Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Afraid

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 29, 2016 3:29:00 PM

This is the fifth and last post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. Click the links for the second (happy), third (sad), and fourth post (angry).

AFRAID

This weekly blog series discusses how reading narrative books helps students develop both emotional and literary skills. Today's post will focus on the fifth and last basic human emotion: fear. Since Halloween is only a month away, a discussion about fear will help students prepare for this spooky event!

The Man Who Was Afraid of Ants from the Kaleidoscope Collection features Jake, a firefighter who abhors ants. With an adult as the protagonist of the book, students can realize that everyone, even adults and community helpers, all feel scared sometimes. The book's subtle narration will provide an appropriate challenge for your students to utilize the emotional and literacy skills they have developed over the past 5 weeks. 

 

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THE MAN WHO WAS AFRAID OF ANTS

Discussion points:

p. 2:

  • Look at the illustration of Jake. What words would you use to describe him? How do you think he is feeling?
p. 3:
  • Does Jake look different in this illustration? How do you think he is feeling now?
  • How does Jake act when he is afraid? (His nose itches, his finger twitches, he gets a creepy feeling)
  • As a class, brainstorm other reactions that your students have when they are afraid (sweating, butterflies in the stomach, faster heartbeat).
  • Many of your students may laugh when they see Jake’s scared face. Remind your students that what might not be scary for one person might be for another, so it’s impolite to laugh at someone’s fears or call them a scaredy-cat.
p. 7:
  • Why did Jake leave the picnic?
p. 8-12:
  • How did Jake overcome his fear of ants?
  • Why do you think Jake was afraid of ants? This question requires children to empathize with the character and brainstorm possible origins of a fear.
  • In pairs, have students discuss their own fears. Identifying and putting fears into words will help students feel agency over them. If your students are feeling shy, share one of your fears with the class. Recognizing that they aren’t alone in their scared feelings will encourage students to speak up. 

Writing exercise:

  • Have students complete the sentence “I am scared of ___.” and draw an accompanying picture. Again, illustrating allows students to feel more powerful over the fear.

Today's post concludes this blog series on simultaneously developing emotional and literacy skills. What are other ways that you teach emotional skills through reading? Which emotions would you like to see featured in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which includes the book featured in this article. 

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Angry

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 22, 2016 3:43:00 PM

This is the fourth post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. You can also read the second post about "happy" here and the third post about "sad" here.

ANGER

This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the emotion of anger. No matter the reason, every child feels angry sometimes. Recognizing this emotion and describing it with words is a crucial part of anger management. Reading about a fight from an omniscient point of view will also help students understand the different emotions of each character.

In The Letter Fight, part of the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, the characters all claim that they are the smartest. By examining the ways in which each letter expresses its anger, you can teach a lesson about healthy and effective ways to expres anger. Students can also practice their spelling skills while reading this book!

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THE LETTER FIGHT

p. 1:

  • What does it mean to fight? Why do you think the letters are fighting?

p .4:

  • Why do you think A kicks L? Is that a good way to show your anger? How do you think L feels about being kicked?
  • With what betters ways can you tell someone that they are making you angry? (With your words.)
  • Instead of kicking, what else can you do to release your angry energy? (Drawing, dancing, playing ball)
p. 9:
  • Do you think the other letters like A’s plan? How can you tell?
p. 10:
  • Which “talking” verbs show you that the letters are angry? (“Growled” and “shouted”)
p. 12–13:
  • Examine the illustrations. How can you tell that the letters are angry? (Open mouth, slanted eyebrows, narrowed eyes)
p. 15:
  • The letters feel better after sleeping. What are other activities that can calm your anger? (Playing with a favorite toy, singing a song)
p. 16:
  • How did the letters solve their fight?

Reader's Theater:

  • Select students to read the lines of P, A, L and S. Remind them to adopt a voice that reflects each letter's emotion (i.e., angry). This dramatic play will allow your students to experience each character's feelings on a deeper level. 

Numbers Exercise:

  • Teach your students that simply counting to six can help them calm angry feelings. Give each student a piece of blank paper. Fold it to make six boxes. Have students number the boxes in order. If desired, students can illustrate each box to show a progression from anger to contentment. Practice using the counting chart as a class, pointing to each box as you count aloud. If a student is ever feeling angry in the future, encourage him or her to use their counting chart.

Reading about fictional fights will not only improve students' reading skills, but it will also serve as a classroom management tool if there is a conflict between classmates. Next week, we will focus on how books about being afraid. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which includes the book featured in this article. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Sad

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 15, 2016 3:24:00 PM

This is the third post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. For the second post about "happy" emotions, click here.

SADNESS

This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the feeling of being "sad."

In Dragon’s Friend from the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, Dragon is sad because he has no friends. This topic may be especially potent for your class at the beginning of the year when students are still trying to adjust to a new classroom environment and make new friends. Not only does this story present a solution to sad emotions, Dragon’s Friend also teaches your students how to help when someone else is feeling sad.

DRAGON'S FRIEND

Before reading:

  • As a group, brainstorm different things you can do when someone you know is feeling sad.
p. 2:
  • How do you think Dragon is feeling?
  • Encourage students to put themselves into Dragon’s shoes. How would you feel if you didn’t have a friend? Identifying synonyms and related words such as “lonely” and “unhappy” will help your students build a rich emotional vocabulary.
p. 4:
  • Which words tell you that Dragon is sad? (cried/crying) How does the illustration tell you?
p. 8:
  • Discuss the meaning that Dragon found in the paper dragon. Clarify the meaning of the sentence “You cared about me!”
p. 14:
  • How does the illustration show that Dragon isn’t sad anymore?
p. 16:
  • How do you think Dragon and the children are feeling at the end?

JCEBJ_DragonsFriend.jpg

Extension Activity:

  • Create your own classroom dragon! Cut a large dragon out of poster or butcher paper. Ask all your students to contribute coloring the dragon’s body, wings and tail. This joint art activity will foster peer interaction amongst all your students. Hang the dragon on the wall. Any time a student feels comforted or cared for by a friend, help the student write a thank you note on a post-it and place it on the dragon. Over the year, the once lonely dragon will become filled with acts of compassionate friendship!

Next week, we will visit the emotion of anger. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which includes the book featured in this article. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Happy

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 8, 2016 3:27:00 PM

This is the second post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here.

HAPPINESS

Last week, we discussed how reading fictional narratives can help students develop emotional and literary skills. In the subsequent posts, we will apply this discussion to lessons that you can incorporate into the classroom. This post will focus on feeling "happy," introducing two books that exhibit happy characters and allow you to open up a discussion about feelings.

Smile and Little Rabbit’s Laugh from Joy Cowley Early Birds feature her newest character, Little Rabbit. Leveled at Guided Reading Level C and D, respectively, these two books employ repetitive text that will be accessible to all students at the beginning of the year. With endearing illustrations and uniquely Joy Cowley humor, the Little Rabbit books are sure to bring happiness into your classroom! 

LITTLE RABBIT’S LAUGH

joy-cowley-early-birds-little-rabbits-laugh-book.jpgDiscussion points:

p. 4:

  • Can anyone make a silly face? Have a volunteer stand and make their silliest face. Raise your hand if you laughed!
  • Discuss the illustrations. How does the illustrator show us that Little Rabbit isn’t laughing? This question prompts students to move beyond the text and recognize the illustrator's role in the story.
  • Repeat the same questions above for page 5 with a silly walk.
p. 7:
  • Do you think Little Rabbit is laughing now? How can you tell? (Squinted eyes, an open mouth)
p. 8:
  • Little Rabbit and Little Chick are laughing together. How do you think they are feeling?
  • How else can you make someone laugh?

SMILE

joy-cowley-early-birds-smile-book.jpgDiscussion Points:

p. 2:

  • How do you think Little Rabbit and Squirrel are feeling? How can you tell? (They are smiling.)
  • Do you think Chickie is happy? Why or why not?
p. 6:
  • What does Chickie do when he is happy?
p. 7:
  • Do you think Chickie is happy now? How can you tell?
p. 8:
  • Why does Little Rabbit say Chickie is “too happy”?
  • Do you think there is a such thing as being “too happy”? Accept several responses.

Writing exercise:

  • What do you do when you are happy? Have students complete the sentence “I ____ when I am happy” and draw an accompanying illustration. Are the people in your illustration smiling or laughing?
Everyone enjoys feeling happy, so discussing this positive emotion will serve as a lively introduction to our emotive exploration. Next week, we will focus on the opposite but equally important emotion, sadness. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Visit our website to learn more about Joy Cowley's newest character, Little Rabbit, and click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy, Little Rabbit

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Introduction

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 1, 2016 3:27:00 PM

At the beginning of the school year, your students arrive with different histories, households, and emotional experiences. Developing social and emotional skills not only influences a student’s willingness and ability to learn—these skills also plays a crucial role in classroom behavioral management.

That being said, abstract topics like emotions do not necessarily lend themselves well to explicit instruction in a classroom. How can you effectively teach emotional literacy? Reading narrative texts will help students develop their emotional and literary intelligence! This five-post blog series will demonstrate ways that narrative books can teach four basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.

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Emotional Literacy Also Links to Common Core State Standards

The ability to identify and describe various emotions is crucial for reading narratives. The Common Core State standards for Grade 2 require students to “describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3), which they can only accomplish after learning how to “use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, settings, or events” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.17). By building an emotional vocabulary, students can begin to understand how characters feel in different situations.

The skills used to describe fictional characters easily apply to real-life people as well. Scanning illustrations to find clues about the characters’ thoughts is comparable to reading facial expressions. Particular diction and inflection within an utterance can signal the intensity of the emotion. By practicing these reading skills, students also improve their emotional literacy.

Beginning with next week's post, we will share books from Joy Cowley Early Birds and the Kaleidoscope Collection that promote emotional literacy. Today, we’d like to highlight Hameray products that are specifically designed for developing emotional skills: 

A Box Full of Feelings

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A Box Full of Feelings features situational pictures, finger dolls, and posters to introduce emotions. With an emotive music CD and “feelings” masks, there are limitless opportunities for classroom activities. This blog series centers on the same four feelings addressed in this box—happy, sad, angry, and afraid. Familiarizing your students with different facial expressions will help them identify those emotive clues in a story's illustrations.

 

 

 

 

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The Feelings Artbook

Students familiarize themselves with emotional issues through drawing activities. The “Empathy” section prompts students to think from different perspectives. This emotional skill serves as the basis for considering the feelings, responses, and personality of fictional characters in a book.

Make sure to click this link to browse our full list of products that will support this blog series.

 

Next week, we will begin with the most familiar and desired emotion, "happy." Check back on this blog next Thursday to learn about Joy Cowley books that develop emotional literacy!

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Click this link to view the products featured in this blog post and browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions.

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Why Are Big Books So Special?

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Aug 25, 2016 3:42:00 PM

 

Both teachers and students love Hameray’s Big Books collection, which feature select titles from the Joy Cowley Collection, My World Series, and Fables Real World Series. We’re excited to be releasing 30 more Big Books in September from the Joy Cowley Early BirdsColleción Joy Cowley and Kaleidoscope Collection—keep an eye out for our new catalog coming soon! 

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What makes these books so special? First and foremost, the large book size immediately commands the attention of any reader. In order for students to understand the importance and the joy of reading, you need to make sure that books are literally a big part of their lives!

MWBB_covers-MC-300.jpgThe enlarged text and illustrations also ensure that every student can visually access the book. You could try using a document camera to project the book during a read aloud, but not all schools offer this technology, and there’s always the risk of technological failures wrecking havoc on your lesson plan. When you use a standard-sized book for a read aloud, though, some students in the back of the reading circle grumble or shove other students in order to see. Other students will simply stop paying attention because it is too difficult to follow along from a distance. With a Big Book, you can prevent class conflict and keep all your students engaged!

Apart from the story itself, every young child’s favorite part of the reading experience is flipping the pages. Even reluctant readers will be itching to get a turn at flipping the large and satisfying pages of the Big Book, resulting in a more positive attitude towards reading time.

 

A Big Book also works wonders outside of read aloud time. During sustained silent reading, many students like to look through books already read aloud by the teacher. Rereading is also an essential tool for developing reading fluency (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.4). Because of the popularity of the book, however, arguments may break out over who can read the book first.

Fables-Dove-250.jpgHameray offers combo sets with a Big Book and matching readers, but your limited classroom library size might prevent you from purchasing matching readers for every book you read aloud. Standard picture books are only large enough for 1-2 children to read at a time, so other students might lose enthusiasm if they have to wait their turn or read another book that doesn’t pique their interest. The Big Book solves this problem entirely—its size is large enough that four students can easily share the book at the same time!

 


By now, it should be self-evident that Big Books are a must-buy for every classroom. Check out all our available Big Book products here at our website or downlaod the brochure below!

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Click the image below to download a brochure containing Hameray's narrative and informational Big Books. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Fall 2016 catalog, which will feature 30 new Big Book titles!

                                                                Leveled Big Books

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Topics: Joy Cowley Collection, Leveled Readers, Big Books, Sally Hosokawa

Teach Back-to-School Safety with Informational Texts

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Aug 18, 2016 3:30:00 PM

As the end of August approaches, the beginning of school is right around the corner! For students, a new school year ushers in a multitude of new encounters: meeting new people, making new friends, starting new activities and maybe even attending a new school.

Although the novelty of it all can be thrilling, it’s crucial to ensure that students know how to act safely, especially in new situations. Stay Safe, a Real World book from the Story World Real World series, offers concrete ways that students can stay safe both in and out of school. The book includes key nonfiction features such as headings and an index, allowing you to introduce informational texts to the classroom while teaching about back-to-school safety.


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After reading the text once through as a class, return back to the table of contents.

  • Discuss how the table of contents tells us about the information in a book. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.I.5)
  • Examine the items listed in the table of contents. Which safety information is helpful for staying safe at school? (A: All of them!) 

pg5.jpgEmphasize sections of Stay Safe that are especially relevant for the beginning of a new school year: 

Stay Safe Going to School (pp. 6–7)

  • Ask students how they get to school.
  • For students who ride the bus, make sure they wait with friends at the bus stop. Stay seated on the bus while it is in motion.
  • For students who walk, help them map out the safest route from their home to school. Why is crossing guard written in bold? Where should we look to find the meaning of crossing guard? (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.I.5)
  • For students who arrive by car, stress the importance of wearing a seat belt. Remember that children must ride in booster seats until they are eight to twelve years old. 

Play Safe (pp. 8–9)

  • It’s important to receive permission from a parent or guardian before arranging a play date with a new friend. Remind students to make sure their parents know where they are going and with whom. 

 

A few students might feel worried or spooked, but there is no such thing as having too many conversations about safety. Assure the students that not all strangers are bad, but it’s important to be cautious in order to feel happy and free from harm. With Stay Safe, you can ensure a safe and successful school year for everyone!

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Click the image below to download an information sheet with key features about Story World Real World, which contains the book featured in this blog post. 

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Topics: Common Core, Real World, Informational Text, Leveled Readers, Safety, Sally Hosokawa

Connecting Literacy, Science, and Current Events with the Brazilian Rainforest

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Aug 11, 2016 3:30:00 PM

In my previous post, I demonstrated how to incorporate the Summer Olympics into a lesson for improving literacy skills. Did you know that this year’s Games can also be seamlessly tied into a lesson about biodiversity? The Rio de Janeiro Olympics marks the first time that the Games take place in South America, home to the famous Amazon Rainforest. Brazil itself has one of the richest biodiversity in the world. By reading informational texts about the rainforest habitat, students can improve reading skills, extended scientific understanding, and learn how to create connections between the classroom and current events! 

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The New Generation Science Standards for second grade require that students understand the following concept: “There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water” (2-LS4-1). The ZooZoo Animal World’s Rainforest Habitat Set provides a compelling glimpse into the millions of species that live in the rainforest. In addition to detailed photos, each book also contains an animal vocabulary list to enrich the students’ repertoire of scientific words.

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Begin the lesson by contextualizing it within current events:

  • Where are the Summer Olympics happening this year?
  • Can anyone find Brazil on a map?
  • Introduce the Amazon Rainforest, a tropical forest that provides home to one-tenth of the planet’s species. More than half of the Amazon Rainforest lies inside Brazil! 

In addition to the suggested talking points featured inside the books, below are some fun facts to enrich your lesson:

Bat

  • Vampire bats, which can be found in Brazil, are the only mammals that feed exclusively on blood. These bats make a small bite and lick the blood of other animals—they don’t actually suck or drink human blood like vampires.

Butterfly

  • The blue morpho butterfly lives in the Amazon Rainforest. With a wingspan of five to eight inches, they are one of the largest butterflies in the world. All butterfly wings, however, are actually clear and covered by tiny scales—we just see different colors and patterns based on the ways that light reflect off of the scales.

Crocodile

  • Crocodiles can close their ears so water doesn’t enter while they swim. They also have great hearing, and can even hear crocodile babies calling from inside their eggs!

Snake

  • Brazil is home to the heaviest (and second longest) snake in the world, the anaconda. Although they aren’t poisonous, they always swallow their prey whole—imagine that!

Gorilla

  • Although gorillas only live in the African rainforest, they’re still fascinating to explore. Despite their intimidating body size, gorillas are herbivores!

Students are sure to love reading about the unique animals in the ZooZoo Animal World: Rainforest Habitat Set. By fulfilling Common Core ELA and Next Generation Science Standards at the same time, it’s a win-win lesson for everybody! Happy Olympics!

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Click the image below to download an information sheet with key features about ZooZoo Animal World, which contains the books featured in this blog post. Check out our website to learn about ZooZoo Mundo Animal, the Spanish version of the ZooZoo Animal World series!

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Animal World, Science, Olympics, Sally Hosokawa

The Summer Olympics: A Golden Opportunity for Teaching

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Aug 4, 2016 3:30:00 PM

After four years of anticipation, the day has finally arrived—tomorrow’s opening ceremony marks the beginning of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! The Olympic Games, with their energizing excitement and patriotic spirit, appeals to sports lovers of all ages. This event is also a perfect opportunity to integrate world events into the classroom by reading relevant informational texts.

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Summer Olympics from the Kaleidoscope Collection introduces students to the ins and outs of the Games. Featuring photographs from the most recent 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the books explores different competitions and Olympics traditions.

Kaleidoscope_Book.Sports.HighResFinalp4.jpgKaleidoscope_Book.Sports.HighResFinal.jpgFor early readers, the Kaleidoscope Collection’s Sports and My World’s Play Ball! tie in with the Olympic theme by identifying different types of sports.

  • After reading, ask your students this question: What is your favorite sport? Students can identify sports that they enjoy participating themselves or watching on TV.
  • If necessary, use the sports mentioned in Play Ball! for reference. Create a class bar graph to determine the most popular favorite sports (CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.D.10).

 

More advanced readers can read about a timeless Olympic star, Muhammad Ali, from the Hameray Biography Series. In addition to winning gold in heavyweight boxing at the 1960 Rome Olympics, he also lit the symbolic torch at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In the London 2012 Games, Ali carried the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony. This high-interest biography will engage the reader by connecting Common Core Social Studies Standards to current entertainment.

 

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The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place from August 5th to the 21st, so your students will be buzzing about it all month. Don’t miss this fantastic teaching opportunity—it only happens once every four years!

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Click the left image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains Summer Olympics and Sports. Click the middle image below for an information sheet about the My World series, which contains Play Ball!. Click the right image below to download the Muhammad Ali Teacher's Guide from the Hameray Biography Series.

 

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet        My World Series Info Sheet        Bio TG Ali

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Biography Series, My World, Social Studies, Olympics, Sally Hosokawa

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