Third Grade 2004-2005

Dinosaurs to the Rescue
coverby Marc Brown,Laurie Krasny Brown
Kindergarten-Grade 4-- The Browns' sensible, cavorting dinosaurs are back again, this time regaling readers with some advice on how they can rescue our ailing Earth. In this latest foray into social issues, the authors present major environmental problems with such practical, easy, and entertaining solutions that children will be enthusiastic from the very beginning. The first page introduces Slobosaurus who is ``full of excuses for why he can't use less, use things again, and give something back to the earth.'' Succeeding pages show the boorish way he reacts by tossing his empty soda can on the ground, wasting water, using electricity unwisely or unnecessarily, etc. Plants, animals, and insects, too, are given a place in this environmental treatment. (From School Libray Journal)

The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh
coverby Janet Nolan
In the time of the Irish potato famine, Fergus and his family left for America. But first Fergus cut a branch from a blackthorn tree so that he could take a piece of Ireland with him. On the journey, he whittled the branch into a shillelagh. Each St. Patrick's Day, Fergus told his story of coming to America and of the shillelagh that he brought with him. Throughout the years, one generation after another passed the shillelagh on along with Fergus's story, adding their own life experiences. On this St. Patrick's Day, Kayleigh finds the shillelagh and listens to her grandfather share their history. He then places the shillelagh in Kayleigh's hands, making her the keeper of the family story. (Amazon)

The Bee-Man or Orn
coverby Frank R. Stockton, P. J. Lynch (Illustrator)
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5--An aged Bee-man lives contentedly among his insect friends, surviving on honey and the occasional piece of meat, until the day an itinerant Junior Sorcerer informs him he's been transformed and encourages him to discover his "original form." On hearing this disturbing news, the Bee-man sets off. On his quest for his true nature, he rescues a baby from a dragon. His powerful attraction to the infant convinces him that this may be his original form and with the help of senior sorcerers he returns to his babyhood. The final scene describes a now-mature sorcerer, arriving at a small hut swarming with bees and finding, to his amazement, the once-again adult Bee-man. This delightful story about destiny, which first appeared in print in 1883, is illustrated primarily in earth tones. Sweeping vistas suffused with a long-ago-and-faraway atmosphere alternate with expressive spot art set against white backgrounds. Lynch has a talent for creating mysterious landscapes and capturing character: the befuddled, ragamuffin of a Bee-man and the "languid youth" he encounters in his travels, as well as the puerile sorcerer. The story has also been illustrated by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, 2003). His art, done in pastel colors and featuring a portly, heavily jowled Bee-man, highlights the humor of the tale. While readers with a philosophical bent may prefer Lynch's version, there is room on library shelves for both.--Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal

The Search for Delicious
coverby Natalie Babbitt
The Prime Minister is compiling a dictionary, and when no one at court can agree on the meaning of "delicious," the King sends his twelve-year-old messenger, Gaylan, to poll the citizenry. Gaylan soon discovers that the entire kingdom is on the brink of civil war, and must enlist help to define "delicious" and save the country. (Amazon)

Fantasy Beasts
coverChildren will learn about twelve "fantasy beasts" including the Unicorn, Cerebus, Hydra, Western and Easter Dragsons. Children view a powerpoint presentation of the book which includes digitally recorded audio clips and smart agents (animated characters)who give a "Who am I?" quiz. Following the stories, students divide into groups of two. Each student receives a beast story which is read aloud to his/her partner (paired reading). Each child creates a digital recording which is shared with the entire class. The partners assemble a beast puzzle and write down "Who am I?" clues for their beasts. Students will draw their own fantasy beasts and write about them. Finally, read the book The Bee-Man of Orn and share the DVD which gives a behind-the-scenes look at the artist at work. (Sample Inspiration Organizer for Writing)

Martin Luther King, Jr. The Story of Dream, A Play
coverby June Behrens
June Behrens spent many months researching the material for her play about Martin Luther King, Jr. In it she has brought to bear her knowledge and perception, born of long experience, of what children best understand and empathize with. Ms. Behrens has been a reading specialist in one of California's largest public school systems since 1965. Here is a graphic picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments, presented in a new and unforgettable way. Who King was, what his goals were, how he went about realizing his dream of equality for all people regardless of the color of their skin. (Third Graders will present "Reader's Theater" performance using illustrations as backdrop on Smart Board.) Play Script in PDF Format

Snow Towards Evening
Poetry activity - before poem is shared, students are given single line strips of the poem. Working in teams, they will try to reconstruct the poem. After they have worked for 5-10 minutes, come together in sharing area and share the poem.

Because of Winn-Dixie
cover by Kate Dicamillo
Because of Winn-Dixie, a big, ugly, happy dog, 10-year-old Opal learns 10 things about her long-gone mother from her preacher father. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends among the somewhat unusual residents of her new hometown, Naomi, Florida. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal begins to find her place in the world and let go of some of the sadness left by her mother's abandonment seven years earlier. (Newberry Honor)

Snowmen At Night
coverby Caralyn Buehner, Mark Buehner
Have you ever built a snowman and discovered the next day that his grin has gotten a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have moved? And you've wondered . . . what do snowmen do at night? This delightful wintertime tale reveals all! Caralyn Buehner's witty, imaginative verse offers many amusing details about the secret life of snowmen and where they go at night, while Mark Buehner's roly-poly snowmen are bursting with personality and charm. From the highly successful team that created such winning titles as Fanny's Dream, Snowmen at Night is fabulous, frosty, and fun!
NYS Standards: S1-1-5 S1-1-6 S1-2-4 S2-1-1 S2-1-2 S2-1-5 S2-1-6 S2-2-2 S2-2-3 S2-2-4 S4-1-1 S4-1-2

Life and Times of the Apple
by Charles Micucci
Just the book to help turn a favorite fruit into a favorite subject as well. It yields a bountiful harvest of fascinating facts about the growth, crossbreeding, harvesting, varieties, and history of the apple for little apple eaters everywhere. Did you know there are almost 10,000 kinds of apples? Or that one in five apples is pressed into juice and cider?

Apple Betty
Unpeeled apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dumpling recipe from Bisquick Box
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter and water
(enough to make a thin glaze)

Cut unpeeled apples in baking dish-fill to 3/4 full. Mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of apples (also stir through). Make a Bisquick crust. Use dumpling recipe on box. Put dough on top and put a 1-inch hole in center. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Add sauce after baking.

Cook sauce over low heat until sugar melts. Add vanilla. Drip over apples.

So You Want to Be President
coverby Judith St. George, David Small
Tired of books about the presidency that present themselves as history books? Author Judith St. George--along with Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator David Small--has created a book about the presidency that's serious fun. The basic theme is that anyone can be president: a fat man (William Howard Taft) or a tiny man (James Madison), a relative youngster (Teddy Roosevelt at 42) or oldster (Ronald Reagan at 69). Presidential hobbies, sports, virtues, and vices all get a tongue-in-cheek airing, perfectly matched by Small's political-cartoon style of caricature painting. It's fun, but the underlying purpose is clearly serious: to remind kids that the American presidents have been a motley group of individuals, not a row of marble busts.(Amazon)

Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine
coverby Evaline Ness
Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality.

The Girl Who Spun Gold
cover by Virginia Hamilton
The universal "Lit'mahn" folktale has many variants around the world, including the best-known German version, Rumpelstiltskin.
Activity Sheet: Story Pictures for Sequencing

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