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Book Notes

Jan 27

[ARCHIVED] Week of January 29th, 2021

The original item was published from January 27, 2021 1:54 PM to January 27, 2021 1:55 PM

Hi Outreach Troop!

Hoping everyone is healthy and happy. I had so many different themes on my mind for the month of February. You may not cover them all, but there are several great themes and subjects to celebrate:

Groundhog Day (2nd)
Valentine’s Day
Friendship & Family
National Library Lovers Month
National Tell a Fairy Tale Day (26th)
President’s Day (3rd Monday)
Dental Health 
National Pizza Day (9th)
Black History Month
100th Day of School (This may vary but normally falls in the month of February)

I’ve picked a few of the more popular themes to share some booklists and resources for your classroom. 

I shared some of my favorite Valentine’s Day books and songs with you in my last blog but I found another resource for songs if you need other options click here.


A few other Valentine’s Day activities I found that were unique but cute:

1. Heart Scavenger Hunt: Go on a nature walk and see how many heart shapes you can find like leaves, rocks, signs in store windows. Or hide some heart shaped objects in your classroom and have a hunt!

2. Talk about where and how your human heart works through books, YouTube, etc., remember kids are like sponges, just make it interesting and age appropriate. Teach them how to find their own heartbeat!

3. How about a Heart Taste Test? Gather heart shaped (or make heart shaped) snacks that are sweet, sour, bitter, salty and go over those vocabulary words and discuss while eating your yummy treats.


Miss Shannon’s Favorite Books About Dental Health

How to Catch the Tooth Fairy by Adam Wallace
The Tooth Fairy Wars by Kate Coombs
Open Wide:  Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller
You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
Open Wide! By Tom Barber
The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
The Crocodile and the Dentist by Taro Gomi
At the Dentist by Mari Schuh
Tooth on the Loose by Susan Elya

Preschool Songs About Dental Health

Are Your Teeth Clean and White (Author Unknown)
Sung to: "Do Your Ears Hang Low"

Are your teeth clean and white?
Do you brush them every night?
Do you brush them in the morning?
Do you brush them right?
Do you brush them side to side?
Are your teeth clean and white?
Do you floss them good
To remove the bits of food?
Do you floss them every day?
Like you know you should?
Do you take good care of
The teeth that are there?
Do you floss them good?

Sparkle (Author Unknown)
Sung to: "Twinkle, Twinkle"

Sparkle, sparkle, little teeth,
Some above and some beneath.
Brush them all at every meal,
Clean and fresh they'll always feel.
Sparkle, sparkle, little teeth,
Some above and some beneath.
Floss them, floss them, in between.
Cavities will not be seen!
See your dentist twice a year,
You will grin from ear to ear.
Floss them, floss them, in between,
Cavities will not be seen!
Snacking, snacking, it's okay.
Try it in the proper way.
Eat raw veggies, fruit and cheese.
They will make your mouth say "Please!"
Snacking, snacking, it's okay.
Try it in the proper way.

Click here to find more fun more songs. 

Look for our video with Natalie Burns of Statesville Pediatric Dentistry, coming in February on the library’s Facebook page!


Dental Health Activities & Crafts

Have you ever told your students, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters” or even saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” to your own kids at home? 

Black History Month is sometimes a subject that a lot of parents and teachers tend to shy away from, especially if they’re not black. Not because it’s not important, but because they may feel uncomfortable or even unqualified discussing it. Black History is Our History, really. In the past, historians ignored or diminished the accomplishments of Black Americans so Black History Month is a way of shining a light on and celebrating the accomplishments of Black people. 

We sometimes feel uncomfortable recognizing race and skin color because this seems to be one of those subjects that adults have considered rude or not to be talked about. But children don’t know that there are topics that are “off limits” and really, there is no reason for the topic of race to be off limits. Children notice and we want to be honest in their observation and if we don’t have a conversation, we are, unconsciously, sending them a message of shame about skin colors. The best approach, the honest approach, is to recognize with them, “yes, skin color, hair color and eye color vary a lot between people.” And what’s on the outside doesn’t tell you about what people are like on the inside. If you have ever overheard an adult make a judgmental comment on someone’s appearance based on weight, age, skin tone, or hair color, for instance, you probably wouldn’t hesitate to discuss with your child that this is rude. It is never okay to pass judgement on someone else’s appearance. But it is perfectly okay for children to notice our differences and it is our job to guide them in celebrating these differences rather than assigning labels to them. 

Most may think it’s too early to discuss differences in skin color and race with children of preschool age. Actually, at this age, it’s the perfect time to bring up an age appropriate conversation with your child or class after reading diverse books such as “These Hands” by Margaret Mason or “We March” by Shane Evans. You may want to ask them what happened in the story and go over vocabulary words like: march, freedom and discrimination.

Truth is, babies as young as 6 months old start to recognize differences in skin color. By the age of 4, children start to show their own racial bias therefore we must start early with education and discussion. Even before babies can understand what we’re saying, we can teach through our actions. Children are full of curiosity and notice the difference especially if they haven’t been exposed to diverse environments. It’s a good idea for parents to expose their children to diverse backgrounds at a young age through books, play, activities and events. Seeing their parents interact with different races and ethnic backgrounds is also helpful. 

As they get older, it’s normal for little ones to speak out about noticeable differences like skin color. They may start to say things like, “Why is his skin brown?” We can’t look over this or act as if we don’t hear it or even try to hush the child. It’s at this time we need to tell the child yes, he does have nice brown skin. People have many different colors of skin, some are light like ours and some are darker, trying to speak in a calming positive voice so the child doesn’t think you’re upset with them for making the observation. Observation and notice to detail are 2 skills we all need to possess to be successful in the world around us.   

Some preschool children will form bias against other children after noticing differences in skin color and hair texture. Saying things like “We can be best friends because our skin is the same color.” Or even they can’t be friends with another child because of their dark skin color. As teachers it’s probably a good idea to talk to the class as a whole, that way every child hears that’s not the way to be a good friend. We must treat each other with respect and kindness (2 more vocab words) and never want to hurt our friends by saying hurtful things. Reaffirm that differences make us beautiful and unique, there’s nothing wrong with that. The world would be boring if everyone looked the very same. 

Please make sure you are incorporating diverse books, toys and activities into your curriculum regularly. Children need to see themselves AND others in the books they read. Having a discussion time may be uncomfortable at times but needed for children this age. You don’t have to be an expert on race to have those discussions, just be sure to answer as honestly as you can and on an age appropriate level they can understand. It’s okay to say, let’s discuss that a little later on or we’ll get back to that question, if you’re unsure of the correct answer. The more you learn and experience yourself, you’ll be able to teach them. It’s not just a one-time deal but definitely a subject that needs to be discussed in different ways on a regular basis.

Check out these awesome picture books by black authors that I LOVE!

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry
Saturday by Oge Mora
What If by Samantha Berger
You Matter by Christian Robinson
Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy
I Believe I Can by Grace Byers
I Promise by LeBron James
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes
Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Nana Akua Goes to School by Tricia Elam Walker
Red Shoes by Karen English
Thank You Omu by Oge Mora
Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe
Honeysmoke by Monique Fields
Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin
I Am Enough by Grace Byers
Princess Hair by Sharee Miller
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

These books can also be checked out through our Express Books Service! Find the link for institutions here.

Websites with Black History activities and craft ideas you may find useful:

If you would like to know what resources I used for this blog or need additional information on how to discuss diversity, race and racism with children please check out these websites:

I hope this blog is helps and please remember to email or call me with any questions, concerns or ideas for future blogs. And most of all know that WE GOT THIS!

Lots of Love,

Miss Shannon