Wednesday, 05 November 2014 13:18

Reading Rainbow: Germs Make Me Sick!


 Reading Rainbow: Germs Make Me Sick!

We share our world with millions of micro-organisms. Germs Make Me Sick explains what germs are, how bacteria and viruses affect the human body, and how the body fights them. Using a microscope, LeVar discovers what germs really look like and talks to lab scientists about habits that can keep us healthy. A visit to an organic farm illustrates how micro-organisms are important to growing food.

You may download the entire 30 minute program including the book segment: Germs Make Me Sick or specific segments (see links below) with Windows Media Player (for Windows or Mac).

Mystery Germs Search (4:29): LeVar goes on a mysterious search in a swampy area for some interesting characters; he finds them-- micro-organisms-- as he looks at swamp water under a microscope in a lab. Then kids explain what they think germs look like and what they do.
Feature Book Segment: "Germs Make Me Sick!" by Melvin Berger. Due to copyright restrictions, this segment is available only as part of the entire video (see above).
Visit the Medical Lab (6:26): LeVar learns how to grow a culture and all about mold from Beverly, a medical technologist. Then there is an animation about how the body's defense team works.
Visit the Farm (4:33): A worker at the Al Johnson Watershed Organic Farm shows how they use bacteria to help in organic farming.
Book Review Segment (5:28): Discover other great books about health, science, and microscopes.

Curriculum Enrichment Ideas:
Is there such a thing as a “good” microbe? Lesson Plan

There are microorganisms everywhere in our world. Some of these microorganisms cause disease and are classified as germs. Many are beneficial and are necessary for healthy plants and animals. In this lesson students will learn about microbes (good & bad) and get a handle on the fact that microbes are necessary for our living environment.

Germs Make Me Sick! Teachers Guide PDF
Germs Make Me Sick! Science Activities PDF

Family Activities:
Germs Make Me Sick! Family Activites PDF

Student Activities:
Watch Tim and Moby in the Bacteria Movie from BrainPop.
Check out KidsHealth.Org: What are Germs?
Compost Quiz

Related Resources:
EEK! Our Earth: Recycling Resource



Tuesday, 04 November 2014 18:58

Reading Rainbow: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin


 Reading Rainbow: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

The feature book explores how rhyming, melodies and mathematics help combine sounds of different instruments, making music fun — and fun music. Taking a trip to New York City’s Julliard School of Music, LeVar finds out how orchestra members combine their sounds, and work as a team under the leadership of the conductor. Then STOMP, a percussion performance group, demonstrates how it incorporates creativity, expression, rhythm, dance and self-expression in a team effort that’s very active and entertaining.

You may download the entire 30 minute program including the book segment: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin or specific segments (see links below) with Windows Media Player (for Windows or Mac).

Feature Book Segment: "Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin" by Lloyd Moss. Due to copyright restrictions, is available only as part of the entire video (see above).
Visit to Julliard Segment (6:43): Host LaVar Burton introduces us to Conductor Eugene Becker of the Juliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra.
STOMP (7:34): Rhythm in Action
Book Review Segment and LaVar Plays with the Orchestra (6:05): Discover other great books about music and instruments, and watch LaVar play with the Julliard Chamber Orchestra.

Curriculum Enrichment Ideas:
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin Teachers Guide PDF
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin Math Guide PDF
Eduscapes Literature Learning Ladders: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
PBS Jazz Kids Lessons Page

Family Activities:
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin Family Activities PDF

Student Activities:
PBS Jazz Kids
Check out the Science of Music at Exploratorium

Related Resources:
STOMP Online
The Juilliard School



 Reading Rainbow: Changing the World One Idea at a Time

Subject Areas:
Social Studies, English Language Arts

4, 5

Two days plus one week of homework time

Essential Question:
What does someone do with an idea?

Student Materials:

  • Access to the Internet
  • Presentation materials (poster board, craft materials, etc.)or computer with word processing, graphics and presentation software.

Teacher Materials:
Reading Rainbow: Lemonade for Sale Program Information

The class will watch Lemonade for Sale and then discuss “for profit” and “not for profit” businesses, focusing on how to take an idea and put it into action. Use Teaching Kids Business: Business Basics to teach terminology, practices and implementation ideas. As always, the teachers should review web site privacy policies and content before directing students to sites.

Students should develop an idea that they would like to see put into action (made into a business service or product). Students could use Just For Clicks Business Game to begin developing their ideas about their business.

Students should create a marketing message or “sales pitch” for their business. Students should consider the advice provided by Teaching Kids Business: Marketing Basics. Students can utilize any resources to enhance their presentation (such as images, audio, video, PowerPoint, costumes, and charts). Their idea has to be one of their own.

Students should create a flowchart of the service or product they will provide to indicate how they could make money or help others. (This may be accomplished with or without the use of a computer.)

Students will create a mission or vision statement as to how their product or service will benefit others. (The mission statement briefly explains the thrust of your business. It could be two words, two sentences, or a paragraph. It should be as direct and focused as possible. It should leave the reader with a clear picture of what your business is all about.)

Students will work on their presentation enhancements (posters, charts, picture of product, flowchart of service, and mission statement)

Extension Ideas:
Have students consider the difficulties faced by those trying to open businesses during the Great Depression. Students should read about the beginnings of Vidler's 5 & 10.

Students should build a Great Depression business by considering the following questions:

  • What products and services would be needed during the Great Depression?
  • How do the products and services needed today compare to the products and services needed during the Depression?
  • Who will your business benefit? What is the income level of the population your business benefits?
  • Where is the best place to locate your business? Why?
  • How will you determine what to charge for your item or service? What system of payment will exsist for your business? Will you accept credit or barter items?
  • Why do you think your business will be successful?

Students will be assessed on the presentation of their idea. The presentation could be a computer presentation (PowerPoint), oral presentation, poster, video, or other (see what they come up with). The teacher could create a rubric assessing the effectiveness of their presentation at Rubistar.

Local Resources:
Vidler's 5 & 10 located in East Aurora, NY.


Tuesday, 04 November 2014 18:10

Reading Rainbow: Lemonade for Sale


 Reading Rainbow: Lemonade for Sale

In this math-based episode, we meet host LeVar Burton on the floor of the stock exchange (under the big board). Featuring a book about the “Elm Street Kids’ Club’s” lemonade stand, the show explores big and small businesses and gives viewers a closer look at the economics of running a business.

You may download the entire 30 minute program including the book segment: Lemonade for Sale or specific segments (see links below) with Windows Media Player (for Windows or Mac).

Introduction (2:18): Host LaVar Burton introduces to Wall Street in New York City and talks about entreprenuers.
Feature Book Segment: "Lemonade for Sale" by Tricia Tusa and Stuart Murphy. Due to copyright restrictions, is available only as part of the entire video (see above).
Stock Market Segment (2:29): LaVar explain abouts stocks and the stock market.
Field Trip Segment - Nantucket Nectar (7:28): Meet Tom & Tom, the two entreprenuers who started the juice company Nantucket Nectar. Learn how "selling something cool" turned into "one hot business."
Field Trip Segment - Dress for Success (6:30): "Dress for Success is a not-for-profit company that gives suits or office clothes to women going on job interviews." Learn how a not-for-profit business is established.
Book Review Segment (3:44):Discover other great books about entreprenuership, making money, and overcoming obstacles.


Curriculum Enrichment Ideas:

Changing the World One Idea at a Time In this lesson, students will create their own business. Grades 3-5

Lemonade for Sale Teachers Guide PDF

Family Activities:

Lemonade for Sale Family Activities PDF

Student Activities:

Wally OneShare Stock Tracker Game: Learn about the Stock Market using real time stock prices. Grades 4-8

Teaching Kids Business: Just for Clicks Business Game: Use your imagination and think of something really great. This is your chance to create something of your own. You never know where this will lead you in business! Grades 3-8

Lemonade Stand Game from Cool Math 4 Kids


Tuesday, 04 November 2014 15:45

Reading Rainbow: Achieving Your Dreams


 Reading Rainbow: Achieving Your Dreams

This lesson plan is to be used with the Reading Rainbow episode Uncle Jed's Barber Shop. You can find the entire program and related resources on the Reading Rainbow: Uncle Jed's Barber Shop page.

Subject Areas:
English Language Arts, Character Education

3, 4, 5

1 class period - with revisits throughout the school year

Essential Question:
How does someone achieve their dreams?

Student Materials:
3x5 cards, markers, and paper clips

Teacher Materials:

Reading Rainbow: Uncle Jed's Barber Shop Program Information

To Achieve Your Dreams, Remember Your ABC's Poem video

Wall/Bulletin Board, 3x5 cards, markers, paper clips, thumbtacks, tape

This lesson is about motivating students to achieve. They will write about one of their dreams and commit to a dream for the year (hopefully for longer).

This lesson is designed to be implemented at the beginning of the school year or semester.

As a class, we will watch “To Achieve Your Dreams, Remember Your ABCs” and then we will watch the Reading Rainbow episode – focusing upon the book "Uncle Jed’s Barbershop" and the video segment about the Persuasions (Requires Windows Media Player for Windows or Mac).

After the lesson, as a class we will brainstorm some characteristics that the characters in the book and the singers had in common to achieve their dreams.

Students will participate in an exercise that will allow them to focus on their dreams and gain a belief that anything is possible. Each student will write down one dream on one side of a 3x5 card. On the back of the card, they will write down some ideas or things that they can do to begin achieving their dreams (read a book, talk to a person, go to practice, etc…)

In the classroom, create a small “Wall of Dreams”. Hang the 3x5 cards up on the wall (for privacy – students may use envelopes) When the students accomplish something that leads them closer to their dreams, they will hang them up, clipping a new 3x5 card to their dream card. Kids will be encouraged to recreate this at home as a reminder.

Discuss the importance of setting goals to fufill ones' dreams.

Every time a student does something to get one step closer the teacher will write about it in their classroom newsletter – telling people of their accomplishments.

Throughout the year the students will revisit the wall.

Find a family member that achieved their dreams and write about their important story of commitment, perseverance and maybe a little risk.

Students will not be assessed on their dream itself, but will be monitored to see that they at least do 2 things throughout the year to lead them closer to the achievement of their dream.