11/2/17 Free Educator's Guide for THIS IS NOT A NORMAL ANIMAL GUIDE

I'm thrilled share two educators' guides for This is Not a Normal Animal Book, written by Julie Segal-Walters and illustrated by Brian Biggs.

This is Not a Normal Animal Book begins as a stroll through common, everyday, normal animals – mammal, bird, amphibian, insect, reptile, and fish. The story quickly evolves, however, into a meta-fiction disagreement between the author and illustrator over how to draw the animals. The author wants simple, normal animal drawings. The illustrator, however, is confused and makes a bit of a mess. From a cat, to a hen, to a frog, to a bee, to a snake, the illustrator grows increasingly frustrated over how the author wants each animal presented. The conflict reaches its peak when the illustrator refuses to draw the author’s choice of fish. Granted, the blobfish is an unusual choice of fish. The illustrator’s sense of humor and author’s deadpan seriousness come full circle in the closing line, when the author continues to frustrate the illustrator until the very end, and the illustrator continues to have the last word.

Based on a Yiddish proverb, the book is a behind-the-scenes look at the picture book creation process, the importance of collaboration and compromise, and the beauty of both words and art. This is Not a Normal Animal Book is a commercial story that breaks the fourth wall, while still remaining appropriate for classroom use. In addition to the themes and concepts mentioned, it also highlights the literary device metafiction and includes nonfiction back matter.

Click here to download the guide for Prek-grade 2, and click here to download the guide for grades 3-6.


10/5/17 Information Literacy: Separating Fact from Fiction

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Teacher friends, if you’ve been overwhelmed by sorting through the amount of information online or have grown frustrated when trying to assess the authenticity of an article, you might be interested in my latest project for Teacher Created Materials. It’s called Information Literacy: Separating Fact from Fiction. In ten chapters, Sara Armstrong and I talk about finding, analyzing, and using information in today’s world. This deals with oldies but goodies like how to use graphic organizers and primary sources, and it incorporates new material such as how to spot fake news and online search tips to save you a Google of time. For educators who wish to blog and produce resources outside of the classroom, it also includes a chapter on copyright and fair use.
From interviews with librarians, instructional technology experts and specialists, the book includes background information to help educators sort through the maze of Internet sites and resources. Even more, there are ready-to-use handouts and activities for students.
If you teach expository or opinion writing, Information Literacy would be a valuable resource for your classroom and professional development. Here are a few sample pages to give you an idea what’s inside:
Should you read Information Literacy: Separating Fact from Fiction, please let me know your thoughts! I hope you enjoy it! It is available now on Amazon here! Or, you can purchase elsewhere at your favorite book store!