What do you do if you can't fix a broken doughnut making machine with tons of batter inside? What do you do after there are more than a thousand doughnuts and they just keep coming? What do you do if a rich lady has lost her diamond bracelet and it is inside of one of the doughnuts? If you're Homer Price, then your uncle has left you alone in the middle of this crisis and you have to find a way out of it! But that won't be a problem, because he's handled a skunk, four bank robbers, a 6' ball of string, and helped 100 families find their homes in the new subdivision where all 100 houses look exactly alike. - Melissa
Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.
The comic genius of Robert McCloskey and his wry look at small-town America has kept readers in stitches for generations!
Please note that a brief synopsis of many of the books included here are provided in our Library Builders section. Study guides for the same book are often available from several publishers, so we found it more efficient to give a description of the book only once.
Just the right stuff! Thats what youll be thinking as you use this warm and inviting reading program from Memoria Press. The guides are well-organized, user-friendly, academically challenging, and graphically pleasing. Memoria believes that reading is not a passive activity, but that it requires an active, discriminating mind, one that has been challenged to think, compare, and contrast. That philosophy is evident in these guides.
Student Guides are consumable at the lower levels, providing space for the student to write. Each book/story/ poem is approached in much the same way, although with increasing depth vocabulary, comprehension and discussion questions, quotations, composition, and miscellaneous literary analysis activities (sequencing, literary terms, dictation, poetry connections, etc.). Upper level books (Gr. 2 and up) are organized around the Trivium, and activities are grouped into Pre- Grammar (preparation prior knowledge or experience), Grammar (presentation essential facts, elements, and features), Logic (dialectic reasons with the facts, elements, and features), and Rhetoric (expression explains in own words with supporting details). Although there is consistency from lesson to lesson, there is also an extra activity provided with each lesson, and these are quite varied. Background information on the author and book is included. Several high school level guides have transitioned to Second Editions, which are smaller-format (6"x 9") with a focus on student activities without lined spaces. Students would record their work in a separate notebook.
Teacher Guides provide valuable teaching information and full-text answer keys at all grade levels. Beyond this there are variances within the guides. Discussion talking points, reproducible quizzes and final tests (with answers) are included in numerous guides especially at the upper levels. The first grade program (StoryTime Treasures and More StoryTime Treasures) differs a little bit in content due to the lower grade level. The second-grade level includes pre- and post-reading exercises that focus on continued phonics development, syllabication and vocabulary for the emerging independent reader. For grades 2-9, we are now offering literature guide only packages that include all the student and teacher guides for each grade, no books. ~ Janice
These literature-based unit study curriculum guides are so named because you spend five days in a row (a full week; one day for each subject area) using a particular children's book as the theme for multiple academic subject areas. Five in a Row (FIAR) Volumes 1-3 cover social studies and character, language arts, math, science, and art through 15-21 children's books. The literature selections, primarily picture books, contain positive moral values reflecting Biblical values. Christian content is not incorporated in Volumes 1-3, but is available separately in a Christian Character & Bible Study Supplement. Five in a Row Vol. 4 is for slightly older students (Grades 2-4) and features fewer books, some of which are stretched to two weeks of lessons. Christian content is included in the Volume 4 guide.
Before Five in a Row takes the same concept, but simplifies it for ages 2-4, with multiple activities provided for each book, but not as structured between days of the week.
Beyond Five in a Row is the next step up (for Grades 3+), and these guides are structured around chapter books. Activities at this level incorporate history, geography, science, language arts and fine arts with Christian Character and Bible content available separately.
What is a "unit study"? Briefly, it's a thematic or topical approach to teaching as opposed to the traditional by-subject approach. Rather than teach each subject separately, a unit study attempts to integrate many or all subject areas into a unified study - usually centered around a particular subject or event. Obviously History (the study of events) and Science (the study of "things") are well-suited to unit studies, and usually form the "core" around which other subjects are integrated. Subjects like Bible, Geography, Government, English (writing), and Reading/Literature, Music, Home Economics, Life Skills, and Art, are usually easy to integrate around a core topics. Remaining subjects (Math, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling) can be integrated to some extent via related activities. Each, however, has its own "system" (progression of skills, mastery of "rules") which must be followed to some degree. Since one of the additional advantages of a unit study curriculum is the ability to use it with students of varying ages and skill levels, these subjects are generally taught apart from the core curriculum. This may be as simple as assigning pages in a grammar or spelling book, or using a separate "program" for Phonics and Math. Unit studies also tend to be more activity-oriented than the traditional approach, a real boon to kinesthetic learners. Advocates of the unit study approach site studies showing that children learn best when learning is unified rather than fragmented and when learning is more participatory than passive.
Note: A new 2020 edition is coming soon. The core of the program remains the same; however, some lessons have been switched for new lessons with a different focus and the length of each lesson is now standardized. The layout of the program has also changed and some of the historical images have been updated with high- quality photos. Part One will cover roughly the same material with a few changes. In Part Two, five lessons from the first few units have been omitted and five new lessons have been added at the end to cover current events since the last printing. There have also been two changes to the literature package: "Indian Child Life" by Charles Eastman has taken the place of "The Sign of the Beaver" and "Katy’s Box" by Mary Evelyn Notgrass McCurdy is used instead of "Katy". Because of the changes, the new books will not be compatible with the old books; however, Notgrass will make the consumable books for the old edition available for purchase as digital downloads.
History is only the beginning of what this well-planned and user-friendly curriculum from the Notgrass family has to offer. The history is there, of course, in two large (about 500 pgs each) hardcover Texts. Part 1 takes the reader from the Native American nations (excellent coverage, by the way) through Reconstruction; Part 2 covers from the late 1800s to the present. The same comfortable readability weve seen in other Notgrass courses is divided into daily lessons (150) and grouped into weekly units (30). If youre emphasizing Americas beauty, it helps to have full-color pictures among the carefully selected artwork, and they do! Each unit is introduced by a short overview and a list of the lessons and books needed. Accompanying activities for each lesson might include "thinking biblically" (scripture copywork or Bible study), vocabulary, map study (weekly), literature (readings from We the People along with other suggested readings), creative writing, timeline work, and a family activity (more about these later). Each lesson also includes optional assignments for the Student Workbook or the Lesson Review book. If this sounds like a lot, keep in mind that this course only really needs a little additional grammar study to be social studies, Bible, and language arts all in one.
The Curriculum Set includes the two texts mentioned above as well as We the People and a comprehensive answer key along with both the Maps and the Timeline books (six books total). The original source reader that accompanies each Notgrass course is one of my favorite parts. We the People provides the same variety books and stories, newspaper articles, documents, poems, journals, memoirs and biographies, speeches, letters, and songs as their other courses, and skimming through it took me for a trip down memory lane and long ago classroom recitations. Its obvious that creative planning went into the family activities provided for each unit and found in the back of each text. Family Commemorative Coins, a Cupcake Factory, an Erie Canal diorama, and a Liberty Bell mosaic give an idea of the breadth of ideas.
Its hard to imagine a thorough study of American history without good map and timeline work. There are no worries here! Maps of America the Beautiful provides both a high quality map and accompanying assignments for each weekly unit. Corresponding to the chronological development of our country, youll find the expected maps (colonies, westward expansion, battles, etc.) but also some more unusual sets Americas Islands, for example. Youll want a quality set of colored pencils (the authors recommend Prismacolor pencils and I second this) red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, black, gray, and brown to complete the map assignments. Timeline of America the Beautiful provides an enjoyable timeline-creating experience. Arranged vertically (what a great idea!) on the page, each page depicts a ten-year slice of American life. Some events are noted already, but others are to be carefully written by the student as part of daily and weekly assignments (lines are provided). As space permits, high-quality line-art pictures are provided which can be colored (another use for those Prismacolors).
Two optional supplements coordinate with the course. The Student Workbook provides an activity page for each lesson. Offering plenty of variety, activities include crosswords, word searches, matching, rebus stories, fill-in-the-blanks, illustrations, multiple-choice and more. The Lesson Review book provides five questions for daily review and for literature selections as well as unit quizzes. Answers to both of these books and the timeline book are found in the Answer Key. ~ Janice