Saturday, March 24, 2018

Discover, Research and Get Creative With Great Women From History With PebbleGo!

This post first appeared in Capstone Community here

It's Women's History Month and the best time for our students to celebrate and learn about amazing women from the past and present.

I always used this month in my library to not only celebrate the special accomplishments of women but as a time to bring more attention and conversations around the important resources, we had available to our entire school community. This lead to an increase in focusing on women's history by partnering and collaborating on research, projects, and opportunities between myself, as the teacher librarian, the classroom teachers, and of course, our students, in our community and throughout the world.
Our friends at Capstone have always played a big part in creating the best resources and making them available to our libraries. With PebbleGo, my younger students could research women including several inventors, athletes, scientists, First ladies and many more. While our teachers used the biographies as a springboard and deep dive into exciting conversations and projects around influential people in history and throughout our world today.
The biographies focused around women were split into categories. Let's take a look at the Civil Right Leaders category within the biographies about women.
One of my favorite PebbleGo Biographies is the one about Malala. She is such an inspiring role model for all young people. They will be able to read about the different parts of her life, what she has contributed and other related articles.
Each PebbleGo article contains a video,
timeline and activity sheet that can be downloaded as children research, read and learn more.

In April, there are two more women biographies being added to PebbleGo...Catherine Cortez Masto, Senator for Nevada, is the first Latina in the Senate (elected in 2016) and Celia Cruz, a Cuban-American singer and the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, gaining twenty-three gold albums during her career. When I learned that these two were coming soon to PebbleGo, I just couldn't wait to learn more!

Not only does Capstone have these two new women biographies coming, they also have created something very special for our younger students.
It is the PebbleGo Women's History site! This is how it works...

Students in grades K-3 are encouraged to visit the PebbleGo Women's History website to discover great women from history... answering a short, four-question quiz about their interests. I gave it a try myself.
After answering four questions, it revealed Frida Kahlo! As the PebbleGo quiz revealed, Frida was a famous painter and...
prompted me to learn more about her by going to PebbleGo...
and even using this terrific research template to record what they have learned through drawing and writing.

The other women included in the quiz are Rachel Carson, Marie Curie, Bessie Coleman, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Wilma Rudolph.
As teachers and librarians collaborate using the PebbleGo Biographies module and the Women's History Month site, the resources found under Downloadables will also be meaningful as students learn about so many important women and reflect on the impact that women have on history and our society today.
I love the posters created for each featured woman, especially the one for Frida herself.

And the two activities, Women in History Biography Pyramid and...
Women in History Time Capsule, which are awesome! Students will love being part of each activity as they become even more connected to important women in history too.

Educators can incorporate this into their curriculum through two lesson plans designed specifically for Women’s History Month, as well as several other lesson plans through the PebbleGo Biographies module. There is also downloadable posters and social media images to help educators promote Women’s History Month in their school.
When using PebbleGo with my students, I would always back up the information with lots of choices in Capstone print and Capstone Interactive books. There are lots of wonderful choices right now from Capstone. I just have to share a few with you that were recommended to me by my friends at Capstone.
It’s always important to us to try to show gender diversity in our nonfiction, so it’s fun to see that 4 out of the 6 covers on Hands on Science Fun feature girls and the doctor and the police officer on the covers of their books in A Visit to.. are women.

The new Pebble Plus Great Asian-Americans set features ice skater Michelle Kwan (great if kids are still on a post-Olympic figure skating high), Patsy Mink, who was the first woman of color elected to Congress, and Tammy Duckworth is all sorts of interesting. She is a veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war when the helicopter she was piloting was shot down. She’s now the senator from Illinois and poised to be the first woman to give birth as a sitting senator (other women have done in the House, including Tammy Duckworth.) These women also have a PebbleGo biography.
Reinforcing positive behavior is a big trend in schools and Wonder Woman can help kids learn to be respectful! With the blockbuster movie now on DVD, Wonder Woman is probably playing at home for a lot of kids so take advantage!

Narrative nonfiction, women of color in STEAM careers, and a connection to a hit movie—the new Hidden Women single title is a great read and, at 112 pages, meets those 100+ pages requirements teachers give kids.

Women Sports Stars is a great series. Capstone did women in sports at a lower level a few seasons ago and it was such a hit that got demand to do it at slightly higher level with a higher text load and page counts. It’s great to see a series that features strong women, competing at the highest levels, that don't care about what dress designer they are wearing! This could pair really nicely with Jake Maddox and Jake Maddox JV stories that feature girl athletes.
Girlology is a great new series that help girls navigate some of the drama of going up. These books focus on a healthy positivity but also acknowledge that not everything is movie-star pretty and that nothing is perfect and we all face challenges and that’s OK.

In fiction, the Molly Mac series is a lot of fun—at 56 pages she’s just the right kind of adventure for kids ready to leave Katie Woo behind but not yet ready for Kylie Jean and we love the Squishy Taylor books. They are mysteries—which kids love—featuring a girl of color and her blended family. The way the books are designed, some of the descriptive language inside gets a funky font treatment that helps make the book more fun and helps kids recognize those kinds of descriptive words so they can apply them in their own writing.
Oh, and Redworld—the editor always describes this as Little House on the Prairie on Mars! Belle Song and her family are among the first colonists on Mars in this sci-fi series.
The Women’s History Quiz is available at throughout the month of March.

If you do not have PebbleGo, Capstone invites all of us to be part of the Women's History Quiz by trying out PebbleGo free for the month of March. The link is on the homepage of the quiz.

As Matt Keller, Capstone’s Chief Marketing Officer states, “It can be difficult for children to relate to a historical figure, and especially daunting when looking at a lifetime’s worth of accomplishments. We designed our quiz for young researchers to learn about women who accomplished extraordinary things and shared similar interests to themselves. We hope this becomes a conversation and research starter to pique kids’ curiosity to learn about more remarkable women,”

This month, and every month, use PebbleGo and all of the amazing print resources from Capstone to discover, research and get creative with great women from history too!

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