Ms. Frizzle's Adventure's: Ancient Egypt

Author: Joanna Cole
Illustrator: Bruce Deegan
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Level: Lexile 340L

SOL: 2.1 The student will explain how the contributions of ancient China and Egypt have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, inventions, the calendar, and written language.

Description: The ever so popular school teacher Ms. Frizzle is back at it in this series and is taking the kids on an adventure to Egypt. In the story she is their tour guide helping them to discover the ancient wonders of Egypt in a fun and informational way.

I chose to add this book to the blog because I have always found Magic School Bus books to do an excellent job of being fun, humorous and educational for kids. Many important and true facts are included but the author and illustrator both express this information in fun and creative ways for the readers.


Author: Barbara Timberlake Russell
Illustrator: Jim Burke
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and respect for individual rights and freedoms.

Reading Level: Grade Level Equivalent – 3.9

Description: This book is written from the viewpoint of a young immigrant girl who traveled to New Orleans, America with her family in the early 19th Century. It celebrates the mixing of one’s own traditions and culture with the American society of the time – especially the pastime of music.

Why I chose it: This book appeals to me as an educator because it uses specific vocabulary and cultural practices from the period. The students are given the opportunity to hear the language of the Irish family and see the bustling city of New Orleans during this time period.

A Chair for My Mother

Author: Vera B. Williams
Publisher: Reading Rainbow Books
Level: K-3

1.9 The student will recognize that people save money for the future to purchase goods and services.

Description: A young girl and her mother lose all of their belongings in a house fire. The story depicts these two women as well as the grandmother working towards saving up their money in a jar until they can afford a necessary comfortable piece of furniture.

I chose this book because of all the positive messages that were depicted and also the fact that it won a Caldecott Medal. I thought that the story not only taught the readers how to save money for necessary goods, but I did think the plot was something that could happen to any student and their family at any given time and they should recognize this type of situation.

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln

Title: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln

Author: Mary Pope Osborne

Publisher: Random House

Related SOLs:
History VS.7- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by
a) identifying the events and differences between northern and southern states that divided
Virginians and led to secession, war, and the creation of West Virginia;
b) describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia;
c) describing the roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians.

History USI.9-The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by
a) describing the cultural, economic, and constitutional issues that divided the nation;
b) explaining how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased sectional tensions;
c) identifying on a map the states that seceded from the Union and those that remained in the Union;
d) describing the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Frederick Douglass in events leading to and during the war;
e) using maps to explain critical developments in the war, including major battles;
f) describing the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldiers
(including African American soldiers), women, and enslaved African Americans.

Amazon Grade Level: 3rd- 5th

Summary: This non-fiction chapter book is about the life of Abraham Lincoln. Readers will learn about Lincoln as a child and follow is his story to his unfortunate death.

I chose this book because it serves as a good resource for students learning about Abraham Lincoln. Although it is a non-fiction book it is written in a way that still keeps readers excited and interested to find out what happens next. Another great aspect of this story is that is provides readers with tips on how to conduct research and provides actual resources the reader can use to learn more about Lincoln.

All About America: Colonist and Independence

Title: All About America: Colonists and Independence

Author: Sally Senzell Isaacs

Publisher: Kingfisher

Related SOLs:
History VS.3- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by
a) explaining the reasons for English colonization;
b) describing how geography influenced the decision to settle at Jamestown;
e) identifying the importance of the arrival of Africans and English women to the Jamestown settlement;
f) describing the hardships faced by settlers at Jamestown and the changes that took place to ensure survival;
g) describing the interactions between the English settlers and the native peoples, including the contributions of Powhatan to the survival of the settlers.

History VS.5- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by
a) identifying the reasons why the colonies went to war with Great Britain, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence;
b) identifying the various roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians in the Revolutionary War era, including George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and James Lafayette;

History USI.6- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes and results of the American Revolution by
a) identifying the issues of dissatisfaction that led to the American Revolution;
b) identifying how political ideas shaped the revolutionary movement in America and led to the Declaration of Independence;
c) describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with
emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry;
d) explaining reasons why the colonies were able to defeat Great Britain

Amazon Grade Level: 4th- Up

Summary: Colonist and Independence gives an overview of the major events leading up to America’s independence from the 1600s. The book begins with the establishment of Jamestown, tells of the Salem Witch Trials, explains the use of slaves, the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, and the events after the Revolutionary War.

I chose this book because I believe it provides readers with an age appropriate understanding of the events that began and formed our nation. Because of the amount of side notes and small sections of information, I believe this book would be more suitable for individual exploration versus a read aloud. I also like this book because it really allows the reader to dive into and explore our country’s history.

The Best of Times

Title: The Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply
Author: Greg Tang
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reading Level: 2nd-5th Grade

SOL: Computation and Estimation
3.5 The student will recall multiplication facts through the twelves table, and the corresponding
division facts.
4.4 The student will
a) estimate sums, differences, products, and quotients of whole numbers;
b) add, subtract, and multiply whole numbers;
c) divide whole numbers, finding quotients with and without remainders; and
d) solve single-step and multistep addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems with
whole numbers.
5.4 The student will create and solve single-step and multistep practical problems involving
addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with and without remainders of whole numbers.

Summary: Using simple rhymes, this book explains the fundamentals of how each number from one to ten works. It tells how these numbers are multiplied together to get different products and offers clever techniques for readers to remember the math facts. Each multiplication problem has a rhyme and a visual for children to learn from and the end of each page includes challenge questions for them to try out as well. There are also practice tables in the back of the book for further instruction.

Explanation of Choice: This book presents the confusing concepts of multiplication in a fun and easy way so that children can really comprehend it all. It uses poems and a variety of different math problems in order to help children go beyond knowing the basic times tables to really understanding the concepts of multiplication. The clever rhymes are complimented by the animated illustrations. This book is very interactive as it provides different practice problems and activities for students and is a great learning tool to have in the classroom.

The Great Graph Contest

Title: The Great Graph Contest
Author: Loreen Leedy
Publisher: Holiday House
Reading Level: Kindergarten-3rd Grade

SOL: Probability and Statistics
K.14 The student will display gathered data in object graphs, picture graphs, and tables, and will
answer questions related to the data.
1.14 The student will investigate, identify, and describe various forms of data collection (e.g.,
recording daily temperature, lunch count, attendance, favorite ice cream), using tables, picture
graphs, and object graphs.
2.17 The student will use data from experiments to construct picture graphs, pictographs, and bar
3.17 The student will
a) collect and organize data, using observations, measurements, surveys, or experiments;
b) construct a line plot, a picture graph, or a bar graph to represent the data; and
c) read and interpret the data represented in line plots, bar graphs, and picture graphs and
write a sentence analyzing the data.

Summary: Gonk the toad and Beezy the Lizard are having a competition to see who can make the best graphs. Their friend Chester the snail will be the judge and they try to impress him by making bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, quantity graphs, and more. The two friends work out simple equations in order to create their various graphs, allowing readers to learn about how each one is made.

Explanation of Choice: This book does a great job of explaining the different types of graphs to children. The cartoon illustrations and large text make this an entertaining and easy to follow format for kids. They are introduced to the important math concepts of data collection, data management, and the use of graphic organizers. Children learn the different types of graphs and how to properly use them. The book includes even more details about how each graph was made at the end and even provides instructions for students to make their own.