Beyond Stories: Young Childrens Nonfiction Composition

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Octopus Hug depicts two spirited youngsters, Jesse and Becky, who spend an evening playing with their father.

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Dad gives them an octopus hug, becomes a tree for climbing, and leads them in an evening of physical play. The book is a celebration of roughhousing, and Pringle notes that every activity was "living-room tested" with his own five children. A critic for Publishers Weekly commented that "The imaginative antics that tumble across these pages could constitute a manual for bored baby-sitters. After a successful first overnight camping trip, Jesse expresses regret at not seeing a bear, whereupon the father gathers the children in his arms for a huge bear hug.

School Library Journal contributor Linda L. Walkins called Bear Hug "an atmospheric story that portrays the excitement of a family outing. Pringle is also the author of two books relating his own life experiences: Nature! Wild and Wonderful, in which he presents interesting experiences from his life to readers in the early primary grades, and One-Room School, an informational picture book that recalls the year , the final year of operation of Pringle's one-room schoolhouse.

In a review of Nature! In evaluating his own body of work, Pringle wrote in SAAS: "My approach to writing a book is like that of a teacher planning to present a subject to students—not 'how many facts, dates, and definitions can I jam into their heads? My books tend to encourage readers to feel a kinship with other living things, and a sense of membership in the earth's ecosystem.

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I have also become an advocate of scientific thinking, or perhaps I should say just clear thinking. Challenging authority and accepted truths is a basic part of the scientific process. It has influenced my choice of book subjects, as I have questioned popular but incorrect notions about forest fires, dinosaurs, vampire bats, wolves, coyotes, and killer bees.

These books give readers the truth, to the extent we know it, and also demonstrate that the explorations of science aim at a better understanding of the world. As long as we keep exploring, that understanding can change.


In his essay "Science Done Here" in Celebrating Children's Books: Essays on Children's Literature in Honor of Zena Sutherland, Pringle wrote: "The doing of science depends on such special human qualities as curiosity, passion, creativity, and veracity. Partly because of these characteristics, science has been called the greatest hope of the human race.

Children's books have a vital role to play. They can make science and the universe more accessible to young people. They can stand for and appeal to the finest characteristics and highest aspirations of the human species. Arbuthnot, May Hill, Dianne L. Appraisal, winter, , Gregory R. Belcher, review of Death Is Natural, pp. Belcher, review of Natural Fire, winter, , p. Hoag, review of Nuclear Power, p. Booklist, October 1, , Denise M. Strange and Wonderful, p. Strange and Wonderful, pp.

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  8. Verner, review of An Extraordinary Life, pp. Del Negro, review of Naming the Cat, p. Childhood Education, spring, , p. Horn Book, October, , p. Stubbs, review of Natural Fire, p. Publishers Weekly, October 4, , p. School Library Journal, April, , pp. Wild and Wonderful, p. Sturgis, review of Crows! Walkins, review of Bear Hug, p. Washington Post Book World, May 17, , p. James Guide to Children's Writers, 5th edition, St.

    James Press Detroit, MI , Christian Science Monitor, October 23, , p. Conservationist, March-April, , p. Language Arts, Richard M. Kerper, "Art Influencing Art," pp. Scientific American, December, ; December, , p.

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    The downlink—a telecommunications signal from space to earth via a satellite or aircraft—will be streamed online to other libraries, where at least 20, kids are anticipated to join, according to Liz Powell, head librarian at Slover. Students ages 8—12 will talk with astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan, who will be on Expedition 60, the 60th voyage to the International Space Station.

    Following the stint, Koch will be setting the record for the most consecutive days—— a woman has been in space. To encourage exploration, her colleagues in the youth services department have built a byfoot inflatable dome as a makeshift planetarium. Westminster Colo. She says the exhibit, combined with programming, has increased overall involvement at the library. Clanton says the library is grateful for being selected to host the exhibit.

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    Lynette Fazio, programming administrator at Lafourche Parish La. Talk about the book as you read it, reviewing main ideas and plots and expressing your opinions. Then read an additional book or books on the same subject and compare and contrast how they dealt with the same issue. For example, read two fiction books about family like one of The Little House books and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon , or two different texts about one historical event. Talk with your child about the differences and why he thinks these differences exist.

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    Or, try it yourself! After sharing an experience with your child, each of you can write about it from your own perspective. Talk about the differences between what you wrote to gain a better understanding of perspective. Read magazine and newspaper articles. Focus on the illustrations, graphs, or charts. Much of the 4th grade writing curriculum focuses on developing writing that has clarity and structure, and that uses reasons, facts, and details to support and strengthen arguments.

    Fourth graders are taught to organize their writing, ensure that it flows well, and group together related components. As students learn to think more deeply about concepts they are taught, they are encouraged to write in deeper ways as well. They do this by going beyond simply stating the facts — they express ideas, make connections, and provide details and emotions when appropriate.

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    Inside, your fourth grader with find practice with grade-appropriate skills that she can use in daily writing assignments such as stories, journals, and letters. This workbook provides important practice in topics such as sentence types and structure, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and punctuation and capitalization to reinforce skills outlined in common standardized tests.

    Find out how this book helps tweens express themselves in brain-boosting ways! Ask Why : When your child expresses her opinion about something, ask her why she thinks that or how she knows it is true. Do the same when you express your opinion or ideas about something. Practice Typing : Encourage your child to practice her typing skills. Use typing games or make up your own games — for instance, you can give your child a word to spell and time how fast she can type it. Include details, conversations, thoughts, and emotions you had. Later on, use those notes to describe what you learned.

    In 4th grade, students master and further their multiplication, division, and general computation skills. They learn how to solve real-life word problems using the four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. By the end of the year, they are expected to do all of these operations with greater accuracy and speed.

    Prepare your child for a successful year with the book Everything You Need to Know About Math Homework , which is designed for upper grades. Fourth graders are also encouraged to explain how they solve problems in detailed and specific ways, both verbally and through writing, which helps them practice their writing and analytic skills. In 4th grade, students still use visuals, math tools, and manipulatives such as base blocks, fake money, dice, and shapes , especially to learn and explain how to solve problems with fractions.

    This workbook provides targeted, skill-building practice pages to help build this foundation for your child with fun exercises and easy-to-follow directions. Appoint the Family Mathematician : Now that your child is savvier than ever in his math skills, ask him to solve the math problems you encounter in everyday life. For instance, challenge him to calculate how much change you should receive back at a store, what measurements you need to carpet a room, or how much of an ingredient you need when you are doubling or tripling a recipe.

    Create Math Riddles : Make up your own math riddles for each other. Subtract 4, divide by 7, and add 6. What number are you left with? You can also give him a number and ask him to create a riddle with at least three steps, using different operations, that would leave you with that number. Make Predictions : Give your child — and have your child give you — difficult math equations.