The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story Lesson Activity

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The Nantucket Sea Monster Summary

Do you believe everything you read in newspapers? What if you read a news report about a monster living in the sea? Would you believe the story? In 1937, The Inquirer and Mirror published sea monster sightings in Nantucket. After large webbed footprints appeared in the sand, people were intrigued. Could this monster be real? The surprise ending will leave readers wondering about the validity of news.

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The Nantucket Sea Monster Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Engage/Think VI.A.2 Learners follow ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information by understanding the ethical use of information, technology, and media.

As the subtitle indicates, the sea monster story was fake news. The people that read the story were fooled.

Ask learners the following questions:

  • “How do you think the people must have felt when they learned the truth?”
  • “What do you think they did when they realized what happened?”
  • “Why is it important for newspapers to report the truth?”

High School Learners

Have you heard about Gabe Fleisher, a remarkable teen journalist? He writes a nonpartisan newsletter that makes government news easier to understand. Wake Up To Politics provides readers with the latest facts five days a week.

  • Meet Fleisher by listening to an interview with Joshua Johnson on NPR’s 1A Learners will be fascinated hearing about Fleisher’s passion for reporting the truth.
  • Read Fleisher’s newsletter, Wake Up to PoliticsGive learners time to explore and discuss.

Professional Development

Works Cited:

1A (

News Literacy: Book Talk With Michelle Luhtala and Jacquelyn Whiting (

Wake Up to Politics (

Watch This Space: Meet Teen Journalist Gabe Fleisher (

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Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World Lesson Activity

Post by Becky Granatini

Shaking Things Up Summary

From the author of the incredible book Ada’s Violin, Susan Hood invites us into the world of female innovators and activists. This book highlights, in poetic verse, the stories of fourteen young women that made a huge difference in the lives of women. Shaking Things Up delivers jumping off points to begin to understand the lives and important work of young innovators. What a great way to introduce students to these innovators and to offer a creative way to share understandings – through poetry!

Shaking Things Up Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Think: l.A.1. Learners display curiosity and
initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic

  • Read a poem aloud to learners.  Highlight the information both in the text as well as the illustration.
  • Ask learners to generate a question that connects to the shared poem, but will extend their understanding of the topic/person. Have them write it on a sticky note.
  • Collect question sticky notes and group according to topic.
  • Create student teams to begin an investigation about the topic.

Culminating Activity Idea:  Have students add to the existing poem or write another one in response to the shared poem to highlight their new learning. They could illustrate and find an authentic audience to share this work with.

My Books

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Out of the Box Lesson Activity

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Out of the Box Summary

If you are looking for an easy way to get a makerspace up and running, start with this inspirational book. With a few supplies, children can make games, puppets, castles and hideaways. The introduction sets the foundation for building with cardboard. Clear instructions and crisp images prepare readers before they begin constructing. “Difficulty Level” thermometers also help children choose a suitable project. Encouraging notes compel makers to work through problems and try different ideas.

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Out of the Box Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Explore/Create V.B.1. Learners construct new knowledge by problem solving through cycles of design, implementation, and reflection.

  • Engage learners by watching Caine’s Arcade, an inspiring story about a remarkable boy.  Ask students to share their experiences with cardboard creations.
  • Introduce Out of the Box: 25 Cardboard Engineering Projects For Makers by Jemma Westing. Ask learners what project intrigued them the most.
  • Create 2-4 stations that feature projects in the book. Each station will have directions for one project along with necessary materials.
  • Encourage children to make something on their own if they would like. They can use the book to inspire ideas and then make an innovative creation.
  • Invite parents, grandparents and community members to join the fun and offer support.
  • Ask learners to reflect on the experience and share helpful tips for the next group of makers.
  • Enrich the experience by joining the Global Cardboard Challenge.

My Books

If you like the lesson ideas on this blog, you might want to check out my books!

I am an Amazon affiliate which means I will receive a small percentage of your purchase.

Dig In! 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps Lesson Activity

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Dig In! Summary

How cool would it be to have a farm-to-table experience in your library? All you need are kitchen scraps, a few supplies, the sun and recipes. The projects in Dig In! 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps by Kari Cornell are inspiring. Gorgeous photographs and easy-to-implement plans will compel students to grow and cook food. Young chefs can join the fun by following the recipes that complement each project. Resources at the end of the book will support learners who want to garden outside.

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Dig In! Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Explore/Think V.A.3. Learners develop and satisfy personal curiosity by engaging in inquiry-based processes for personal growth.

  • Follow the directions to grow lettuce. When it’s ready to harvest, ask parents to donate ingredients for the “Autumn Salad” recipe. Work together to make the salad and set a long table for lunch. Add other special treats to make it a memorable meal.
  • Enrich the experience further by asking learners to design a garden for their school. Ask learners what questions they have about designing a garden. Some may include:
    • “What should we think about when designing and building a garden?”
    • “What does a garden need to grow?”
    • “What are the best vegetables to grow in our area?”
    • “What materials do we need?”
    • “What size should it be?”
    • “Who will take care of it?”
    • “How will it get watered?”
    • “How do we keep harmful bugs away?”
    • “Who do we need to ask for permission to build a garden?”
  • Invite a Master Gardener in to help answer questions. Find ideas in books like It’s Our Garden: From Seed to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona.
  • Provide paper, pencils, crayons and markers to design the school gardens. Invite learners to share their designs with the class.
  • Save designs and search for grants to make their plans come to life!

Check out the fun contest below to challenge learners to make gardens out of milk cartons:

Carton 2 Garden: Helping Grow School Garden Programs

The Bee Book Lesson Activity

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The Bee Book Summary

If you want to grab the attention of a child, mention a Harry Potter reference and watch their eyes light up. That’s what author Charlotte Milner does in The Bee Book when she states that a “dumbledore” is a bumblebee. This fun fact presented with infographic flair will compel children to keep reading. Every page delivers interesting facts with engaging illustrations. Teachers will immediately recognize the value of using The Bee Book as a mentor text. Noting Milner’s craft for delivering information will inspire young nonfiction writers. Budding scientists will appreciate learning the significance of bees. Helpful solutions at the end of the book will inspire them to make a difference.

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Bee Book Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Create: I.B.3. Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.

  • While reading the story, ask learners to pay close attention to how the author, Charlotte Milner, presents information. What do they notice?
  • Point to some of the illustrations in the book to help define the word “infographic”. Ask learners what they like about the way the information is presented in The Bee Book.  What was their favorite infographic?
  • Explain that they will create their own infographic on a topic they know all about.  They will use some of the ideas in the book for inspiration.  Younger learners can use poster paper, crayons and markers to present their information. Learners in grades three and higher can try using Piktochart; an AASL Best Website for Teaching and Learning,
  • Display infographics in the library.

Wondering about the waggle dance? Watch this video by the Smithsonian Channel.

Image Citation: Milner, Charlotte. “The Bee Book.” NetGalley, DK Children, 6 Feb. 2018,

My Books

If you like the lesson ideas on this blog, you might want to check out my books!

I am an Amazon affiliate which means I will receive a small percentage of your purchase.

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