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.

Advertisements

Sample Study Guide: Sojourn Into The Night-A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest by Elaine Donadio

Sample Study Guide: Sojourn Into The Night-A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest by Elaine Donadio

You can preview and purchase Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Study Guide 4: Pages 46-59.

Please remember to look for creatures hidden among the leaves.

These questions are based on pages 46-59.

1.Owl Butterflies

Draw a picture of the owl butterfly with its wings opened. Label the body parts. How did it get its name? How does it see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Feel? Life span?

Why does it fly primarily at dusk and dawn? What other adaptations aid in its survival? What does it eat? Explain the stages of metamorphosis. Why are they considered jungle pests when in the caterpillar stage? What role might parasitic wasps play in the attempt to control destructive caterpillar activity?  What behaviors might the host exhibit to protect itself from parasitic invasion? What are its natural enemies? Diagram the owl butterfly’s position on the food chain. How might a decrease in the numbers of owl butterflies affect other creatures in the rainforest?

Explain how they reproduce. Define lekking, genic capture, hotshot hypothesis, hotspot model, black hole model, and genetic diversity. Demonstrate how the theory of natural selection is at play here.

2. Indigenous People of the Peruvian Rainforest

What language(s) are spoken? What is the ethnicity of the majority of inhabitants? From which area of the world did they most likely emigrate? What is the typical diet? In what ways does the rainforest provide for its inhabitants? Define shifting cultivation and sustainable existence. In what ways does depending on an environment with limited usable land mass impact a people? Why is malnutrition so prevalent? Why do people congregate in specific regions? How does competition for natural resources affect interdependence? What characteristics are unique to the indigenous people of the rainforest? How might tourism and outside economic development both negatively and positively affect the status quo? In what way are the indigenous people trying to protect their territory and culture?

3. Children of the Peruvian Rainforest

How are children educated? What factors interfere with their education? In what ways does this limit their choices for the future? Show how technology and social media be used to provide a more equitable educational opportunity. What resistance might you expect to the introduction of this idea?

How is rabies contracted in the rainforest? Who are the most likely victims? Why? What other diseases are transmitted by vampire bats? Why do you think a victim who is bitten is in danger of contracting more than one disease? What are some preventive measures that should be taken by tourists and indigenous people to protect themselves from vampire bats?  Why aren’t these practices widespread?

In what ways do cultural opposition and remote location adversely affect the children?

4. Impact of  Cultural & Societal Systems

How and why do places change over time? How have cultural, technologic, and societal systems impacted the environment of the rainforest? How does lack of technology decrease diffusion of culture and limit exposure to outside culture?

How might indigenous people offer insightful suggestions for utilizing the resources of the rainforest while protecting its integrity?

Will the 21st Century be remembered as a time when the integrity of the Earth was destroyed or preserved? Support your answer.

5. Memoir

A memoir is a compelling first person story which focuses on a moment in time, rather than an overview of the author’s life. It’s a snapshot of an impactful event. The elements of memoir: truth, theme, voice, point of view, and musing or reflection. Your turn! You write a memoir! First, make a list of camera-worthy moments in time. Now, choose your topic and theme, tell your truthful memory, and add your feelings, insights and epiphanies. Yes, it’s that easy.

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 own research. Seek and you shall find!

Please visit my website ElaineDonadio.com  for more study guides for this book.

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

 

All rights reserved April, 2018.

 

What’s It All About? Sojourn Into The Night-A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About? Sojourn Into The Night-A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest by Elaine Donadio ( A watercolor journey in poetic narrative)

You can preview and purchase Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

This unrhymed, poetic narrative captures the stillness of the night and my delight in seeing camouflaged creatures of the Peruvian Rainforest. This book contains thirty beautiful, original watercolor illustrations. Look closely. You’ll find creatures hidden among the leaves.

Awestruck by the beauty of the Peruvian Rainforest, I behold what is hidden in plain sight. Aided by the full moon, the stars, and three flashlights, the jungle guide traces the almost imperceptible—camouflaged creatures, unseen but for the probing lens and heightened senses of this mentor who, among the cacophony of undefined sounds amid ambiguous paths with buttress roots spread wide, staunch soldiers in their mission as lianas reach up with wooden fingers in communion with arboreal giants, quietly courses ahead in this exalted forest with depths of knowledge and intuition surpassing my own.

In this unfamiliar great biome, I become aware of my limitations as a sentient being—capable of looking, but incapable of seeing.

This book might be best suited to ages 12-adult although 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.

Sample Study Guide: The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion by Elaine Donadio

Sample Study Guide 5: The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion by Elaine Donadio

You can preview and purchase The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Cephalopod Mollusks and Mollusks

These questions are based on the sections entitled Cephalopod Mollusks and Mollusks.

1. Define cephalopod mollusk. Give examples. What happened to their shells? Evidence of intelligence?

Define mollusk. Give examples. What has been the impact of increased carbon dioxide levels? How might mollusks attempt to counteract this negative influence?

2. Octopus– Draw and label the body parts. What are the functions of the arms? Gills or lungs? How many hearts? Color of their blood? Why? Adaptations? Eat? Enemies? Eggs or live birth? In what way is reproduction lethal? How do they swim? Solitary or social? Where in the ocean do they live? What is the relationship between their taste and touch?

Squid– Draw and label the body parts. Where are the teeth located? Gills or lungs? Color of their blood? Why? How do they swim? Eat? Enemies? Compare/contrast the squid and octopus. Uses for squid ink? Size of the largest reported? Describe the symbiotic relationship between the squid-light organ and luminous bacteria. How might this knowledge be helpful to scientists and doctors studying ways to improve sight in humans?

3. Clam– Body parts?  Which common body parts don’t they have? What is the function of the siphon? Define filter feeder. Marine, freshwater or both? Eat? Enemies? Reproduce? How do common water contaminants negatively impact humans who eat tainted clams? What are the sources of this pollution?

4. Mussel– Body parts? Function of the foot? Function of the byssal threads  (beards)? How are these byssal threads utilized in medicine and private industry?Uses of calcium carbonate? Eat? Enemies? How is reproduction different in marine and freshwater species? How is their habit of clumping beneficial to their survival? In what ways are mussels used as bio-indicators? Why is this necessary?

5. Snail– Draw and label the parts of a snail outside of its shell. Gills or lungs? Eggs or live birth? Land, sea or freshwater? Adaptations? How do they move? Function of snail slime? How long have snails lived? Do their shells grow with them?  How are the spirals formed? Why must they consume so much calcium? Uses for their shells? What is the importance of snails in human medicine?

Write and perform a Readers Theater presentation. Characters: Octopus, Squid, Clam, Mussel, Snail. Theme: The Dangers To Your Habitat and Well-Being.

Readers Theater is a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form. Readers read from a “script” and reading parts are divided among the readers. No memorization, costumes, blocking, or special lighting is needed. Presentations can easily be done in a classroom. Scripts are held by the readers who read one at a time. Often the characters who are not currently reading stand with their backs to the audience.

 

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 the book Glossary or your own research where required. Seek and you shall find!

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 more 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? The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About? The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion by Elaine Donadio

You can preview and purchase The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Enjoy a day at the beach as we walk through sand, jump the waves, hear sea birds calling to each other as sea creatures seek food and shelter in a wondrous, hidden ocean biome.

This book can stand alone or act as a companion to “The Ocean’s Way” which tells the story of eleven year old Holly’s learning experience with marine life in Florida. A sample chapter appears after the Glossary.

This book contains 37 unrhymed poems (diamante, tanka, anagram) about the ocean and ocean life. Each poem is accompanied by a beautiful color photograph for visual impact. In common terms the topics include coral reefs, sand, sea shells, tides, tsunami, waves dolphins, orcas, manatees, pilot whales, polar bears, sea lions, seals, sea otters, walruses, whales, albatross, gulls, penguins, sea anemones, sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, rays, sea horses, sharks, starfish, crabs, crayfish, hermit crabs, lobsters, clams, squid, mussels, octopus, and snails.

The Glossary contains definitions, parts of speech, and a pronunciation guide.

Experience the adventure.

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? The Ocean’s Way by Elaine Donadio

Series: The Montgomery School Kids

Book 2— The Ocean’s Way

 

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

 

What begins as a light-hearted adventure ends as a commitment, when eleven year old New York City girl Holly uses her passion for poetry to win a grant writing contest to study marine life in Florida with her best friend.

The contrast between the girls is heightened by revelations of their family lives and their different approaches to the world around them. Holly, the gentle poet, overcomes her fear of public speaking as she continues to grieve her father’s death. Jasmine, the seemingly self-assured realist, battles her fears while dealing with the consequences of her alcoholic mother’s neglect.

Environmental issues are understood and an appreciation of nature and the interaction between the animal world and the environment is gained with visits to biomes and ecosystems, as they interact with dolphins, alligators, swamp wetlands, and manatees. Holly vows to raise money to help stranded marine mammals as they participate in a heart-wrenching rescue of stranded pilot whales on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Holly overcomes fears and personal disappointments to reach her goals. She now understands how keeping the environment in balance insures continuity of all species.

 

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? Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest by Elaine Donadio

What’s It All About?

You can preview and purchase  Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit Smashwords.com for a digital copy.

Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

 

Travel to the rainforest of Peru as the original photos in this watercolor journey help tell the story in this unrhymed,  poetic narrative which captures the stillness of the night and my delight in seeing unique creatures secure in their own world.

Awestruck by the beauty of the Peruvian rainforest, I behold what is hidden in plain sight. Aided by the full moon, the stars and three flashlights, the jungle guide traces the almost imperceptible – camouflaged creatures, unseen but for the probing lens and heightened senses of this mentor who, among the cacophony of undefined sounds amid ambiguous paths with buttress roots spread wide, staunch soldiers in their mission as lianas reach up with wooden fingers in communion with arboreal giants, quietly courses ahead in this exalted forest with depths of knowledge and intuition surpassing my own.

A teacher by profession, I become the student in this unfamiliar great biome, learning facts but also becoming aware of my limitations as a sentient being, capable of looking but incapable of seeing but for the gentle guidance of one who communes with nature.

My books are primarily geared to middle grade readers, but this book may be best suited to 12-adult (Nothing is X rated!).  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.

 

 

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 5- The Ocean’s Way by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 14-18.

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

You can preview and purchase The Ocean’s Way 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 this book. You might want to purchase Who Do Voodoo? to be ready for our next focus book for January.

Holly and Jasmine have experienced many changes. Holly in particular is deeply affected by what she has learned about dolphins and pilot whales giving her a new understanding of how each person can contribute to the balance of nature and the preservation of the environment.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 14-18.

 

1. List at least five facts you learned about manatees. What has the state of Florida done to insure their safety?

2. List at least five facts you have learned about pilot whales. In what ways are pilot whales like humans? In what ways are they different? What is it about pilot whales that make them so vulnerable? What other creatures can you think of whose behaviors could lead to their own downfall?

3. How are donations used to help rescued sea creatures in Florida? Why do you think the government and people of Florida attach so much importance to maintaining the safety of the wildlife in their state?

4. Design a fundraising campaign in your school and/ or community to help raise money to help in the rescue of stranded sea creatures. Decide how to raise the money. Create a poster. Research marine rescue organizations. Choose one to be the recipient of your monetary gift. You do not actually have to put this plan in practice, but please do the plan either way.

Which creatures need rescuing where you live? What could you do to help?

5. Take a look at Holly’s poem about the ocean on the last two pages of Chapter 18. Explain Holly’s fascination with the ocean. Design a T-shirt to capture Holly’s message using a slogan, images, and words to attract attention.

6. Holly and Jasmine have both changed from the beginning, middle, and end of the book. How has each one changed? What influenced these changes? Do you believe these changes are temporary or permanent? Support your answer.

If you had to choose one thing to change about yourself, what would it be? Make a decision now to accomplish this goal. 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 or outside resources. Seek and you shall find!

Next: Who Do Voodoo? Study Guide 1. See you on Dec. 30, 2017!

You can email Elaine Donadio at author @elainedonadio.com

All rights reserved 2017.

Study Guide 4- The Ocean’s Way by Elaine Donadio

Chapters 10-13.

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

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

Holly and Jasmine visit marine parks and are treated like special guests. They learn a lot about dolphins, alligators, wetlands, ecosystems, the environment, and the balance of nature.

 

These questions are based on Chapters 10-13.

1. Go to the fourth page of Chapter 10. Answer the ten questions about dolphins. Include answers from Chapters 10 and 11, the Internet, and any source books you may have. Check your answers on the sixth page of Chapter 10.

2. Make a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast dolphins and alligators. If you had to live your life as one of these creatures, which one would you choose? Why?

3. What are wetlands? We learn that alligators are apex predators. Describe the food chain among the creatures of the Florida swamps.

4. What would happen if the Florida wetlands were destroyed? Explain the effects on the environment and ecosystems. How would the world be affected if alligators became extinct? How would the world be affected if dolphins and pilot whales became extinct?

5. Choose a creature living in the South Florida swamps. Research facts and list them. Using these facts, create a Tanka poem to tell about your creature. Use the Tanka poem about the swamp in Chapter 13 as a model. See the formula below.

Tanka Poem – 5 lines

Line 1  – 5 syllables
Line 2  – 7 syllables
Line 3  – 5 syllables
Line 4  – 7 syllables
Line 5  –  7 syllables

 

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 or your own research. Seek and you shall find!

All rights reserved 2017.

You can email Elaine Donadio at author@elainedonadio.com

Next: The Ocean’s Way Study Guide 5. See you on Dec. 31, 2017!

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: