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Monday Morning Ready09.05.2018
Jumpstart Your Week!

In a photograph from the 1930s, two women with pin-curls have paused in the street. One is sporting a two-shelf book case stacked with the slanting spines of books. The other has a volume in her gloved hands and her head is bowed toward the open pages.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

What kinds of books do you like to read the most? Why?

Grade 5-6

If you were to create your own personal library, what categories of books would you include? What are some books you would include in each category?

Grade 7-8

In what way, if any, do you think traveling libraries have promoted literacy in the places they visited?

Grade 9-10

According to the article, digital technology allows anyone to create his or her own ultimate traveling library. Do you think e-books will someday make libraries themselves obsolete? Why or why not?

LESSON PLAN
Insert Yourself Into a Book

PROCESS:

  1. Point out that people identify with books for many different reasons. Perhaps they share personality traits with one of the characters. Or maybe they're going through a situation similar to one described in the book. Sometimes the connection is strong and other times it's not. But that connection helps readers relate to the story at hand.
  2. Encourage students to select a book that they most identify with. Instruct them to write a short scene in which they insert themselves as characters in the story.
  3. Have students write a brief summary explaining why they identify with this book and how their character's storyline might eventually unfold.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their scenes and summaries with the class. After all students have shared, encourage students identify the most common reasons students related to their selected stories.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Pre-select four books that you think most students in the class will relate to. Display the books and have students choose the one book they most identify with. Divide the class into groups, one for each book. Encourage group members to discuss reasons why they relate most to that book. Then divide each group into pairs. Have partners work together to write one new scene in which they both appear. Then have them summarize why they both identify with the book and how their characters' storylines might eventually unfold.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to select one book they can both relate to. Encourage them to discuss reasons why they chose this book. Then have partners work together to write a new scene in which they both appear. Once the scene is finished, have students write their own summaries explaining why they identify with the book and how they think their character's storyline might eventually unfold.
Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the activity on their own. Instruct them to write a scene that has a logical connection to the existing storyline. Encourage them to write a thoughtful summary explaining why they chose this particular book. Challenge them to be creative as they explain how their character's storyline might eventually unfold.
Grades 9-10:
Have students select the book they most identify with and write a new scene inserting themselves as a main character into the story. Encourage students to write a thoughtful summary explaining why they chose this particular book. Challenge them to be creative as they explain how the addition of their character could impact the plot as the story continues to unfold.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Invite students to find onsite resources on subjects ranging from agriculture to zoology with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the digitization component of the Encyclopedia of Life. This consortium of 12 major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries and research institutions is organized to digitize, serve and preserve the legacy literature of biodiversity.

Judging a Book by Its Cover
Through this lesson plan from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students explore the relationship between the form of books and the content inside. They “author and publish” a book using both ancient and modern binding techniques that relate to the content of their writing.

Portraits, Visual and Written
These lessons from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access introduce students to the lives and works of Louisa May Alcott and Samuel Clemens through portraits a well as through their writings. Students come away with a better understanding of how the events of one’s life can be an inspiration for creative writing.

History on Stage: A Pop-Up Lesson
This lesson from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries accompanies “Paper Engineering,” an exhibition on pop-up books. The site includes detailed illustrated instructions to guide students as they make their own pop-up books on historical subjects.

Galaxy of Knowledge
This virtual portal to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ extensive collections and resources features on-line exhibitions, digitized books and bibliographies.

A New Candidate for Animal Farm
This Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson requires high school students to identify and analyze the effectiveness of propaganda, rhetoric and satire as they read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” Students campaign as one of the animals in the book: making speeches, cartoons and brochures to rally for their views. The lesson culminates in a voting process to assess the success of their attempts at persuasion.

Wonder Bound: Rare Books on Early Museums
This exhibit of books from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries discusses the collection, exhibition and preservation habits of early museums, galleries and their libraries. It includes enlarged images of many resources.
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