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Around the World in 80 Books: The Collection

Page history last edited by Keith Schoch 9 years, 5 months ago

The Around the World in 80 Books site was designed as the online companion piece to a workshop of the same title which I presented at the 2009 NJEA Teachers' Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Here you'll find dozens of helpful links along with expanded session notes. I've also recommended additional book titles and lesson ideas which time didn't allow in the live session. (See the link for downloading the session handout at the bottom of this page).


When discussing the idea of this workshop with some fellow teachers, they strongly felt that what's needed isn't just another list of book titles, but ways to put those books into action in the classroom. It seems that multicultural book lists can be found all over the Internet, but what teachers really need are concrete ways to use the books. So with that in mind, I started a list of ways to use globally-minded picture books. I got us half way there! With suggestions from you, the reader of this site, hopefully we can get this list to number 80.

For those teachers seeking print resources for incorporating multicultural books in the classroom, I highly recommend two books: Understanding Diversity Through Novels and Picture Books (pictured here) and Across Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children.


Sample entry from this site:


Math: The Universal Language 

Learning by Numbers


One of my first forays into math using picture books was an accidental one. I chose One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi, having been a fan of that author ever since reading The Empty Pot (see the Universal Themes section above for more on this book). One Grain Of Rice tells how a simple villager uses her knowledge of mathematics to best a despotic ruler. You've got to love it when math wins! For further details on this book, plus some related lessons and links, check this post at my Teach with Picture Books blog. The King's Chessboard, pictured to the right, is another retelling of that same mathematic idea.

The variety of math related picture books is just staggering. Another favorite is Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, a tale based upon sound yet uncomplicated geometry. Author Cindy Neuschwander has several others in this series, and they're a must if you want students to get excited about math! For some reason story makes it all more interesting.

A last favorite of mine is the little known What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?, a clever retelling of Pythagoras and the invention of his famous theorem. The illustrations alone make many adults exclaim, "Oh! Now I get it!"

If you're looking for a site with more teaching ideas for math picture books, try Mathwire. Mathwire is an awesome alphabetically organized site of Math activities, and by clicking on link you'll see a nice sampling of how Mathwire incorporates picture books into mathematics.


Free Resource:


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