About this blog Subscribe to this blog

Eric Carle Festivities

Well I made it back from the festivities at the Eric Carle Museum the other day.  I told my students about a giant "cake" on display, featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  


IMG_5053 They were also intrigued to hear that author/illustrator David H. Costello was on hand chatting with readers and creating original watercolor animal pictures for children to take home.  I'm telling you this guy is dedicated!  I'm sure teachers will be excited to hear that FSG should be releasing his next book this spring. In the meantime, have some fun with what I think is the very first online collaborative picture book.


Book Review: Mannahatta~A Natural History of New York City


Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City
By Eric W. Sanderson
Illustrations by Markley Boyer
May 2009

Occasionally here on TeacherShare we're going to bring you some great titles that will enhance your knowledge of different subject areas.  We thought we'd kick off today with a book that joins in the celebration of New York's 400th Anniversary.

In Mannahatta, Eric W. Sanderson has used his background in landscape ecology to create a gorgeous book rich in visuals that tells the ecological tale of New York City.  Filled with maps, charts and illustrations, this title is a history teacher's dream come true and a must-read for fans of NYC and the environment. 

According to Abrams:
By geographically matching an 18th-century map of Manhattan's landscape to the modern cityscape, combing through historical and archaeological records, and applying modern principles of ecology and computer modeling, Sanderson is able to re-create the forests of Times Square, the meadows of Harlem, and the wetlands of downtown.  Filled with breathtaking illustrations that show what Manhattan looked like 400 years ago, Mannahatta is a groundbreaking work that gives readers not only a window into the past, but inspiration for green cities and wild places of the future.

You need this book people!  

You're going to want to check out this website as well: The Mannahatta Project.  
Be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you think.


If you're looking for picture book connections for your classroom, you'll be interested in:

A Walk in New York A Walk in New York
Written and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino 
Ages 4-8

River of Dreams River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River
Written and illustrated by 
Ages 6-10

Resources I Love: Old Sturbridge Village

Yesterday I took advantage of the sunny weather to head over to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts to pick up some of their heirloom seeds for school.  I haven't visited in about a year or two and was thrilled to see the additions they've made.   The place was filled with hands-on exhibits for children with weaving, butter churning and wood stacking being just a few of the activities.

The gardening exhibit, "Taking Root: The Growing Business of Gardening in Pots in the Early 1800s" was super.  Guide books were on hand to help engage children in the exhibit and a "Taking Root" pamphlet was available for purchase.  With quotes and information taken from documents like The Green-house Companion (London 1825) and the Annual Catalogue of the Agricultural Warehouse and New England Seed Store (Boston 1836) I had to snap up a copy as a resource for the classroom.  (You can contact Christie Higginbottom at chigginbottom@osv.org to order a copy.)

If you'd like to order seeds, there is quite a collection.  I stuck to beans for my students.  Wren's Egg Pole Bean, Low's Champion Bush Bean and True Red Cranberry Bean will find their way into our school garden this year.

Unglazed plant pot

I could keep raving about the museum but I want to get back to planning our gardening lessons.  A quick heads up, the gardening exhibit won't be up much longer, so plan to make the trip soon.  And don't forget to pick up a redware plantpot.

Resources I Love

Hi folks.  I have been running across all sorts of super resources lately and I have to share them with you!  First up, (actually the only one up for today) is Stationary Studio, a super writing resource created by Peggy Healy Stearns, Ph.D. and the fabulous folks at FableVision.

According to the folks at FableVision, the program includes the following features:

  • 226 curriculum-based borders and shapes, expandable to 306 with Add-On Packs
  • Easy, flexible tools for customizing writing line style, line width, layout, color, and text to suit students’ needs
  • Dozens of ready made cross-curricular activities aligned with state and national standards
  • Eight special fonts, including dotted fonts for handwriting practice – or use any system fonts
  • Create your own activities and save as templates
  • Multiple print formats including full page, mini-book, postcard, note card and more
  • Let’s Get Writing” Activity Book by Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns included as a free PDF
    As a teacher of young children, I can't wait to try out some of the different formats with my students. The themes alone should keep the enthusiasm level sky high for some time to come.  And keep in mind that Peggy Healy Stearns Ph.D. is the same educator that brought us Neighborhood Math Machine, a definite favorite of mine!


    So folks, check out the demo, go have fun writing with your students, and let me know what you think.  Until next time...

    Teacher Feature: Amy Borrell

    As part of an ongoing effort to build connections among this fabulous group of educators, we thought you might like to know more about each other. Keep your eyes open for this regular "Teacher Feature."


    What's your favorite picture book?

    They're too numerous to count.  Just a few right from my daughter's bookshelf: Knuffle Bunny, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Goodnight Moon, Olivia, Rabbit's Gift, Is Your Mama a Llama?

    What's your favorite time of year to teach? 

    When I was in the classroom, I liked late fall/early winter.  At that point, I felt we had gelled as a class, but still had some of that "fresh new school year" energy.

    What's your favorite resource?

    Not surprisingly, I am a big fan of online activities.  A few of my favorites are:

    Kid's Environmental Report Card

    Character Scrapbook

    Story Starters


    Teacher Share

    Dr. Seuss in the Classroom

    Hi Folks,

    I noticed that a lot of teachers have been viewing my I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! lesson plan and I thought with Read Across America coming our way I'd toss out another resource or two.   The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museums is absolutely incredible.  While it might be a bit chilly to visit right now, you can pop on over to the website to check out Horton, Thidwick and that good old baddie, The Grinch.

    Another super resource is The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel.  Richard Cohen provides a detailed and insightful look at the life of Dr. Seuss in this well illustrated book.  Here's the hitch.  I think it might be out of print so you'll have to make do with a used copy, but it's worth it.

    OK all you Seussians.  I'm taking off for Whoville.

    Teacher Share

    Recent Posts


    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Teacher Share Beta Blog are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.