The Sea Chestby Toni Buzzeo
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The study of lighthouses is an exciting road through the history of our country and its coastlines.
Launch an in-depth study of the science of lighthouses, American history, the sea, or heroism with the help of this curriculum guide. Engage your elementary and middle school students in an array of content-based Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts activities based on The Sea Chest, a heartfelt story about a lonely young girl on an isolated Maine lighthouse island whose only wish comes true the day a leather sea chest washes ashore.
Ten Thematic Strands in Social Studies
The Sea Chest has broad curriculum connections, particularly in the Social Studies content area. It may be used to address five of the Ten Thematic Strands in Social Studies that underlie the NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies) Standards as published in Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies:
- Strand II. Time, Continuity and Change
- Strand III. People, Places and Environments
- Strand IV. Individual Development and Identity
- Strand V. Institutions, Groups and Individuals
- Strand VIII. Science, Technology and Society
Standards for the English Language Arts
The Sea Chest also offers many curriculum connections in the Language Arts. It may be used to address 5 of the 12 standards as published in Standards for the English Language Arts by the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) and the IRA (International Reading Association):
- Standard 3--Applying a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
- Standard 5--Employing a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- Standard 6--Applying knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.
- Standard 7--Conducting research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
- Standard 8--Using a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
Many of these Social Studies strands and Language Arts content standards can be addressed when working with the lighthouse theme in The Sea Chest. In addition, Science content standards may be addressed in the study of the natural environment and the technical aspects of lighthouse operation.
What is it like to live at a lighthouse? Help to build students' understanding with these nonfiction books: Beacons of Light: Lighthouses by Gail Gibbons, Lighthouse: Living in a Great Lakes Lighthouse, 1910 to 1940 by Megan O'Hara, and Women of the Lights by Candace Fleming.
Find Out More
About the Author: Students may wonder what life experiences led Toni Buzzeo to write an adoption story. Read more about her childhood, and view photographs, at her website at www.tonibuzzeo.com/booksseachest.html.
About Teaching about Lighthouses: Explore the topic of lighthouse teaching from the links on the author's webpage at www.tonibuzzeo.com/booksseachestlighthousecurriculum.html.
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Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
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May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.