Informational Text: Moonshot

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Part 1: 

Floca, B. (2009). Moonshot: The flight of Apollo 11. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Information Text, can be read to ages 4+

Recommended for grades 2-4.

Part 2: 

This book is amazing. It is beautifully crafted and filled with tons of valuable, teachable information. Brian Floca’s work is absolutely stunning. This book teaches students about the flight of Apollo 11 which is so famously known. However, it is almost unheard of for the younger generations.

Personally, I was not alive when Apollo 11 happened. However, it is a huge part of the United States history. This is also really important for everyone to have knowledge of.

The issues raised in the book are about hardships and being an overcomer. It also allows students to set a goal for themselves and accomplish it. This was a huge goal for the United States to set, yet they did and they accomplished it without ever giving up. This is a valuable lesson for children to learn.

Part 3: 

This book follows Apollo 11 throughout its journey. The setting is obviously in space. There is a lot of information children could learn just from the pictures and instead of the text of the book. This book does have a lot of important themes such as never giving up, setting goals for yourself, believing in yourself, doing what you love, and always trying your best.

Part 4: 

Before teaching this book to the class, I would give background knowledge to the students on Apollo 11. I would explain to them that Apollo 11 was when the first man, Neil Armstrong, walked on the moon. From Apollo 11 came the famous line, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The goal and mission of Apollo 11 was set by John F. Kennedy in 1961 where he wanted a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth. This was the objective and Apollo 11 and they accomplished it.

Lesson sketch:

After reading this book to children, we would do a lesson on the moon and how far it is from Earth, and about what is like to be an astronaut. As a class, we would discuss the moon. We would discuss how the moon is Earth’s only natural satellite. It contributes to the tides we have on Earth, it influences Earth’s cycles, and climate. We discuss that the Earth is 238,900 miles from Earth. Then, we would go into what it is like to be an astronaut. I would visit this website to show them what it is like to be an astronaut: Astronaut Website. Then, we would create a little flip book on Apollo 11 including facts of the mission.

Resources:

Apollo 11 Information

Brian Floca Website

Integrating Science and Children’s Literature

3 Discussion Questions:

Why is Apollo 11 important?

Who was the first man to walk on the Moon?

What does the moon influence (on Earth)?

By raquelgomez3

Challenged/Banned: The Lorax

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The Lorax. (1971). New York: Random House.

Challenged Book, Grade 3

Part 2: 

The Lorax is a really cute and entertaining book for children. It is presented in a fantasy land type setting where little troll-like creatures live. It discusses the issue of the environment and how if all the trees were gone then a lot of the insects, bugs, and animals would be gone too. Although I don’t have personal connection to the book, I really enjoyed reading it.

When reading this book to children, there are a lot of prompts that could be given. For example, asking them what kind of person do they think the once-ler is? Why is the little boy asking about the lorax? What do you think is the mystery of the lorax? Why do you think the once-ler is telling the little boy the story? Do you think the little boy will plant the trees?

Part 3: 

The Lorax is a very good teaching book in terms of teaching parts of a story. Since this is a story about a story it is challenging to dissect the parts of the story. So this would be a good story for children to look at and evaluate. The plot of the story is that the Once-ler moved into Thneed-ville and he cuts down all the trees. He is in constant conflict with the Lorax who speaks for the trees. The once-over becomes greedy  and his entire family moves to Thneed-ville since they learned they can make money from the trees. In the end, the Lorax is forced to move and leave his life in Thneed-ville since there are no trees. The once-ler is telling the story to a little 12 year old boy named Ted who now holds the secrets of the Lorax and is holding the seeds for the future.

Part 4: 

Lesson sketch: There are tons of lessons you could do with students on The Lorax. Teachers could do lessons on pollution of the Earth discussing water and air pollution, students could discuss greed, students could discuss energy products vs. natural products, students could discuss ways humans pollute the Earth, etc. Students could also discuss the differences between pollution such as noise pollution, air pollution, water pollution, etc. Students could come up with a way to “Save the Earth” and they could campaign it around school. Students could also try to test out their idea at school. For example, if they want to make the school cleaner. They could pick up extra trash and remind students to do the same.

Lesson objective: Students will be able to identify at least three different types of pollution. Students will be able to name one way to help the Earth (ex: picking up trash, not wasting water, etc.).

Links to outside resource:

Scholastic Lesson Ideas for The Lorax

Dr. Seuss Website for The Lorax Lesson Ideas

The Lorax Activities and Printables

Free Lorax Lesson Plans

The Lorax: A Guide to Lesson Plans

Discussion Questions:

Who is the Lorax?

Why does he “speak for the trees?”

What kind of person is the once-ler?

How is the once-ler harming the environment?

By raquelgomez3