based on Scholastic Kids Almanac: Facts, Figures, and Stats
by Elaine Pascoe, Deborah Kops, and Jenifer Morse
About the Book
Which two U.S. states have the highest number of earthquakes? What is the worlds fastest mammal? Featuring a snazzy design, including colorful 3-D graphics, this new and updated reference book for school and after-class activities quickly puts answers to questions like these at students fingertips.
With nearly 40 topics from Aerospace to Zodiac, and filled with graphs, charts and other informative visuals, this 352-page book will keep students reading for hours.
(Answers: Alaska and California; cheetah.)
Set the Stage
- Explain that Scholastic Kids Almanac is a reference book students can turn to for information about a range of topics. Have them glance at the front and back covers. What are some topics students might find useful or interesting? What kinds of facts, figures and statistics might they read about in this reference book? How might students use this book in the future?
- Turn to the Contents and bring out that its organized alphabetically in two columns. Play a quick game in which you name a topic and students tell on what page that chapter begins. Then have students select a page number and ask a volunteer to identify the topic.
- As students flip through the book, ask them what they notice. Bring out that this almanac is filled with charts, graphs, timelines, and other visuals to help them get information quickly.
- Then turn to the Index, discussing how its organized, what can be found there, and topics that seem intriguing.
Use these questions to guide discussion:
- What do you notice about the different designs on the edge of the chapters? How do these correlate to the corresponding boxed designs on the Contents page? How do these help you find information in the book?
- If you were writing a report on how kids in the U.S. spend their free time, what sections of this book would be helpful? What other resources (such as the Internet, nonfiction books on entertainment) would you consult to help with your assignment?
- What resources do you think the writers of this book used to create Scholastic Kids Almanac? What makes you say that?
This reproducible will strengthen students research skills by locating answers using the index.
Apply students research skills through these projects:
- Ready, Set, Go!: This is a game to see how fast students can locate information. Give each of four teams a sheet with 20 questions that can be answered using the Scholastic Kids Almanac. Give teams five minutes to see how many questions they can answer correctly. The team with the most right answers wins the right to create the next quiz.
- Board Game: Have teams of students create a board game that tests students ability to locate answer found in Scholastic Kids Almanac. Teams can plan the rules of their game (number of players, how to win), the materials needed, the questions themselves (for example, What percentage of kids in the U.S., ages 3-17, have access to computers?), and then create the game using oak tag and other materials. Have each team present their game to another team, then trade. The other group plays the game and gives their reactions to the creators.
- Show Time: Develop a skit that brings to life some statistics in the book. For example, to show stats on how helmets protect heads from harm, they may perform a skit in which a parent and child talk to a bike store owner as the family is about to select a bike helmet.
- Change the Chart:Find a graph or chart that you find interesting. Recreate the visual in another way. For example, for the graph on the percentages of overweight or obese men in the U.S. (p. 186), create a pie chart displaying the same information.
- Lets Turn to the Chart: Find a topic in the book about which you feel strongly. Deliver a speech to the class in which you use one of the visuals in the book to support your point of view.