Surviving Summer – (with a good book series)

It’s time to start thinking about summer again, that means registering for camps and thinking about trips to the pool, the park, the baseball diamond…. and the library. I hear a lot of teachers talk about the summer slide. That’s the idea that, over the summer, kids forget what they’ve learned a teachers have to start all over again in the fall. Well, I’ve come across a great resource to help keep your kids engaged in reading and thinking about what they read, over the summer.

Children’s Book author, Lauren Tarshis has written of series of books about major events in history. In her books, she inserts a young boy into the event and writes the book from his perspective. I think giving kids another child’s perspective is a great way to familiarize kids with major events. The series, written from the first person perspective, is called I SURVIVED. There are currently nine books in the series. Events range from the Battle of Gettysburg and Shark Attacks in 1916 to the San Francisco Earthquake and the Attacks on September 11th.
I survivedRight now you can get them from Scholastic for $3 each. You can also choose from four different packs; Mother Nature ($8 for 3 books), Deadly Wars ($8 for 3 books), American Tragedies ($15 for 6 books) or Complete Set ($18 for 9 books).
One of my favorite parts is that you can access a complete Educators Guide filled with fun and engaging resources. Resources include a video interview with the author, comprehension questions, tools to write your own newspaper article and headline, even a play about the Titanic that the whole family can read aloud together.  All of these resources are free. They are so well put together that even as a parent, you’ll feel like a teacher.
Here’s a quick, teacher’s college, tutorial.

You’ll find the Educator’s Guide for the series here as well resources for individual books. Be sure to start with the Educator’s Guide though as there are several resources not listed individually. The next page of resources breaks things down into content areas like Comprehension, Literature concepts like Character Traits, Identifying Types of Conflict, and Distinguishing Fact from Fiction, Writing Activities, Word Studies, History and Science even Technology Connections. If knowing how all this relates to standards is important, this is the page for you.
For the kids, there is a great website for the series that includes information about the books, specific facts about each event and even a survival skills quiz for them to take. There are links to other books and online resources about each subject too.