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from diapers to deconstruction


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Puerto Rico: The Island of Enchantment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I changed our initial yearly plan this year to include a unit study on Puerto Rico because it was showing up so much in our news cycle. I wanted my kids to have a sense of what’s going on in that part of the United States, but also to know that there’s more to Puerto Rico than the aftermath of hurricanes. As in all our place-based unit studies, I tried to balance history, culture, geography, animals, food, and families, so we get multiple perspectives on each location. And, while I don’t think we did them justice, we did try some fried plantains.

  1. Abuelita’s Paradise by Carmen Santiago Nodar and Diane Paterson
  2. Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games by Lulu Delacre
  3. Color Crayola’s Puerto Rican Flag
  4. Children of Puerto Rico by Michael Elsohn Ross and Felix Rigau
  5. Watch Families of Puerto Rico
  6. Fairy Tales of Puerto Rico by David García and Gus Anavitate
  7. Festival Foods by Jenny Vaughan and Penny Beauchamp
  8. The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth from Puerto Rico by Nina Jaffe and Enrique Sánchez
  9. Good Night Puerto Rico by Lisa Bolivar Martinez and Matthew Martinez
  10. Hispanic American History: Building a New World by Jim Ollhoff
  11. Hurricane! by Jonathan London and Henri Sorensen
  12. It’s My State! Puerto Rico: The Island of Enchantment by Ruth Bjorklund and Richard Hantula
  13. Juan Bobo: Four Folktales from Puerto Rico retold by Carmen Bernier-Grand and Ernesto Ramos Nieves
  14. Juan Bobo and the Horse of Seven Colors by Jan Mike and Charles Reasoner
  15. Juan Bobo Goes to Work by Marisa Montes and Joe Cepeda
  16. Mimi’s Parranda/La Parranda de Mimí by Lydia Gil and Hernán Sosa
  17. Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano and Marjorie Priceman
  18. One Proud Penny by Randy Siegel and Serge Bloch
  19. The Outside Dog by Charlotte Pomerantz and Jennifer Plecas
  20. Paco and the Witch by Felix Pitre and Christy Hale
  21. Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore
  22. Puerto Rico by Holly Saari
  23. Puerto Rico by Tyler Maine
  24. Puerto Ricans in America by Stacy Taus-Bolstad
  25. Puerto Rico: Past and Present by Maria DaSilva-Gordon
  26. Rafi and Rosi by Lulu Delacre
  27. Rafi and Rosi: Carnival! By Lulu Delacre
  28. Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Jonah Winter and Raúl Colón
  29. Sergio and the Hurricane by Alexandra Wallner
  30. Shake It, Morena! And Other Folklore from Puerto Rico by Carmen Bernier-Grand and Lulu Delacre
  31. The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald and Mary Newell DePalma
  32. There’s a Billy Goat in the Garden by Laurel Dee Gugler and Clare Beaton
  33. World Factbook: Puerto Rico by the CIA
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Unit Study: Exploring Judaism

 

 

 

 

 

This list is our longest one to date, because every time I thought I’d requested all the library materials we’d need, I discovered another avenue we wanted to explore. These are stories of faith, wisdom, and wit. We read about the history of Judaism from ancient days to contemporary times, covering folktales and fairytales along with Holocaust accounts and high holy days. From the revitalization of Hebrew and the modern state of Israel, to influential Jewish-Americans, to tales contemplating the nature of God, these stories introduced us to the beauty of Judaism.

  1. The Adventures of Bella & Harry: Let’s Visit Jerusalem! by Lisa Manzione and Kristine Lucco
  2. And Shira Imagined by Giora Carmi
  3. Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis and Dusan Petriĉić
  4. Because Nothing Looks Like God by Lawrence Kushner, Karen Kushner, and Dawn Majewski
  5. Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott and Josée Bisaillon
  6. The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco
  7. The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco
  8. The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street by Ann Redisch Stampler and Francesca Carabelli
  9. The Cats of Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse and Wendy Watson
  10. Celebrate: A Book of Jewish Holidays by Judith Gross and Bari Weissman
  11. Make Challah Bread
  12. Chicken Man by Michelle Edwards
  13. A Concert in the Sand by Tami Shem-Tov, Rachella Sandbank, and Avi Ofer
  14. The Harmonica by Tony Johnston and Ron Mazellan
  15. The Elijah Door: A Passover Tale by Linda Leopold Strauss and Alexi Natchev
  16. Elisabeth by Claire A. Nivola
  17. Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser and Claire Nivola
  18. Engineer Ari and the Hanukkah Mishap by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Shahar Kober
  19. Watch Families of Israel
  20. Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Shahar Kober
  21. Even Higher! A Rosh Hashanah Story by I.L. Peretz, Eric Kimmel, and Jill Weber
  22. Color Crayola’s Flag of Israel
  23. Gershon’s Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year by Eric Kimmel and Jon Muth
  24. God’s Paintbrush by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and Annette Compton
  25. Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade by Barbara Krasner and Kelsey Garrity-Riley
  26. Good Night Israel by Mark Jasper and Anne Rosen
  27. Color Crayola’s Happy Hanukkah Menorah
  28. Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky and Greg Harlin
  29. Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays by Lesléa Newman and Susan Gal
  30. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman
  31. I Will Come Back for You: A Family in Hiding during World War II by Marisabina Russo
  32. Israel ABCs: A Book about the People and Places of Israel by Holly Schroeder and Claudia Wolf
  33. It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach
  34. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  35. Journeys with Elijah by Barbara Diamond Goldin and Jerry Pinkney
  36. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
  37. Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates
  38. Kibitzers and Fools: Tales My Zayda Told Me by Simms Taback
  39. King Solomon and the Bee by Dalia Hardof Renberg and Ruth Heller
  40. The Language of Angels: A Story about the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson and Karla Gudeon
  41. Latke the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer and Tiphanie Beeke
  42. The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman and Paul Meisel
  43. The Longest Night: A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder and Catia Chien
  44. Lotsa Matzah by Tilda Balsley and Akemi Gutierrez
  45. Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah by Tilda Balsley and David Harrington
  46. More than Enough: A Passover Story by April Halprin Wayland and Katie Kath
  47. The Mouse in the Matzah Factory by Francine Medoff and David Goldstein
  48. My First Chanukah by Tomie dePaola
  49. My First Passover by Tomie dePaola
  50. My Very Own Haggadah: A Seder Service for Young Children by Judyth Robbins Saypol, Madeline Wikler, and Chaya Burstein
  51. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
  52. Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim: A Passover Story by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Jago
  53. Netta and Her Plant by Ellie Gellman and Natascia Ugliano
  54. Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon, Tanya Simon, and Mark Siegel
  55. The Peddler’s Gift by Maxine Rose Schur and Kimberly Bulcken Root
  56. A Picture Book of Anne Frank by David Adler and Karen Ritz
  57. Psalm Twenty-Three by Tim Ladwig
  58. Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty and Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  59. Raisel’s Riddle by Erica Silverman and Susan Gaber
  60. The Rooster Prince of Breslov by Ann Redisch Stampler and Eugene Yelchin
  61. The Sabbath Lion: A Jewish Folktale from Algeria by Howard Schwartz, Barbara Rush, and Stephen Fieser
  62. A Sack Full of Feathers by Debby Waldman and Cindy Revell
  63. Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  64. Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  65. Sammy Spider’s First Shabbat by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  66. Sammy Spider’s First Shavuot by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  67. Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  68. Shmulik Paints the Town by Lisa Rose and Catalina Echeverri
  69. Shlemazel and the Remarkable Spoon of Pohost by Ann Redisch Stampler and Jacqueline Cohen
  70. Snow in Israel by Deborah da Costa, Cornelius Van Wright, and Ying-Hwa Hu
  71. Stork’s Landing by Tamii Lehman-Wilzig and Anna Shuttlewood
  72. This Is Israel by M. Sasek
  73. The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking through Anne Frank’s Window by Jeff Gottesfeld and Peter McCarty
  74. The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition by Nina Jaffe and Louise August
  75. Way Too Many Latkes: A Hanukkah in Chelm by Linda Glaser and Aleksander Zolotic
  76. The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren and Fabio Santomauro
  77. Willy & Max by Amy Littlesugar and William Low
  78. The Wooden Sword by Ann Redisch Stampler and Carol Liddiment
  79. The Wren and the Sparrow by J. Patrick Lewis and Yevgenia Nayberg
  80. Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams and Chiara Fedele
  81. Yuvi’s Candy Tree by Lesley Simpson and Janice Lee Porter
  82. The Yankee at the Seder by Elka Weber and Adam Gustavson


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From Sea to Shining Sea: The U.S.A.

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To complement our unit on New York, we looked more broadly at the United States, too. The goal of this list was to provide an overview of the geography of the fifty states and a brief introduction to how the states got started. There are so many directions we can explore from this list, but my purpose here was to give my girls a sweeping view of our country so we can dig into the details later, from sea to shining sea.

  1. The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan and Sol Linero
  2. Celebrate the 50 States by Loreen Leedy
  3. Complete Melissa and Doug’s Wooden Fifty States Puzzle (pictured)
  4. Exploration and Conquest: The Americas after Columbus (1500-1620) by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro
  5. Greetings from the 50 States: How They Got Their Names by Sheila Keenan and Selina Alko
  6. Home: A Journey Through America by Thomas Locker
  7. The New Americans: Colonial Times (1620-1689) by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro
  8. The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller
  9. The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller
  10. Watch Scholastic’s The Scrambled States of America
  11. What Is the Statue of Liberty? by Joan Holub and John Hinderliter
  12. What Was Ellis Island? by Patricia Brennan Demuth and David Groff
  13. The United States of America: A State-by-State Guide by Millie Miller and Cyndi Nelson
  14. United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds by Hudson Talbott
  15. Listen to Wee Sing America