HELLO, MY NAME IS… A Fun and FREE Educational Resource!

Author Pronunciation Guide picI recently discovered a fun FREE resource for educators and parents of young readers.  Compiled by TeachingBooks.net, the Author Name Pronunciation Guide is a collection of over 2 ,000 (and growing) one-minute audio recordings of children’s authors and illustrators pronouncing and telling stories about their names. I spent a good thirty minutes just sitting and taking turns listening to some of my kids’ favorite authors sharing a little bit about themselves and their names in these short recorded snippets.

Brief as they are, these recordings are a FABULOUS way to enrich a reading and/or writing lesson because they bring the author’s voice into the classroom in a conversational way that can spark discussion not only about the books they’ve written, but about the meaningfulness of names.  Indeed, I was so enchanted that I added my name and recording to the collection.

To access the collection, visit TeachingBooks.net.  Scroll down the Author and Book Resources tab and select Audio Name Pronunciations.  You will now see the whole collection alphabetized.  Enjoy exploring and listening!

If you are an educator, you might also enjoy exploring the other resources this site offers. For full access, schools must pay a modest licensing fee, but given the richness of resources, I think it would be a delightful investment.  The resources include exclusive Meet-the-Author Movies and Meet-the-Author Book Readings and much, much more!  Samples of various resources are viewable on their website.  Enjoy!


IMG_0764Thank you, Katey Howes, for interviewing me on your blog today.  Join us as we chat about creating extension activities for picture books.  (Oh, and there’s a giveaway!)

GRUNT and SLITHER: Sound and Action Activities for GOODNIGHT, ARK



Sound and Action Activities for GOODNIGHT, ARK

Even littlest ones who aren’t yet fully speaking enjoy pointing to the animals in GOODNIGHT, ARK and making the accompanying animals sounds. Seizing upon that intrinsic love, here are some sound (and action) activities to fully engage littlest readers and build early language skills.

Hiss and Roar:  As you read with your child, go on an animal hunt. Ask simple questions: “Where is the tiger?” or “What’s that?” (as you point to each animal). Let your child touch each animal. Then ask “What sound does the tiger (or sheep etc.) make?” Make the sounds together and have fun.

Stomp and Slither: Enhance the animal exploration by adding simple motions to the animal sounds. For example, a swooping arm for the elephant’s trunk, stomping feet and clawing hands for the tiger, two hands held close to the head for sheep ears, and pinching of the nose for a skunk.  Be creative and enjoy the fun of bringing the animals to life.

Play a game: “Noah Says…”  In this variation of the traditional “Simon says” all the actions are based on animal sounds and motions from the many, many animals featured in GOODNIGHT, ARK.  Example:  “Noah says:  Grunt like a wild boar!” or “Noah says:  Slither like a snake!”  For extra fun, add sounds and motions related to the storm or the creaking boat.  Example:  “Noah says: Boom like thunder” or “Noah says: Tip like the ark!”

Extra, Extra Fun: Add interactive sound and motion elements to each new picture book you read. Have fun!

FUN MAIL: Pre-K Class in PA Celebrates GOODNIGHT, ARK with PIZZAZZ!

photoYesterday, I received a lovely note from Mrs. Riethmuller, a pre-K teacher at the Elfinwild Presbyterian Church Preschool in Allison Park, PA describing how much she and her students have been enjoying “Goodnight, Ark.”

Here are some excerpts from Mrs. Riethmuller’s delightful note, along with pictures that show her class room all decked out “Goodnight, Ark” style!

“I must share with you that the Purple Room is featuring “Goodnight, Ark” for Reading Adventure Days this week. The children are loving your book. We have almost 300 children that will hear it! Your rhymes are clever and, of course, we are familiar with Jane Chapman’s illustrations. This familiar Bible story is FUN!”

“In addition to hearing “Goodnight, Ark”, the children have been able to make a quilt on the felt board, build an ark on the light table, make play dough animals, decorate a lantern, decorate a quilt square to be hung on the wall and enjoy and animal cracker snack! It has been like “Christmas morning” with excitement!!

And now for the pictures!

11128388_10206592798447575_844729744_n The these colorful patterned paintings were inspired by Jane Chapman’s end pages. Didn’t the children do a marvelous job!

Can you spot the copy of “Goodnight, Ark” on the table in the corner surrounded by pairs of animals?  FUN!

11198440_10206592798767583_1141299336_nHanging from the ceiling are the lanterns like the one Noah had in his hand and stars from the cover of the book. The cover letters and stars are also featured the door. The back wall is an ark and the children chose to create boars, skunks, or quail (all embellished with glitter, of course!).

11210239_10206592798927587_614217309_n The last picture shows more Noah’s ark-themed elements. Look closely at the little red dots above the silhouettes of the children and you will notice they are ladybugs! (Also inspired by the end pages.)

Thank you, Mrs. Riethmuller for sending me such a fun note! I just LOVE seeing how you and your students have brought Noah and his ark to life in your classroom. Happy Reading Adventure Days to you and your class!


photoI’m excited because today Susanna Leonard Hill is featuring GOODNIGHT, ARK as the first book for the 2014- 2015 Perfect Picture Book Friday season!  If you head on over there, I also share my thoughts on how Jane Chapman skillfully and artfully uses illustration to add humor and even extra plot details to GOODNIGHT, ARK.  (Oh, and there’s also a giveaway!)