Using Literature in the Classroom.
Winnipeg: Peguis Publishers, 1994. 144pp, paper, $18.00.
Review by MaryLeah Otto.
The rationale for using this approach in the classroom is the importance of presenting children with the best quality literature or literature that has stood the test of time and still remains popular. Many people claim that particular books -- the classics -- have great cultural importance because they transmit the important values of a culture.
Quoting from many research studies on the relationship between the use of literature and a child's linguistic development, Susan Hill of the University of South Australia examines a wide range of children's literature and the ways it can be integrated into teaching language arts. She faults many basal reading schemes for their blandness and their lack of symbolism and the figurative language that evokes human emotion. She believes in a different approach, stressing that literature "helps the reader better understand worlds perhaps not yet experienced, extends the imagination and helps us deal better with life's problems. Literature also provides a base for developing all aspects of the language arts: talking, listening, reading and writing."
Maryleah Otto is a former children's librarian with the Etobicoke (Toronto) and London, Ontario, Public Libraries, the author of four published books for children, and a member of CONSCRIPT. She has reviewed books regularly for the Ontario Library Negotiation and the Canadian Library Association. She resides in St. Thomas, Ontario where she continues to write for children and adults.
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh.
Retold and illustrated by Ludmila Zeman.
Montreal: Tundra Books, 1995. 24pp, cloth, $19.95.
Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 - 11.
Review by Kenneth Field.
At the mouth of a river at the end of the earth a man lies, near death. Could this be Gilgamesh, the all powerful King of Uruk, loved by his people, famous throughout the ancient world for the magnificent wall he had built around his city?
What has brought him to this desperate state in this lonely place?
It was the fear of Death. Death had taken his dearest friend, Enkidu. Earlier it had taken the beautiful Shamhat, whom they both loved. As Gilgamesh watched their spirits fly off as birds, he resolved to get rid of Death before it took him from his people. His last quest would be to find the secret of immortality.
So begins the last book of the trilogy that retells the ancient Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh. In the first two books, Gilgamesh the King and The Revenge of Ishtar, the hero Gilgamesh, who is half god and half man, learns of human love from his friends Enkidu and Shamhat, and of the tragic loss of not only his friends but his people through death. Thus we now find him close to death himself and yet still struggling against it. The spirit of his friend Shamhat comes to Gilgamesh to give him guidance in this final struggle. With her assistance, and renewed strength, Gilgamesh sets out on his final quest -- to overcome death.
Kenneth Field is a librarian for Traill College at Trent University in Peterborough, ON.
How Monkeys Make Chocolate:
Foods and Medicines from the Rainforests.
Toronto: Owl Books, 1995. 48pp, paper, $9.95.
Grades 4 - 8 / Ages 8 - 13.
Review by Jennifer La Chapelle
We still know very little about thousands of kinds of rainforest plants and animals. We don't even have names for many of them. But what goes on between all the plants and animals is what makes the forest work -- flowers are pollinated. seeds are spread, animals are fed. Little by little, we are learning to see and to use these connections. Without the relationship between monkeys and cacao. we would not have chocolate And living forests are full of riches yet to be found.
The destruction of rainforests throughout the globe. and the resultant loss of potential medicines and foods is not lost on young adults. Circulation records at public and school libraries indicate that elementary and high school students' interest in the topic is not simply curriculum-driven. Adrian Forsyth's How Monkeys Make Chocolate successfully explores four instances of the interaction of plants, animals, and people in rainforests.
Recommended with reservations.
Jennifer La Chapelle is the head of a multi-branch public library in
Ontario. In addition to an M.L.S., she holds degrees in Political
Science, English, and History.
The People of Many Faces:
Masks, Myths and Ceremonies of the Iroquois.
Lakefield, ON: Waapoone Publishing, 1994. 61pp, paper, $15.95.
Grades 10 - 13 / Ages 14 and Up.
Review by Adele Case.
Broken Nose: This is the mask carved most frequently, depicting the Great Defender after the onrushing mountain had smashed his nose. Usually this mask is black, perhaps to represent the defeat that had been endured, or the fact that the mountain had been moved causing Elder Brother The Sun to cast a shadow. Both masks (Keel Nose and Broken Nose) were usually required in any ceremony or curing performance, since one is incomplete without the other.
The People of Many Faces contains a chronological history of the Iroquois Five Nations (made up originally of the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga and Seneca tribes from present day New York state). Theirs was a political and military union. Over a hundred years later, members of the Tuscarora tribe were allowed to join with the Iroquois, and a Six Nations group came into being. During the American revolution, the confederacy came to an end, as a couple of the tribes moved to Canada, while the remainder continued in their ancestral land.
Adele Case is a high-school teacher who lives in West Vancouver.
Return to Glory:
The Leafs From Imlach to Fletcher.
Toronto: ECW Press, 1995. 301pp, paper, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55022-242-2. CIP.
Grades 10 - Adult / Ages 15 and Up.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
In covering the period from May, 1967, to early 1995, Podnieks writes passionately as he describes first the decline of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club following their last Stanley Cup win of 1967, and then their rise to legitimate Cup contender in the 1990s. Return to Glory is structured in two parts, with each section principally revolving around the actions of a pair of individuals.
Recommended with reservations.
Dave Jenkinson is a hockey fan who also teaches courses in children's and young adult literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
International Internet KIDFORUM Project
KIDFORUM is an opportunity for students to share and compare their work internationally. The latest topic is "Blue Print Earth." Read on for details!
The new KIDFORUM topic will start on January 1st and will last till February 29th 1996 and we hope that you will join it with your kids.
Indu Varma : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tor Arne Richvoldsen : email@example.com
Grade Levels: K-12
Subject Areas: Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies, & Art
During the whole project groups of students are challenged to write an essay. The topic for the essay is closely linked to tha name of this project. Your heading is to be : GAIA... ( which means earth ) The essay can be published whenever it is finished -- during this project, but must be ready and sent to the Kidforum list before Feb. 20.
We hope to be able to send a diploma to the group(s) of students writing the "best" essay(s)... So start writing...
During the sixth week of the project the students will be back on-line to describe their creations, e.g. a new type of helmet which will absorb UV rays, a chewing gum that has fluoride in it, or a new type of inter-locking brick used in construction to make buildings earth quake safe etc..
They may post drawings or digitized pictures of their creations on the network (uuencoded gifs) in order to start marketing their inventions.
The set up will be similar to an auction where bids are placed on objects, except the product will not be sold to the highest bidder. Instead the product accumulating the highest totals of all the bids will be declared the winner. In a way this is an evaluation done by peers where by the product attaining the highest total of bids will be the judged to be the best by the participants.
Indu Varma from Canada - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tor Arne Richvoldsen from Norway - email: email@example.com
Please feel free to ask them questions regarding the topic.
subscribe KIDFORUM "first name second name"
Tor Arne Richvoldsen
Name of school:_________________________________Mail registration to:
School phone number:____________________________
School fax number:______________________________
School WWW-homepage: __________________________(if any)
Contact teacher: ________________________________
E-mail address: _________________________________
Approx. number of participating students:________
Approx. age of students: ________________________
Marshview Middle School
P.O. Box 970
Sackville, N.B., E0A 3C0
Tel. (506) 364-4086 (work)
Fax. (506) 364-4096 / 4095
Tor Arne Richvoldsen
P.O BOX 100
N4810 Eydehavn, Norway
Tel. +47 37030370
Fax. +47 37031744
and send the answers ( RESPONSE ) to RESPONSE@Vm1.NoDak.edu
Questions about KIDFORUM activities should be send to:
KIDFORUM manager Alenka Makuc: firstname.lastname@example.org
KIDFORUM assistant Marisa Lucena: email@example.com
KIDLINK KIDFORUM manager
PTT High School, Celjska 16
61000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Copyright © 1995 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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