Friday, June 25, 2004

School Libraries on the Web: A Directory

School Libraries on the Web: A Directory. A growing international directory of school library web pages. The US category also lists school library and media center pages by state and city, school district library pages, resource sharing networks and state libraries.

From the site:

This is a list of library web pages maintained by K-12 school libraries in the United States and in countries around the world. This directory is limited to listing pages which focus on the school library/media center. The content of these pages is quite varied and displays the marvelous creativity of school librarians around the world.
hand If you would like your school library page listed here, please write to Linda Bertland at

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Picture Books as a Social Studies Resource in the Elementary School Classroom

Picture Books as a Social Studies Resource in the Elementary School Classroom. This ia an essay which shows how many kids books can be used to teach history and other related subjects.

From the site:

As we enter the "information age," our need to process volumes of data quickly and efficiently increases. The adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" suggests the expressive power of images. Elements of design--line, shape, color, value, and space--are the lexicon of images. Organized and ordered by the design principles--balance, emphasis, harmony, variety, gradation, movement, rhythm, and proportion--an image's expressive qualities are determined by these factors. Visual literacy, the ability to comprehend meaning in images, requires critical viewing skills. Unlike moving images, images in picture books allow the sustained viewing time necessary for developing critical viewing skills through exploration, critique, and reflection. Although commonly considered part of the literary arts, picture books are useful tools for teaching many abstract and complex concepts of the social studies at the elementary level.


Images may function as allegories which provide intuitive understanding of complex events or relationships. A powerful image may become a mental "bookmark" of a historic event by capturing and freezing the essence of the represented event in visual allegory. Critical viewing will reveal not only the facts of the event, but also the artist's bias or point of view which either concurs with or stands in contrast to pervasive public opinion of the event. A two-volume series--"Photos that Made U.S. History, Volume I: From the Civil War to the Atomic Age," and "Volume II: From the Cold War to the Space Age," both by Edward and Daniel Wakin (1993, Walker & Company)--presents bookmark historic images followed by text which sets the scene, introduces the photographer, and describes how each photograph shaped public sentiment and government policies. Photographs, posters, paintings, and primary documents from the archives of the Library of Congress are organized in a series of thematic books by Martin W. Sandler: "Pioneers" (1994), "Cowboys" (1994), "Civil War" (1996), and "Immigrants" (1995, HarperCollins Publishers).

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Smithsonian Office of Education

The Smithsonian Office of Education. Professional development for teachers, lesson plans and teaching resources for grades 4-9.

From the site:

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies provides leadership in education at the Smithsonian and produces a variety of programs, services, and resources for the education and museum communities. The Center studies education at the Institution and builds consensus on standards for strengthening its educational programs, publications, and websites.

This website is a collective effort by staff of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. Design and production were done by web firm AKQA.