Finding and Using the Seedlings Booklist
In an effort to support the development of your STEAM-centered curricula, we have curated a booklist that we feel represents some of the best available children’s literature related to the different focus group topics. Our goals in doing so are to:
Finding the booklist:
Click on this link or type it into the address bar:
On the left-hand side of the screen, you will see the different “libraries” available for you to browse through. Each focus group has its own library. There is another library for teacher resources, and one that cites multimedia. Click on the appropriate library.
Using the booklist:
Each entry has a picture of the book’s cover, the publishing information, and a brief description of the book. Most books also have one or more key phrases beneath the description, highlighted in red. These are the “tags” that indicate the book’s connection to a topic within a discipline or to a local resource. Each tag has a code in front to indicate the subject area with which the book connects (s=science, ss=social studies, l=literature, etc.), followed by a brief description of the connection. For example, in the K/1 Water Habitats library, River Ran Wild, by Lynne Cherry, the tags include “(s) How do living things influence the places where they live?”, “(ss) heroes,” “(ss) Native Americans,” and “How does where you live affect how you live?”. How Does It Feel To Be a Tree? in the preschool group is tagged to “(l) poetry,” and “(ss) feelings”. Some books include the tag “Classroom Bookshelf.” This indicates that this wonderful blog (http://classroombookshelf.blogspot.com) has done an in-depth review of the book, including teaching invitations and resources for further exploration. Visit the blog and search for the book to gain ideas for your own classroom use.
You can search for books that connect with specific topics or disciplines by clicking on the “tag list” in the upper right-hand corner of the library. After clicking on the tag list, all the tags that have been linked to our books will appear. You can select the desired tag and all books associated with it – including those from other grade levels – will appear. For example, if you are aiming to deepen students understanding of how earth materials shape our community, you can scroll down to the science (s) section and click on “How do earth materials shape our community?” Two books that link nicely to this essential question will appear.
You can read about how others have used a given book in their classrooms by clicking on “Read reviews” under the book image.
Writing a Review:
We hope that you will find this bibliography useful throughout the school year. Its use can be greatly enhanced through your active participation and collaboration by leaving notes and ideas for others to read in the “Review” section. To do so, you will need to create a free account and add the book you would like to comment on from the Seedlings booklist into your own “library”. The steps may seem laborious, but they will facilitate the creation of your own online bibliography and potentially help you streamline your organization in the classroom and in your curriculum development.
Go to the website’s homepage and click on “sign up” at the top of the page. After creating an account and logging in, select “Add Library” from the left-hand side of the screen. You will be prompted to give a title to the library, select what type of media is contained within it, and be asked whether you want to publish the library. Your notes that you add will only be visible to other Seedlings participants if you opt to publish, so please do! Next, you will be taken to the home screen for that particular library you have just created. On the left-hand side of the screen, select “Add Item.” This is how you add books to your library. You can choose whether to search by ISBN or by keyword (Title/Author/etc). Type in the title of the book for which you would like to leave a review, or find it on the Seedlings booklist and copy and paste the ISBN number from the publishing information. If you type in the title, you will have to select “+Add Item” to the left of the book description that appears. The book is now in your own personal library. Find it by selecting “Home” on the left-hand side of the screen; it will appear under the library you have created. Click on the title and you will see the book image, publishing information, and description. To the left of the description, you will see “Write Review”. Leave your note there and be sure to select “Save Review” before you exit. Your thoughts will now appear as a review on the Seedlings booklist as well. (Notice that you can also create your own tags for these books now. There are many other features this website offers that can enhance your teaching and organization, so you may want to take some time to explore it.)