Literacy Scores Down? I Can Help

Welcome to my blog!

Literacy scores down? I can help. ElaineDonadio.com is an invaluable resource.

Need ideas for using my middle grade books? Please click here to visit my website/blog for lesson ideas and study guides. Tie-ins with science, social studies, and literacy.

*Whole class reading activity, much like a text book. I’m still a proponent of the balanced literacy and whole language movements where students imitate the activities of the characters in the books. The science presentations can act as a springboard to an actual student activity.

*Small group discussion. Each book can be presented to the rest of the class as a play, Readers Theater, science fact presentation according to chapter contents, individual reports, a multimedia presentation, chart presentations, etc.

*Independent reading and/ or book reports.

*Supplemental classroom reading can serve as material for class discussion, report or presentation.

*Multiple intelligences can be addressed by allowing presentations of the book plots or actual science or social study facts through the visual or performing arts. How bout a dance of the dolphins? Or a play about how creatures interact in their environments? A song telling the life cycle of an insect? A watercolor representation of the underside of a horseshoe crab? Creating a costume to demonstrate how creatures can be camouflaged in their worlds? A news flash detailing the dangers of fracking on the environment? A puppet show detailing the swamp biome?

*Instead of traditional text –books, use my books. Perhaps, the students can write letters to one another or to friends and family telling what they’ve learned. Create a class newspaper account of a day in the life.

*Brainstorm a combination of modalities to be presented at a school assembly.

*Utilize the formula poems found in The Ocean’s Way and The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion as a model and have the students present facts in this same format.

*Conduct an author study to compare and contrast my books with one another or with books by other authors.

* Create a diorama or model to show relationships, life cycles, or habitats.

*Design a travel brochure for the places the book characters visit.

*Vote for a class president using the book characters as candidates.

 

Book Titles The Science Project, The Ocean’s Way, Who Do Voodoo?,
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion, 
Sojourn Into The Night-A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

All titles are available for preview and purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. Available in digital and paperback formats.

Questions? Call 718-746-0758 or click here to email.

All rights reserved April, 2018.

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Sample Study Guide: The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

Series: The Montgomery School Kids

Book 1—The Science Project

Study Guide 4— Chapters 16-20

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers. They’re loaded with well-researched science facts and are appropriate for classroom study and/ or  supplemental or independent reading assignments with tie-ins for science, literacy and social studies. The secret of their success is their ability and purpose in allowing the reader to have fun while learning—experiencing the world through the eyes of the characters—journeying with a friend, in a sense. Content area reading is what it’s all about.

 

Kwan Min and Jasmine’s plan has been put into action. Nestor is horrified and never saw it coming. His best friend Phil is embarrassed about Nestor’s recent behavior. Holly still does not punish Nestor, but the others are tired of his antics. All relationships go through a change.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 16-20.

1.What are the ten most popular pets in the United States? Define habitat. Design and draw a natural habitat for a parakeet, snake, hamster, toad, and cockroach. Which creatures, if any, can live together? Which creature is the most flexible in its habitat choice? Support your answers.

Kwan Min and Nestor are now both in trouble at school. Pretend you are Kwan Min. Tell your parents all about Nestor, his teasing and your plan of revenge. What do you believe their reaction would be after they hear the whole story?

  1. Pretend you are Nestor’s mom and pretend Ms. Costa called to tell you about the events of the last few days. Write an email message to your husband in Alaska telling him about Nestor’s recent behavior and what happened at Nestor’s school today.
  2. Research the elements of a newspaper article. Answering the questions Who? What ?Why? When? Where? How? write a newspaper article describing the scene in Ms. Costa’s classroom when the toad chased Hector, the cockroach, around the room.

Think about Phil’s recent behavior. Chart the changes in Phil’s attitude toward Nestor showing the cause-effect relationship between Nestor’s actions and Phil’s reactions. Is Phil justified in not always supporting his best friend, no matter what he does? Explain.

Match each character to the adjective that best describes their personality. Give examples to support your choices.

Characters: Nestor, Phil, Kwan Min, Holly, Jasmine

Adjectives: gentle, flexible, immature, straight-thinking, assertive

Analyze the five characters from the story. Design a T-shirt for each character. Include an animal and five adjectives to represent each personality.

Discuss how Kwan Min’s behavior surprised you. Why?

  1. Nestor and Phil’s relationship has changed by the end of the book. In your opinion, is it for the better or worse? Compare and contrast their interactions from the beginning, middle and end. Make a judgment call: In what ways might the new terms of their relationship be a healthier outcome? Make a gratitude list for Nestor including at least five things in order of priority with the most important thing at number one.

Write a new ending for the book. Nestor and Kwan Min are in Mr. Christiano’s office. Take it from there. Be sure to include Nestor’s relationship with Kwan Min and Phil. You can include Mrs. Ramirez in the change if you like. You will probably write two chapters to cover the complete ending.

  1. Think about a person who constantly teases or bullies you. What steps might you take to change the situation? Which adults and peers can you count on for help? Make a constructive plan of action to help yourself. Research. Analyze. Plan. Do.

 

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book and your independent research. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

All rights reserved April, 2018

What’s It All About? The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About?

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Series: The Montgomery School Kids 

Book One –  The Science Project

Eleven-year old New York City boy, Nestor Ramirez usually is the one causing the problems, but ask him, and you’d get a different story. Nestor exhausts the patience of his friends and classmates by his incessant teasing until they exact a plan to reinstate the relationships with a new set of rules.

Nestor’s best friend doesn’t want to know him. And, much to Nestor’s surprise, during science project presentations, the new kid, Nestor’s most recent victim, sics his toad on Nestor’s pet and science project, little Hector, the cockroach.

He’s always in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. At first, Nestor doesn’t see his part in this negative reaction. In time, Nestor notices the scratches on the surface of the science table as he realizes that his wise cracking attempts to be “cool” make his classmates grumble—not at all the reaction he expects.

Nestor discovers many science facts: DNA, amber, resin and cockroaches. His classmates share facts about parakeets, snakes, hamsters and toads. Nestor and the other kids in the science class provide information in an entertaining way.

Not only will readers laugh at Nestor’s antics, but they’ll learn at the same time. You see, Nestor really doesn’t have a clue.

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers. They’re loaded with well-researched science facts and are appropriate for classroom study and/ or  supplemental or independent reading assignments with tie-ins for science, literacy and social studies. The secret of their success is their ability and purpose in allowing the reader to have fun while learning—experiencing the world through the eyes of the characters—journeying with a friend, in a sense. Content area reading is what it’s all about.

Please visit my website ElaineDonadio.com  for study guides for this book. You can use the book for some of your answers, but you will have to do outside research also.

Questions or comments? Please email me at author@elainedonadio.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

All rights reserved April, 2018.

What’s It All About? Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About?

Series: The Montgomery School Kids

Book Three –  Who Do Voodoo?

You can preview and purchase Who Do Voodoo? at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

 

Who Do Voodoo? is a mystery intended for middle grade readers, especially 10-12 year olds.

Jesus and voodoo. Party and prayer. Love and betrayal. Twelve year old NYC boy, Phil Williams, struggles with conflicting messages when, entrusted by his grandmother in the role of Icebreaker, he visits estranged family in New Orleans as he sets out to restore the family relationship and ends up rescuing his great-aunt from the grips of death at the hands of an unforeseen evil presence. With his best friend, Nestor, in tow, Phil encounters a series of strange events. Is it Voodoo? Or scare tactics by mere mortals? And why?

Phil’s visit to the Land of Pirates results in a plan of action and determination to follow clues to solve the mystery. His investigations lead him to the source. Wanting to be viewed as a hero, Phil refuses to involve the police and unduly places everyone at the merciless hands of the culprits. Help comes from a hovering presence just in the nick of time.

Phil learns his strengths and weaknesses as he struggles to put the jumbled puzzle pieces in play. His appreciation of true friendship is apparent as his love of family and New Orleans are renewed.

He visits Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras World, the crypt of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte Louisiana, the Audubon Aquarium and Riverwalk. Phil learns about Louisiana’s history, swamps and the state’s concerns for environment and wildlife. He now understands the far-reaching effects of “fracking” and why environmentalists and public safety representatives are so strongly opposed.

If Phil had it to do all over again, what would he have done differently? Probably nothing.

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers. They’re loaded with well-researched science facts and are appropriate for classroom study and/ or  supplemental or independent reading assignments with tie-ins for science, literacy and social studies. The secret of their success is their ability  and purpose in allowing the reader to have fun while learning—experiencing the world through the eyes of the characters—journeying with a friend, in a sense. Content area reading is what it’s all about.

Please visit my website ElaineDonadio.com  for study guides for this book. You can use the book for some of your answers, but you will have to do outside research, also.

Questions or comments? Please email me at author@elainedonadio.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

All rights reserved 2018.

 

Study Guide 1- Who Do Voodoo? by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 1-7.

Please see my Nov. 2, 2017 blog post for the updated study guide schedule.

You can preview and purchase Who Do Voodoo? at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

 

Phil Williams and Nestor Ramirez are feeling very cool right about now—traveling by themselves to New Orleans on official family business. Phil is entrusted to be the Icebreaker to mend hurt feelings between Phil’s grandmother and his great-aunt. Nestor is along for the ride. Their optimism is quickly dashed by the strange reception they receive when they arrive in New Orleans.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 1-7.

1. Compare and contrast how Phil and Nestor are the same and different. Which one would you rather have as a friend? Why? Phil is disturbed by some things he’s experiencing. What clues do we have that something is amiss?

2. Suspense is when the reader feels anxious or worried about the characters and what might happen next. Which events in Chapter 3 – Chapter 7 help build suspense?

Tell about a time when you felt afraid or worried. What caused your nervousness? What steps did you take to calm yourself down? In what ways are Phil and Nestor’s actions the same or different from how you reacted when you were in a tense situation?

3. What does Phil hope to accomplish by his trip to New Orleans? Pretend you are Phil who is now able to send a text message to his parents. What would the text message say?

4. Things are not making sense at the St. Pierre household. List the strange things that are happening. What inconsistencies appear? What do you believe is the biggest clue that Phil might be in over his head? The boys are in a tough position. Phil is embarrassed by his family’s behavior. With hospitality sadly lacking, the boys are told to spend the day sightseeing. What alternatives, if any, are open to them?

In what ways do Madame Destiny’s words tie-in with the strange events the boys are encountering?

Predict some things that might happen later in the story. Support your answer with details from the book.

5. We know Angel has beady eyes, but that’s all the description we have. Design a T-shirt with the face you imagine for Angel in the center, surrounded by five words or phrases that tell what he’s all about.

Describe Phil and Nestor’s friendship. What do you notice about the way they treat each other? What can we learn about friendship from observing their behavior?

 

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: Who Do Voodoo? Study Guide 2. See you on January 6, 2018!

All rights reserved 2017, 2018.

What’s It All About? The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About?

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Series: The Montgomery School Kids

Book One –  The Science Project

Eleven-year old New York City boy, Nestor usually is the one causing the problems, but ask him, and you’d get a different story. Nestor exhausts the patience of his friends and classmates by his incessant teasing. During science presentations, the new kid sics his toad on Nestor’s pet and science project, little Hector, the cockroach. Is Hector history?

Nestor discovers many science facts: DNA, amber, resin and cockroaches. His classmates share facts about parakeets, snakes, hamsters and toads.

Not only will readers laugh at Nestor’s antics, but they’ll learn at the same time. 

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers. They’re loaded with well-researched science facts and are appropriate for classroom study and/ or  supplemental or independent reading assignments with tie-ins for science, literacy and social studies. The secret of their success is their ability  and purpose in allowing the reader to have fun while learning—experiencing the world through the eyes of the characters—journeying with a friend, in a sense. Content area reading is what it’s all about.

Please visit my website ElaineDonadio.com  for study guides for this book. You can use the book for some of your answers, but you will have to do outside research also.

Questions or comments? Please email me at author@elainedonadio.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

All rights reserved 2017.


More

Borrow My Books From Queens and Suffolk , NY Libraries!

Welcome to my blog!

Printed copies of my books are now available for inter-library loan at Queens Library and Suffolk County Library in New York.

The digital copies are still available in many library systems throughout the country, but the printed editions are an added feature with limited access.

My Book Titles

Middle Grade…(8-12 year olds )

The Science Project
The Ocean’s Way
Who Do Voodoo?
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion

12 – Adult…

Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

In New York, this is where you can find my printed books:

The physical copies are available from the Queens Library system at Central Library, Jamaica; Bay Terrace Library in Bayside; Whitestone Library in Whitestone. Or, you can borrow through inter-library loan if you’re a Queens County library patron.

Also, the physical copies are located in the East Hampton Library, East Hampton. Suffolk and Nassau County library patrons can borrow through inter-library loan online.

Happy reading! If you do decide to borrow my books from the library, please remember to write a review on the library website.

Thanks,

Elaine

 

Study Guide 4- The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 16-20.

Please see my Nov. 2, 2017 blog post for the updated study guide schedule.

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

This is the last study guide for The Science Project. Please purchase a copy of The Ocean’s Way to be ready for our next focus book for December.

Kwan Min and Jasmine’s plan has been put into action. Nestor is horrified and never saw it coming. His best friend Phil is embarrassed about Nestor’s recent behavior. Holly still does not punish Nestor, but the others are tired of his antics. All relationships go through a change.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 16-20.

1.What are the ten most popular pets in the United States? Define habitat. Design and draw a natural habitat for a parakeet, snake, hamster, toad, and cockroach. Which creatures, if any, can live together? Which creature is the most flexible in its habitat choice? Support your answers.

Kwan Min and Nestor are now both in trouble at school. Pretend you are Kwan Min. Tell your parents all about Nestor, his teasing and your plan of revenge. What do you believe their reaction would be after they hear the whole story?

2. Pretend you are Nestor’s mom and pretend Ms. Costa called to tell you about the events of the last few days. Write an email message to your husband in Alaska telling him about Nestor’s recent behavior and what happened at Nestor’s school today.

3. Research the elements of a newspaper article. Answering the questions Who? What ?Why? When? Where? How? write a newspaper article describing the scene in Ms. Costa’s classroom when the toad chased Hector, the cockroach, around the room.

Think about Phil’s recent behavior. Chart the changes in Phil’s attitude toward Nestor showing the cause-effect relationship between Nestor’s actions and Phil’s reactions. Is Phil justified in not always supporting his best friend, no matter what he does? Explain.

Match each character to the adjective that best describes their personality. Give examples to support your choices.

Characters: Nestor, Phil, Kwan Min, Holly, Jasmine

Adjectives: gentle, flexible, immature, straight-thinking, assertive

Analyze the five characters from the story. Design a T-shirt for each character. Include an animal and five adjectives to represent each personality.

Discuss how Kwan Min’s behavior surprised you. Why?

4. Nestor and Phil’s relationship has changed by the end of the book. In your opinion, is it for the better or worse? Compare and contrast their interactions from the beginning, middle and end. Make a judgment call: In what ways might the new terms of their relationship be a healthier outcome? Make a gratitude list for Nestor including at least five things in order of priority with the most important thing at number one.

Write a new ending for the book. Nestor and Kwan Min are in Mr. Christiano’s office. Take it from there. Be sure to include Nestor’s relationship with Kwan Min and Phil. You can include Mrs. Ramirez in the change if you like. You will probably write two chapters to cover the complete ending.

5. Think about a person who constantly teases or bullies you. What steps might you take to change the situation? Which adults and peers can you count on for help? Make a constructive plan of action to help yourself. Research. Analyze. Plan. Do.

 

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Ocean’s Way Study Guide 1. See you on Dec. 2, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

Study Guide 3- The Science Project by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 11-15.

Please see my Nov. 2, 2017 blog post for the updated study guide schedule.

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Nestor has devoted himself to the care and training of Hector. Things get a little out of hand, but Nestor is able to recover before it’s too late. Nestor gets in deeper with his bad attitude toward Kwan Min and Jasmine. He starts to question himself.

 

The following questions are based on Chapters 11-15.

1. Describe Nestor’s relationship with his mother, Ms. Costa, Holly and Jasmine. In your opinion, why is Nestor’s relationship with Jasmine so different from that of the other females in the story?

2. We now know Nestor’s strong feelings of insecurity. Analyze how the males in his life—his father, cousins, and Kwan Min add to these feelings of inadequacy. Think about how Phil’s relationship is the exception to this pattern. What changes to make Nestor question Phil’s loyalty? Give specific examples.

3. Pretend you are Nestor. Create a science log entry for one day showing the care and feeding of Hector.

4. Kwan Min and Jasmine have a plan of their own. Make a prediction about what it might be. Look at the book cover for clues.

5. With his eyes cast down, Nestor stares at in the science table, and for the first time notices the scratches in its surface. How does this serve as a metaphor for Nestor’s life?

 

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Science Project Study Guide 4. See you on Nov. 25, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

Study Guide 2- The Science Project

Chapters 6-10.

Please see my Nov. 2, 2017 blog post for the updated study guide schedule.

You can preview and purchase The Science Project at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

We begin to get a better understanding of Nestor who, like most people, has his good points and his bad points. Nestor does some deep thinking about himself and his life.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 6-10:

1. By now we’ve learned some of Nestor’s insecurities and concerns. What advice can you give Nestor to help him feel better about himself?

2. Pretend you are Nestor. Write an email to Nestor’s father explaining how his absence is affecting the family. Be specific.

3. At this point in the story we have a better understanding of the reasons for Nestor’s resentment of Kwan Min. Tell about a time when one of your classmates treated you unfairly. How did the other kids react to this? What steps did your teacher take to make this bad behavior stop? Is Ms. Costa doing enough?

4. Think about a classmate who bothered the other kids in the class. Who were his/ her victims? Why do you think these kids were chosen as targets? How was this problem solved? What would you have done if you were in charge?

5. What do we learn about Nestor from his care and training of Hector?

Write an ACROSTIC poem to describe Hector. An acrostic poem spells out the subject vertically, one letter on each line. A word or phrase beginning with that letter is used to tell about the subject. Brainstorm appropriate words to use in your description. A thesaurus will be helpful.

Example of Acrostic Poem
D evoted
O bedient
G uardian

Now write an acrostic poem for Hector, the cockroach.

H
E
C
T
O
R

 

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book. Seek and you shall find!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Science Project Study Guide 3. See you on Nov.18, 2017!

All rights reserved 2017.

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