Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Digital Spotlight: National Museum of African American History and Culture

The NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE features a digital collection of 37,000 items.
Contents: This large digital collection contains historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and media related to African American history and culture. Users can access the collection by topic, date or era, name, object type, or place. Students may wish to begin with an exploration of topics such as American South, American West, Civil Rights, Clothing and Dress, Communities, Education, Family, Literature, Military, Music, Photography, Politics, Religious Groups, Segregation, and Slavery.
Classroom Connections: Work with history teachers to weave this collection into particular eras of American history or historical themes such as Civil Rights.
Featured Digital Objects:
Civil Rights
Post Cards
To visit the collection, go to

Monday, November 27, 2017

Website Review: YourShot

YOURSHOT from National Geographic is a social media project that encourages people to share photos.
The web project provides access to photos submitted by the online community including recent photos, trending images, and editor’s favorites. Users are encouraged to participate by contributing photos and stories based on specific assignments. The editor selects photos to share in the archives.
Librarians will find this website to be a fun way to introduce youth to photography. After exploring the website, participate in a Your Shot assignment or build your own. Discuss the website as an example of social media.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book Review: Chasing Augustus

CHASING AUGUSTUS by Kimberly Newton Fusco follows a child on a quest to find her dog.
Rosie lives with her grandfather in a dusty small town. She’s angry that her absent mom gave away her dog and becomes obsessed with finding it. Along the way, she interacts with a variety of quirky characters.
Librarians will find this book appealing to middle grade readers who enjoy realistic stories of friends, family, and dogs. The book is broken into four parts with short chapters making it nice for small group reading assignments. Pair the book with other family and dog stories such as Because of Winn Dixie.
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House on September 19, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Website Review: The Climate Explorer

THE CLIMATE EXPLORER provides a toolkit for exploring historical and projected climate trends.
A collaborative project of US government agencies, this online tool allows students to easily explore climate data from every county in the contiguous United States. The projections let students see how climate change will impact local areas. Data is access by searching locations, viewing variables such as temperature and precipitation, or by exploring topics including coastal, tribal nations, transportation, ecosystems, and water.
Librarians will find the tools easy for upper elementary through high school students to use in data literacy projects. Connect with math, science, and social studies teachers for projects that connect data literacy across the curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Website Review: The Age of Aerospace

THE AGE OF AEROSPACE tells the story of Bill Boeing and others who developed an industry based on airplane technology.
Created in conjunction with Boeing and Discovery Communication, this web project explores 100 years of aviation history. The website contains six episodes. Along with a video, each segment includes optional informational resources such as text, images, and additional videos. An interactive library provides easy access to all the project’s content.
Librarians will find this website to be an exciting way to explore aviation history. Involve students in exploring one aspect of the website in-depth, then using books, databases, and other online resources for additional information to support research questions.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, November 20, 2017

Website Review: Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVING from the Library of Congress is a teacher’s guide providing educators with primary sources and teaching materials related to the annual holiday.
This easy-to-use educational resource contains historical context, instructional materials, primary source documents, and learning tools.
Librarians will find the materials useful for elementary and middle school levels. Rather than overwhelming teachers, this short guide focuses on just a few relevant, engaging primary sources to provide learners with an introduction to the historical context of the holiday.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book Review: Falcon Wild

FALCON WILD by Terry Johnson is an adventure story about two teens and a raptor lost in the wilderness.
After a car accident, Karma and Cooper along with a falcon called Stark become lost in the Montana wilderness. While seeking help, the three learn to trust one another in order to survive the harsh, rugged conditions.
Librarians will find this novel popular with middle grade youth who enjoy friendship stories and outdoor adventures. In addition to the engaging story, readers will enjoy the abundance of information about falconry.
Published by Charlesbridge on September 12, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Website Review: Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

THE HIDDEN WORLDS OF THE NATIONAL PARKS is a project within the Google Arts and Culture website.
Users can explore the website by selecting locations from a Google Map or choosing from dozens of in-depth stories. In addition, students can take virtual tours of over one hundred National Parks, explore nearly 4000 digital collection items, and view videos. An in-depth exploration is provided for five parks.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful resource for students working on National Park projects. Ask students to work in small groups to explore one of the five in-depth explorations. Or, use the virtual field trips as inspiration for brainstorming inquiry questions.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Website Review: The New Europeans

THE NEW EUROPEANS from National Geographic explores the voices of a changing continent.
This interactive web project presents the stories of dozens of Syrian and other refugees who streamed into Europe in the past couple years. The website includes dozens of videos along with a news story and photographs.
Librarians will find this website to be an interesting way for students to explore issues related to immigration. Use this website to jumpstart an inquiry into global immigration issues. Ask students to make comparisons with immigration issues in the United States. This website could also be used as part of an informational reading experience in social studies.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Website Review: World War I

WORLD WAR I from the Library of Congress is a comprehensive teacher’s guide providing a wealth of resources related to the time period and the war.
This resource-rich website includes historical context, primary sources, teaching materials, and links to online materials focusing on World War I.
Librarians will find the resource to include important documents related to key events found in the history curriculum. From posters and news clippings to multimedia documents and political cartoons, this website provides an excellent introduction to primary sources related to the war.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Book Review: The Fault Line in the Constitution

FAULT LINES IN THE CONSTITUTION by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson tells the story of the framers, their fights, and the flaws that affect us today.
This compelling work of nonfiction explores the connection between today’s political issues and the US Constitution. The book addresses both well-known along with lesser-known stories about why the framers of the Constitution chose their words and their impact today.
Librarians will find this well-research work of nonfiction to be an important addition to the US history collection. Teachers will find it a valuable resource in connecting past events to issues in the news today.
Published on September 1, 2017 by Peachtree Publishers. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Maps of North America

MAPS OF NORTH AMERICA from the New York Public Library contains nearly 2000 historical maps.
Contents: From national park illustrations to city and state maps, this comprehensive digital collection features a wide variety of historical maps from the 17th to the 20th century. This varied collection includes railroad and road maps, Underground railroad maps, and city plans.
Classroom Connections: This large collection spanning three centuries contains a wealth of historical information particularly useful to social studies teachers. Use these maps to provide insights into specific locations and periods in North American history. Involve students in comparing maps of the same location in two different time periods.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Website Review: Hollow

HOLLOW is an interactive website providing a fascinating intersection of art and science.
Users explore a virtual version of a permanent public artwork containing a miniature forest of trees from around the globe. Students can examine 10,000 unique tree samples by browsing the sculpture or exploring by piece either alphabetically, by tree family, or by geographic location.
Librarians will find that this web project provides a unique combination of science and art that’s perfect for the STEAM curriculum. Ask students to explore the website and notice the different ways that the wood database can be accessed. Involve students in creating their own intersection between art and science by focusing on a category of animal or animal.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, November 06, 2017

Website Review: Video Game Industry

The VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY is an interactive website focusing on the state of the video game industry across the United States.
The Entertainment Software Association developed this interactive map to help users visualize the impact of the video game industry state by state. Students click on a state to explore industry advocates, college programs, and companies. The website also uses an infographic to present information about the video game industry.
Librarians will find this engaging website to be useful in data literacy lessons. Work with math, science, social studies, and communications teachers to build skills in locating and analyzing data found on maps and infographics. Begin with local data, then ask students to make comparisons among regions of the United States. Involve students in authentic informational reading and writing experiences using the video game theme as motivation.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Book Review: Claymates

CLAYMATES by Dev Petty is a picture book telling the story of two friends made of clay.
After the art studio closes for the day, the artist’s clay characters come to life. The bright colored photographs of the clay characters contributes to the appeal of the story.
Librarians will find this adorable picture book to be popular among primary aged children. It would also provide a fun introduction to an art or claymation project.
Published by Little, Brown on June 20, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Website Review: My Grandmother's Lingo

MY GRANDMOTHER’S LINGO explores the loss of language around the world.
Marra only one of many languages around the world that are dying. This interactive experience helps students learn about the language and why it’s important to save this and other languages. Although the project focuses on an Australia’s indigenous languages, this experience has relevance around the world.
Librarians will find this website to be a fascinating way to help children understand language and the implication of lost languages. Ask students to learn about languages of Native American peoples that are being lost.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Digital Spotlight: The Art of American Advertising

THE ART OF AMERICAN ADVERTISING features advertisements from 1865 to 1910.
Contents: In addition to a searchable digital collection, users can also explore nine exhibitions focusing on national markets, advertising products, trade catalogs, trade cards, souvenirs and novelties, scrapbooks and collectibles, the art of “posting”, brand name management, and a marketing revolution.
Classroom Connections: This collection is useful for activities across the curriculum. Art teachers will want to involve students in evaluating the artwork, while history teachers can use the images to provide insights into particular time periods. Divide classes into small groups to explore specific exhibitions. Involve younger students in “then and now” comparisons.
To visit the collection, go to