Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lion Mini-Unit

I pulled an old favorite from the shelf the other day. It was "Andy and the Lion" by James Daugherty. Remember that one? I love the graceful illustrations: the swing of Andy's books from their tether, the torment in the lion's face as Andy pulls the thorn; and the relief afterward... Troubles, Missy and the 3 year old I babysit listened to the story.

Then we watched this clip, this clip, and this clip on YouTube. After the little one went home, we watched this amazing video. We were astounded! The next day I read "Lion" by William Pene Du Bois (and discovered that I have two copies each with different covers) and "The Monkey, The Lion and The Snake" by Kurt Werth.

We learned that ancient people drew lions on the walls of caves:

We learned some new lion-related words: pride, savanna, predator, mane, carnivore. We located where lions live on the map. The Littles created lions out of playdough:

We printed off a lion coloring page.

We read about Jesus being called the Lion of the tribe of Judah and discussed why he would be called that. We also recalled how David killed a lion that threatened his sheep and that Sampson defended himself against an attacking lion and killed it.

Other books that will be read together over the next few days are:

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and A Prologue by Maurice Sendak (sang by Carole King in this clip)
The Happy Lion by Lousie Fatio
The Happy Lion's Quest by Lousie Fatio
The Tawny, Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson
Herbert the Lion by Clare Turlay Newberry
Various Aesop's Fables with lions as characters (there are many!)
A Peaceable Kingdom illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen (not really about lions, but the cover is beautiful!)
Dandelion by Don Freeman
The Big Cats by Herbert Zim (Lion section only)
ZooBooks: The Big Cats (Troubles has been most fascinated by this one)

ETA more books (I can't believe I forgot about Bill Peet!):
Randy's Dandy Lions by Bill Peet
Hubert's Hair-Raising Adventure by Bill Peet

Saturday, December 25, 2010

How I Organize My Books

Since I have so many books, I need to have some method of organization so I can find them when I am looking for a particular book. My library is the same size as our bedrooms, lined with bookshelves. When you walk in, if you begin at the left side, you are in the science section. I organize this section by The Days of Creation. First are topics that have to do with light, creation, etc. Then subjects like atmosphere, weather, etc. Next comes geology, water systems, plants, seeds etc. Then astronomy topics, oceans and all water creatures, birds, land animals, dinosaurs (I put fossil, evolution and paleontology books here) , reptiles, amphibians, insects, bacteria etc. Finally, I have all topics related to man, such as anatomy, human biology, digestion, etc. here. I follow these sections with groupings of books about technology, architecture, locomotion, medicine etc. etc. Basically, science-related human accomplishments, I guess, for lack of a better term.

Once past science, I begin my author/illustrator section. I collect many different authors and illustrators and keep them in alphabetical order here. Some pose a problem, like Margaret Wise Brown books illustrated by Barbara Cooney. In this case, I think of who I would first associate the book with, the author or the illustrator and shelve it accordingly. This is the funnest section of the library, I think.

Following the author/illustrators, comes some miscellaneous shelves. One holds living math books, one poetry, one musical arts (ie: composer biographies and related items), some hold series (ie: The Bible Story, The Book of Knowledge, The Picturesque Tale of Progress), one folk and tall tales, one Brothers Grimm books, one past times and how-to books (ie: drawing books, how to play chess, how to perform card tricks and illusions, etc), one Christmas books.

Next come my favorite shelves: historical. I begin this section with the Ancients. Ancient Greece and her stories, Ancient Rome, Ancient China. Each historical book I get goes on these shelves in the proper timeline order. I can find any particular book quickly since its chronological. I can also pull a section easily for a topical study. This is the largest section of the library.

Finally come the novels. Lots and lots of novels. Poor double shelved (and more, sometimes) novels. The novels begin here, but many are also shelves on bookcases in the older childrens' rooms. On occasion, I switch all the novels shelves around. This leads to the older Lambies finding books they had overlooked or never seen before.

Books that are used for our curriculum (Ambleside Online) are shelved separately in the family room by Year. I can easily move a child up or down in books, as needed, since they are already pulled and ready.

Easy reader books are in the bedroom of the child or children that are at that level. Board books are in a wicker basket in my youngest sons room. I've given away most, since he's five and we have no babies. I've kept any that are good literature for visitors and future grandchildren. Troubles looks at them still, too.

I hope you have enjoyed a peek into my library. Please tell me about your organizational system!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Books: Shift Two

It's time to change out the Christmas books! To be enjoyed this week:

The Very First Christmas by Paul L. Maier illustrated by Francisco Ordaz
Over the River and Through the Woods by Lydia Maria Child illustrated by Brinton Turkle
Plum Pudding for Christmas by Virginia Kahl
The Three Begger Kings by Rosalys Haskell Hall illustrated by Kurt Werth
Santa's Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and Ivan Gantschev
Christmas in the Stable by Astrid Lindgren and Harald Wiberg
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Ilonka Karasz
The Holy Night by Aurel von Juchen illustrated by Celestino Piatti
Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale illustrated by Christopher Mason
The Christmas Mouse by Elizabeth Wenning
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer AND Rudolph Shines Again bu Robert L. May

Shift One Books   Shift Three Books

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Storybooks

The Fisherman and His Wife by The Grimm Brothers, retold and illustrated by Wanda Ga'g
Seahorse by Robert A. Morris illustrated by Arnold Lobel
The Josefina Story Quilt by Eleanor Coerr
The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Me and My Flying Machine by Marianna and Mercer Mayer
Who Put the Pepper in the Pot? by Joanna Cole
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown illustrated by Barbara Cooney
The Story of Christmas illustrated by Jane Ray
Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale illustrated by Christopher Mason