Rachel: the story of Rachel Carson Summary: Amy Ehrlich’s lucid and loving prose, complemented by Wendell Minor’s luminous paintings, tells a story of the power of the word, the power of the individual and most of all the importance of following your heart. Born on May 27, 1907, Rachel Carson was always curious and wondering. She loved being outside, taking walks with her mother, naming the insects and birds and plants. At night Rachel would lay awake thinking about the mystery and beauty of the universe, always wanting to explore and know more. Loving nature as she did, Rachel had a life-long desire to protect the environment. Rachel wrote books about what she loved, and her book, Silent Spring, changed the world, warning about the poisons that were everywhere, the dangers of DDT and other chemicals. Classroom Connections Language Arts: Introduce your students to Rachel Carson by having a discussion about how DDT and other chemicals affect the environment. Read the book aloud and use the following activities to help make the reading and language arts connection. Read and discuss Silent Spring (if available) Explore the Environmental Movement Timeline( http://www.ecotopia.org/ehof/timeline.html) Write an Acrostic poem (write the letters of her name vertically, with each letter as a beginning to a sentence or word that describes or tells details) about Rachel Carson or another environmentalist Research an environmental issue and write a Persuasive Essay about caring for the environment Discuss the job profiles of an environmentalist, a marine biologist, a zoologist, an ornithologist, and a botanist. Additional Reading: -Everglades by Jean Craighead George -Other books by Rachel Carson. (Web link: Rachel Carson.org) Geography, Life Science: Discuss with your students about Ecosystems: the living and nonliving factors, label a food chain (producers, consumers and decomposers), and the importance of balance in an ecosystem. Students will then apply their knowledge of ecosystems and the interdependence of plants and animals to creatively solve problems. Design a regional Eco-Park: Students will find information about the plants and animals that live in their local area and design an eco-park containing them. Let it Grow: Organic gardening research project, focusing on the benefits of pesticide free gardening Find out about the endangered species and offer solutions to fix the problem Fill in locations on the global map of Biomes (aquatics, deserts, forests, grasslands, and tundra— or other classifications), how current industrial and environmental pollution has affected them, its conservation and preservation. Websites: www.google.com--type in “biomes” and you will find many other sites. Two other helpful sites are: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/ http://www.radford.edu/~swoodwar/CLASSES/GEOG235/biomes/intro.html Abe Lincoln Remembers Summary: One evening in 1865 President Abraham Lincoln sits quietly in the White House waiting patiently for his wife Mary. They are going out to see a play at Ford’s Theater. On what turns out to be the eve of his assassination, Lincoln uses the quiet time to reflect on his life and his presidency. Simple yet moving and compelling text combined with stunning, historically accurate paintings join together to present a fictional portrait of one of the most revered figures in American history. Classroom Connections Language Arts: Lincoln’s life: Abraham Lincoln achieved a lot in his life. After reading the book, ask each student to pick his or her favorite event from Lincoln’s life, an event that moved them the most, why and the most significant event in the ex-President’s life. They may wish to research this particular event for additional details to share with the class. About Me and My Time: Although your students have lived much shorter lives, they have also had important experiences. Have students think about the events that have shaped their lives. Ask the students to record his/her autobiography, using words and pictures. Kid-Created Biographies: Students create biographies on the people they want to know or know best. The students will use various skills to collect information, organize details, publish the biographies (i.e. printed report with book covers, title page and index page) and present the information. A Presidential Quiz: Students will get an opportunity to formulate a quiz based on our past and current presidents. Students will gather information on their lives and events, famous sayings such as: “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, “The buck stops here”, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”, “The only fear we have is fear itself” and “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” to identify various Presidents. If I were President: Students can write an essay on what would they do if they were President. Bio-Poem: Students may construct a Bio-Poem for Abraham Lincoln (see attached page). Fiction-Nonfiction Essay: Kids can demonstrate their creativity by writing an essay in first person about any living person, animal or object past or present. Students can run wild with their imagination e.g. Life of Meow, the cat…, Washington Remembers. Social Studies: Increase your students’ knowledge of their Presidents! Presidential Roll Call: Fasten a long (several feet) sheet of paper to your bulletin board or chalk board. As a class try to recreate a presidential time line. Presidential Know-how: Assign a President to each student and have them research and write a report on him. Choose one president and construct a timeline with ten important events in his life. BIO-POEM Title (Your Choice) First Name Only (or a nickname) Four Words or Phrases That Describe This Person (not a physical description) (Relationship: sister, brother, son, daughter, etc.) of . . . Who Loves* . . . Who Feels* . . . Who Needs* . . . Who Gives* . . . Who Fears* . . . Who Would Like To See* . . . Resident of . . . (street, city, state, etc.) Last Name (or full name if the first line was a nickname) *Change the tense if the person is deceased Yankee Doodle America Summary: If you have traveled the roads of colonial America, colorful hand painted signs would greet you when you came across an inn or tavern, and inside, folks would be gathered to eagerly share the news of the day. Wendell Minor invites us on such a journey through America in the days of its struggle for independence. Each striking illustration, painted on hand carved replicas of these signs, introduces us to the people, places and events that gave birth to our nation. Beginning with the Stamp Act that angered the patriots and inspired the “Sons of Liberty” to protest, we meet various historical figures and learn about documents and battles that keep the fight for freedom alive. Every image from A to Z offers a sense of mystery to spark the curiosity about the history of our nation. Classroom Connections Language Arts: What is “Yankee Doodle”? Begin a discussion by asking your students if they know what a Yankee Doodle is. Many are probably familiar with the song. Discuss with your students the true origin of the song. (http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/symbols/yankee.html) Few cultural artifacts have survived the entirety of our nation’s history as Yankee Doodle has. The purpose of this lesson is to allow students the opportunity to hear and to learn the song, understand the subtle meaning behind the words and the ideas they convey, and then to express their new understanding through any of the expressive arts. Create a story board for the events in the book. Social Studies: Increase your students’ knowledge of their nation! My State of The Union Report: Have each student work on an individual state report from the 50 states with its capitol, nicknames, flag motto, song, and any information they can gather. Exploring the Past: Have students choose other significant events in our nation’s history and prepare an A to Z representation of that time, following the model of Yankee Doodle America. More… Ask students to research the colonial times and add details that are not included in Yankee Doodle America. Resources: http://www.mce.k12tn.net/revolutionary_war/american_revolution.htm http://www.everythingesl.net/lessons/american_celebration.php http://www.everythingesl.net/lessons/presidents_day_george_washingt_67239.php http://www.nps.gov/applications/parks/ovvi/ppdocuments/a4%20-%20Yankee%20Doodle%20Dandy.pdf http://www.zwire.com/site/News.cfm?BRD=2303&dept_id=478844&newsid=16867804&PAG=461&rfi=9 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/apr19.html Reaching for the Moon Summary: I walked on the Moon. This is my journey…….. We all have our own dreams- this is the story of how mine came true. ~ Buzz Aldrin. This autobiographical book illustrated by Wendell Minor recreates the magic of the lost era where going to the moon was just a distant dream. President John F. Kennedy challenged the United States to go to the moon on May 25, 1961. NASA reached that goal on July 20, 1969 when the team of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set their foot on the moon. Classroom Connections Language Arts and Critical Thinking: Moon Myths vs. Realities: Have students write the information they have on the moon (e.g. the moon rises and sets just like the sun, it has very cold temperatures or that it does not have weather) before reading. Then have them write an essay on it. Working for NASA: NASA employs people in a variety of positions. This can be an eye-opener for the students! But the most popular and well known of all NASA’s employees are the astronauts. Many of us dream at some point of becoming one. Students can make an inventory of career options at NASA. This activity allows students to see if they have what it takes to journey into space, or work as another important member of the NASA team. Expand the idea: http://edspace.nasa.gov/careers Living in Space: Students can examine how tasks are done in space and compare them to analogous situations. Space Exploration Timeline: Students can research the space history of our country, the Apollo missions and the first astronauts. Science & Math: Phases of the Moon: The moon’s 29 - day calendar was the basis for one of the earliest calendars on Earth. As the students chart the moon’s phases have them write down what geographical features are visible and answer the question why only one side of the moon is visible to people on Earth at all times. Moonology: the Geology of the Moon: Students can learn what the lunar surface is like. Once active with volcanoes, lack of wind and water means its surface has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Resources: http://www.imax.com/magnificentdesolation/ http://www.buzzaldrin.com http://www.nana.org Suggested Art Activities Art: “My primary focus is to remind children that nature is essential, it’s always been my feeling that if we lose touch with the natural world, we lose touch with ourselves.” ~ Wendell Minor Rachel: the story of Rachel Carson Students may design a Diorama for : -An eco park -An eco system Materials required: a shoebox, construction paper, scissors, any other material the student wants to use, and glue Procedure: Students can emulate an ecosystem by constructing their own dioramas complete with plant and animal life. Bark, leaf, flower and / or shell Rubbings Materials required: A box of crayons, drawing paper and the rubbing materials. Procedure: Place the bark or leaf or any of the other materials underneath the drawing paper. Rub your crayons to obtain the pattern. Students can enhance their rubbings with other colors or mediums. Sand art Materials required: colored sand, construction paper, brush and glue Procedure: Students can draw various objects observed in nature like a flower, a shell or a landscape. Thin the glue with water and brush it over the illustration. For Landscape: Fill in the entire scene with different colored sand. For individual objects: Sprinkle the sand either on the object outline or fill the object with sand. Suggested Art Activities Abe Lincoln Remembers Re-create Abe’s famous tall hat: This can be recreated in a number of ways. o Students can draw Lincoln’s stovepipe hat and then make a collage using torn black paper (construction paper or from magazines). o 3 dimensional Stovepipe hat: Materials required: Black construction paper, scotch tape, white crayon, scissors, and Exacto knife. Procedure: 1. Measure the size of the student’s head. 2. On a piece of black construction paper draw a set of concentric circles with a white crayon. The diameter of the inner circle will equal the diameter of the head measure (this will be the top of the hat). The outer circle can be of a diameter 3 inches bigger than the first. Cut the smaller circle from inside with an Exacto knife. Cut the remaining circular disc out with scissors (this will be the rim of the hat). 3. Measure and draw a rectangle whose breadth is the same size as the head measurement. Cut it out (this will be the body of the hat). Tape the rectangle together to resemble a pipe. 4. Tape all the pieces together with the inner circle at the bottom, followed by the pipe, and then the concentric circular disc. 5. Put on your hat, Mr. Lincoln! Presidential Collage Materials required: Various pictures of past and current Presidents, construction paper, tracing paper, glue. Procedure: On a piece of construction paper, trace an outline of the President you chose. Glue in the cut pictures of various presidents to make a presidential collage. Draw and color Lincoln’s famous Log Cabin using your favorite medium. Suggested Art Activities Yankee Doodle America Painting on Wood: As each of the signs are painted and then photographed in this book, it may be fun for the students to explore the art of the “Inn” signs. Materials required: a small piece of any wood or Plywood and a set of markers. For more brave teachers and students, acrylic paints can also be used. Procedure: Students can recreate one of Wendell Minor’s “Inn” signs or create a different kind of sign (billboard, etc.) using their own illustrations. Color it in with the markers or acrylics. Art of the Times: Wendell Minor chose to illustrate this book with “Inn” signs because they were a common sight during the colonial period. Have students choose a “visual” approach to illustrating their research from “Exploring the Past” in the Social Studies section. Research the type of art that was prevalent in that time period or different time periods. Examples of common visuals might be Burma Shave signs, 1960s neon signs, mosaics, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, etc. Suggested Art Activities Reaching for the Moon Create a “MOON CITY”: If humans were to inhabit the moon one day, taking into consideration its atmosphere, ask the students to give their best shot at drawing up plans for a lunar city. A Moon Map can be drawn by the students to chart lunar landing sites if this moon city were to become a reality. Construct a Backpack to simulate a space suit. Materials required: One large empty cereal box, colored electric or decorative tape, decorative space stickers, scissors, white wrapping paper, scotch tape, two small different colored plastic cups (2 each of red and blue), one pair of 72” white shoe laces, hot glue. Procedure: 1. Cut the white wrapping paper to fit around the cereal box. 2. Begin the backpacks by wrapping the cereal box in the white paper and taping them with scotch tape. Leave the lid open for attaching features until the project is finished. 3. Using hot glue attach a red cup and a blue cup to the bottom edge of the wrapped box, with the open end facing out. These are the nozzles. 4. To attach the shoulder straps: Punch a hole about 4” from the bottom of the box on the narrow side. Thread the shoelace through the hole and tie a large knot on the inside so it will not pull out. Repeat this step about 4” from the top of the box, looping the shoelace to make a strap. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the box. Student can slip the straps over their arms like their backpacks. 5. Decorate the box with colored tape, stickers, or drawings. 6. Tape the lid closed. 7. Using hot glue attach a red cup and a blue cup to the top edge of the box with the open end face down. Align the same color cups on the same side of the box. 8. Strap on your backpack and……get ready for lift-off!!
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