practice this skill with a book that doesn’t even include any words! I think practicing literary analysis on picture books will be a great scaffold before students do this over a larger text.

I did switch ideas about which theme I wanted to focus on, and I still don’t think all of my books match one specific theme very well; however, they do all contain themes that mirror The House on Mango Street in one way or another. After debating focusing on diversity, self-esteem, community, or self-discovery, I settled on self-discovery.

I utilized the Omaha Public Library’s website, Goodreads book lists, Books in Print, a few blogs, and award winner lists as starting points for my books. I also made a trip to Barnes and Nobles to see if anything jumped out to me there that fit the guidelines.

Hopefully, I will actually use at least two of these books when re-teaching my students how to identify theme and then back up their ideas. Each book allows me to focus on something slightly different too. For example, with Journey, students can focus on how Becker uses color to convey more meaning. Words with Wings is also a mentor text for writing poetry.

message 5: by Deann (new)

Deann | 9 comments I decided on my text set because it is an area we touch on in science and we have a great lesson on it in reading. I wanted to expand what we cover in our science books. The students are always excited to learn about space. It is one of my favorite things to teach.

I did change my mind on my set there are many, many things to choose from that would connect to my classroom. Some of the books I would have liked to use for the text set were not published in 2010 or after. This has been a great activity to look at new books to incorporate into my classroom.

The resources I used to find my book selections were Amazon, Keene Memorial Library, Goodreads discussion board, and my school library. I also looked through my boys’ books at home.

I will use this text set in the future to introduce my reading lesson topic that covers space. I will use it to add to what we learn in our science books. I can also use some of the books when I teach All Abouts in our nonfiction writing unit.

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Lathrop (lvlathrop) | 20 comments I found a great site yesterday: http://www.wegivebooks.org/

It's a free e-book site with childrens' books. I found 'Hope for Haiti' there - contemporary, starred book reviews, and it fit my text set of Cultural Diversity. Check it out ladies! :D

message 7: by Sarah (last edited Feb 12, 2015 10:44AM) (new)

Sarah | 8 comments This year I have a great group of seventh graders who work really hard to be successful in school. The problem is that too many of them have incredibly stressful home lives where their families are struggling to meet their basic needs, especially in terms of safety. Last month we took our seventh graders on a courage retreat where they spent the day moving through small and large group activities that taught them to use their courage in small ways in order to make a big difference in the quality of their daily lives. The retreat’s successes made me want to further support my students’ pursuit of everyday courage.

The text set assignment gave me the opportunity to explore everyday courage within children’s literature in order to let students know they are not alone in their struggles, and to empower them with small ideas that may make their lives a little better on a day to day basis.

In finding my text set I had many more misses than hits. I really wanted to find books with characters whose culture reflects that of my students. I did find Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown, but other stories featuring Latino characters either weren’t available or didn’t quite fit my theme. I paged through at least eight really good picture books before settling on The Invisible Boy and Each Kindness. The two books make such a good match!

I struggled most with settling on one intermediate title. I started reading Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. It was recommended by a colleague (as well as my son) and is a great book for having the courage to be yourself, but didn’t quite fit the domestic issues I was looking to address. I reserved Hold Fast by Blue Balliett as well as Something to Hold by Katherine L. Schlick. I began reading Something to Hold, but the very specific time and setting of the story would take a lot of frontloading that would deter from the text set’s focus. In the end, The One and Only Ivan worked best for addressing the exact spin on courage I was going for.

This text set is too young to crack the tough exterior of my seventh graders, but would work well for fourth graders. Students in this phase of elementary school are mature enough to understand small acts of courage, but are not yet dealing with the hormonal issues and angst that take over the brains of early teens. Addressing the idea of smaller acts of courage at this age would help to strengthen students for the barrage of social insanity that happens in middle school.

While I wouldn’t use this text set with my seventh graders as a whole group, I can set the books in my recommended reads basket and point them out to students just before sustained silent reading. Many of them would love a good excuse to read a picture book during class.

In all, my take-away from this assignment is the idea that I can use my reading curriculum to help students with social and emotional learning while continuing to stay on track with state standards.

message 8: by Beth (last edited Feb 12, 2015 11:21AM) (new)

Beth | 7 comments I went through a myriad of potential text-set options. I wanted to do bullying because that is still a big issue, and then I changed to disabilities, but all of the books I found were outside the copyright limitations, so out went that idea. I thought about only focusing on cultural diversity and collected a few books, but couldn’t find an intermediate book that I really liked. Then, someone recommended Because of Mr. Terupt and I read that in one night, loved it, and started looking for picture books to fit.

The concepts of Change and Perspectives became my focus. The books that I found still contained elements of other topics I discarded like bullying and disabilities but the wider scope of change would allow for extension activities on understanding cultural diversity and how we can change our misconceptions.

As far as resources go, I used Goodreads, Amazon, Titlewave, Barnes and Noble, and my ever trusty school librarian (I asked her if we had a title and she would respond with yes or no and leave them on my desk if we did… it’s a great system). As a teacher I try and display a wealth of patience with my students (some days are better than others) but as a student myself, I find I have little to no patience. Omaha Public Library near my house didn’t have the books I was looking for and I didn’t have the patience to wait for them to arrive. This helped in the narrowing down of which books I chose as well.

In the process of this assignment I used the concept on my own high school developing reading students. We were going to start a historical fiction unit and the books listed in the curriculum were so far over their heads I knew this was going to be a nightmare even before we started. So I found 5 picture books that had similar themes to the books in the curriculum and I used those. I would have chosen historical fiction as my text-set but 3 of the books I wanted to use were outside of the copyright criteria. We are still working on this unit, but I already know what my next unit is going to be. Fiction with a theme of Changes and Perspective. My students will hopefully be able to tackle the three picture books independently, but I’m already trying to think of ways to read Because of Mr. Terupt that does not involve only me reading it to them as a read aloud. I’m thinking about splitting that book up so that each student will read one of the characters as kind of a coral reading.

I have high school aged students with early elementary reading abilities, and while I like graphic novels, sometimes the writing is subpar. My students really seem to like the picture book idea though. I was a little leery that they might think they were “baby” books but they have engaged in this unit in a way that they haven’t in the past. I can also supplement these books with other materials like videos that have more young adult focus. So, all-in-all I’m looking forward to starting the Change/Perspective unit next week.

message 9: by Lori (new)

Lori | 7 comments I began my search for this assignment by going to my public library and looking at the subjects for their “new” books. That gave me an idea where to start. I also appreciated the Goodreads discussion-it confirmed I was on track and from there I chose my topic on the number of contemporary books available for me to preview.

I could tell, pretty much from the start that I was going to find the greatest number of books I could get my hands on, if I went with the Fairy Tale theme. I kept researching other topics but either they were all checked out or I couldn’t find newer than 2010 books.

I used my public library and their catalog for subject headings, ordered a book from Amazon, researched Books In Print and set up accounts for Mackin and Titlewave. I also made a trip to Barnes and Noble to read some books my public library didn’t have, and ordered several books from Inter-Library Loan services.

This is not a set of books I can use at my current position! However, I know the skills I had to use, to find the books and come up with opening activities, will be useful any time I teach or do library research.

message 10: by Brianna (new)

Brianna Deines | 6 comments When coming up with my text set I started off with the idea of connecting it to an academic standard. Lela was sweet enough to even share some of her ideas with me for science. After some thought I decided I wanted to do something that would hit the area of respect. So, when I decided to start looking for books about respect and came across a few of Julia Cook’s books. From there I came up with the idea of sportsmanship. It was something different that would touch on the area of respect and would get me to read something I wouldn’t normally.
I started off using Books in Print. From there I went to my public library and grabbed about 7 books. Some didn’t fit the copyright requirement and some just didn’t seem to fit my theme. I asked a few of my students about the Mike Lupica books and got their recommendations. My search was over after talking with an elementary teacher friend and she gave me some recommendations.

I had my picture books out on my desk this week and students kept asking why I had them. I explained about my homework and then they wanted to read them. A lot of my boys were excited to see me reading something they would read. I am not sure that I would use this text set as a whole in my classroom but would definitely recommend it to our PE teachers and coaches.

message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris | 10 comments What helped me the most when thinking about my possible text set was happening upon Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. I picked up this book, read a few lines of this verse novel and was hooked. Every line of verse gave me an image in my mind's eye that helped me settle into the unfolding story. Once this book was found, I knew I wanted to select historical fiction for this assignment.

I never had a change of mind, but did have moments when I was having challenges with such a broad range of historical fiction. At first, I thought I would narrow it down to immigrants and refugees. Then, I wanted to make sure the hardships of war were presented. After that, I wanted family bonds, love, sacrifice and overcoming hardships to be a part of the stories I selected.

I learned so much from all the resources I used. I had to hunt, and the hunt taught me some valuable lessons. I discovered the Omaha Public Library is a valuable source. I went to two physical locations plus reserved books on line. I used the UNO library on line to hold books for me until I could pick them up. I browsed Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble. I also used storysnoop.com, scholastic.com and goodreads.com to search for books in my genre. Amazon is a great source for checking out a few pages within a book of interest. Schooltube.com was a brand new find. I was able to have Walking Home to Rosie Lee read to me by a woman with the perfect voice for this story. I was able to listen to it a few times to really focus on the author's use of descriptive language. I also just ordered each of my four books because I have grown attached to each and need a copy for my own library.

I plan to use this text set during the field experiences in my ESL Foundations class. I meet at a family's home in South Omaha every Tuesday for tutoring of their kindergarten daughter and second grade son. Even though they are younger than my targeted age of 4th grade, I am sure they will enjoy the picture books and the thoughts and feelings of each character.

message 12: by Denice (new)

Denice Hein (deniceh) | 17 comments This text set would be a great supplement to the 2nd grade Social Studies Standard of We the History Makers: How One Person Can Make a Difference. The reading levels of most of the books make the read-alouds. I am proud of the unique perspectives I have collected, the delicate approach to a subject that can raise objections, and personal connections that students can make to the stories and history.

It was important for me to focus on diversity for my daughter. She is very much a minority in her school and I want books around her that show her like people. I did set out with the idea of finding famous people and stumbled on stories told by children of famous people.

My starting point was Books in Print, Titlewave and Lincoln Public Libaries. I found the stacks the BEST (again). I went to the library to explore with my daughter and we came back with 25 books, 12 of her random selecting and 13 of my purposeful and random selecting. At that first trip I was thinking of diversity and picking books from several cultures. My second trip was alone and I was looking for 4 specific books and didn’t use one of them, but found so many more. I found a picture book that my husband read on Jimi Hendrix. He, like I, found one page that stuck him as odd for a children’s book. It talked about how Jimi used drugs to try to ‘clear his mind’ and spark his ‘creativity’. It was almost selling K-3 readers the idea that drugs mind help you. Of course it goes on to say they killed Jimi. The books I read had words like Negro, that I feel are antiquated and I didn’t want to be the one to introduce it to my students. There was also a beautiful poetry book, I Lay in Stitches, that had very graphic words and images for young readers. Real but too graphic, I felt.

So this subject of slavery/civil rights can evoke some strong emotions. I hope my text set will serve to spark my future students in their quest to build a stronger community. As a part of a theme where we can incorporate writing about fairness on a soccer field or discussing the change of one ‘tired’ woman Ms. Parks, we can inspire students to be a stronger community member by knowing we were have come from as a country and world. I have an idea to share with my 7th grade Social Studies or English teachers about using Back of the Bus and I am Rosa Parks (companion piece mentioned in text set) to show perspectives of stories and events.

message 13: by Valerie (last edited Feb 13, 2015 08:57PM) (new)

Valerie Barnhart (vbarnhart) | 15 comments My text set is bullying with the sixth grade group as a target. Initially I was looking at the fairy tale theme and incorporating more of the language arts instruction as a part of the text set. I have usually used fairy tales and analysis of how they fit the story slide for struggling readers in my English or reading classes. They find the comparison easier to define the specific parts of the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The poetry could be reviewed as another target with the book Follow, Follow. I loved the book Follow, Follow. In the story of Rump, the main character is male, which was important for my target group of middle school boys. Looking at a girl perspective with the fairy tale theme is a bit of overload for middle school boys. I had several books selected and was working on the text set, when I saw that it needs to be something we can use right now. With that in mind, I switched to bullying as a text set.

I work with a group of middle school boys in the area of social skills. After reading the book Rump, I still felt that I could possibly use it as part of the text set for bullying, because name-calling is a big part of the conflict. Rump is teased and feels left out, which is definitely what I was looking for in the bullying set. Every source that I viewed from Mackin, Titlewave, Good Reads, and Books in Print had it listed as a fantasy. With the concern of not meeting the bullying set as an intermediate book, I searched for other books on the topic to read. I had initially wanted to use award winning books and books with strong reviews, but ended up going with the books I could access through the local libraries and book stores. Availability was a huge factor. The fairy tale theme didn't have much to offer at the local libraries.

My nephew (at 5th grade) shared with me his frustration of his basketball team and bullying within the team for playing time and position. Since I had collected some of the bully book set, I asked his advice on whether he felt the messages were on the right track. He really liked the book Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. I had too many books and eliminated the book Bully by Patricia Polacco because the focus was on girls and not boys.

Sources that I used were the sites for Mackin, Titlewave, Good Reads, Books in Print, the local libraries, the school library, students at school, members of the class on goodreads discussion, my nephew, librarians, other teachers, and Barnes and Noble. I checked the reviews for the books to find the most appropriate and highly rated books at that level.

In the near future, I will use this text set at school with my middle school group of boys. In my social skills group, we have established the promise to not be a bully and actions that are "Above the Line" and "Below the Line" on a poster. Many of these students have a troubled home life and are the subject of bullies in the school. They lack the modeling of good behaviors in their life or how to deal with difficult situations. Through the text set, I wanted to provide them with useful skills in developing positive social relationships. I also wanted to incorporate some of the language arts skills from my background in teaching English. The inferences, complications, climax, organization of text, and predictions were areas I chose to focus on for this group. Some have been verified with learning disabilities and behavior disorders. These issues also draw them from the regular classroom and the regular social network of friends. They are at the second to third grade reading level. Even though this text set is sixth grade issues, their reading levels are much lower. The use of lower reading level books will allow them to read with me is choral fashion or for the book Bully to read with me as a group.

message 14: by Denice (new)

Denice Hein (deniceh) | 17 comments Valerie wrote: "My text set is bullying with the sixth grade group as a target. Initially I was looking at the fairytale theme and incorporating more of the language arts instruction as a part of the text set. ..."
As a middle school (Math) teacher, I have had a hard time deciding for myself how the picture books would work with middle schoolers. I would love to hear how your boys react to the stories and content. :)

message 15: by Denice (new)

Denice Hein (deniceh) | 17 comments Brianna wrote: "When coming up with my text set I started off with the idea of connecting it to an academic standard. Lela was sweet enough to even share some of her ideas with me for science. After some thought..."
I love the idea of just having the books out on your desk. Free advertising AND relationship building = priceless. :)

message 16: by Angie (new)

Angie | 13 comments How did you come up with your text set idea?
We are currently working on the re-writing the elementary science curriculum. The recycling unit is one that, based on teacher feedback, needs some more engaging activities. I felt this text set would provide engaging learning while tying in literacy as well. The read alouds would be a great opening to the days recycling lessons, or a stand alone lesson for the day depending on time and planned activities.
Did you change your mind on your topic? Why?
I definitely thought about it as I was finding great books in other topics, but I knew I wanted a text set that I could apply right away. I was able to suggest some of my favorites in other topics to classmates, so that helped me stay on topic. I knew of two books that I wanted to use for this unit that thankfully met the copyright requirement, but I also found several other great ones. I actually had trouble narrowing down to just 4 books. I left the others on my shelf to possibly pull as additional resources for the unit.
What resources did you use in order to find your book selections?
I used Amazon, Barnes in Noble, Goodreads, Books in Print, Lincoln City Libraries, and Lincoln Public Schools libraries. I really like the “advanced search” option in Books in Print. It allows you to set the copyright dates so all of the books you are looking at will fit the requirement. Finding books on this topic that weren’t too heavy handed or technical AND fit within our copyright requirement was challenging. I appreciate assignments like this because these are the types of things we need to be doing (finding books that go together in some way to engage our students). I really enjoyed the topic discussion and being able to suggest books to classmates.
How will you use this text set in the near future?
As I said, we are working on the elementary science curriculum. I am hoping to incorporate this text set into the recycling unit for second grade science. I feel these interactive read alouds would be great introductions to the science lessons. I will be presenting it to the science curriculum specialist and our library media services department next week.

message 17: by Tammi (new)

Tammi Peterman | 5 comments As I was reading the assigned article my mind started running in every direction with ideas ranging from character development, especially bullying, to sets that connect to the standards. Because of my social studies background I quickly perused the Ne Social Studies standards. My plan was to find a topic that I could make come to life through a literature so much of the social studies content relies on the use of textbooks and I thought this could be a great way to bring a new perspective and exciting format to meet the standards. A few of the concepts I considered were war & conflict, diversity and anti-racism, citizenship and migration. Knowing that schools have to teach Earth Day in April I considered an environment set. I thought I could get some great books on recycling, preserving ecosystems, etc. and make a real world connection with a text set. I narrowed my topic down to 2 ideas: bullying which I thought was something I could adapt to almost any grade when I get back in the schools and civil rights which I thought would be great to show students multiple perspectives. Since I am not in the schools right now I try to attack all my assignments with the premise that I can adapt wherever I end up as a librarian.

With my 2 topics in mind I began searching. I started with the Lincoln City Libraries Catalogue identifying a good selection of books for each topic. I then cross referenced them to Books in Print and TitleWave for reviews and reading level guidance this approach helped me to identify even more titles. I also used Amazon as a resource because I like to see the reviews that parent’s post I find it helps me identify appropriate age levels for books. After reading the comments my classmates posted about the need to address bullying in schools and with so many interesting options available I settled on Bullying and headed to the library to collect my findings. After looking through several of them I reconsidered and went back to the library for some civil rights materials.

While discussing the project with my 5th grade niece she mentioned she took a no bullying oath in 3rd grade which I thought that was a fantastic activity and it led me back to my original plan to do a Bullying text set. As I perused all the books I had checked out my goal was to find different perspectives on bullying and to find something that addressed cyberbullying because I think this is a must teach concept in schools today. I ended up reading several books and settled on 4 that would give me 4 different discussion opportunities including: 1. defining bullying, 2. how to overcome bullying, 3. Cyberbullying, 4. a silly book with an offbeat look at bullying to draw in those kids that may not see the value in traditional books about bullying-this was more of a just for fun piece with a valuable lesson!

I think my bullying text set is adaptable to any school library. Because I think every grade ends up covering bullying in some form I think it will be beneficial to make this text set available to teachers on the first day of school. It is important that teachers see how you can be helpful to them as a collaborator and this topic provides the perfect collaboration opportunity for any grade level. I think it would be valuable to take some time during a staff meeting to describe and make this text set available for all teachers. In addition to these 4 books I have mad myself a list with all the “good” bullying books I have located so I have it for reference in the future.

message 18: by Sara (new)

Sara (sebuelt) | 8 comments How did you come up with your text set idea?
Each year in 7th grade Reading, we read Tell All the Children Our Story and Birmingham, 1963. We use these books to practice the reading strategies of Noting an Organizing Information and Questioning. When my students get to me in 7th grade, their knowledge of African American history and Civil Rights in the US largely depends on how much their elementary teachers chose to focus on it. It doesn't become a large part of their curriculum until 8th grade and high school. So, I find myself having to supplement many materials and historical teaching to get them to see the big picture of African American history. Since Tell All The Children.. goes from slavery until now, it's a huge scope to cover. I hoped to find some supplemental texts with this text set that would cover that history and also put personal stories, and show perspectives of kids the same age as my 7th graders.

Did you change your mind on your topic? Why?
I didn't end up changing my mind on my topic, overall. However, I had hoped to find more picture books that covered earlier history of slavery. However, many of those didn't fit publication requirements, and there were simply just less out there. Because of that, I started with a book that covered slaves being freed.

What resources did you use in order to find your book selections?
I used Amazon, Goodreads lists, and the Omaha Public Libraries app. I also used some recommendations from my classmates! :)

How will you use this text set in the near future?
I will use this text set to supplement our upcoming unit that covers African American history in the United States. I plan on using Glory Be as our next class read aloud book.

message 19: by Denice (new)

Denice Hein (deniceh) | 17 comments Angie wrote: "How did you come up with your text set idea?
We are currently working on the re-writing the elementary science curriculum. The recycling unit is one that, based on teacher feedback, needs some more..."

How cool that you can apply it and help build a lasting curriculum!

message 20: by Denice (new)

Denice Hein (deniceh) | 17 comments Sara wrote: "How did you come up with your text set idea?
Each year in 7th grade Reading, we read Tell All the Children Our Story and Birmingham, 1963. We use these books to practice the reading strategies of N..."

This is very close to the text set I did and I found so many good books that I didn't get to use, sometimes the only 3 is bad. :)
I found a book called Climbing Lincoln's Steps
The African American Journey by Suzanne Slade that brings the Obama's into the setting, but starts with Lincoln himself. Also a couple different books about MLK from his niece (I used) and his son. 'I am Rosa Parks' is a low level book but looks like a graphic novel so it might interest older kids and gives good background on her and the civil rights movement. Maybe these can supplement your set.

message 21: by Mary (new)


My text set idea came about by talking with a couple people—a colleague and my two sisters, who are moms of third-graders. First, I talked with one of the PLHS SPED teachers, whose classroom is next-door to mine. She works with our mild-moderately challenged students, who frequently utilize the Children’s Literature section of our high school library. She focuses a lot on “Empathy and Acceptance” with her students, and we discussed for a while how her students lack a lot of the normal social skills of students their age, and, therefore, don’t know how to talk about difference, show acceptance of difference, empathize with others in glaringly different situations, etc. I also talked with two of my sisters, who both have third graders, and it seemed like these ideas are something that their kids have faced and continue to face at school. So this text set seemed to work well in two ways: targeting a group of third graders, as well as a group of high-school-aged students, who read close to the third grade level and have similar thought-processes as third graders.

I didn’t find myself changing my mind on the topic; in fact, I became more convinced the more I talked to people, thought about, and researched books on this topic, that this a a very relevant topic, really for students of all ages, and that a lot of great books, at a variety of reading levels, are available to help students read and think about empathy for and acceptance of others and themselves.

I utilized several different resources, including my SPED colleague, my sisters, my third-grade niece, my third-grade nephew, and the AMAZING Omaha Public Library system, once again. Using the OPL website, I was able to very specifically search for books on empathy and acceptance and narrowed my search to just children’s literature, which still gave me MANY options. I located eight picture books and four chapter books that all looked great before narrowing down to the four that seemed the best for my Empathy and Acceptance Text set for third graders. I was very happy with the variety of subjects that my books use to talk about empathy and acceptance—everything from dinosaurs to monsters to punctuation marks to eyeglasses! These are a variety of interesting and relatable subjects for a variety of third graders.

I’m looking forward to using this text set in a couple ways. During my conversations with my SPED colleague, she invited me to her classroom to share my text choices with her students any time. So hopefully we can work something out to do a read aloud with a group of her students. I’m also thinking about sharing these books with my Creative Writing colleague and talking about a potential children’s book-writing unit in her class. I taught Creative Writing for 15 years, and we often talked about all the opportunities a children’s book-writing unit might open up for high-school student writers, both in writing and in sharing the books they write. Also, my third grade niece is an avid reader; I know she will love these books, and I look forward to the conversations we will have about them. My third-grade nephew is a little more of a reluctant reader, but I think the high-interest nature of these books will spark his interest to read and think about these books, and I look forward to how conversations with him about empathy and acceptance might be different from those with my niece. ☺

message 22: by Js26jl (new)

Js26jl | 5 comments TEXT SET EXPERIENCE
I initially came up with the text set idea by choosing topics and themes I was inspired by in order to appeal to my tastes. I love fairytales and mythology and know of a great many books and activities to be used in conjunction with using these types of books in lessons. The hard part came when a great many of these stories and books do not meet the copyright requirement and therefore I had to find other versions of these books to complete the text set.

The resources I used to find these versions were the OPL catalog (the advanced search’s ability to filter copyright is extremely helpful), Amazon, and browsing the Good Reads site for recommendations.

This text set is a great piece to use when drawing students to other versions of stories and even helping them into contemplating the position of characters in stories and in history about why a person may have committed certain actions (real or fictional) – which steps into character motivation and author motivation/purpose (getting students to think about why an author may have written a character and/or a scene in a certain way and what that does for the story).

message 23: by Lisa (last edited Feb 13, 2015 10:37AM) (new)

Lisa Lathrop (lvlathrop) | 20 comments How did you come up with your text set idea?
In one of my current art classes, I have two students of Chinese decent and one boy from India. Although they get along well together, this is a perfect opportunity for them (and my other white American students) to learn about their cultural history. Art is known to bridge the gap between cultures so I chose books for this set that would serve a dual purpose. All the books I chose allowed me to springboard into an art project based on that culture.

Did you change your mind on your topic? Why?
I never really strayed from my topic of cultural diversity. I've created art lessons before on Chinese New Year or St. Patrick's Day but most of them were in the way we as Americans celebrate those holidays. This assignment prompted me to delve a little deeper and allow myself and my students to learn about the ways other cultures actually live. Also in my choices I realized that many of them cross curriculum ties - such as bullying, friendship or folklore. Also very teachable subjects through visual arts.

What resources did you use in order to find your book selections?
My usual go-to is Amazon.com. There I am able to make sure my selections meet the requirements of the assignment. I also enjoyed recommendations from others in the text set idea thread and searched others book choices that were similar to my idea. From there I go went to my public library (which is virtually useless when it comes to contemporary children's books). My new favorite choice to search topics/books is Barnes and Noble. They have a particularly helpful associate in the children's area who either suggested books based on my criteria or ordered them for me. I love the option at Barnes and Noble to hang out and read. I bring my iPad and am able to jot notes into Goodreads.com as well! I did have some difficulty finding one book "The Blessing Cup." No one seemed to have it and I put it on hold at the Criss library, but alas, it was missing. I live in Sarpy County so I also did not want to buy the $25 fee into Omaha Public Libraries...but that is ok with me. As a self-proclaimed "book junkie" purchasing ones I know I will use again and again suits me just fine.

How will you use this text set in the near future?
I plan to use "Same, Same but Different" as an assignment for my students to draw/paint their view of their home of heritage. I know two of my students have gone back to visit their homelands, have heard stories, or my American students can create their own home/neighborhood/heritage visually as well. For "Fin McCool..." I will do an assignment around St. Patrick's day where I will read the book, show landscape photographs of Ireland, and invite the students to place a giant in a Irish landscape with details such as a river, salmon, houses, and small friends. I definitely plan on using "Inside Out & Back Again" in small segments....reading a diary entry and then inviting students to create what they visualize in their imaginations. I am very excited about all the books I have read for this assignment. Each and every one (regardless of publication date) has the potential for a great art experience.

message 24: by Cathy (last edited Feb 13, 2015 11:45AM) (new)

Cathy Field | 6 comments Choosing a topic for my habitat text set was fun. I compiled a list of topics based upon unit plans I wanted to create or modify, and then I read the text set ideas of my fellow classmates to see if that would spark new ideas. I ultimately chose my first idea, which was a text set with a habitat theme. I planned to use language arts comprehension strategies during the read aloud to help students learn how to effectively read various formats of text. I seriously considered other ideas for text sets, but I have a passion for creating and using cross-curricular thematic units, and these units are usually based upon science or social studies topics. I have a habitat unit plan I want to make stronger, and I saw this as a great opportunity to develop not only a text set for it, but to learn new habits when selecting books and reading aloud to my students.
To find the literature for my text set, I went to Barnes and Noble and Books a Million to buy them. I knew I wanted to purchase these books because I plan on using them next year, and for multiple units over the next several years. I found the books by searching through the children’s section. It may not be the most time-efficient way to do it, but it is by far the most enjoyable, although my husband would argue it is the most expensive way to find the books. At one point an employee came to ask me if I needed help. Even though I had an arm of books to use, I told her what my mission was. She was more excited about it than I was, which is saying something. She began digging through the same sections I did, and we ended up finding four extra books. My husband saw my stack of books and told her she could not be my friend. How embarrassing! I ultimately bought a lot of books I wasn’t looking for. Darn the luck! I took my Ipad with me, so I could check the reviews before I bought them, and set about drinking hot cocoa and eating danish as I decided what to choose. Do I really need to say that I bought all of them?
I plan on using this text set next year if I am hired to teach in a grade level that fits this book level. I will use this text set to support my science objectives, to teach the students how to identify elements of nonfiction and to compare those elements to fictional text elements. I could also use this text set to teach reading strategies for reading nonfiction text. I also thought these books would be great in an enrichment learning center with take home activities to do alone, or with your family. That way, I can use them for almost any grade I teach.
I enjoyed creating this text set, and discovered I did not have as much trouble finding books for it as I did the first one. I inadvertently chose two books that had multiple copyright dates and learned to look further than the copyright date at the top of the publishing information. That was a good lesson to learn, and helped me be more efficient at finding books that fit a date range.

message 25: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Field | 6 comments Amy wrote: "As I mentioned in our text set thread last week, I thought of my text set (winter weather) while watching the snow fall all morning on Wednesday. As soon as I thought of this idea, I knew it was w..."

I think your text set choice is great! I love teaching about snow and storms. A book I've used is, Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs and illustrated by Mary Azarian. It is a 1999 Caldecott Medal winner. It doesn't fit the years we can use for this assignment, but you could add it for your own uses. It is a beautiful biography and kids love to have it read to them. I created a learning center for it with a take-home folder of activities. If you would like to use it, I can email you the files I have for it. Good luck with your text set! I hope you love it when you use it!

message 26: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 12 comments My plan was to do a text set on the topic of getting along with others or acceptance/tolerance or friendship. As I began looking for books I realized that there were so many options relating to these topics and the books that I was finding didn't necessarily go together. I felt like I needed to narrow it down a little. After finding a few books that I liked I saw that a common theme was kindness. Since I'm not currently working in a classroom I decided to gear my text set toward younger elementary students. As I was working on it I thought of ways that it could be adapted toward older students as well. Who doesn't need a little reminder on the importance of being kind?

I started my search online and used Barnes & Noble and Amazon to get an idea of some of the newer books out there. These helped me find the publishing dates and what was available to purchase. I also used the Sump Memorial Library and their online catalog. Unfortunately, many books that I was interested in were checked out or not available. After getting some ideas about possible books I used Titlewave and Books in Print to find out more about the professional reviews of the book.

At this moment I do not have students to share this text set with. However, I had thought about reading the books and talking about kindness with my own kids at home to see what their thoughts were. I had also thought of recommending the books to my child's 1st grade teacher since she talks a lot with her students about treating others fairly and accepting individual differences. In the future I hope to become a school librarian in an elementary school so this text set could be used or adapted to fit many grade levels. I also learned a lot about the process of finding text sets and using openings when reading aloud to students that will benefit me when I am back in a school.

message 27: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 12 comments Chris wrote: "What helped me the most when thinking about my possible text set was happening upon Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. I picked up this book, read a few lines of this verse novel and was ho..."

I really like historical fiction. It sounds like you found some great books. Thank you for sharing some of the websites you used. I haven't heard of some of them and want to check them out.

message 28: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 12 comments Beth wrote: "I went through a myriad of potential text-set options. I wanted to do bullying because that is still a big issue, and then I changed to disabilities, but all of the books I found were outside the ..."

What a fun way to get students involved in a read aloud with the choral reading! Good luck with your next unit.

message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 12 comments Alicia wrote: "Originally I was thinking about doing a text set on bullying or character building for books, but due to the fact that all of the books that I was interested in using were either checked out or not..."

Reading about your text set made me think of the intermediate book that I used in my set. It is "The One and Only Ivan." It was a great book and it is told from the point of view of Ivan, a gorilla.

message 30: by Jeralynn (new)

Jeralynn Moser | 7 comments When I started reading the chapter and seeing what other students had discussed on the Text Set Idea thread, I had some ideas about using text sets that I could see myself using in the next few weeks: Presidents, character education, bullying, etc. But then I had the 1st/2nd grade teacher aide come into the library looking for tall tales. Our selection was kind of pitiful and very outdated.

I knew then that tall tales were the perfect idea for my text set! Plus, I get to implement it immediately! On Monday, when the first and second graders come into the library, we will start reading Granny Clearwater and Little Critter - because it’s amazing!!!

Finding books was difficult - I knew that the publication date would make it difficult to use our elementary library to find good picks. So, I loaded up the car and my family went to Kearney to explore their library. I didn’t have any difficulty finding primary tall tales -- in fact, by using their search system, I found 12 books that I ended up bringing home.

The difficulty was finding an intermediate chapter book. So, I turned to Books in Print to search. Eventually, I turned to teacher friends and we decided that a weak link in my text set was a REAL person… So, I narrowed my search to Davy Crockett. And then I remembered that I have a ton of students who love the “Who was…” series. Sure enough, Davy had a book. So it worked!

message 31: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Nye | 14 comments Immediately when this assignment was given, I began thinking about a topic that I could use within my classroom setting. I wanted to use this assignment to find great books to be used for lessons within my classroom. Since I teach Kindergarten, each day, I listen to students argue, complain, and tattle. I was trying to think about the most important lesson that can be learned in Kindergarten; FRIENDSHIP!

I had several books in mind, but when I began looking through these books, they were all copyrighted before 2010! I went to my school library and began looking for books on friendship. I asked the school Librarian for suggestions and she was FULL of create ideas! However, when we began pulling these books off of the shelf, they were also copyrighted before 2010. Although this was frustrating, I was able to find SEVERAL great books to use in my classroom! ☺ The score was still, Amanda -0, Copyright – 10

I discovered that my school’s library search engine allowed me to limit books to a certain copyright date. The books started popping up like crazy! I began finding several books on friendship, so I had the opportunity to look through books to select the best fit for this assignment.

I left the library that day with my four books about friendship, and several other books to share with my students in the classroom! ☺ I am also planning to use these books and openings that I developed for this assignment to teach lessons to my students about friendship.

I absolutely loved every single one of the books that I read for this assignment. Each one was so powerful in its own way. I am very excited to share these books with my students!

message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Nye | 14 comments Chris wrote: "What helped me the most when thinking about my possible text set was happening upon Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. I picked up this book, read a few lines of this verse novel and was ho..."

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai is an incrediblie book! I happened upon this book at a Scholastic Book sale. I was also immediately hooked. This is a great selection for historical fiction!

message 33: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Nye | 14 comments Amy wrote: "As I mentioned in our text set thread last week, I thought of my text set (winter weather) while watching the snow fall all morning on Wednesday. As soon as I thought of this idea, I knew it was w..."

I love that you picked the book "Those Darn Squirrels fly South." It is SO different than the other books you selected. It makes students aware that winter does not always involve cold weather and snow! It opens students eyes to the bigger picture! I will definitely look into this book for my classroom! THANKS FOR SHARING!

message 34: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Nye | 14 comments Michelle wrote: "My plan was to do a text set on the topic of getting along with others or acceptance/tolerance or friendship. As I began looking for books I realized that there were so many options relating to the..."

Although you are not working with students now, think about all the books you found that will be very useful in your future classroom! It is a great idea to share these with your own children. All children can use a reminder on kindness. I will definitely be borrowing some of your selected books for my classroom! Thanks for sharing!

message 35: by Lela (last edited Feb 13, 2015 07:48PM) (new)

Lela | 8 comments I am a fervent believer in cross curricular planning, so I started my search at the standards. I found several topics throughout the Social Studies strand which would serve as great text set possibilities. I eventually settled on the theme of family in a historical and personal context (SS1.4.5a; 1.4.5c; Nd 1.4.5d). I will connect this learning with Language Arts standards of making connections. These require learners to make connections between characters or events in narrative and informational texts to their own life or other cultures. Building and activating prior knowledge in order to identify text to self, test to text, and text to world connections before, during and after reading is also a required learning goal (LA 1.1.6.i and 1.1.6.l).

At this point I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that this assignment consumed me…in a good way. I spent most of my spare moments on the Goodreads, Amazon, OPL, Biblionasium and Scholastic Book Wizard sites. I spent equally as much time on the floor of the library and Barnes and Noble. I had no idea family was such a prolific literary topic. Some might say, “Must be nice!” But, there is such thing as “too much of a good thing.” While I never changed my topic, I had to narrow it in scope. Narrowing the lens of my search was hard because I had to eliminate so many amazing book choices. The more traditional immigrant stories were nice, but I wanted to represent the new immigrant in this text set. This doesn’t mean those books won’t be used in read-alouds, lesson development or in the theme section of the class library. It just means that I want to try to represent the new faces of America. The refugees from eastern nations being my prime focus. Omaha is seeing an influx of refugees from Bhutan, Burma, Nepal and Sudan. The face of the classroom in north Omaha and beyond is changing, and I want to reflect that change in my teaching (figuratively of course since I’m not teaching at this time).

The hardest part of this assignment is not being able to teach it. I have spent lots of time and thought (beyond the text set) thinking about how I would teach this combined curriculum theme in my hopefully future first grade classroom. I have researched (if you call Pinterest research) writing goals and projects that would blend well, in addition to art connections. I look forward to taking this assignment off the “shelf” someday to use it in a real classroom setting. I am considering using the books as interactive read-alouds in my tutoring time with my neighbor and future student in TED 9140. Time will be a factor in each situation though, so I will see how and if I can work them in.

message 36: by Lela (new)

Lela | 8 comments Lisa wrote: "How did you come up with your text set idea?
In one of my current art classes, I have two students of Chinese decent and one boy from India. Although they get along well together, this is a perfect..."

Ours were complimentary topics Lisa. I love your books and your art connections. I want to be in your class!

message 37: by Jill (last edited Feb 13, 2015 07:35PM) (new)

Jill Stark (jistark) | 5 comments I really enjoyed this assignment. When we had to do the last book bundle, I was struggling to find books due to our small communities, and I hadn’t figured out how to look for books on any other site besides Amazon or Barnes and Noble. So, for this assignment, I knew that I needed to branch out in my library sites. I went online to see if the Norfolk Public Library and Yankton Public Library had online catalogs. Score! Yankton’s online catalog was easier to use, but, I knew that I would be in Norfolk more. Then, I decided to go to NebraskAccess and found Books in Print. There, I put in my text set ideas of friendship, bullying, character and then started perusing books that maybe I could use. I wrote all of these down with the author and headed to the Norfolk Public Library. Within one hour, I had nine of the twelve books in my hand and was off to read. Plus, the Norfolk Public Library did not charge me for a library card! Yankton does, because I pay for mine quarterly.

I was thankful that I had my idea’s and books read the first week because we encountered some personal family issues that took up three days of this week. I was not home, and unable to sit down and write my openings or reflections until tonight. So, I am happy that procrastination has not been my middle name. I am really excited by what I am learning and that I am stepping out from under my rock and venturing out into the big world of new and exciting things!

message 38: by Cheiree (new)

Cheiree Domet | 5 comments I decided on my text set idea because I decided my students would benefit from learning about authors and how they can write different styles of books. I originally wanted to use Doreen Cronin but using a smaller library such as the one in our school I was running into trouble finding newer books.

I had originally wanted to do a fairy tale/fractured fairy tale text set but fairy tales are usually older books. I'd want the students to do a comparison with the fairy tale to the fractured fairy tale so that wasn't going to work.

That was how I decided on Jane Yolen. The first book I found was "Janie's Bird." It instantly had me because it was about a girl moving to Nebraska and I thought my students would connect with that. The next books were a little more difficult to find. Our library had more books but they only had a couple poems by her in them. I then searched other OPS school libraries that were near my school. The other books were found at a nearby school and thankfully my school librarian is very helpful and picked them up for me. The OPS school libraries are connected so you are able to borrow books from another school.

I plan on using the rhyming books when I start teaching my poetry unit next quarter. I want my students to know that all poetry doesn't have to start with "Roses are red, violets are blue." but that it can be more fun and written about a variety of subjects. I will also use the other books that have her poetry in them.

message 39: by Eve (new)

Eve Huang | 7 comments From this assignment, the most important thing for me is that I learnt how to chose chapter books for young kids, since I always using picture books for them before. After reading the materials last week about reading aloud and the practice we have for this week, I had a lot of reading experience and a deeply understanding about the chapter books for elementary school students.
From last week, we were working on the text set, and I had my topic as holidays and festival, because the Chinese New Year is coming, and I think talking the holidays and different customs will bring a lot of fun to our classes. I started with looking for some books about Chinese New Year. The first one I found was a picture book called "A New Year's Reunion", I appreciate that this book brings reader a authentic view about how Chinese families celebrate Chinese New year, this book talks about haircut, wear new cloths, firecrackers, dragon dance, and lucky coins, these are the real things Chinese people will do during great holiday. Another reason I chose it was the theme of the book: reunion, we can talk a lot around this theme. Students can started the reading by rethinking the American’s reunion, talking about how big family they have, what are the best family activities in the holiday season. It is a good way to connect their real lift to the new information from the book.
The second one I like was called “The runaway wok”. This book has longer reading paragraphs than the first one, and it told a dramatic fiction story about love and sharing, kids will like the magic thing! Another highlight in the book is the pictures about Chinese foods, so there is another topic we can interact with other in the class time.
“Pete the Cat” is a good series for second graders, the sentence are appropriate to the kids. I have two of them, one for Christmas Day, one for Valentine’s Day. I hope I am really teaching for some kids, so we reading the Valentine’s one together and sharing our loves!
The chapter book I am going to read to students is the ” E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core!” Before I made the decision of this book, I read a lot of books about the holidays and festivals, they are pretty good books for kids and for me as well, however, most of all are not good for the assignment, since we need the book that was published after 2010. I did not done with this book yet, and I will finish as soon as possible, so far, I really like the character of Bunnymunds, and I love the theme of protecting children's' dreams, saving them from nightmares, and the innocence of believing in magic.

message 40: by Mary (new)

Mary Birky Collier | 8 comments Kristen wrote: "In the past, I have used picture books to reteach complicated ideas such as allegory, theme, and the story plot to my ninth graders. This year our new curriculum requires the students to do a full ..."

Kristen--As a high school teacher, I'm looking for ways to use picture books with my students, too. I really like your idea of using them to teach allegory and theme. Especially with allegory, if you have any titles that have worked especially well, I'd love to know them. Either way, thanks for the great idea!

message 41: by Mary (new)

Mary Birky Collier | 8 comments Michelle wrote: "My plan was to do a text set on the topic of getting along with others or acceptance/tolerance or friendship. As I began looking for books I realized that there were so many options relating to the..."

Michelle--Kindness was one of my top topics and was much on my mind as I put together my text set on Empathy and Acceptance. So I hopped over to your text set and loved looking through your list--what cool finds! I especially liked "Every Kindness" and "The One and Only Ivan"--can't wait to read them! Thanks for more great ideas!

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