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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Box #3 to give – The Weekly Reader titles

Gareth Steven’s Weekly Reader Social Studies Know Your Government series:

The format for these books is quite simple and very appropriate for young elementary students – particularly in second and third grade when these government leaders are studied. The chapter headings are:

  • Who is the President?
  • What Does the President Do?
  • How Does a Person Become President?
  • Famous Presidents

There is a balance of Democratic and Republican leaders. Wonder which mayors are included? Shirley Franklin of Atlanta, Georgia; Sarah Palin of Wasilla, Alaska; Michael Bloomberg of New York City, NY, Antonio Villaraigosa, Richard M. Daley of Chicago, Illinois; John Tyler Hammons of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, NY; Tom Bradley of Los Angelos, CA, and Rudolph Giuliani of New York City, NY.  

With Sonia Sotomayor’s recent swearing in as Supreme Court Justice, your students will be looking for books on judges. Each title in this series has 1-2 web links in the "To Find Out More" section. These are written for elementary students and will help librarians find additional sources. The Judge title includes the link to Inside the Courtroom and King County Superior Court Kids Web Site. I would not have found these on my own easily. I wish I’d found those sources before my sons became teenagers and I had to experience a courtroom firsthand (See, I never said I had a perfect life)

I also have the Conoce Tu Gobierno series in Spanish, but since my hometown has no students speaking only Spanish, I’m sending those to my Spanish class in middle school for practice. 

I’m packing four titles each from both the English only and the bilingual English/Spanish series Let’s Learn About Dinosaurs/ Conozcamos a los dinosaurios:

  • Allosaurus/Alosaurio
  • Ankylosaurus/Anquilosaurio
  • Diplodocus/Diplodocus
  • Oviraptor/Oviraptor

The only material that is different in these series is the list of books in the For More Information section. The English only title suggests additional titles in only English, while the bilingual series suggests bilingual titles. Every elementary library searches for dinosaur books. These seem perfect for K-1 students and are great for parents who have never read-aloud nonfiction before. I’d have to create bookmarks for the students to check off until they had read all in the series. There are ten titles total in this series, and I hope the librarian will add these additional dinosaurs:Giganotosaurus

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Another partial series I’m including is the Where People Work What Happens at a Supermarket?and the bilingual set Where People Work / ¿Donde Trabaja La Gente? I wish I had them all to send because these are my very favorite books I’m packing in this box. I wish they were out when I was in elementary school because they would have made teaching this unit MUCH more interesting than what I witnessed. There are 18 titles currently in the set. I choose the Where People Work series to be an essential preschool-K set.  I’m sending:

What Happens at an Airport?
What Happens at an Amusement Park?
What Happens at an Aquarium?
What Happens at a Supermarket? 
What Happens at a TV Station?
What Happens at a Vet’s Office?

In a perfect world I’d also be sending the titles below but I don’t have them:

What Happens at a Bakery? (makes me hungry thinking about it)What Happens at a Party Store?
What Happens at a Bike Shop? (kinesthetic learners take heart)
What Happens at a Crayon Factory? (this title looks fascinating! I love my colors and could never afford more than 12 while growing up)
What Happens at a Dairy Farm? (I’ve seen one before so would like to compare)
What Happens at a Firehouse? (Fire Safety units in ? October are always in need of new titles)
What Happens at a Horse Farm? (Is it all fun and riding?)
What Happens at a Magazine? (as an adult, I am very interested in this title)
What Happens at a Museum? (You mean there is work behind those exhibits? Just kidding)
What Happens at a Party Store? (There’s a career you probably didn’t think of)
What Happens at a Recycling Center? (Needed for our green and environmental units. Think Earth Day)
What Happens at a Toy Factory? (Can you imagine who checks this out in December?_
What Happens at a Zoo? (We’ve all wanted to work there. Let’s read and make it a reality)

My reminiscence:  When I was in elementary school, we took the bus (a big to me then) to Cherokee, Iowa, and toured the supermarket – although we called it the grocery store. I was utterly fascinated with the bread slicing machine. To this day, I want to slice the bread. They even gave us samples from the bakery. My brother Randy Ritts has worked at the Hy-Vee store since he was 16 and is their deli manager. I’m glad that someone in our family cooks, but I had no idea how often grocery stores take inventory. That’s not mentioned in this title that is perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners.

The Animals That Live in the Rain Forest set in English is the last series I’m packing today from Weekly Reader Science. I’m packing Animals That Live in the Rain Forest / Animales de la selva, the bilingual set, for my new Spanish teacher. The animals I’m including are:Jaguars

Toucans and Other Birds

I was thrilled to see Jaguars since both the rainforest unit and the big cats unit can use this title. Plus, all of the big cats are favorites for new readers. Since these titles are intended for the youngest readers, they meet their intended audience. First grade teachers, rejoice!