Sunday, October 22, 2017

Website Review: Quick, Draw!

QUICK, DRAW! is a crowdsource project intended to help a neural network learn to recognize doodles.
An artificial intelligence project from Google, this fun, crowdsource project allows the public to help with machine learning research. Users are asked to draw a picture while the computer tries to guess what’s being drawn.
Librarians will find this website to be an excellent way to introduce youth to principles related to artificial intelligence, machine learning research, and crowdsourcing.
To visit the website, go to https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com/.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Nuremberg Trial Project

The NUREMBERG TRIAL PROJECT features thousands of primary source documents from the trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany.
Contents: This open-access collection includes both images and full-text versions of thousands of objects including trial documents, evidence file documents, trial transcripts, and photographs. In addition to search tools for locating specific documents, resources related to the Nuremberg trials can also be accessed by trial issue, people, and evidence files.
Classroom Connections: The collection would be a valuable resource for teachers exploring the topics of history, ethics, genocide, and war crimes. Ask students to examine a particular defendant or witness to gain insights into a particular incident.
To visit the collection, go to http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Colonial North American Project

COLONIAL NORTH AMERICAN PROJECT shares archival and manuscript materials related to the 17th and 18th century in North America.
Contents: With over five thousand items, this digital collection includes primary source documents related to social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine and religion. The collection also provides essays related to specific people, documents, and themes such as politics, and female laborers.
Classroom Connections: Integrate this collection into the history curriculum. Connect specific documents with thematic student inquiries such as slavery, war, and education.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Website Review: Roadside America

JOHN MARGOLIES ROADSIDE AMERICA PHOTOGRAPH ARCHIVE from the Library of Congress includes thousands of photographs from across America.
Contents: This large digital collection explores life in post World War II America. From drive-in theaters to old gas pumps, the photographs span the second half of the twentieth century.
Classroom Connections: Because there are no rights restrictions, students can use the works in their online projects. Students are sure to find a variety of interesting photos featuring roadside oddities. Ask students to write a short story based on one of the fascinating photos from this collection.
To visit the collection, go to http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/,

Friday, October 13, 2017

Website Review: Kids Cook Monday

THE KIDS COOK MONDAY is a website that encourages families to cook and eat together as a family.
This website contains resources for both adults and children. The About section features ideas for cooking as a family. The Resources area includes school program ideas, toolkits, and downloads to start a program. The Recipes section provides simple family recipes along with the opportunity to submit ideas. Finally, the News area features ideas and resources.
Librarians can use this website as the basis for an engaging library program, learning center, or display. Download the starter materials for lots of ideas. Build a healthy meals display that incorporates website materials along with cookbooks.
To visit the website, go to http://www.thekidscookmonday.org/.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Website Review: Global Gender Gap Report

The GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT BROWSER tells an interactive story based on an award-winning data visualization from the World Economic Forum and Two-N.
Users scroll through recent global data showing gender equality data by nation. The story of gender issues is told through a series of compelling, interactive charts and graphs. This easy-to-use tool allows students to explore particular areas of interest such as regions of the world and changes over time.
Librarians will find this engaging tool to be useful in teaching concepts related to data literacy. Involve youth in using this dynamic tool to address their “big questions” related to gender equity. Of particular interest is the ability to visualize data by country.
To visit the website, go to http://projects.two-n.com/world-gender/.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Website Review: XYZA News for Kids

XYZA: NEWS FOR KIDS is a news website and app designed for children.
This attractive current events site contains easy-to-read news articles organized into categories including world, government, arts, science, sports, technology, fun, and entertainment.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful resource for informational reading across the curriculum. The short articles, interesting topics, and colorful photographs are sure to attract student attention.
A subscription-based program is available that allows users to customize their news page and participate in the Junior Reporter Program that encourages youth to submit their own articles, interviews, reviews, and more.
The resource is also available on iTunes as an app.
To visit the website, go to https://www.xyzanews.com/.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Echoes of the Great War

ECHOES OF THE GREAT WAR: AMERICAN EXPERIENCES OF WORLD WAR I from the Library of Congress tells stories from the Veteran’s History Project.
Contents: A companion to a larger “Experiencing War” project, this website contains three sections: Arguing Over War and Over Here, Over There, and A World Overturned. Each part includes an introduction, then connects users to specific narratives from the large digital collection. Primary source materials include audio interviews, photos, diaries, letters, and other materials.
Classroom Connections: Teachers will find this project useful in connecting the experiences of individuals to the larger war effort. Ask students to explore a narrative and compare their story with others.
To visit the collection, go to http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/,

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Book Review: The Treasure Box

THE TREASURE BOX by Margaret Wild tells the moving story of a boy and his father who save a book after their library is destroyed during war.
This poignant story traces the life of a boy who helps save a book from destruction and later places the book in a new library.
Librarians will find this hopeful story to be useful in discussing topics related to war, emmigration, and cultural heritage.
Published by Candlewick Press on April 25, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Website Review: Native Voices

NATIVE VOICES is an online exhibition from the National Library of Medicine exploring health and illness from the perspective of Native peoples.
This online exhibition is divided into four sections: exhibition, interviews, timelines, and resources. The exhibition explores ways that wellness, illness, and cultural life of Native peoples are interconnected exploring the perspectives of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians as well as providing an art gallery. The project contains interviews with health professionals, community leaders, traditional healers, and others working on health-related issues. Users can access these by theme, name, or region. The timelines highlights key events from antiquity to today. Finally, the resources section contains career planning and educational materials.
Librarians will find lesson plans, online activities, and other resources that can easily be woven across the K-12 curriculum.
To visit the website, go to https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Book Review: The Hawk of the Castle

THE HAWK OF THE CASTLE by Danna Smith is an informational picture book story revolving around medieval falconry.
Set in medieval times, the story follows a day in the life of a girl and her falconer father as who live in a castle. Along with the engaging narrative, the author provides boxes of information about birds of prey and the activity of falconry. The book concludes with author’s notes, an index, and resources.
Librarians will find this book to be useful for children learning about medieval times or those interested in falconry. Teachers will enjoy the connects to the social studies curriculum.
To learn more about the author, go to http://www.dannasmithbooks.com/.
Published by Candlewick on April 11, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Website Review: Digital History

DIGITAL HISTORY is a website focusing on tools and technologies to enhance teaching.
This resource-rich website provides resources for use by students and teachers in history learning activities. The website is divided into sections including eras, topics, resources, and references. Uses can also use the interactive timelines to identify teaching materials, textbooks, documents, and media by date.
Librarians will find endless resources to weave into the social studies and history curriculum. This website also provides useful primary sources to teach information literacy concepts. Partner with teachers to share the educational resources.
To visit the website, go to http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Book Review: The Dragon Hunters Trilogy

THE DRAGON BROTHERS by James Russell is the first book in a new adventure trilogy for dragon fans.
Flynn and Paddy live on a remote island, so they’re surprised when a dragon swoops down and kidnaps their dog, Coco. This action adventure picture book traces their journey to rescue their beloved dog.
Librarians will find that this trilogy has broad appeal. Students will also want to download the map app to explore the Dragon Brothers’ world.
Look for THE DRAGON TAMERS (June 2017) and THE DRAGON RIDERS (August 2017) to complete the trilogy.
To learn more about this trilogy, go to http://www.dragonbrothersbooks.com/.
Published by Sourcebook Jabberwocky on April 4, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Digital Spotlight: City Readers

CITY READERS from the New York Society Library is a project sharing the borrowing records of library users from 1789 to 1805.
Contents: Users can browse or search more than 100,000 records of books, readers, and borrowing history from the New York Society Library’s Special Collections. Users can also explore featured content including visualization tools, circulation records, female records, founding fathers, and library catalogs.
Classroom Connections: Use this amazing collection to teach students about the use of library records in history. These records provide unique insights into library users and their reading habits along with information about books and their readers.
To visit the collection, go to http://cityreaders.nysoclib.org/.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Website Review: Enchanting the Desert

ENCHANTING THE DESERT is a unique digital monograph exploring Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
Based on a historical document, this collaborative project includes the work of geographers, artists, enthusiasts, and digital humanists. The project is divided into sections focusing on toponymy, exploration, settlement, tourism, and infrastructure.
Librarians will find this fascinating project serves as a good example of interdisciplinary collaboration. Work with the art and social studies teachers to encourage creative projects that connect geography, art, and humanities.
To visit the website, go to http://enchantingthedesert.com.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review: Karl, Get Out of the Garden!

KARL, GET OUT OF THE GARDEN! by Anita Sanchez tells the story of naturalist Carolus Linnaeus.
Young Karl was a curious boy who loved examining plants and animals. He decided it would be useful to organize species into categories so they could be more easily identified. This young naturalist ultimately gained fame and success for this scientific work. The book concludes with additional information and sources.
With more depth than most picture books, librarians will find this biography provides a useful balance of nonfiction narrative and informational reading resource. Use this title in the science curriculum to bring alive the often boring topic of classification and naming.
To learn more about the author, go to http://anitasanchez.com/.
Published by Charlesbridge, an imprint of Random House on March 21, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Women Working

WOMEN WORKING, 1800-1930 is digital collection including Harvard Library associated with women’s history.
Contents: This collection includes books, diaries, records, magazines, catalogs, manuscripts, photographs, and other items associated with life in the 19th and 20th century.
Classroom Connections: This collection includes resources associated with women’s workplace regulations and conditions, home life, commerce, recreation, health, and social issues. Users can explore materials with a keyword search or by format. The collection also features notable people.
Featured Digital Objects: A teacher resources section highlights resources that can easily be connected to the social studies and history curriculum.
To visit the collection, go to http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Book Review: Fresh-Picked Poetry

FRESH-PICKED POETRY: A DAY A THE FARMERS’ MARKET by Michelle Schaub features over a dozen short poems exploring local foods and markets.
A series of short poems trace locally grown foods from the farm to market and finally to home. Each catchy poem explores a different aspect of the experience.
Colorful illustrations by Amy Huntington will connect children with the experience of a farmer’s market. The book concludes with reasons for visiting a local market.
Librarians will find this appealing picture book to be a useful tool for read-aloud activities. Consider building a learning station focusing on locally grown foods. Involve children in writing their own poetry about foods grown locally.
LocalHarvest.Org helps people locate farmer’s markets across the United States. Use it to locate a market near your school. Go to http://www.localharvest.org/seattle-wa
Published by Charlesbridge, an imprint of Random House. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Website Review: American Panorama

AMERICAN PANORAMA: AN ATLAS OF UNITED STATES HISTORY is an interactive historical atlas.
This online atlas project currently contains five maps. The Mapping Inequality (1935-1940) project explores New Deal America, the Forced Migration (1810-1860) map examines enslaved people, the Overland Trails (1840-1860) project focuses on trails west, the Foreign-Born Population (1850-2010) map features immigrants from around the world, and the Canals (1820-1860) project focuses on canals of the Northeast US.
Librarians will find this atlas is helpful for students who learn best though the use of visual communication. Involve students in discussing other topics that would benefit from an interactive atlas approach. Because the topics cover a variety of topics, the project can be integrated into both history and social studies classes.
To visit the website, go to http://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/.
For another historical atlas, go to http://dsl.richmond.edu/historicalatlas/.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Website Review: Pictures of Nursing

PICTURES OF NURSING is an online exhibition featuring postcards depicting the social and cultural impact of nurses and nursing.
Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this website includes an exhibition, education, and digital gallery sections. The exhibition presents a series of short narratives along with primary source materials in five areas: introduction, a women’s mission, nursing as a career, gender of nursing, nursing and respectability, and the art of nursing. The digital gallery provides access to primary source materials and the education section features lesson plans, higher education resources, online activities, and other materials.
Librarians will find this online exhibition useful across the curriculum. This highly visual approach will be appealing for students of all ages.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Review: The Hidden Life of a Toad

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF A TOAD by Doug Wechsler traces the life cycle of a toad in photographs.
Using detailed, close-up photos and easy-to-read text, this amazing informational picture book takes readers day by day through the life of a toad. The book concludes with a glossary, science information, ideas for photographers, and additional sources.
Librarians will find this book to be useful in the primary science curriculum. Ask students to compare the life cycle of the toad with other creatures. Encourage them to build their own science book using public domain, online photos. Or, take their own nature photographs.
To learn more about the author/illustrator, go to http://dougwechsler.com/.
Published on March 14, 2017 by Charlesbridge, an imprint of Random House. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Website Review: Teaching History

TEACHING HISTORY is the National History Education Clearinghouse website.
Aimed at K-12 teachers, this website contains teaching materials, history content, and best practices. Users can go directly to sections for elementary, middle, or high school education. Introductory videos are available by grade level along with an introduction to historical thinking and digital classroom resources. The spotlight section focuses on resources related to specific events such as Constitution Day. Beyond the basics, users can also explore the blog, issues and research, digital classroom ideas, and projects.
Librarians will find this to be an excellent resource in connecting history content with inquiry-based learning experiences. Seek resources that focus on historical thinking and teaching with primary sources.
To visit the website, go to http://teachinghistory.org/.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Website Review: 100 Leaders in World History

100 LEADERS IN WORLD HISTORY explores a hundred key people from around the global through history.
This easy-to-use project provides a gallery of leaders, video, classroom resources, and the results of an interactive survey. The leader section provides an overview of each leader. A video asks the question, “What Makes a Leader”? The classroom resources area provides a video, classroom ideas, lesson plans, printable posters, and other information. The results section provides statistical data and results of interactive surveys, and student-produced materials.
Librarians will find this unique website stimulates conversations and information investigations about leaders, leadership, and world history. Use it to draw interest in world history as well as the biography section of the library.
To visit the website, go to http://100leaders.org.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review: Martina & Chrissie

MARTINA & CHRISSIE: THE GREATEST RIVALRY IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS by Phil Bildner tells the story of two women striving for excellence in tennis.
In addition to tracing the history of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert’s friendship and rivalry, this compelling picture book biography also weaves in historical information that provides a global context.
Brett Helquist’s engaging and realistic illustrations bring the competition to life for readers. The book concludes with a timelines and addition sources.
Librarians know that sports biographies are popular. With the current popularity of tennis, young women will be particularly drawn to this fierce rivalry.
To learn more about the author, go to https://philbildner.com/.
To learn more about the illustrator, go to http://www.bretthelquist.com.
Published by Candlewick Press on March 14, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Website Review: Histories of the National Mall

HISTORIES OF THE NATIONAL MALL is a website exploring historical maps, stories, people, and events related to Washington DC’s famous mall.
In addition to a search tool that provides access to the digital collection, users can explore the resources through maps, explorations, people, and past events. The maps section provides an interactive map that allows users to explore areas of the Mall. The explorations area features scavenger hunts, along with fascinating questions and answers pages featuring items from the digital collection. The people section features key men and women who impacted the Mall. Finally, the past events area provides a timeline of key events and primary sources related to these happenings.
Librarians will find this website connects with many areas of history and social studies. Use the explorations section to jumpstart information inquiry projects.
To visit the website, go to http://mallhistory.org/.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views

DENNIS COLLECTION OF STEREOSCOPIC VIEWS is a massive collection of stereographs spanning the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century.
Contents: This amazing collection of over 40,000 photographs includes locations from around the world. Users can search by topic, place, genre, and other categories.
Classroom Connections: Librarians will find this public domain collection useful when connecting photographs to historical places and events. Mine the collection for photos matching specific topics in the history curriculum. Ask students to select a photo as the basis for a history project focusing on a particular time and place.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Review: I Promise

I PROMISE by David McPhail is a beautifully illustrated picture book featuring a mother bear and her cub.
This charming story follows a bear and her cub as they spend the day exploring the forest. Along the way, the cub learns about the meaning of the word “promise”.
Librarians will find this sweet story has a useful message that can be effectively woven into the primary grade curriculum.
To learn more about the author/illustrator, go to http://davidmcphailillustrations.com/.
Published by Little, Brown for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette on March 7, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Immigration to the US, 1789-1930

IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES, 1789-1930 explores the aspirations, acculturation, and impact of immigrants through a wide range of primary source documents.
Contents: Part of Harvard University Library’s open collections programs, this digital collection features historical materials from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. In addition to browsing for digital objects, users can explore materials by topic including the immigrant diaspora, new lives, and restricting immigration.
Classroom Connections: History and social studies teachers will find a wealth of useful resources in this collection that connect directly to the standards. Of particular note are the many acts and other legal documents associated with immigration. In addition, students will enjoy the diaries, photographs, and other documents related to the everyday lives of immigrants.
To visit the collection, go to http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/immigration.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Digital Spotlight: American Archive of Public Broadcasting

AMERICAN ARCHIVE OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING shares historic programs of publicly funded radio and television in the United States.
Contents: Users can browse the collection such as agriculture, dance, energy, fine art, or literature. Another option is to explore curated exhibits on topics such as climate change and the Civil Rights Movement. Students can also explore content by participating organization.
Classroom Connections: Librarians will find quality programs across the curriculum. Partner with teachers to identify audio and video segments that match specific curriculum needs.
To visit the collection, go to http://americanarchive.org.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Book Review: Baby on Board

BABY ON BOARD: HOW ANIMALS CARRY THEIR YOUNG by Marianne Berkes shares the many ways mothers carry their offspring.
Featuring a wide array of animals, the picture book begins by asking children to think about how they were carried as a baby. Rhyming verses describe the relationship between animals and their young, while the realistic illustrations provide visual detail. Background information is also provided for each animals. The book concludes with a matching game for children, ideas for teachers and parents, and additional resources.
Librarians will find that this book fits well with the primary grade science curriculum.
The publisher website provides free activities at https://dawnpub.com/our-books/baby-on-board/.
Published by Dawn Publications on March 1, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Discovering Literature: Shakespeare

DISCOVERING LITERATURE: SHAKESPEARE from the British Library is a digital collection and educational resource focusing on Shakespeare’s plays.
Contents: This resource features digital objects from the British Library. Users can explore the materials by works, articles, collection items, themes, teaching resources, and a person area. The works section features 15 plays. The articles area provides nearly 100 articles written by scholars, performers, curators, and journalists focusing different aspects of Shakespeare and his works. The collection section provides easy access to collection items. The themes area explores themes such as comedies, tragedies, histories, and more. The Shakespeare biography page includes links to many collection resources. The teacher resources contains a couple dozen lesson plans and resources.
Classroom Connections: Librarians and English teachers will find that these high quality digital objects and supplemental materials are useful additions to the English curriculum. Use the themes section to immerse students in a variety of works related to topics of interest from ethnicity to interpretations of madness.
To visit the collection, go to https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Website Review: Spread of U.S. Slavery

SPREAD OF U.S. SLAVERY is an interactive map showing enslaved populations in the United States from 1790 to 1860.
Using U.S. Census data, this easy to use interactive map helps users visualize the spread of slavery from the late 18th to the mid 19th century in the United States. In addition to viewing enslaved populations, users can also view free African Americas, free populations, and total populations.
Librarians will find this simple to use map useful in teaching students about data and visualizations. In addition, it is useful in the history and social studies curriculum.
To visit the website, go to http://lincolnmullen.com/projects/slavery/.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Book Review: Insects

INSECTS: THE MOST FUN BUG BOOK EVER by Sneed B. Collard is a nicely organized informational book exploring the science of bugs.
Although presented in a picture book format, this work of nonfiction is a well-research science book featuring a conversational narrative, detailed explanations, and age-appropriate humor. The high-quality close-up photographs and useful sidebar notes add to the visual appeal.
Organized into very short chapters, the book contains a table of contents and index that are easy for children to use. In addition, the author provides a learn more section, information about insect names, and a glossary.
Although many bug books already fill library shelves, librarians will find this book to be a worthwhile addition. Short chapters focusing on key concepts such as defense and chemical communication make it particularly useful for student research projects.
To learn more about the author, go to http://www.sneedbcollardiii.com/.
Published by Charlesbridge, an imprint of Random House on March 21, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Website Review: Confronting Violence

CONFRONTING VIOLENCE: IMPROVING WOMEN’S LIVES is an online exhibition exploring the history of women’s health issues.
Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this fascinating online exhibition explores issues in domestic violence and women’s health through history. The exhibition contains six sections: introduction, generations of reformers, nurses take a stand, medicine confronts violence, change is possible, and the work continues. Each section features a short narrative along with primary source documents. The digital gallery provides easy access to a wide range of documents, images, and other materials. The education section connects with lesson plans, higher education resources, online activities, and other resources.
Librarians will find this resource useful in history, social studies, and science classrooms. Students will find the exhibition easy to use and provides inspiration for extended activities. Teachers will find the lessons to be useful for both in-class and out-of-class assignments.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Website Review: The Living New Deal

THE LIVING NEW DEAL shares the achievements of the New Deal and public works projects across the United States.
This interactive online project features information about the New Deal, a map containing more than 12,000 locations impacted by public works projects, resources and teaching materials, and ways that people can get involved by submitting experiences and digital objects.
Librarians will find this website an engaging way to explore the impact of this government program.
To visit the website, go to https://livingnewdeal.org/.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Book Review: A Perfect Day

A PERFECT DAY by Lane Smith explores a perfect day for creatures living in Bert’s backyard.
A cat, a dog, a chickadee, and a squirrel are all having a perfect day until an unexpected visitor appears in Bert’s backyard. The unexpected ending will leave children smiling.
Librarians will find this book to be an effective read-aloud story. Use this adorable picture book to discuss the power of perspective with young children.
To learn more about the author/illustrator, go to http://www.lanesmithbooks.com/.
Published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan on February 14, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.