Thursday, July 30, 2020

Six Books by Darcy Pattison

I Can Make Wise Choices
This simple book teaches kids the difference between small, medium and big choices. It also shows them that sometimes they need to ask for help thinking about and making decisions about big choices. Slowing down to think things through is the key in this book.


My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay

This picture book is a how-to book for elementary kids. However, I have used it with my middle school kids who just could not get the concept of writing an informative essay. The author uses two young kids and their dogs to create a scene from which they will write an informative essay. What I liked best about this book was at the very end she gives instructions for the steps in writing an informative essay.


My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay

With this picture book kids learn how to write a narrative essay. The main character needs to take his dog to the vet for shots. He tells about the events that happened up until he caught his dog to get him ready for the vet. Once again you get a wonderful story. Then you get to read the essay the character has written and this is followed up by a how-to page on how to write a narrative essay.

The Nantucket Sea Monster

This is among one of my favorites of this author’s books. Every year when my students start to write essays we have to have a chat about reliable information. I use this book to help them understand that just because they see it or hear it in the new or find it online doesn’t mean it isn’t fake news. This is the story of one of the biggest hoaxes ever. The man who was responsible for balloons in the Macy’s Day parade decided to create a sea monster balloon. He got several officials from the town, the newspapers both local and not local. They created this fabulous story. It brought people to Nantucket and put them in news around the world. They were able to do this because of the first amendment which gives the press freedom of speech. One thing Darcy points out is that sometimes freedom of speech can show you that you can’t believe everything you read in the paper. I use this with students to discuss how we know if something is reliable or not. I don’t want them to decided because it was said on the news that it was true. This author’s books are not only entertaining but informative and useful for teachers of all grades.


This is the story of a prediction Charles Darwin made and how approximately 130 years later it was proven by another scientists. After receiving a star orchid from Madagascar, Darwin hypothesized how the flower was pollinated. Unfortunately he didn’t live long enough to find out if his hypothesis was true. Other scientist carried on his work and found a moth like Darwin had predicted to be about the right size and with a long probiscus to pollinate this flower. Unfortunately it took another scientist to set up night vision camera’s to actually prove Darwin’s hypothesis correct. The book gives information on each of the scientists and pictures of the actual moth pollinating the orchid. Great tool for the science classroom.

 Wonky: A Robotics Club Story 

This book is about a robotics club. Howie is a turtle, after everyone has chosen a partner Howie is left without a partner until Lincoln walks in. Lincoln is an Ostrich. His father works with robots. When Howie and Lincoln try to design their robot they keep coming up with wonky looking designs. They finally decide they need to know what they want their robot to do. Once they agree on that they decide a wonky robot is the only way to go. This is a subtle way of teaching kids that they can be different (wonky) and still find value and friendship in each other.

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