09 January 2009

Transportation: The Books

This theme unit turned out to be a bit of an author study as well since all but one of our books were by Donald Crews. His books are very simple and fairly readable even for a new reader, but they are so packed with vocabulary! I learned some new words myself! (Do you know what kind of boat a lighter is?) In a few of his books (Sail Away, Truck, Bicycle Race, Flying, School Bus) we found what we interpreted to be self-portraits "hidden" in the illustrations. I also learned that his daughter is author Nina Crews!

Literature (all by Donald Crews, unless noted otherwise):

Freight Train is a classic Caldecott and probably his best well-known work. (Vocabulary: caboose, hopper car, gondola car, tender, steam engine, trestles)

Harbor is packed with vocabulary relating to boats. See the last page of the book for a good picture glossary.

Bicycle Race is good for practicing reading number words. Tricky, though because they're out of order!

Truck, a Caldecott Honor book, at first glance seems like a wordless book, but is full of environmental print. A great way to learn traffic signs (SS K.4.3).

School Bus has a bit more traffic sign-related environmental print and is a great way for my homeschooler to live vicariously through all those lucky bus-riding, public-school kids.

Flying can be used to learn to identify relative location of objects (SS K.4.1). Very readable for new readers. (Vocabulary: taxiing, boarding).

Sail Away uses onomatopoeic words that can give listeners a chance to participate by making the sounds. (Vocabulary: moored/mooring, dinghy, swell, port, lighthouse).

Are We There Yet, Daddy? by Virginia Walters introduces basic map reading skills (SS K.4.2) and counting by tens, but backwards!

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