||Nancy's picks for the best non-fiction of Winter
1999-2000 and ideas for using them in the classroom.
Compiled by Nancy Polette © 1999.
- Last updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
- Bowen, Betsy. GATHERING:
A NORTHWOODS COUNTING BOOK. Houghton-Mifflin, 1999.(Gr
- The Northwoods is
"One seed, Two rhubarb pies, four
bears, five blueberries...." all the
things associated with this area of the
Use as a research reporting model. Find
ten things associated with your city,
state, province or country. Create a
counting book by giving information about
- Brenner, Barbara. THE BOY
WHO LOVED TO DRAW, BENJAMIN WEST. Illustrated by Olivier Dunrea.
Houghton-Mifflin, 1999. (Gr 2-4)
- As a child Benjamin got in
trouble for drawing instead of doing his
chores. Finally, realizing that their sin
could not be "cured" of his
drawing habits, Benjamin's parents
arranged for art lessons. This boy who
loved to draw became one of America's
most famous artists.
List as many words as you can to describe
Benjamin. Which one word from your list
best describes him? Why?
- Brown, Don. RARE
TREASURE: MARY ANNING AND HER REMARKABLE
Houghton-Mifflin, 1999. (Gr 2-4)
- Mary Anning's discovery of
a remarkable skeleton led to a life-long
passion with fossils. Educated only to
the age of eleven, she was self-taught
and her knowledge was sought by both the
customers of her fossil shop and
scientists of the day.
Compare Mary Anning with Marie Curie or
Maria Mitchell using this pattern.
"If I were Mary Anning I would (
list five facts about her) . But I
wouldn't (list one major fact about
another woman scientist) because ( name
of scientist) did that."
- Collard III, Sneed. 1000
YEARS AGO ON PLANET EARTH. Illustrated by Jonathan Hunt.
Houghton-Mifflin, 1999. (Gr 3-6)
- Find out how people lived
1000 years ago in North America, Central
America, South America, Europe, England,
the Middle East, Africa, India, China and
Interview senior citizens. Find out how
people in your town, state or province
lived fifty years ago. What was different
about life then and today?
- Farmer, Nancy. CASEY
JONES'S FIREMAN: THE STORY OF SIM WEBB. Pictures by James Bernardin. A
Phyllis Fogelman Book. Penguin/Putnam,
1999. (Gr 2-4)
- A fireman shovels coal
into a red-hot furnace and makes sure
water flows into the boiler. A mistake
can mean the boiler explodes. Webb Sims,
Casey Jones's fireman didn't make
mistakes. Webb and Casey Jones were real
people and here is one tale of why
Casey's train crashed.
Do you think this tale is true? Why or
- Fisher, Leonard Everett. GODS AND
GODDESSES OF THE ANCIENT MAYA. Holiday House, 1999.(Gr 3-6)
- The author tells about 12
of the most important Maya gods,
explaining their powers, their gifts and
- Fritz, Jean. WHY NOT,
Illustrated by Ronald Himler. Putnam,
1999. (Gr 3-6)
- A fascinating biography of
the French nobleman who joined George
Washington's army and became "The
Hero of the New World."
Continue writing about Lafayette's life
using his pattern: Fortunately Lafayette
was born into a noble family.
Unfortunately his father was killed in
battle in 1759. Fortunately...........
- Garland, Sherry. VOICES
OF THE ALAMO. Illustrated by Ronald Himler.
Scholastic, 2000. (Gr 3-6)
- History is revealed from
the viewpoints of the people who lived
it. The story of the Alamo begins in 1500
with Native Americans and is told by a
Spaniard, Tejano, Texian, Mexican and
American. Through their voices a poignant
human drama unfolds.
Choose one of the voices and read it
aloud to background music you feel is
- Gold, Julie. FROM A
Illustrated by Jane Ray. Dutton, 1999 (Gr
- Here is a beautifully
illustrated edition of a popular folk
hymn that brings a message of hope in a
Find and play recordings of the song by
Nanci Griffith, Bette Midler or The
- Patten, Brian. THE BLUE
AND GREEN ARK. AN ALPHABET FOR THE PLANET
Scholastic, 1999. (Gr K-3)
- Exploring the blue and
green ark ( the Earth) each letter of the
alphabet explores the many natural
wonders of the world.
Create an ABC book to tell others ways in
which they can take care of the Earth.
- Tallchief, Maria and
Wells, Rosemary. TALLCHIEF,
AMERICA'S PRIMA BALLERINA. Illustrations by Gary Kelley.
Viking, 1999. (Gr 3-6)
- From her early years on an
Osage Indian reservation in Oklahoma to
her departure for New York, where her
professional dancing career was
launched,here is the story of Maria
Tallchief's rise to America's prima
Create a bio poem about Maria Tallchief.
On each line use one of these
headings:First name, Four traits, Related
to, Who needs, Who Has, Who gives, Who
would like to, Resident of
- Tanaka, Shelley. SECRETS
OF THE MUMMIES. Illustrated by Greg Ruhl.
Hyperion, 1999. (Gr 4-6)
- Beneath their linen
wrappings, Egyptian mummies hold clues to
how people lived and died thousands of
years ago. Here is an account of how
modern science can unearth long ago
- Waters, Kate. MARY
Photographs by Russ Kendall . Scholastic,
- The latest addition to
this popular series follows a Colonial
girl through a day in
Williamsburg.Activity: List things that
you do or see everyday. How do your daily
activities differ from Mary's?