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Journey of the Pale Bear
Author: Susan Fletcher
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2018 by McElderry Books

Summary: The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England.

Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom?

About the Author: SUSAN FLETCHER is the acclaimed author of the Dragon Chronicles as well as the award-winning Alphabet of Dreams, Shadow Spinner, Walk Across the Sea, and Falcon in the Glass. Ms. Fletcher lives in Bryan, Texas. To read about the fascinating story behind the inspiration for Journey of the Pale Bear, visit her website, SusanFletcher.com

Praise: ★”A stupendous coming-of-age tale stuffed with adventure and laced with deeper questions.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review: When I first read about this book it sounded pretty good, enough for me to pick it up, but it was SO GOOD! Like so good that even though it was a school week, I read it in 2 days!

First, it takes place in a time period that is hardly ever in books which is fascinating. I found myself looking up some of the history that was mentioned in the book, but the author did a great job of making sure that not knowing about the details of the time period wouldn’t effect the reading experience.

Second, it looks at animal treatment and truly makes you think about how an animal feels when it is put in captivity. Although told only in a realistic manner, the animal is such an integral part of the story that its behaviors are shared in detail allowing it to become a full character within the book.

Third, did you know there used to be a menagerie in the Tower of London? Me neither! But that took me down a suck hole of Google research. So fascinating!

Fourth, wow! The adventure is EPIC: sailing, bullies, pirates, shipwrecks, storms. It never stops!

So in review: Fascinating, thought-provoking, curious, and action-packed. All in all, a book I truly recommend and enjoyed.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: The main home for this book will be in libraries; however, I can definitely see portions of it being used in classrooms.

  • First, I could see it being used during a history lesson to discuss the politics and war shared in the book.
  • Second, there are so many scenes that could be pulled out as mentor texts for writing. I’ll share some of my favorites below.
  • Third, I would love to see some creative writing done from the bear’s point of view.
  • Fourth, it is a fascinating look at animal treatment and how it has (and has not) changed over the years.

But in the end, it belongs in kids’ hands! Get it there!

Discussion Questions: 

  • Why did Arthur agree to take care of the bear?
  • What examples throughout the book show that the bear loved and trusted Arthur?
  • What does the whole story of a polar bear being sent from Norway to England show you about the respect of animals during the time period of the novel?
  • How did Arthur’s involvement make the bear’s life better?
  • Do you believe that the doctor cared about Arthur as he said he did? Explain.
  • How did Arthur earn the respect of the sailors on the ship?

Flagged Passages: 

“Its eyes, small and dark, were alert, curious, aware. I felt the faint stirring of its breath against my cheeks. I drew in the rich, ripe scent of bear until I seemed to sink down below the surface of it, drowning. From somewhere far away I heard Hauk and the lantern boy arguing, but the sounds fell away behind the throbbing in my ears and the thrill of the running-hum in my limbs.

The bear rumbled deep in its throat.

I rose to my feet, stepped back, and felt the iron bars press cold against me. I kept my eyes fixed on the pale, wide face, as if the force of my gaze could prevent the bear from lunging at me with its enormous paws or raking me with is claws–claws that I could see out of the corner of my eyes, massive claws, claws from a nightmare of monsters.” (Chapter 3)

“Before we saw the bear, we heard her—a heavy rhythmic read, a thump, a clang. Beyond the reek of fish, I sniffed out the feral musk of her.

We crept through the dark warehouse–the doctor, the captain, and I–until I made out a large, pale, moving form in the deep gloom ahead. The doctor motioned us to stop, and we watched from behind a stack of crates and bales. The bear was as tall as a pony, longer than a caribou, and as wide as two bulls. Back and forth she paced in her cage, and back and forth again, her head swinging side to side on her long neck, the convex bow of her snout lending her an air of nobility. The bear-smell now filled the air, and the stench of dung as well. A surge of fear rose up in me, turning my bones and sinews to liquid.” (Chapter 6)

Read This If You Love: Seekers by Erin Hunter, The Vanishing Islands by Barry WolvertonPirates! by Celia Rees, The Ravenmaster’s Secret by Elvira Woodruff

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**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review and McElderry Books for providing a copy for giveaway!**

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Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation
Author: Patricia Newman
Published August 1st, 2018 by Millbrook Press

Summary: Deep in the Central African Republic, forest elephants trumpet and rumble along with the forest’s symphony. And scientists are listening.

Scientist Katy Payne started Cornell University’s Elephant Listening Project to learn more about how forest elephants communicate and what they’re saying. But the project soon grew to be about so much more.

Poaching, logging, mining, and increasing human populations threaten the survival of forest elephants. Katy and other members of the Elephant Listening Project’s team knew they needed to do something to protect these majestic animals. By eavesdropping on elephants, the Elephant Listening Project is doing its part to save Africa’s forest elephants and preserve the music in the forest.

About the Author: Patricia Newman has a passion for uncovering fascinating aspects about our world and crafting books that lead children on an adventure of discovery. She gravitates toward stories about animals and conservation science and enjoys sharing her excitement with readers. Books include Sibert Honor title Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem; Junior Library Guild Selection Eavesdropping on Elephants; Bank Street College Best Book Zoo Scientists to the Rescue; Booklist Editor’s Choice Ebola: Fears and Facts; and Green Earth Book Award winner Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She frequently speaks at schools, libraries, and conferences about writing and conservation. Visit her at www.patriciamnewman.com.

Praise: 

“…this book does an excellent job of transporting readers and providing a clear, multifaceted picture of African forest elephants…The more you listen to wildlife, the more your mind opens up to new ideas about why the world is a place worth saving… VERDICT: A great pick for middle school nonfiction collections.” —School Library Journal

“Fascinating for earnest conservationists.” —Kirkus Reviews

Review: I am never disappointed when I read a Patricia Newman book. Each of her books are filled with fascinating information told in a way that will make any reader feel the passion that Newman obviously feels about her topics.

Her newest, Eavesdropping on Elephants, takes it to a whole new level! Not only does the book still include informational and narrative nonfiction, sidebars, glossaries, and classroom connections all well-researched and interesting, but it also includes QR codes (or links if you do not have a QR reader) to actually see and/or hear the elephants that are being discussed in the book. This really makes the book come to life in a way that I haven’t seen before.

Like all of her books, by the end I wanted to talk to people about what I read, wanted to go make a difference, and wanted to keep learning. If this isn’t a testament to how good her nonfiction is then I don’t know what is.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: “Consider an Authors for Earth Day visit in conjunction with Eavesdropping on Elephants. Students research a list of five conservation nominees selected by Patricia Newman and then vote for their favorite. Newman writes a check to the winning organization. The mission? To empower young readers to shape the world around them!”  –https://www.patriciamnewman.com/books/eavesdropping-on-elephants/ 

Research, reading, and writing activities for the classroom in conjunction with Eavesdropping on Elephants can be found on Patricia Newman’s Elephants Pinterest Board!

I, personally, am going to use Newman’s texts in my passion project research unit this year. I’m going to use her texts to show mentor texts of a nonfiction picture book and students are going to make their own nonfiction book or video. I also hope to have my lunch book club read Newman’s books as one of their month choices.

Discussion Questions: 

  • How do the videos/recordings help with the understanding of the book?
  • What is a keystone species? And how are the forest elephants a keystone species of their habitat?
  • What is the difference between ultrasound and infrasound? What does this have to do with elephants?
  • What figurative journey did Katy take to finally make it to Africa to study elephants in the wild?
  • What did the scientists learn by listening to the elephants?
  • Why are elephants’ ears the shape that they are?
  • How is what Katy did with elephant sounds similar to a dictionary?
  • How are humans a threat to forest elephants?
  • What did Teagan Yardley do when she learned about these threats?

Book Trailer: 

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Nonfiction about animals, Nonfiction titles by Patricia Newman

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**Thank you to Lerner Publishing and Patricia for providing a copy for review!**

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Picture Book Science: Physical Science for Kids
Author: Andi Diehn
Illustrator: Shululu
Published March 1st, 2018 by Nomad Press

Series Summary: By combining children’s natural curiosity with prompts for keen observations and quick experiments, Physical Science for Kids provides a fun introduction for kids to the physical science that rules our world! Great for beginner readers or as a read aloud for younger children. Children are introduced to physical science through detailed illustrations paired with a nonfiction narrative that uses fun language to convey familiar examples of real-world connections.

  • Encourages the development of important skills, including observing, connecting, problem solving, and model testing.
  • Explores vocabulary, encouraging readers to make language arts connections and conclusions.
  • Visually stimulating, detailed illustrations make this an excellent choice as a read aloud for younger children.

Waves Summary: You can find waves just about everywhere you look! Take a tour of the world of waves in this fun, illustrated introduction to the concept of waves and energy and their presence in our world. This installment in Picture Book Science encourages readers to observe lots of different kinds of waves, including those found in water, wheat, a baseball stadium, and even invisible waves!

Forces Summary: Our world operates the way it does because of forces. Gravity, magnetism, pulling and pushing, and friction are some of the many forces that affect the way we move on Earth. They even affect the Earth itself-without gravity, the world would eventually fly apart! In Forces: Physical Science for Kids, readers  observe different types of forces, including gravity, magnetism, pulling, pushing, and friction.

Energy Summary: When you feel like running, leaping, and singing, people might say you have a lot of energy. And you’re not the only one! Energy is the stuff that makes everything live and move. People, animals, plants-we all need energy to live! In Energy: Physical Science for Kids, readers discover different forms of energy, including heat, light, and chemical energy, that keep the world working and moving.

Matter Summary: Everything you can touch and hold is made up of matter-including you, your dog, and this book! Matter is stuff that you can weigh and that takes up space, which means pretty much everything in the world is made of matter! In Matter: Physical Science for Kids, readers  discover the basic building block of most of the material they come in contact with every day, including themselves-matter!

About the Creators: 

Andi Diehn is a writer, editor, and book critic with a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She has published dozens of articles, stories, and essays and spent many hours volunteering in her son’s classrooms. She lives in Enfield, New Hampshire, with her family.

Website: andidiehn.com
Facebook: facebook.com/andi.diehn
Twitter: twitter.com/lostinthree
Instagram: instagram.com/andiwritesbooks

Shululu (Hui Li) has always been driven by curiosity. She received a PhD in computational chemistry from the University of Chicago. Her research has been published in the world’s most influential science journals, including Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is devoted to bringing joy and science to young readers through fun illustrations! She lives with her husband in New York, NY.

Website: shulululee.com
Twitter: twitter.com/shululustudio
Instagram: instagram.com/shulululee

Review: Young children have so many questions about the world and how everything works. Curiousity runs wild in their brains, but more than anything they just want to learn and absorb. This series is a must get for parents, classrooms, and libraries because it addresses many of the questions that kids have.

Each book begins with a poem that introduces the topic then is followed by lyrical text going through scientific information about the topic of the book. Mixed in with the text are “TRY THIS” sidebars with fun experiments for kids to take the text into the real world.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Each of the books has a classroom guide!! The guides have Essential Questions for Before, During, and After Reading; Key Vocabulary; and Common Core Connections:

Classroom Guide for Waves

Classroom Guide for Forces

Classroom Guide for Energy

Classroom Guide for Matter

Discussion Questions: Example questions from the classroom guides:

  • How do we know something exists if we cannot see it?
  • What would the world be like if there was no energy?
  • How are forces created?
  • How are magnets and gravity related to each other?
  • How is energy related to waves?
  • How do science activities help you learn about energy?
  • The word “matter” can mean lots of different things. Can you think of other words that are the same but have different meanings?
  • How might we weigh things that are too large to hold in our hands or put on a scale?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Sharing science with children

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**Thank you to Nomad Press for providing copies for review!**

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Our Solar System
Author: Arthur John L’Hommedieu
Published January 16, 2018 by Child’s Play Books

Goodreads Summary: Packed with information, this book opens before us like a tunnel through space, enabling us to make a fascinating tour of the planets in our solar system. Revised and updated edition of this three-dimensional information book children to study interesting data about each of the planets. Larger trim size and additional spread.

Review: I took this book for review because I have a thing for accordion-like books. I wasn’t disappointed. The book is packed with great information about space. After my son goes to sleep, it is one of his favorites to read. He can really get into the book (quite literally) and put his face in between the planets. It’s hard to describe the book, but the cutouts allow readers to see all of the pages collapsed. It can be opened accordion-style, and it can stand up in a cube-style. Lovers of space will really appreciate this book and all of its information.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book made me want to make my own accordion book. It would be neat for teachers to share this book and invite groups of students to create an accordion book on a shared topic of interest. For example, my son would have a blast making a book about predatory plants. He is currently fascinated with Venus flytraps. 🙂

Discussion Questions: After reading about _____, what did you learn?; What do you still want to learn about space? How did the book format add to your understanding?

We Flagged: “This is the sun. Our journey begins here…

The sun is a gaseous mass of hydrogen and helium” (n.p).

Read This If You Loved: Any nonfiction book about space, for background knowledge when reading science fiction that takes place in space (e.g. Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System; Space Encyclopedia)

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**Thank you to Veronica Crisler at Myrick Marketing & Media for providing a copy for review**

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Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries
Authors: Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Published June 26th, 2018

Summary: Unbelievable TRUTHS about outrageous people, places and events—with a few outright LIES hiding among them. Can you tell the fakes from the facts?

Did you know that a young girl once saved an entire beach community from a devastating tsunami thanks to something she learned in her fourth-grade geography lesson? Or that there is a person alive today who generates her own magnetic field? Or how about the fact that Benjamin Franklin once challenged the Royal Academy of Brussels to devise a way to make farts smell good?

Welcome to Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries! You know the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie.

Can you guess which stories are the facts and which are the fakes? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to root out the alternative facts.

From a train that transported dead people to antique photos of real fairies to a dog who was elected mayor, the stories in this book will amaze you! Just don’t believe everything you read. . . .

About the Authors:

  

Ammi-Joan Paquette loves caves, hates mushy bananas, and is ambivalent about capybaras. She is the author of the novels The Train of Lost Things, Paradox, and Nowhere Girl as well as the Princess Juniper series and many more. She is also the recipient of a PEN/New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award honor. Joan lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she balances her own writing with her day job as a literary agent. You can visit her online at www.ajpaquette.com.

Laurie Ann Thompson loves capybaras, hates caves, and is ambivalent about mushy bananas. She is the author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including Emmanuel’s Dream,  a picture book biography of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which was the recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Book and a CCBC Choice, among other accolades. She lives outside Seattle with her family, and you can visit her online at www.lauriethompson.com

Unleashing Readers review of Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=13591 

ReviewI just love this series for so many reasons! First, it is just so interesting! Even the “lies” include true stories with information switched out to make it not true. There are quizzes and tidbits of information. There is so much to read about and just take in. I am so in awe with the authors who truly find unknown information that is fascinating and will keep kids (and adults!) reading. Also, I think it is so important to teach students/kids (and adults!) how to determine if information being given to us is valid and reliable. Third, I think the authors do a fantastic job including a wide variety of topics to give students who may have different interests interested. And with two books in the series now focusing on two different focuses, it makes it so even more readers will find something they want to learn about. And lastly, I am so glad that the authors are making nonfiction fun! Too many of my students don’t like nonfiction because they find it “boring.” This book is anything but boring.

Teaching Guide:

Flagged Passages: 

Part 1: Hazy Histories

History. Some people think of it as nothing more than a whole bunch of names and events and dates to be memorized. But history is so much more than that. History is people, history is stories, history is fascinating! 

In this section, we’ll spin some amazing tales from ancient history right up to the present day. All of them are remarkable, but remember–one of the stories in each chapter is fake.

Prepare yourself to experience history in a way that you never have before.

Let’s get started!

Chapter 2: Over 1,00 Years Ago

Read This If You Love: Unsolved Mysteries from History series by Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple: The Mary Celeste, Roanoke, The Wolf Girlsand The Salem Witch Trials; History’s Mysteries from National Geographic; History; Nonfiction mysteries

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DATE BLOG
6/19 Library Lions Roar
6/20 Geo Librarian
6/21 A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
6/21 Roadmap to Reality: Helping Kids Find Their Way in a World of Fake News
6/26 The Official Tumblr of Walden Media
6/26 Bluestocking Thinking
6/27 Unleashing Readers
6/27 Nerdy Book Club
6/27 Writers Rumpus
6/28 The Book Monsters
6/29 Pragmatic Mom

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The Vietnam War
Barbara Diggs
Published May 1st, 2018 by Nomad Press

Summary: More than 58,000 American troops and personnel died in the humid jungles and muddy rivers of Vietnam during the 20-year conflict. But why? What were they fighting for? And how could the world’s most powerful military be defeated by a small, poverty-stricken country?

In The Vietnam War, kids ages 12 to 15 explore the global conditions and history that gave rise to the Vietnam War, the reasons why the United States became increasingly embroiled in the conflict, and the varied causes of its shocking defeat. The Vietnam War also pays close attention to the development of a massive antiwar movement and counterculture that divided the country into “hawks” and “doves.” As middle schoolers learn about how the fear of the spread of communism spurred the United States to enter a war that was erupting on the other side of the world, they find themselves immersed in the mood and mindset of the Vietnam Era.

About the Author: Barbara Diggs is a non-fiction writer who has written a range of historical articles for children. Her work has been featured in Learning Through History MagazineHistory Magazine, and Renaissance, among others. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Barbara practiced law in New York for several years before becoming a professional writer. She and her family currently split their time between Paris, France, and Washington DC.

Author Guest Post: 

“Lessons of Past Wars”

For a kid, the Vietnam War might seem like it happened a long time ago. That was way back in the last century! But even if the war itself seems far off, understanding the lessons of the Vietnam war–and events of the era–is key to understanding current events.

In the 1950s, the communist country of North Vietnam was trying to bring South Vietnam under unified rule. The United States stepped in to support South Vietnam. The American government was worried that if communism was allowed to spread unchecked, it could eventually reach its own shores and threaten America’s free, democratic way of life. The United States was also concerned that the Soviet Union, a communist country and the United States’s ideological enemy, supported North Vietnam.

The war lasted for nearly 20 years and more than 58,000 American soldiers died. As the war dragged on, American youth formed a massive antiwar protest movement that defined a generation, created a deep rift in the nation, and profoundly impacted both the course of the war and American culture. To complicate matters further, political and military leaders proved themselves to be less than truthful about several crucial aspects of the conflict, leading to a widespread erosion of the public’s trust in the government.

Though long ago, this history is still relevant today. In my book, readers will recognize echoes of the Vietnam War era in the political protests, marches and movements of today, and will explore the different ways in which the youth of that generation made their voices heard. They’ll also learn to identify propaganda, analyze the role the media plays in influencing public opinion, and consider the balance between national security and the public’s right to information…all still hugely relevant topics today.

Not least of all, kids will look at the realities of war and recognize our shared humanity.

This war was the most bitter of conflicts. The loss of life and suffering that occurred on all sides was terrible. And yet today, the United States and Vietnam have a friendly relationship, despite Vietnam having a communist government. This perspective is something that’s especially important to learn and remember in these polarizing times: today’s enemy might be tomorrow’s friend.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: 

War still rages around the world, and the lessons we return to again and again only get more and more important. Here are a few activities featuring the Vietnam War that can serve as a jumping-off point for developing the critical-thinking skills kids will need as future leaders!

DEAR HOME

The Vietnam War was a terrifying, life-changing experience for the soldiers who fought there. The estimated average age of a soldier was 22 years old, and 61 percent of those who died were under 21. Many soldiers in Vietnam wrote to their families as often as possible and loved receiving letters in return. Being able to write home and receive letters helped them stay connected to the outside world and document their experiences.

Read some letters and excerpts of letters written by soldiers in Vietnam.

Paul O’Connell

Steve Flaherty

Charles Miller

After you read or listen to them, consider the following questions.

  • What were the reasons some of these men went to Vietnam?
  • What are some of the different tones and emotions expressed in the letters?
  • What surprises you about the letters?
  • How did the letter writers’ experiences differ? How were they similar?

Imagine that you are a combat soldier in Vietnam. Write a letter or email home discussing your experiences. What would you want to talk about? What would you want to know about back home?

To investigate more, imagine that you are a South Vietnamese peasant during the war who was evacuated because of the Vietcong threat. Write a letter to a relative outside of Vietnam describing what wartime life is like. How do you feel about the Vietcong? How might you feel about the United States? What are your fears?

MUSIC OF THE VIETNAM ERA

As the Vietnam War escalated, folksingers began expressing their condemnation of the war through music. These songs expressed the emotions and frustrations that many were feeling, and promoted a sense of unity in a highly divisive time. Singers such as Bob Dylan (1941– ), Phil Ochs (1940–1976), Joan Baez (1941– ), Arlo Guthrie (1947– ), and Barry McGuire (1935– ) were among the leading artists of the era. They became legends for their Vietnam era music and lyrics.

Search for Vietnam protest songs and listen to examples of anti-war music from this time.

  • Consider the following questions.
  • What are some of the different messages the songs tried to convey?
  • What different emotions did each song appeal to?
  • In what ways might these songs have influenced youth behavior?
  • Can you name any modern songs that relate to today’s political or social issues? What topics do they cover?

Write your own song or poem that expresses feelings and opinions about a current political or social concern.

  • What point of view will you write from?
  • What images will you use to get your point across?
  • How will you use rhythm to convey meaning or emotion?

To investigate more, imagine that you live during the Vietnam era and want to show your support for the war. Create a slogan to put on a placard or banner. Who would be your intended audience? What message would you want to deliver? If you were against the war, what would you come up with?

BLOWING THE WHISTLE

Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers to newspapers, was the first major whistle-blower of the modern era. A whistle-blower is defined as a person who informs on a person or organization believed to be engaging in immoral, unethical, or illegal behavior. Whistle-blowers are usually protected by federal law, so they can report unethical actions without fear of getting into trouble. But such laws generally don’t protect those who reveal classified government information. Ellsberg did so knowing he could be jailed for life. Some Americans regarded him as a hero, while others viewed him as a traitor.

Learn more about Ellsberg’s motivations by reading the transcript of his interview with Walter Cronkite, which was held shortly after the release of the Pentagon Papers.

  • In what ways can whistle-blowing be beneficial to society?
  • In what ways can whistle-blowing be detrimental to society?
  • Do you think Ellsberg was a hero or a traitor? Explain.
  • Are there any circumstances where you might view a whistle-blower as the opposite of the
  • answer you provided above? Describe.

You can learn more about recent government whistle-blowers by researching Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Create a two-column, seven-row chart that compares and contrasts one whistle-blower with Daniel Ellsberg. Use the following questions as a guide.

  • How were the circumstances of each whistle-blower similar?
  • What were key differences in their situations?
  • What motivated each of them?
  • How did each of them reveal classified information?
  • What consequences did they suffer?
  • How were they perceived by the public?
  • Do you view one of them more favorably than the other? Why?

To investigate more, imagine that you have learned of an immoral, unethical, or illegal act that a person in authority, such as a teacher or club leader, is committing. Map out three different ways you could respond to the situation. Consider whom you might tell, evidence you might need, the potential consequences you might face, and the possible consequences of doing nothing. Of the three, which response would you be most likely to take?

Find more resources in the free classroom teaching guide!

Thank you so much, Barbara and Nomad Press!

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Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events
Carla Mooney
Published May 1st, 2018 by Nomad Press

Summary: Have you noticed that our planet is becoming increasingly connected?

In Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events, kids ages 12 to 15 focus on the definition of globalization and discover how technology drives globalization, which affects economies, political systems, human rights, and cultures around the world. The book also explores the future of globalization and discusses issues the global community might face in coming years.

  • Readers hear news stories about globalization on a daily basis.
  • Investigating previous events in the world’s history can help students understand the causes and effects of current events.
  • Uses links to online primary sources to imbue readers with a curiosity about the topic and engage in further, independent inquiry.

About the Author: Carla Mooney has written more than 70 books for children and young adults. Her work has appeared in many magazines including HighlightsFaces, and Learning Through History. Carla lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Author Guest Post: 

“How can we tell we’re living in a global village?”

Where was your phone manufactured? How many different countries did you send digital waves to when you checked your social media feeds this afternoon? What nations did you read about in the paper over your morning cup of coffee?

It’s pretty easy to recognize that globalization is a driving force in our daily lives. Everything we do has consequences, both our actions as individuals and our actions as nations. It can be a little tougher to get kids to recognize what this means!

For example, consider the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which kids have probably heard about on the news. What kind of repercussions might this have in the life of an eighth grader? Well, as sanctions are potentially put back in place, global relationships will change, which means the way we trade will change, which might make things such airplane tickets more expensive for the average consumer. A 13-year-old will certainly notice if their family has to skip a summer vacation because the cost of flying is prohibitively expensive. They’ll also notice if digital devices go down in price, because their parents might be more inclined to purchase the most recent version of their phone!

Globalization is a complex topic that can help kids recognize the interconnected workings of our world. While your students’ lives might not be super changed as a result of things like the Iran nuclear deal or the trade negotiations with China, at some level, these issues affect all of us, and exploring these connections can be a lesson rich in discovery.

This is what was in my mind as I wrote Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events. As you might imagine, research for this book was a deep dive into the innumerable ways countries are connected, from trade policies to political partnerships to environmental agreements. It’s a very tangled web! But the more kids know about these connections, the better equipped they’ll be to make the kinds of decisions they’ll be faced with as tomorrow’s leaders.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: 

To get them started, here are three activities from the book.

SHOW THE CONNECTIONS

Globalization is the great connector, bringing together people, ideas, and more from all around the world. You can learn about these connections simply by studying something from your everyday life.

Pick three items that you use on a daily basis. They could be music you listen to, a T-shirt you wear, the bed you sleep in, the toothpaste you use, or the apple you eat.

For each item, think about the following.

  • Is your item affected by globalization?
  • Where is it made or grown?
  • Where is it shipped to?
  • How is it transported?
  • What laws affect it?
  • Who benefits from it and why?
  • Who suffers from it and why?

Create a map on poster board or in PowerPoint to illustrate the global connections you have found for each object. Present the map and findings to your class.

How are the journey and connections for each item similar? How are they different?

To investigate more, pick a country to research. Write an essay on how globalization has impacted the country, both positively and negatively.

WINNERS OR LOSERS?

Global trade has many benefits. It lowers the price of goods, increases wages, and fuels economic growth. Yet the global economy has both winners and losers.

To further understand this issue, you can explore the following articles or research some additional information on your own.

“More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade”

“The Toughest Questions About Global Trade”

Based on what you learn, consider the effects of global trade on individuals, companies, and governments. For example, think about the effect of global trade on a multinational toy corporation, an American factory worker, a Chinese factory worker, an Indian software engineer, an American chief executive officer, a local toy retailer, the United States government, and the Chinese government.

Who are the winners and losers? Create a chart that shows the effects of global trade on the different groups.

Do you think that increasing global trade will have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on the world overall? What about for the United States? Do you believe that the United States should enter into more free-trade agreements? Or do you believe that trade protectionism is a better strategy? Explain your position.

To investigate more, consider that as globalization changes the economy, local workers and businesses can be hurt by disappearing sales and jobs. What policies can the government put in place to support workers and businesses hurt by globalization?

VANISHING CULTURES

Many indigenous cultures are facing a battle between traditional ways of life and globalization. As older generations die out, many of the culture’s traditions are dying with them.

Use the internet and other sources to research a specific indigenous culture. You might choose the Maasai of Africa, the Wanniyala-Aetto of Sri Lanka, the Yanomami of South America, or another group of your choosing. Once you have chosen a group to investigate, consider the following.

  • Where does the group traditionally live? What are the climate and environment like?
  • What is their traditional lifestyle? How do they eat and gather food?
  • What tools do they use to get and prepare food?
  • What ceremonies, celebrations, or festivals do they observe?
  • What role does the extended family play?
  • What types of jobs do people typically hold? How do they get around?
  • How are traditions passed from one generation to the next?

Next, research how globalization has impacted these indigenous people and their culture. What changes have occurred in their environment, society, and political systems? What has caused these changes? How have these changes affected the group’s culture, beliefs, and traditions? Prepare a presentation to share what you have learned with your class.

To investigate more, imagine that you were going to live with this group for a week. What items from your culture would you bring with you? Why are these items important to you? How would they help you to live with this indigenous group? What would people from this group think about the items you have brought? Write a diary entry to describe your visit.

Find more resources in the free classroom teaching guide!

Thank you so much, Carla and Nomad Press!

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