The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: New Line Cinema. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. 2001.

Plot Description:
Based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s book of the same name, hobbit Baggins reluctantly gives the One Ring of power to his nepher Frodo, whom the wizard Gandalf instructs to leave on a journey. Gandalf is captured by a wizard under Sauron’s thrall. They gather many companions including humans, dwarves, and elves. Gandalf escapes captivity. A council of the races of Middle-Earth decide that the ring should be destroyed, only possible in the volcano of its creation. Gandalf sacrifices himself to save the party from death. A human tries to take the ring from Frodo; the hobbit decides to finish the journey on his own.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 860; Accelerated Reader: 6.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This movie is narrated in third-person, focusing on the adventures of Frodo and his companions. It teaches the importance of resisting temptation. The media is 7th grade level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine theme or central idea and analyze in detail its development; #3 Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain; #4 Analyze complex characters; #5 Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases; #5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuance in word meanings, such as interpret figures of speech.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great movie (and a great series) to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 6th grade through 12th grade. It explores themes of responsibility and adventure.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120737/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings:_The_Fellowship_of_the_Ring

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: Granada Television. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 1984.

Plot Description:
The 13-episode television show follows the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. John Watson. Holmes is a detective who solves cases through the application of intimate observation and ruthless logic. The episodes are based off of various short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 39.7

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This television show is presented in third-person, focusing on Holmes’ adventures with Watson. It teaches the importance of observation. The media is 3rd grade level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine theme or central idea and analyze in detail its development; #3 Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain; #4 Analyze complex characters; #5 Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases; #5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuance in word meanings, such as interpret figures of speech.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great series to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 9th grade through 12th grade. It explores themes of intrigue and adventure.

Supporting Digital Content:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086661/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes_%281984_TV_series%29

Gerald McBoing-Boing

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: Geisel, Theodor Seuss. Gerald McBoing-Boing. 1950.

Plot Description:
When Gerald McBoing-Boing began to speak, he didn’t use words, but sound effects. His parents didn’t know what to do; the doctor couldn’t cure him. He couldn’t make friends; the school couldn’t teach him. A radio program hired him to make all the sound effects they needed. His parents were proud that he found his niche.

Quantitative Reading Level: Accelerated Reader: 3.5

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This video is presented in third-person, focusing on Gerald’s troubles from being different. It teaches that everyone has a specialty, if only they can find it. The media is 3rd grade level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language; #7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea; #4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area; #7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words both in isolation and in text; #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great short video to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 1st grade through 3rd grade. It explores themes of acceptance.

Supporting Digital Content:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNsyQDmEopw
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_McBoing-Boing

Note: This is the only Dr. Seuss story that was not published as a book first. Gerald’s tale was first a radio reading.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1900.

Plot Description:
Dorothy lived in Kansas with her aunt and uncle and dog. A freak cyclone lifted her house clean off, and landed in Oz, on top of the Wicked Witch of the East with silver slippers. The Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy that the shoes were now hers, but she just wants to go home. She travels to the Emerald City in the center of Oz, where the Great Wizard might be able to help her. Along the way she befriends a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion, who join her travel as each of them also want something from the wizard (a brain, a heart, and nerves, respectively). They have to stay on the Yellow Brick Road that Dorothy had been traversing, lest they get lost or are bewitched by the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard meets the travellers, agreeing to grant their desires if they’ll defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. They set out west; she sends wolves, crows bees, and soldiers to kill them, but fail. Her winged monkeys capture them. The witch tricks Dorothy into taking off one of the magical slippers; angry, she throws a bucket of water on the witch, who melts. Dorothy and her companions return to the Wizard, he is revealed to be an ordinary man. He gives the males a totem of their desires, which just gives them the confidence to use their natural intelligence, love, and courage. To return Dorothy home, he sets up his hot-air balloon. She exits the craft to retrieve her dog, but it has already flown too high. The Good Witch of the South reveals to Dorothy that the silver shoes have the power to transport her any location she wants, including home.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 1030; Accelerated Reader: 7.0

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the adventures of Dorothy and her friends. It teaches about how you already have almost everything you need to succees and be happy. The text is 6th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 4th grade through 6th grade. It explores themes like mystery and adventure.

Note: In the movie, the slippers were ruby, because The Wizard of Oz was one of the first color films, and the red showed up much better than silver.

The Golden Compass

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. New York: Random House, Inc., 1995.

Plot Description:
Lyra Belacqua spends most of her time with her daemon companion around Oxford University, where her guardian works. Lyra secretly watches her Uncle Asriel in a meeting that talks about Dust, a particle that congregates around adults but not children. He gets funding for a project in the Arctic to prove that alternate universes exist. Her guardian gives her a pocket watch that reveals truth to the right questions. Meanwhile, children have been going missing all over and she befriends Mrs Coulter, who takes her in. She flees when she realizes Mrs Coulter is behind the disappearance of the children. She travels with a nomadic people, who explain that the woman is actually her mother and that Asriel is actually her father. Lyra befriends and frees a sentient bear. She finds out that the kidnapped children are being experimented upon, and sees a boy whose bond with his daemon has been cut, which essentially cuts a person off from their soul. She encounters Asriel again, who claims that Dust is the source of all misery and that he will be the one to erradicate it. He leaves for a parallel universe. Lyra and her daemon vow to stop him, and follow him.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 930; Accelerated Reader: 7.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the adventures of Lyra. It teaches about how few things are as they seem. The text is 6th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 4rd grade through 6th grade. It explores themes like mystery and adventure.

Mary Poppins

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Travers, P.L. Mary Poppins. Orlando: Harcourt Books, 1934.

Plot Description:
Jane and Michael Banks’ nanny quits suddenly, and Mary Poppins answers their mother’s advertisement. The children curiously watch her slide up the banister after their mother and then watched Mary Poppins unpack a lot of belongings from her visibly empty bag. On her day off, she visits her friend Bert, and they take a trip into a chalk pavement picture he had drawn. Mary Poppins brings the children to meet her uncle for tea, and they roll about the ceiling laughing. She takes them to the cathedral to feed the birds. She introduces them to her friend Fannie who makes gingerbread wrapped with a gilt paper star. The children later see her hanging the stars in the sky. The wind turns, and Mary Poppins takes her leave from the Banks’ employment, flying away on the west wind, held aloft by her umbrella.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 830; Accelerated Reader: 6.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the relationship between the children and Mary Poppins. It teaches about how change can be good and unexpected. The text is 5th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 3rd grade through 5th grade. It explores themes like friendship and adventure.

Note: Mary Poppins is almost always referred to using her whole name. The movie starring Julie Andrews was one of the staples of my childhood. The recent film “Saving Mr. Banks” was all about Disney trying to turn Travers’ novels into the Julie Andrews movie.

Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Keene, Carolyn. Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock. New York: Scholastic, 1930.

Plot Description:
Nancy Drew, 18, wants to help the Turners, who are poor relatives of recently deceased Josiah Crowley. She dislikes his snobbish heirs presumptive, the Tophams. Nancy learns that Crowley hinted that the clue to his will would be found in the family clock. Burgulars broke into the family home and had stolen all the furniture, and they capture Nancy. She hides the clock and is rescued by police. Nancy later gives the Turners the clock and they receive the inheritance.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 760; Accelerated Reader: 5.4

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on Nancy’s adventure involving the mystery. It teaches about how deserving families should be helped. The text is 5th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 3rd grade through 5th grade. It explores themes like mystery and adventure.