Monday, February 25, 2013

Booking Across New Hampshire

http://growingbookbybook.com/sample-page/

Happy Booking Across the USA!  There are over 50 bloggers representing 50 states who are posting about their states today!  What are we posting about?  Books, of course!  Everyone has found a book that represents their state.

I'm so excited about the book I chose!
Click image for link to Amazon.

A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry is a piece of history, and a lesson about respect for the environment.  Plus, it is a beautiful taste of the state of New Hampshire!

When I first picked up this book, I thought I had a nice picture book about a river that runs through Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but it turned out to be so much more!

This map from the end pages show how the Nashua River runs through parts of
Massachusetts and empties into the Merrimack River by Nashua, New Hampshire.
The story  begins 7000 years ago when Native Americans first settled on the banks of what is now  the Nashua River.  (They originally called it Nash-a-way, which meant "River with the Pebbled Bottom.")  When I read this story to my students, they had an unmistakable vision of the clear water and the shiny pebbles. For hundreds of years the Native Americans lived by the banks of the river, taking only what they needed and respecting the river and the surrounding forests.
Then came the English settlers.  The story explains in detail how the settlers cleared the land of the forests, building farms, villagers, then sawmills. 
Then came the industrial revolution.  The Nashua River became a dumping ground for factory waste and was no longer the beautiful clear water with the pebbles shining from the bottom.
The story continues to tell the story of the efforts to clean the Nashua River.  It is a true story which tells a valuable lesson.

As I read the story to my students, I was struck by their passion for what happened to the river, and how strongly they felt about the need for a clean up!  They commented on the beauty of the water and Lynne Cherry's beautiful illustrations that are so similar to what we see in many parts of New Hampshire.  They loved the borders around the text, which told the story of that error of history.  (First, the wildlife that lived undisturbed in the river valley, then the tools of the Native Americans, then the tools of the English traders, and onward until the clean up efforts and clean waters of today.)  You could spend days learning about New England's history from this book without even reading the text!  (But please, read the text, too!)

This book would be a great book to read when learning about Native Americans or when learning about the environment.  It's a great choice to read on Earth Day because of the environmental lesson.  It's also a great book for teaching history as well as the beauty of New England.  

I had many thoughts about activities connected to this book, but settled on one that celebrates the beauty of the clean waters of the Nashua River.

The above picture from the book reminded me of a technique of artwork called pointillism as done by some impressionist artists such as George Seurat and  Vincent Van Gogh.  (See THIS LINK for examples.)  It's simply artwork made by lots of tiny dots.

Although this little project hardly captures the complexity of Starry Night by Van Gogh or A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by George Seurat, the kids get a kick out of it.

For this activity, you'll need crayons, water color paints, and my favorite:  blue glitter glue!  



First, start by drawing lots of little brown, black, and gray pebbles in a "river shape".


Second, make a green wash, with loads of green dots beside the pebble river.(This is the beginning of the forest by the river.)
That will need to dry before the next step:  add yellow, orange, and red dots.  (These dots will be the beautiful New Hampshire trees in the autumn.)
Here's my favorite part:  cover the pebble river with the blue glitter glue.  Can you see the pebbles sparkling from the bottom of the river?  
Reading this book, and knowing more of her work makes me want to read some of these other books by Lynne Cherry!  (Click the images for links to Amazon.com)

                              

Here are a few more books with a New Hampshire theme:

                                        

Please check out these other reviews as part of the Booking Across America celebration.  And if you like what you see, please pin them and tell your friends!
Alabama: Everyday Snapshots Alaska: Little Wonders’ Days Arizona: Simply Kinder and Think, Wonder, & Teach Arkansas: Homeschooling in Arkansas California: Juggling with Kids and The Outlaw Mom Colorado: Learners in Bloom and Living Montessori Now Connecticut: The Teacher Park Delaware: Mama Miss Florida: Teaching Stars Georgia: Fabulously First Hawaii: Teaching With Style Idaho: True Aim Education Illinois: Growing Book by Book Indiana: Teach Preschool Iowa: Surviving a Teacher's Salary Kansas: KCEdventures Kentucky: Chicken Babies Louisiana: New Orleans Moms Blog Maine: Maine Adventure Mom and Country Fun Child Care Maryland: Picture Books and Piourettes Massachusetts: Mama Smiles Michigan: Play DrMom Minnesota: The Wise Owl Factory Mississippi: Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk Missouri- Ready. Set. Read! Montana: The Honey Bunch Nebraska: The Good Long Road Nevada: Boy Oh Boy Crafts New Hampshire: Elementary Matters New Jersey: The Pleasantest Thing New Mexico: Enchanted Homeschooling Mom New York: What Do We Do All Day North Carolina: Realistic Teacher Blog North Dakota: ND HealthWorks Ohio: Smart Chick Teacher’s Blog Oklahoma: Herding Kats in Kindergarten Oregon: Journey of a Substitute Teacher Pennsylvania: Land of Once Upon a Time Rhode Island: Smiling in Second Grade South Carolina: Cookies and Kiddos and JDaniel4’s Mom South Dakota: The Wise Owl Factory Tennessee: No Monkey Business Texas: Curls and a Smile and Kid World Citizen Utah: Teach Beside Me Vermont: Burlington Vt Moms Blog Virgina: Once Upon a Story, and The Freckled Homeschooler Washington: Home Learning Journey and Boy Mama Teacher Mama West Virginia: This Week @ Great Peace Academy and Mamas Like Me Wisconsin: Reading Confetti Wyoming: No Twiddle Twaddle USA: The Corner on Character

14 comments:

  1. I teach Social Studies to all the students in our 5th grade and we will learn about the 50 States later this year. This looks like so much fun!! I love literacy and Social Studies connections. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Hokie Teach

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    1. I loved participating in this project, and reading about all the other states!

      Sally

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  2. Love this book for many reasons, but knowing the region is why I first picked it up years ago. New Englander born and raised - MA, VT, NH and Maine. Now I have a very adaptable extension activity to do with my preschoolers.
    A thank you for the additional state books, especially the state ABC book resource which I'll be adding to my listing for our month of state ABC story reading.

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    1. Thanks so much! I've lived in New England all my life, born in Mass, went to college in NH and stayed here, although I do visit Maine often!

      Sally

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  3. WoWzA! What a post ... and that enrichment art project is BeAuTiFuL. Thank you, Sally. I visited New Hampshire once about 30 years ago and you've whet my appetite to come back one day.

    Barbara

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    1. New Hampshire is definitely worth a return visit!

      Sally

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  4. I LOVE that book! Thank you for stepping in at the last moment to help with the Booking Across the USA project!!! You did a beautiful job.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm always enthusiastic about kids' books! (And I'm really glad I discovered this book!)

      Sally

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  5. Thank you for writing about this book, the art project information, and the others books by the author. Pinned!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carolyn! I enjoyed working on this project!

      Sally

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  6. wow! Just seeing this post via pinterest...love this for a variety of reasons-awesome books and they are about New Hampshire! (I'm also a NH blogger and love my state!). Many of these books I hadn't heard of, but are now on "the list" to check out when I hit the library this week. Love the pebbly river craft too-so beautiful. Thank you so much for writing this post. Mrs. P @ www.createartwithme.blogspot.com

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