Based on Scholastic Book of World Records 2004
by Jenifer Corr Morse

About the Book
Who is the world's richest man? Which country has the most cell phone users? For the answers to these questions and more, your students can consult the Scholastic Book of World Records 2004. It's filled with 300 records, plus photos and graphics! Organized into chapters from "Culture" to "Money and Business" (plus an Index and Bonus section), this 320-page reference tool will be a great conversation-starter in your classroom!

Set the Stage
Begin with a discussion of popular sports record-holders, such as the teams with the most Super Bowl wins (Cowboys and 49ers). Talk about what students know about these teams. Explain that this reference book will give readers interesting facts and figures for record holders in Music, Car Racing, Money, and more.

Show the Contents and Index. Discuss how these sections can be useful in finding information. Give students practice by naming a record and asking who or what holds it now.

These will provide a lively discussion of the book:

  • Which record came as a surprise to you?
  • For what kinds of projects will you find this book useful?
  • Why are the photographs, charts, and illustrations important to the book?
  • What kinds of resources do you think the author/photo editor used to create this book?
  • Which record do you hope to hold one day?

Student Activity
Students will have fun while building their recall skills by writing the record-holders in each category from the Scholastic Book of World Records.

Related Activities
To extend students'enjoyment of the book, try these:

  • I'm the Best!: Have each student dress as their favorite record-holder and introduce themselves to the class. Speaking in first person, have them explain what their record is for.
  • Award Your Own: Ask students to set their own goals for a school record (for example, Most Math Examples Correct in a Week). Have them write a plan to achieve their goal and keep a journal of their steps to achieving it.
  • Biographical Sketch: Have students research and write a short biography of a human record-holder named in the book.
  • Hang It Up: Each week, ask a team of different students to create a bulletin board called Who Won? Have students write a title for each of four categories (such as World's Smallest Mammal), along with an illustration. Ask classmates to provide answers.

Lesson Developed by Dr. Susan Shafer
Dr. Susan Shafer is a former elementary school teacher with more than twenty years of classroom experience and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. While teaching she received special recognition for her innovative, theme-based teaching methods. The author of two books for children and numerous articles for adults, Susan is presently a freelance writer, editor, and educational consultant.