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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Sizzling Summertime 2015 Lesson Plans

SUMMER KITE FLYING

Learn how to make and fly a kite in your neck of the woods.

Planning a trip to Southern California? All the fun is not necessary had at the amusement parks. Take a side trip to Seal Beach, a quaint beach town, that has much to offer. While there, you won’t want to miss the monthly Seal Beach Kite Club meetings. Click here to see what the city of Seal Beach has in store for you and your family. Then, venture to Hobby City for some additional free hands-on fun.

GO AHEAD….MAKE SOME MUSIC THIS SUMMER

Learn how to make a band in minutes. Yes, you and your children can make a coffee can drum and yogurt container shakers by following the easy instructions provided by Kidsongs.com.

Montessorian Dale Gausman will show you how to make and introduce rhythm sticks in your school and home classrooms. Click here for details.

The Blow Ye Winds , Paddle Wheeler and Erie Canal – and Wabash Cannonball are free extension activities from the guide written by Dr. Kathryn A. Short, for Kimbo’s CD release: “Songs About America,” Celebrating America Through Song.. See Kimbo for details.

Download The Number Eating Alligator from Kidsongs.com and discover how these songs can be incorporated into your ECE and elementary math and music lesson planning. Click here for details.

Marjorie Kiel Persons presents two marvelous integrated lessons for your summer music presentations. – Water Music Alla Hornpipe by George Frideric Handel. and Oh, How I Love Italy ? Music, Art, and Food seasoned with History and Geography See Click on this link to access both lesson plans.

EASY, BREEZY, SIZZLING SUMMER RECIPES

Dale Gausman, owner of the North American Montessori Center, shows how children can plan, prepare, and execute a Spring or Summer Tea. Dale’s Friendship Salad makes a perfect addition to the Spring Tea menu or any other event planned for the upcoming months. Click here for details.

Encourage children to try making some new recipes this summer! Make lunchtime interesting by including some rollie poultries and stuffed apples into your meal planning. See http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

Learn how to present an authentic Montessori food unit study featuring the yummy Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split recipe.

DIanne Knesek, Montessori teacher and owner of Conceptual Learning, shares a mouth watering Summer Fruit, Cheese, and Meat Kabobs recipe. Visit this link for complete information

Planning a unit study about pirates? Try these three pirate snack ideas – Treasure Chests, Pirate Ships and Cannonballs, all of which, can be easily integrated into any pirate unit study. Click here to access the recipes.

For a festive change, create your own hot dog buffet and serve some fudge cupcakes for dessert. Then, cool down your lazy afternoon with some delicious green smoothies. http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

SPECIAL MOTOR SKILLS OFFERING

Are you looking for an additional aid to help inspire good penmanship? Nan Barchowsky may have just what you need. Check out A Bit of Yarn for Good Pen Hold http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf by clicking here.

SUMMER SCIENCE

Begin the summer science learning adventure with hands on fun. Children will discover how to change the color of a flower and how water travels up plants by participating in the Changing a Flower’s Color activity submitted by Dale Gausman. See http://www.amonco.org/summer6/montessori_summer6.pdf for details.

John, from Exploration Education, presents an excellent, fun-filled simple and effective activity about static electricity is for children six and up. Click here for details.

Invite children to vicariously go on an animal safari! To access resources for a unit study, visit http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

Children marvel at identifying the different birds that they encounter at the park, beach or even in their backyard. Find out how Backyard Birds can be incorporated into your ornithology presentations by visiting http://www.amonco.org/summer5/montessori_summer5.pdf

Rae, from Creative Process, shares a leaf print activity that combines the study of botany with art. To access this information, visit http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

Richard, from the Montessori Materials LORD Company, is offering FREE reading books, and a Montessori land and water labels http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

Easily create a seashell unit study. Quickly locate links to seashell classification materials and other resources by visiting http://www.amonco.org/summer/montessori_summer1.pdf

GARDENING GALORE

Summer gardening can be especially meaningful if you plan ahead. A Gardening Unit Study (With the Focus on Summer)Montessori Lessons will provide the info you need to customize your garden lesson planning. Find the gardening resources and lesson plans now, so that you embark on your summer gardening journey when late May arrives.

In Nurturing Budding Botanists – Learning and Teaching the Basics of Plant Science, author Sara L. Ambarian has provided the indepth botany lesson planning information and resources needed Click here for details.

MONTESSORI MATH

Receive some free hands-on algebra exercises designed by Dr. Henry Borenson See Hands On Equations for details. Check out DIanne Knesek’s Montessori problem solving lessons by clicking here.

GAME TIME!

What type of learner is your child? Mariaemma, from Coaching for Learning Success(tm), has the resources you need to discover the answer to this question, plus she has generously contributed her Basketball and Whole Body Memorizing Activity. Access this information, as well as The Whole Body Learner – Gifted for Moving! article by visiting Click here for details.

Stillsonworks offers more unique puzzles designed for middle school students. Try your hand at the free exercises included by clicking here Access additional FREE puzzles for children/teens by visiting http://www.amonco.org/summer7/montessori_summer7.pdf

Be sure to check out the cooperative games by Rae from Creative Process. (Click here for details.)

THIS and THAT…. Additional unique, creative lesson planning info.

Rae from Creative Process generously has provided the following free activities], articles, and lesson plans: Calendar Activity, Teacher as Curator : Setting up a School Gallery and Sharing Food, Food in Art? Access this information by clicking here

Are you taking your class on a literature journey? Why not start with the classics. Let Rita Arpaia of literature.com show you how. Point your browser to http://www.amonco.org/summer6/montessori_summer6.pdf Read Rita’s other articles and learn more about how literature.com’s resources for your school and homeschool libraries.

Sara Ambarian has written a two part article which will further help you with your selection of children’s books. In http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf Part I of her article, you will learn about the books selected by the AMC resource participants.

In http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf Part I read about community recommendations. This balanced article is sure to help you select just the right books for your school and homeschool classrooms.

If you would like to view the complete table of contents of the newsletter, or you have experienced any difficulties accessing the links above, please visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_summer_handson.html

Now, with these fun activities, recipes and lessons, you are set to make this summer the best yet!

Heidi Anne Spietz

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Children’s Books for Summer Reading – Part I

Sara L. Ambarian

Copyright 2014

All Rights Reserved

Website: http://condortales.com/bridestouch.html

Children’s Books for Summer Reading:

Part 1–Resource Partner Picks

Article by Sara L. Ambarian

As parents and educators we all understand both the importance of reading and the potential for engagement which can be found in the pursuit. This potential is even more impressive when students have choices about what books they will read.

Many of us remember the excitement of “library days” in school, with the whole collection available to us, and the decision of what to read next all ours to make.  Many of us have retained that excitement into adulthood; so a trip to the library, book store, on-line vendor, or even our own home book collections feels like the beginning of an adventure for which we are completely in the driver’s seat.

If we can help the children in our lives develop that same enthusiasm and curiosity, we have given them a priceless, life-long gift.

In addition, Maria Montessori said, “The first essential for the child’s development is concentration.  The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” 

Both listening as someone else reads aloud and spending independent time reading can be very effective activities for allowing children to develop concentration.  In our modern, fast-paced, over-stimulated world, it is harder—and more important—than ever to help children learn this skill.  Reading time (whether in a group or solo) can put the brakes on a busy world, as well as opening up many new horizons for our children and students.

With summer reading season coming up, we asked the American Montessori Consulting Primary Recommended Resource Center partners http://www.amonco.org/resource_topic.html to share with us some of their favorite children’s books. Here are the recommendations and some comments of the business people who responded.

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Gari from Music for Little People, http://store.musicforlittlepeople.com/info.html , likes the following books, which unsurprisingly involve singing and movement.  She recommends: 

A, You’re Adorable by Martha Alexander—“Once the adult and child know this song well, the child can sing the letter and the adult answer, and vice versa.

[If you’re not familiar with the song by Sam Lipmann, Buddy Kaye, and Fred Wise that inspired this board book, you can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TyQlIatSJ8&feature=related  ]

This Little Chick-by John Lawrence—“This can be sung to the tune of ‘Mulberry Bush’.”

Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown—“This book suggests lots of movement. Have the children do the different movements and the control is, ‘now run back to me’, etc.”

* * * * *

Larry and Karen at the Farm Country General Store, http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com , suggested several well-loved series which could provide many hours of happy reading over the coming summer.  

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Henry and Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

* * * * *

Ligia from Childsake said it was not easy to decide on just a few favorite children’s books.  The ones that came to mind, however, were these:

Farewell to Shady Glade by Bill Peet

Flute’s Journey by Lynne Cherry

Tree of Life by Barbara Bash, which tied in her estimation with

Alejandro’s Gift by Richard E. Albert

To find more of Ligia’s recommendations of books about nature and the environment, visit her website, which includes about 400 more titles. http://www.childsake.com

* * * * *

Kathie from INSTA-LEARN, http://www.insta-learn.com , like many of us, remembers many happy times reading – and re-reading—favorite books to her own children. These were her family’s most memorable:

Peeping Beauty by Mary Jane Auch

The Easter Egg Farm by Mary Jane Auch

Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman

Dumbstruck by Sara Pennypacker and Mary Jane Auch

* * * * *

Stephanie from Professor Toto, http://www.professortoto.com , remembers reading and enjoying these books during her own childhood. 

The Madeline Series by Ludwig Bemelmans

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Choose Your Own Adventure books (Various Authors)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Dark Crystal by A. C. H. Smith

The Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Fear Street & Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

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Diana from Nature’s Workshop Plus, http://www.workshopplus.com ,  recommends the following classic stories, especially as read-aloud books. 

Hans Brinker; or, the Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland by Mary Mapes Dodge

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Rascal by Sterling North

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

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Rita from Literature Resources Online, LLC, https://www.literatureplace.com ,has shared a 65-book list of award-winning fiction books which she calls “Today’s Classics”. Find that list here: http://www.amonco.org/summer6/montessori_summer6.pdf

* * * * *

Georgette of Cantemos Bilingual Books and Music, http://www.simplespanishsongs , recommends the following stories:

As the grandmother of four children under the age of 6, I love to read to them the book, Everybody Poops, by Taro Gomi. It results in giggles, but also in engrossed listeners. This book is used in Japanese schools; and it informs children that creatures that eat, poop. Some do it in the water, while on the move, in diapers or in the toilet. It is educational not only because it makes a body function a normal topic of conversation, but it includes drawings of wild animals and their names. My grandchildren, clamor for it, sit close, laugh and learn. Ah, if every learning experience were that fun! This book can be used for kindergarten through 6th grade.

Lucas and His Loco Beans, by Ramona Winner, is a story about a boy whose grandfather shows and explains about Mexican Jumping Beans. This educational story is written in rhyme and introduces Spanish words. It also gives a complete explanation of how a moth lays her eggs in a flower, and the larva end up in the seeds. The feeding of the larva is what causes the motion of the bean. This book is good for kindergarten through 6th grade.

You can also check out Georgette’s own chapter book, Andy and the Gold Mine. Here is a description of the book in Georgette’s own words, and an activity she has provided for your students. 

Andy and the Gold Mine introduces California gold mining in a true story adventure. Ten year old Andy spends summers in Randsburg, CA. One year, after a harrowing encounter with a rattlesnake in an abandoned mine, Andy finds the Butte Mine. Jake, an experienced miner shows Andy how to crush rock and rinse the powdered stone to find the specks of gold. Students can be shown where Randsburg, CA is, and learn about a town that had one of the most abundant gold mines of the time.

The story ends with young Andy, taking his gold dust to the General Store. The store manager pockets the gold vial and puts a few coins in the register. A complete discussion about honesty can be started or students can speculate about what really took place.  Ages 8-11

ACTIVITY- students could each bring in a rock about the size of their fist, sit out in the playground, crush the rocks with rubber mallets (while wearing protective glasses), put the powder in Styrofoam bowls with water, swirl it around, allowing the large sediment to settle to the bottom and experience the type of work done by young Andy who in the end (with much trial and error) did find some gold dust.

Read the second part of this two part article by pointing your browser to

AMC Montessori Summer Hands-On Newsletter Part 4

 

About Sara L. Ambarian

Copyright 2014

All Rights Reserved.

Website: http://condortales.com/bridestouch.html

Sara L. Ambarian is an author, designer, illustrator, wife and mother with professional and personal experience in a wide range of subjects, including: arts and crafts, fashion, weddings, homeschooling, cooking, nature, and travel.

With summer reading season coming up, we asked the American Montessori Consulting Primary Recommended Resource Center partners http://www.amonco.org/resource_topic.html to share with us some of their favorite children’s books. Here are the recommendations and some comments of the business people who responded.
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Seashells – Links for a Montessori Unit Study

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Below, are links for a complete summer seashell unit study. These PreK and K-8 links will lead you to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises that are compatible with the Montessori classified reading cards, phonics, grammar, creative writing, science, social studies and other extensive lesson plans found in Montessori lesson planning

Montessori Classified Reading Cards and Other Aids to Learn About Seashells

http://www.seashells.org/
Classifying Seashells

http://www.netposterworks.com/science/aquatic/shells.html
Shells & Conchology Educational Posters

http://www.netposterworks.com/science/aquatic/crustacea_mollusks.html
Crustaceans & Mollusks Educational Posters for Science Classrooms, Homeschoolers

http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=33&idcategory=0
Seashells of the World

http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=6&idcategory=0
Seashells of North America

http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=2615&idcategory=0
Take a Beach Walk

http://www.seashell-collector.com/
Seashell Collections

http://pers.dadeschools.net/prodev/shells.htm
Fun with Seashells

http://www.nsta.org/publications/press/extras/seashell.aspx
Comparing Seashells

http://www.montessorimaterials.org/science/crustaceans.pdf
Crustaceans – Free Montessori Cards for Classified Exercises

http://www.justmontessori.com/blog/seashells-and-starfish/
Seashells and Starfish – Integrated Montessori Learning

http://www.ehow.com/how_2984_collect-seashells.html
How to Collect Seashells

http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/seashell-identification/
Seashell Identification

http://www.seashells.org/alltheseashells.html
Seashell Identification guide

http://desertcrafter.blogspot.com/2012/03/sea-shells.html
Sea Shells (Plus Free Printables)

Sensory Exercises/Motor Development Involving Seashells

http://ourgoldenapples.wordpress.com/2005/10/12/montessori-tray-seashell-sorting/
Montessori Tray, Seashell Sorting

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2009/06/mystery-bag-in-montessori-classroom.html#.uaodiutvevs
Seashells in the Mystery Bag

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California Seashell Company – Click Here for Seashell Collections and Seashell Resources

Music, Literature and Art Lesson Planning Sites about Seashells

http://theguilletots.blogspot.com/2011/06/sea-shells-all-around.html
Montessori Seashell Crafts

http://www.ehow.com/info_8050905_ideas-seashell-crafts.html
Ideas for Seashell Crafts

http://seashellcrafts.net/seashell-crafts-for-kids/
Seashell Crafts for Kids

http://summer-vacation.holidayscentral.com/kids-and-crafts/seashell-pencil-holder-craft#.uao0qetve0c
Seashell Pencil Holder

http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2013/02/18/shells-and-the-reluctant-crafter/
What Do You Do with 1,000 Shells?

http://www.kidskonnect.com/subjectindex/15-educational/science/406-shells.html
Shells – Kids Konnect (Many links to seashell website for interdisciplinary study)

http://nicadez.blogspot.com/2012/08/seashells-by-sea-shore.html
Seashells by the Sea Shore!

http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/summer-beach-artscraftideaskids.html
Summer &; Beach Crafts for Kids: Ideas for Summer Arts and Crafts Projects

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/large-seashell-kid-projects-9683.html
Large Seashell Projects for Kids

http://www.seashells.org/legend.html
Legend of the Sand Dollar

http://www.ehow.com/info_8644317_activities-teach-students-seashells.html
Seashell Literature

http://www.brighthubeducation.com/preschool-crafts-activities/117286-two-sea-shell-poems-and-crafts/
Crafts and Poems for Preschooler

http://schoolhouseteachers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Shell-Metaphor-Poem.pdf
Shell Metaphor Poem

http://seashellmusic.com/?page_id=128
Video Tutorial – Sea Shells

http://seashellmusic.com/
Sea Shell Music

http://ww2.valdosta.edu/~kkkrickel/topic.html
Seashells Mapping – Language Arts

Math Related Seashore Resource Links for Elementary and Middle School Students

http://livingmontessorinow.com/2011/06/28/montessori-at-the-beach-numbers-and-counters/
Montessori at the Beach;: Numbers and Counters

http://www.maa.org/publications/periodicals/loci/seashells-the-plainness-and-beauty-of-their-mathematical-description
Seashells: The Plainness and Beauty of their Mathematical Description

http://www.nsta.org/publications/press/extras/seashell.aspx
Seashell Anticipation Guide

http://www.monroemontessori.com/content/classes/math%20word%20problems%203rd%20gr.pdf
Math Story Word Problems

Science Related Seashell Links for Elementary and Middle School Students

http://www.ehow.com/list_6495742_science-projects-seashells.html
Science Projects on Seashells

http://liveandlearnfarm.com/tag/elementary/
Homeschooling on the Beach – Part I

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/writing_bug/writing-bug-if-seashells-could-talk.shtml
A Seashell Lesson: Writing for Detail and the Scientific Process

http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/games/experiments/seashells.htm
Seashells by the Seashore

http://66.147.244.213/~njseagra/images/education/lessonplans/seashell_mapping.pdf
Seashells Mapping

http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewprd.asp?idproduct=234&idcategory=33#details
More Fun with Nature (Section about Seashells)

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/1599
Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/mad-about-shells.html
Mad about Seashells

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/cpath/14/products_id/1599
Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars

http://www.schoolmasters.com/categories/productdetails.cfm?product_id=11394&category&bc2=2&div=sc
Seashells of North America

http://www.schoolmasters.com/categories/productdetails.cfm?product_id=05444&category&bc2=2&div=sc
Seashells of the World

http://www.nsta.org/publications/press/extras/seashell.aspx
Seashell Q-W-L Chart

http://www.ehow.com/list_6495742_science-projects-seashells.html
Science Projects on Seashells

http://www.educationworld.com/a_tsl/archives/05-1/lesson030.shtml
A Seashell Lesson: Writing for Detail and the Scientific Process

http://thehomeschoolscientist.com/sea-shell-identification-lesson-2/
Seashell Identification Science Lesson

For additional Montessori lesson planning, please visit
http://www.amonco.org/
American Montessori Consulting

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz

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Summer is Coming – Part I

Many of us have wonderful memories of our childhood summers and/or look forward to the summer fun with our own children, grandchildren, or other young people in our lives.  There is certainly no question that the summer months are full of possibilities, both for fun and for learning.

The AMC Resource Partners shared some of their favorite summer memories, from childhood and now, in “Summer Fun Makes for Summer Memories”. http://www.amonco.org/summer8/montessori_summer8.pdf  In this article, you will also find tips for successful road trips, accessing junior ranger and other summer programs, encouraging creative pursuits and cooperative projects, and more.

Check out these websites for some interesting general summer lesson planning resources.

http://www.educationworld.com/holidays/archives/summer.shtml

http://busyteacher.org/classroom_activities-vocabulary/holidays_and_celebrations/summer-activities/

http://www.proteacher.com/160023.shtml

If you are looking for some engaging summer reading, review Children’s Books for Summer Reading,  Parts 1 and 2.  http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

Summer can also be a relaxing time to work on creative writing. Here are some ideas, if your students need a little nudge of inspiration to get started.

http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/unitssubjhol/a/sumwrit.htm

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/writing-activities/summer-writing

http://suite101.com/article/summer-writing-ideas-for-kids–books-journals-and-games-a218728

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8LaCTimmHFZakhhMHh5NzE3VkE/edit?pli=1

Shopping, cooking, chores, travel, and many other activities offer great opportunities to practice and put to use the math concepts learned during the school year.  For more-structured summer math fun and practice, check out these free resources.

http://www.homeschoolmath.net/

http://www.kidzone.ws/math/

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/math/printable/50722.html

Dr. Borenson and Dianne from Conceptual Learning each share some additional Montessori-appropriate math here: http://www.amonco.org/summer/montessori_summer1.pdf  and here: http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

If outdoor dining is part of your summer schedule, you might enjoy another look at last summer’s “Learning is a Picnic” resources. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/learning-is-a-picnic-part-two-adventures-and-activities/

Stay tuned.  Summer is Coming- Part II will be unveiled next week.  🙂

 

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Award-Winning Literature Resources, 20% Off!

Many of us, young and old, enjoy the opportunities for free and unhurried reading that summer provides.  Some of you may already be feeling that the start of school is fast approaching; but even for those with the earliest back-to-school dates, there is still plenty of time for summer reading adventures.

Literatureplace.com uses internet technology to offer varied reading and language arts resources for parents and teachers.  Some of you may be familiar with their Bookfolio products and curriculum collections.  You may also have read about their newest line, Start With the Winners!, which helps you find the most-awarded titles for children and young adults.

Right now, Literatureplace.com is offering “Super Summer Reads,” smaller collections of some of the most noteworthy books for each age group, specially chosen for your students’ reading pleasure.  For a limited time, these lists are being offered at a 20% discount as part of their July Special.  If you buy now, you will also be added to the website’s customer list and notified of other upcoming monthly promotions.

Find out more about both Literatureplace.com and this special sale by visiting https://www.literatureplace.com/Start_with_the_Winners/  Click on the age group(s) in which you are interested.  Then click on “July Special” at the top of the each list to find out more about options and prices.

Happy reading!

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Let’s Celebrate Summer

Please visit https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/lets-celebrate-summer-part-i/ to access the updated 2013 version! 🙂

Heidi Anne Spietz
www.amonco.org
American Montessori Consulting
Celebrating 25 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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Liven Up Your Literature Lessons with Culinary Creations

Foster your child’s interest in cooking by adding some sparkle to your child’s summer reading list.  First, visit your local library and compile your selected booklist.    If you experience some problems developing a list or finding books that relate to both cooking and literature, ask the reference librarian to assist you.  As you know, many libraries now have an interdisciplinary loan program in place.  Therefore, books that belong to other library systems other than your own may be sent to your local branch for you borrow.

You can also refine your search by using your favorite search engine. Type in the keyword phrase children’s literature and recipes.  If you don’t see any titles that interest you, visit PBS Bookfinder, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or literatureplace.com and search for books using keyword phrases mystery and cooking,  social studies and cooking  or type your own special keyword combination into the search box.

The following three books represent a sampling of some of what you will find on your quest.  A synopsis of each is provided so that you will have an idea of how cooking and literature can be creatively combined in children’s literature.

Blue Schwartz and Nefertiti’s Necklace: A Mystery with Recipes by Betty Jacobson Hectman

Readers 10 and up will be intrigued with the main character Blue Schwartz.  She is bright, spunky, imaginative and very conscientious.     In order to build her savings account to purchase what she needs, Blue babysits for the children of an esteemed professor.

Blue is well loved by the professor’s children, often creating culinary delights that are offbeat, but delicious.   In her spare time, Blue’s eyes are glued to a television cooking program, as she is always eager to try the new recipes she discovers with her family, friends, and classmates.

As this fast paced story unfolds, Blue is soon accused of stealing a prized ancient Egyptian necklace owned by the professor.  She is given a short time frame in which to return the necklace or face the consequnces of being reported to the police.  Faced with this real threat, Blue is forced to assume the new role of a sleuth, in a desperate attempt to find the real thief.

This action packed story will engage even the most reluctant reader.    Upper elementary and middle school students will identify with Blue’s struggles to balance her school and home life, in addition to facing and solving the ongoing challenges of preteen life. Not many preteens or teens will face a predicament that is as extreme as Blue’s, but the story does provide for some interesting and useful problem solving techniques.

Blue’s culinary creations are mentioned throughout the story and the actual recipes are located in the back of the book; the titles alone will spark some interest in the young reader wanting to try at least one – Oatmeal Cookies for People Who Don’t Like Raisins, Nutty Popcorn Balls, Blue’s Bean Blizzard – and more.

The Coming to America Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Fascinating Stories from America’s Many Cultures by Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond

This book is actually a collaborative effort of a registered dietitian and cooking instructor.  Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond span the globe to find recipes that represent a good cross-section of food indigenous to many cultures.  The authors present an interesting factually based overview, sprinkled with trivia and vocabulary about each of the countries selected.  After children read and learn about each country, they can try their hand at cooking up some scrumptious meals that are common to that region.  Every recipe we tried was delicious; our taste buds were in seventh heaven, experiencing the new spices and seasonings used in the recipes.

Many cultures are represented throughout the book – Ethiopian, Nigerian, Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Brazilian – and many more..     Educators will appreciate the introductory section of the book which presents the tools of the trade and safety rules associated with cooking.

Tasty Bible Stories A Menu of Tales & Matching Recipes by Tami Lehman-Wilzig

This book was a big hit with my fourth grade student.  Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when the book was initially presented to her early last year.   The attractive artwork displayed from cover to cover sustained her interest.

An interesting summary of selected Old Testament Bible stories is presented.  The recipes chosen correspond to the food mentioned in the story.  For example, the recipes for Baked Apple A Lá Mode and Fresh Figs and Sour Cream follow the story Eve: The Apple of Adam’s Eye.   Fresh Herb Mezzle, Persian Rice and Persian Kebab recipes compliment the story about Queen Esther.  These are just two of many clever examples of how literature and cooking can be combined.

By scouring the web, you can find additional ways to incorporate cooking into your summer lesson planning curriculum.  See the following links for additional resources:

http://www.dltk-bible.com/recipes.htm

Bible Recipes

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/life/handstand-kids-chinese-cookbook-29382.html

Handstand Kids: Chinese Cookbooks

http://blog.pockettales.com/post/15027197534/weekend-fun-cooking-with-childrens-literature

Weekend Fun: Cooking with Children’s Literature

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/3137

Cooking Up U.S. History

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/3138

Cooking Up World History

http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/929103

Eat Your Way through the USA

May your child’s culinary adventures this summer be filled with fun.  🙂

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz

American Montessori Consulting

http://www.amonco.org

Celebrating 24 Years of Serving School and Home Educators

Montessori for the 21st Century

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