What makes a perfect supplemental or recommended reading title for a classroom? Most teachers would agree: to be a good fit in a classroom library, a non-fiction title has to a) be fun, b) engage young readers, c) provide solid educational content, and d) be versatile, meaning that it can supplement several units over the course of the school year.
There’s a new series of ebooks out that meets every one of those requirements. These books—An Amazing Day At The Zoo, An Ocean Adventure, Explore the Rainforest, Around the World in a Day, and The Road To Greatness—will make great additions to the classroom library, and they all make perfect recommended and supplemental reading titles.
First, these books are fun. Each page presents fascinating facts about the world—about animals, about history, about famous places and people—facts that will serve as springboards for classroom discussion and stay with the child for a long time. Each topic is presented with humor and a strong sense of wonder, and kids will find these books entertaining reading. In addition, every book comes with three sets of puzzles and a fun sketch pad feature that will allow them to draw their own reading-inspired creations.
Kids will also find these books engaging. That’s because these titles stand out from the crowd by adopting a thematic, storyline-centered approach. A survey of the world’s animals is presented as a trip to the zoo. A look at marine habitats is described as a trip to “Planet Ocean.” A walk through a series of biographies of famous people is presented as an exploration of what made them great—and as an inspiring call to students to overcome their own challenges. Every topic is accompanied by a series of beautiful photographs as well, presented in a layout designed to hold kids’ interest.
But there’s more to the books than fun stories and great design. They’re packed with solid educational content as well. An Ocean Adventure takes up food chains, symbiosis, and other important topics. Explore the Rainforest uses its treatment of fascinating tropical animals as a means of introducing an even wider variety of questions: the earth’s water and oxygen cycles, plant life cycles, and ecological conservation, just to name a few. Using the theme of a trip around the world, Around the World in a Day explores famous landmarks, world history, and traditions across a panoply of cultures. And each book includes three sets of multiple-choice questions: a 15-question “Explorer” set, a 30-question “Expert” set, and a 50-question “Genius” set. These sets reinforce students’ learning and are perfect as learning assessment tools for readers at a variety of reading levels and ages.
And this leads to these books’ versatility. Every one of them can be used and re-used over multiple years to supplement units covering a variety of topics. The animal-centered books such as An Amazing Day At The Zoo, An Ocean Adventure, and Explore the Rainforest are ideal supplements in classrooms taking up ecology, natural science, and animal behavior. For multicultural, world geography, and world history units, Around the World in a Day and The Road To Greatness provide plenty of fascinating supplementary material. The Road To Greatness is especially versatile: in addition to geography and history, its science and inventor-heavy storyline offers excellent supplementary material for students working on STEM units, and its inspirational message fits perfectly with classrooms taking on character education.
Here’s a more in-depth look at each title:
• An Amazing Day At The Zoo—This enchanting book takes up the fascinating world of animals using a trip to the zoo as a fun, engaging storyline. From lions to tigers to panda bears, readers encounter dozens of animals through fact-filled narratives and stunning color photographs. And while readers meet the animals in the zoo, the book goes out of the zoo to explores the animals’ natural habitats, their behavior, and their relationships with their native ecosystems.
• An Ocean Adventure whisks kids away on a visit to Planet Ocean, where weird creatures, fierce predators, and alien intelligences float in the inhospitable atmosphere. Along the way kids learn about ecosystems, food chains, and ecological preservation, making this book an indispensable supplement for units on ecology, natural science, and marine life.
• Explore the Rainforest introduces kids to one of the world’s most important ecosystems: the rainforest, and the Amazon rainforest in particular. Along with spectacular photographs and fun, engaging entries, this book also introduces important concepts like the water and oxygen cycles, ecosystem interdependence, and photosynthesis and the life cycles of plants.
• Around the World in a Day uses encourages kids to use their imaginations to take a globe-trotting journey that hits dozens of important historical and natural sites around the world. Readers visit the Himalayas, New York City, Mt. Fuji, Patagonia, and dozens of fascinating places in between.
• The Road To Greatness presents a compelling series of biographies of famous people. Each story focuses on the challenges that a historical figure (Lincoln, Beethoven, Gutenberg, and others) faced and the ways they found to overcome them. Along with important and engaging narratives about science, history, and technology, this book teaches kids crucial concepts in character education, providing examples that explore courage, perseverance, dedication and the value of service. Written to inspire kids facing challenges in their own lives, this book is a must-have for a home or classroom library.
This fun, engaging, and fact-packed series of books will augment any classroom, and their versatility makes them perfect for a wide variety of learning goals and styles. If you’re a teacher looking for recommended titles or supplemental reading, you’ve found exactly what you’re after.
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