Posts Tagged ‘summer activities’

Read Alouds for 7-10 year olds, approved by a difficult-to-please 8 year old boy

Posted on August 19th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts Suggests Read  Alouds for 7-10 Year Olds



Finding great books for 7 – 10 year olds to enjoy can be enormously rewarding. The initial learn–to-read phase is complete and we hope our children will chose to read for pleasure. When, as parents, we check to see why things are so quiet and discover our children with a book, it is indeed a special ‘a-ha’ moment.

Just as reading picture books aloud is important to very young children, it is vital that mom and/or dad continues to read aloud to emergent readers. Long after your child reads independently there are books worth exploring together. Sharing wonderful chapter books with your child will motivate him to read more challenging books. There are marvelous fantasies, legends, and mysteries for you and your child to discover.Charlotte's Web

A grade two teacher recently wrote to me, hoping for some read aloud recommendations. She had already shared James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume and Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White with her class. I replied to her and shared these suggestions – I have personally tested each and every one with a difficult-to-please eight year old boy.

Here are my suggested read alouds for 7-10 year olds

Follow this link for many more chapter book suggestions for 7-10 year olds

image of cover art for A Mouse Called WolfA Mouse Called Wolf written by Dick King Smith
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Yearling, an imprint of Random House

When looking for books to share with this age group, I would encourage you to take a look at Dick King-Smith’s books. King-Smith wrote Babe: The Gallant Pig and Ace: A Very Important Pig and numerous other wonderful animal stories. A Mouse Called Wolf is one of my favourites. It explores the love of music and also the loneliness that sometimes accompanies old age.

Reading one of Dick King-Smith’s books might launch a reader into his entire booklist.

A Mouse Called Wolf at Amazon.com

A Mouse Called Wolf at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for The Legend of Spud MurphyThe Legend of Spud Murphy written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by Glenn McCoy
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Miramax

My 8 year old and I enjoyed Eoin Colfer’s Legend of Spud Murphy and Eoin Colfer’s Captain Crow’s Teeth together. Both were good fun and will be enjoyed by 7-10 year olds. The Legend of Spud Murphy has a very good message about reading and books therefore, I chose it as my favourite. Eoin Colfer is the author of the Artemis Fowl series (for older children).

Eoin Colfer’s Legend of Spud Murphy at Amazon.com

Eoin Colfer’s The Legend of Spud Murphy at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for The Seven Wonders of Sassafras SpringsThe Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs written by Betty G. Birney and illustrated by Matt Phelan
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

For something completely different, I like The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs . Here we have a young boy who reads about the Seven Wonders of the World and longs to explore the world outside his hometown. His dad agrees to send him on a trip but first he must find The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs.
There are all sorts of opportunities for extention activities, possibly building an entire unit around this book. Perhaps your students could be encouraged to find a ‘wonder’ all their own.

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs at Amazon.com

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Truly Winnie Truly Winnie – written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson and illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Sandpiper

Winnie, Vanessa and Zoe are off to their first overnight camp! They’ll be away from home for two weeks – swimming, climbing, boating and making new friends. Winnie, whose mother died after she was born, knows all too well that she is different from other girls. When she is assigned to a tent away from her closest friends, she is forced to make new friends. When getting to know her fellow campers, Winnie tells of her mother’s many accomplishments and before long is caught in a web of deception.

I read Truly Winnie aloud to my eight-year-old son. When I suggested we give it a try, I thought he might resist because the main characters are all girls (imagine!) In fact, the camp theme and compelling story made the Truly Winnie a good choice for both boys and girls. Nominated for the 2004 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award and chosen by the School Library Journal for their annual Children’s Curriculum, Truly Winnie offers many opportunities for discussion including

How it feels to a be a ‘third wheel”
How being away from home changes the campers and
Why Winnie feels she must invent a mother

Truly Winnie at Amazon.com

Truly Winnie at Amazon.ca

The Boy with Lightning Feet – written by Sally Gardner and illustrated by Lydia Corry
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Orion Children’s Books

Timmy Twinkle has lived with his grandfather since his mom left the family and moved to Spain. The loss of his mom leaves Timmy feeling empty. He tries to fill the void with food and before long he is chubby, friendless and a target for bullies.

Timmy dreams of playing football (soccer), but his weight problem renders him clumsy at sports.

When a friend comes to stay with Timmy and his grandfather, she shares her passion for physical fitness. Before long Timmy is lean and ready to discover the magic in his toes.

Part of Ms. Gardner’s Magical Children series, The Boy with Lightning Feet will hold a special appeal for football (soccer) players and children who lack confidence in their own magical qualities. It was a definite winner in our household.

The Boy with the Lightning Feet at Amazon.com

The Boy with the Lightning Feet at Amazon.ca

Sir Gadabout Goes Barking Mad – written by Martyn Beardsley and illustrated by Tony Ross

Sir Gadabout holds the dubious title of Worst Knight in the World. When King Arthur dispatches him to collect Merlin and deliver him in time for the Magic World Cup, Gadabout and company encounter Demelza and Morag, two decidedly wicked witches. Before long, Gadabout is convinced that the witches have turned Merlin – reining world champion wizard – into a talking dog.

Great fun here for young readers and their parents to enjoy together. Read it aloud and enjoy the inside jokes.

Sir Gadabout Goes Barking Mad at Amazon.com

Sir Gadabout Goes Barking Mad at Amazon.ca


Special Wordless Picture Books to Enjoy with Your Child

Posted on August 19th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Wordless picture books are great for encouraging language development in young children. These books usually tell a story, clearly depicting a series of events. Before attempting to tell a ’story’, children should be encouraged to look through the entire book and get a sense of what is about to happen and how the story ends. Many children delight in the discovery that there are no words to ‘read.’ This can make for an exciting role reversal as young children have an opportunity to ‘read’ the pictures and ‘tell’ the story to an adult or another child.

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books

I am happy to introduce two new special wordless picture books…
Once Upon a Banana written by Jennifer Armstrong and illustrated by David Small
Almost Wordless Picture Book published by Simon and Schuster

In this (almost) wordless picture book, hilarious events are set in motion when a small monkey tosses a banana peel onto a sidewalk. Before long it would appear that the entire town is upset – dogs break loose, a cyclist goes flying, a grocery cart is upended and, oh no, look at that baby carriage! Terrific fun.

Once Upon a Banana at Amazon.com

Once Upon a Banana at Amazon.ca

Flotsam created by David Wiesner
Wordless Picture Book published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Here, we join a boy and his family as they spend a day at the beach. Clearly an enthusiastic scientist, he arrives equipped with binoculars, a magnifying glass and a microscope. As he searches for interesting ‘flotsam’, a huge wave crashes over him and leaves an old underwater camera just above the waterline. The boy races to a nearby shop and waits as the film is developed. When handed the photos, he can’t believe what they reveal. Flotsam is truly a ‘treasure chest’ of visual delights.

Flotsam (Caldecott Medal Book)at Amazon.com

Flotsam at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts offers dozens of early literacy printables, All of the printables are in PDF format. Here is a sampling of our beach-related printables. Check the tab above for more resources.

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Beginning to Read – Day 1

Posted on August 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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In our first Beginning to Read class for this week, our theme was ‘the beach.’ We read a story by Marie-Louise Gay titled, Stella Star of the Sea. We talked about Stella and her little brother, Sam. We noticed that Sam is afraid and that Stella is not. We also talked about the fact that Sam asks many, many questions. Sometimes Stella’s answers are correct and sometimes her answers are not. Most of the children were able to make connections between this story and experiences they have had. Many talked about going to the beach and seeing shells or sea stars, some talked about being on boats and seeing killer whales. I think Sam’s hesitance to dive into the water is something we can all relate to.

You might be interested to hear some of the children’s responses to my question, “Why might it be noisy at the beach?” I thought they would answer, “The sound of the waves is loud.” Actually, they mentioned that crabs make quite a bit of noise, sperm whales are also loud. Others mentioned sea gulls. With some prompting, some of the children thought that the waves (caused by boats) are loud.

By the way, we love it when children make connections with the books they read! Whenever possible, try to match books to your child’s experiences; starting school, travelling, going to the dentist, planting a garden, visiting a fire hall.

Also, just a gentle reminder, reading aloud to children continues to be important – even when they begin reading independently. When your child begins to read, make sure that you continue to read books that s/he is not yet able to manage. You will motivate your child to become a better reader!

In today’s class we talked about vowels (A, E, I, O, U, Y). The children learned a little song about vowels. We will use one vowel each day and today’s vowel was “a.” We combined “a” with “t” to make the work “at.” Once we had read “at,” we added b, c, f, h, m, p, r, and s to make words. We also tried some “tough” words: flat, that and splat.

In the 2:15 class and the 4:00 class, we played a game that reinforced today’s word family. The children threw ‘seaweed’ at ‘shark fins’ and then we read the words on the shark fins. The shark fin words were ‘at’, ‘bat’, ‘cat’, ‘fat’, ‘hat’, ‘mat’, ‘pat’, ‘rat’, and ‘sat.’

I will write again tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Also, just a quick note to say that none of our classes are full this week. There are places available at 12:30, 2:15 and 4:00. If you have a friend who is interested, please have them call the Registration Call Centre or stop by Steveston to register. It would be my pleasure to see the last few spaces filled.

Downloads from Marie-Louise Gay’s website
Click here for Stella and Sam stickers, colouring sheets, posters, bookmarks and more

Downloads from this Website

image of PDF icon  The "At" Word Family

Free -at word family printable for young readers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.com

Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.ca

Exploring Michael Foreman’s Eco-Friendly Picturebook: One World

Posted on July 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at an eco-friendly picture book; One World by Michael Foreman.  Great for Earth Day.One World written and illustrated by Michael Foreman
Eco friendly picture book published by Andersen Press



You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, recycling, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


“She thought of all the creatures who lived under the sky, the animals who shared the warmth of the sun and bathed in the soft, silver light of the moon.”

After taking time to consider the diversity of animals on earth, a young girl visits a beach along with her brother. Together, they explore a wondrous tidal pool, filled with seaweed, small fish, sea anenomes, starfish. Unfortunately, it is not long before the children discover that the pool has been marred by a rusty tin can and a blob of oil. As the day at the seashore progresses, the youngsters fill a bucket with water, they add sand, pebbles, seaweed and shells before deciding to catch some tiny, live creatures. With their small sandpail marine habitat complete, the children revisit the rock pool and discover that it is no longer beautiful; the discarded, rusty can and the oil are all that remain. Startled at what they see, the children set about returning the sand, pebbles, seaweed, shells and fish to a more eoc-friendly pool. They remove the tin can and draw the oil out of the water using a seabird feather. Satisfied with the progress they’ve made, they decide to enlist the help of other children when checking the tidal pools the following day.

Beautiful illustrations and “not-too-much text” make this a lovely eco-friendly read aloud for children aged four and up. This is a picture book that begs readers to discuss not only the story but also the illustrations as Foreman gently depicts deforestation, air pollution and the threat of global warming.

Originally published in 1990, a new paperback edition is being published this summer.

One World at Amazon.com

One World at Amazon.ca

Doha College curriculum tie-in for One World

Wendy North’s curriculum suggestions for One World


Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books and Printables for Young Children

Posted on July 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Summertime Learning Fun for Kids from StorytimeStandouts.com including summer, camping and beach theme picture books










Elsewhere on this page

Free Summer, Camping and Beach Theme Printable Poems, Rhymes and Chants for Preschool and Kindergarten

Highlighting Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books for Children

Summer, Camping Theme Picture Books including A Camping Spree with Mr. MageeA Camping Spree with Mr. Magee - written and Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Camping theme picture book published by Chronicle Books

An absolutely irresistible adventure story for young children. A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee is one of my all-time favorite picture books. When Mr. Magee and his small dog begin their camping trip, they have no inkling that a near-sighted, marshmallow-fancying bear will soon have them staring down a fifty foot waterfall.

They were snoring and snoozing, enjoying a dream, When splash went the camper right into the stream! The splash shook the camper. They jumped out of bed. “Now what in the world was that?” Magee said.

Both adults and children will thoroughly enjoy the rich and dramatic illustrations as well as the delightful rhyming prose. Don’t miss it!

36 pages, Ages 4 to 7

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee at Amazon.com

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee at Amazon.ca

Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books including Heat WaveHeat Wave - written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Summer weather picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What a sizzling combo! Eileen Spinelli and Betsy Lewin have teamed up to create the perfect bedtime story for a stifling hot summer day. Set in an era before air conditioning was commonplace, everyone in Lumberville is seeking relief from the oppressive heat:

Butchy Bezwick and Charley Pappas squirted each other with garden hoses and lay on the cool linoleum listening to the radio.

“Take me to the drugstore for an ice-cream soda, please,” Abigail Blue begged her father. “Please!”‘

Whether you and your child are experiencing hot, humid summertime weather or just wishing for one more blast, Heat Wave is a delightful summer-theme picture book that will evoke long-past lazy summer days and much simpler times. Ms. Spinelli’s prose and Ms. Lewin’s illustrations are a perfect match, evoking a strong sense of community and family.

Good fun for youngsters aged four and up, the is a picture book that adults will thoroughly enjoy sharing with children.

Note – Heat Wave begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. If desired, extension activities could include learning about the days of the week.

Heat Wave at Amazon.comlink to purchase from Amazon.com

Heat Wave at Amazon.calink to Heat Wave from Amazon.ca

Summer, Camping and Beach Theme Picture Books including A Pod of OrcasA Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book written by Sheryl McFarlane and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
Ocean and beach-theme concept book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Preschoolers will love the sailboats, harbour seals, sandcastles and magnificent orcas. Written and illustrated by residents of British Columbia, the gentle rhymes and striking illustrations encourage closer examination of a beautiful day at the seaside.

Highly recommended

24 pages and suitable for children 2 to 5

A Pod of Orcas at Amazon.com

A Pod of Orcas at Amazon.ca

In the Tree HouseIn the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Picture Book published by Kids Can Press

One of my favorite parenting memories involves snuggling with my sons and watching the Perseid Meteor Showers. When they were young, we scheduled an annual camping trip with friends so that we would be away from city lights and able to watch for shooting stars. I will never forget the experience of sitting beachside in a folding chair with one of my sons on my lap. We would wrap a blanket around us and wait. Most years there were eight of us searching for the dramatic streaks of light across the night sky. Each time a meteor appeared, there would be squeals of delight, “Oh, did you see THAT one?”

Andrew Larsen’s In the Tree House tells of a young boy who is feeling the changes that time brings. He and his family move into a new house and, instead of sharing with an older brother, he has his own room. He misses having his brother in his room and he has trouble falling asleep. He uses his wakefulness to plan treehouses. He’s excited when his brother starts drawing treehouses and he’s thrilled when his dad agrees to make his dream a reality. It is not long before Dad and sons are perched up high, gazing at the night sky.Storytime Standouts looks at In the Tree House

“Why aren’t there any stars?” I asked between gulps of lemonade.

“They’re up there,” Dad said. “We just can’t see them,”

He explained how the lights from the city make the sky too bright for us to see the stars shine.

They boys love spending their summer in the tree house. They play cards and read comics and watch their neighborhood.

The following year, circumstances have changed. The older brother has new friends and they keep him busy. The tree house that was once magical now seems empty until a chance power outage transforms the neighborhood. In the darkness, the older brother returns to the tree house and the boys’ special relationship is revealed once again – just as the utter darkness reveals a sparkling night sky.

In the Tree House is a shining tribute to the special relationship between siblings and the small, meaningful moments that make a world of difference.

Nominated for a (Ontario Library Association) 2014 Blue Spruce Forest of Reading Award

In the Tree House has also been nominated for a 2013 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award.

In the Tree House at Amazon.com

In the Tree House at Amazon.ca




You may also be interested in our page with gardening resources

Storytime Standouts Gardening Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten


Summer Early Learning Printables

Summer and Camping Theme Printables for Young Children

If you are spending your weekend at a beach, having a picnic or camping, why not follow-up with a learning activity or two? We offer more than 200 free printable PDFs for all sorts of occasions. For summer, we want to highlight our sandcastle interlined paper and our beach vocabulary printable. When used together, young writers will be inspired by the vocabulary and will feel confident when writing about a great day at the beach.

Step 1 – Make sure you have Adobe Reader. If you don’t have it, please click on the ‘Get Adobe Reader’ button to install it for free.image for Adobe Reader


Step 2 – Pin this page, bookmark this page, share this page, “Like” us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.
Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free Father’s Day printables.


Storytime Standouts Free  Beach Picture Dictionary

image of PDF icon  Summer Word Search

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  A Camping We Will Go

Traditional children's song about camping








Storytime Standouts Free Printable Sandcastle Interlined Paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Camping

Camping theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Canada Day

Canada theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - July 4th, Independence Day

Independence Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Picnic

Picnic theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Roadtrip

Roadtrip theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sunflower

Sunflower theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Watermelon

Watermelon, Summer theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Summer For Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

Summertime Means Lots of Opportunity for Kids to Read and Do

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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cover art for The Kids Campfire Book

The lazy days of summer are perfect for reinforcing your child’s emerging reading skills. When you are out and exploring, take a child-friendly reference book with you and keep it nearby as you do some star gazing, bird watching, beach or nature walks.

When sitting around a campfire, encourage story-telling or pull out a book of spooky stories and a flashlight. Snuggling up around a fire is the perfect place to listen to spine-chilling tales.

At home, provide easy access to supplies of crayons, pencils, lined and unlined paper. Keeping a summertime scrapbook or diary will encourage your child to do some writing and/or illustrating.

cover art for The Kids Night Sky

Look for books on CD or download audio books. Long drives are so much more pleasant when everyone is listening to an engaging story. I can still remember where we were driving when we heard the amazing recording of Cressida Cowell’s hugely entertaining  How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III). The miles simply flew by as our entire family created a fabulous memory.

Finally, don’t forget the all-important trip to the library. For young children, look for a mix of rhyming books, alphabet books and other not-to-be-missed picture books. For older children why not find some books of science experiments or art projects to go along with some chapter books?

The Kids Campfire Book, Official Book of Campfire Fun at Amazon.com

The Kids Campfire Book, Official Book of Campfire Fun at Amazon.ca

The Kids Book of the Night Sky at Amazon.com

The Kids Book of the Night Sky at Amazon.ca

 

 

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