One of my biggest struggles in my college teacher preparation courses was developing an understanding of how lessons plans were written. Often, I would find really cool books and would want to design lessons based upon the books for my students. However, I was taught that as an educator I must start with a learning objective or goal then find the really cool books to use as tools to help my students demonstrate learning. My early frustration with this philosophy subdued when I came to understand curriculum, grade level standards, and performance indicators. It makes sense in a school setting -- if you having learning objectives to teach about measurement then Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy would certainly be a cool book to help your students obtain their goal of understanding how to measure height, width, length, weight, volume, temperature, and time. But, I am happy as a parent that I can return to my original comfort zone and let the really cool books drive my children's learning -- just like this week when we read this really cool bookThe Shocking Truth about Energy by Loreen Leedy which inspired a family reading experience at the local science museum.
Loreen Leedy is an author and illustrator of over 40 books for children. Many of her books are used by teachers and homeschooling parents to help meet learning objectives in the areas of math, science, social studies, and language arts. Over the past few weeks, my family read books by Loreen Leedy that covered the topics of graphing, the food pyramid, the 50 states, and writing letters. On her website it states that she, "majored in art in college but wasn't sure what kind of artist she wanted to be. She began making polymer clay jewelry and chess sets and selling them at craft shows. The pins, earrings, and chess pieces were whimsical pigs, cats, dragons, and other animals."(loreenleedy.com) Her first book, A Number of Dragons was published in 1985, after she began drawing pictures and writing stories about her jewelry characters. Her latest book, Seeing Symmetry, is currently receiving very good reviews.
Our favorite book of the week was The Shocking Truth about Energy. This book features the energetic character, Erg, that taught us all about energy including its different forms and conservation tips. Loreen Leedy said on the I.N.K. blog, "One of the most important aspects of this project to me was to include both the positive aspects of each power source as well as the downsides. For example, the good news about fossil fuels is that they are a very concentrated form of energy. The bad news is that they cause pollution, are not renewable, and contribute to climate change."
I noticed the following day after reading this book that my son was able to retain quite a lot of information about energy, including the origin of fossil fuels and how a wind turbine generates electricity. I saw the opportunity to foster my children's enthusiasm for energy with a visit to to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. - click here to read more -