Monday, March 19, 2007

Thematic Book List - Timely Reading

So, here I am, back with part two of my thematic book list on measurement. Time is a big part of measurement instruction in the elementary grades. It's not just about telling time, however. Teaching about time includes a hefty dose of work with the calendar and calendar language (yesterday, today, tomorrow), as well as understanding equivalent periods of time, such as the relationships among days, months, and years, as well as minutes and hours.

You won't find many didactic books on this list, best described as those that explain how to tell time. Whether it's through poetry, novel study, or picture books, this list is meant to expose kids to a time in all its infinite configurations in ways that are fun and imaginative.
  • First Morning: Poems About Time compiled by Nikki Siegen-Smith - Beautiful watercolors accompany the 24 poems in this book that consider the passage of time across days, months, and more. (NOTE: This is a Barefoot Book! See my publisher spotlight for more info.)
  • It's About Time! by Florence Parry Heide, Roxanne Heide Pierce and Judith Heide Gilliland - This humorous book of poems encourages children to think creatively about time.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - When Milo drives through a tollbooth that mysteriously appears in his room, he has an adventure of epic proportions. Along the way, he learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock. (This was one of my favorite childhood books. It is a terrific read aloud.)
  • Tuesday by David Wiesner - In this Caldecott Medal winning book, the nearly wordless story (told with just a few times) of frogs in the night is inventive and funny.
  • All in a Day collected by Mitsumasa Anno - Ten artists, including Raymond Briggs, Eric Carle, Leo and Diane Dillon, and Mitsumasa Anno, illustrate the similarities and differences in children and their activities in eight different parts of the world throughout one 24-hour day.
  • Eric Carle has a few books that look at different aspects of time. Be sure to visit the Caterpillar Exchange, a bulletin board where teachers and parents describe using Eric Carle's books in creative ways.

    • The Grouchy Ladybug - When a ladybug won't share aphids with another ladybug, she leaves and on her way and throughout the day, encounters and challenges larger and larger animals to fight with her. (Analog clocks show the hour on the pages.)
    • The Very Hungry Caterpillar - When a caterpillar emerges from its egg, it is hungry and eats everything in site. Watch what it eats each day and what happens when it finally has eaten its fill.

  • Clocks and More Clocks by Pat Hutchins - What is Mr. Higgins to do when the clocks in his house seem to be showing different times? A trip to the clockmaker answers the question.
  • Chimp Math: Learning About Time From a Baby Chimpanzee by Ann Whitehead Nagda - Read the story of a chimpanzee raised by a veterinary assistant while reviewing a variety of time lines, charts, clocks, and calendars that were used to measure and record the growth and development of baby Jiggs.
  • Bats Around the Clock by Kathi Appelt - Click Dark leads a 12-hour dance program in this book where bats jitterbug, swim, twist and more. At the bottom of each page a mouse holds a clock that advances from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight as the show progresses.
  • The Apartment Book: A Day in Five Stories by Leo Hartas - This book presents the stories of the people and families that live in the old house at 51 Albert Street during the course of one day. This is not a book that can be read aloud, but rather, is a book that children will pour over the illustrations of (much like I Spy and Waldo books) to see exactly what happens to each character living and/or working in the house.
  • Just a Minute by Bonny Becker - How long is a minute? To a child it can be endless. As Johnny waits for his mother, minutes seem like hours or even years as he imagines he has grown up, bought a house on the hill, and had kids!
I'll end with a poem from Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins.
Time Passes
by Ilo Orleans

Sixty seconds
Pass in a minute.
Sixty minutes
Pass in an hour.
Twenty-four hours
Pass in a day -
And that's how TIME
Keeps passing away!
For books about the calendar, please check out Month by Month. As always, please let me know if I have missed any standout titles.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of science fiction books about the space-time continuum for older kids: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson.