Happy Birthday to Hans Christian Andersen who was born in Denmark on April 2, 1805. He was zany and lanky and an amazing writer who is best known and loved for his timeless fairy tale classics. If your students are interested in learning about Andersen's life, read The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen by Jane Yolen.
Andersen's fairy tales are great for read-alouds, but you may want to preview them first as some are rather melancholoy. You will find a grand collection of Andersen's tales at Project Gutenberg for free.
Our favorite compilation is Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger.
The book is beautifully illustrated and includes the following stories:
A few other books we have owned and enjoyed are
Andersen writes poetically and descriptively, making his stories a good choice for copywork. I have compiled sixteen quotes from various translations of Anderson's stories.
Please save these copywork pages for a child who has heard Andersen's stories before so the child will understand the context of the quotes.
If your are searching for more copywork, check out my FREE Copywork Pages board on Pinterest.
If you'd like to celebrate other birthdays this month, check out iHN's Birthday Lessons in April Page.
Elijah and I decided we should ramp up the science in 7th and 8th grades in order to prepare him for high school science. For 8th grade Elijah chose to focus his science study on chemistry.
This was not exactly what I would consider a delight-directed study, but he was definitely interested in chemistry as his friend's dad is a professor of this subject at a local university. He watched the Chemistry 101 DVDs and read through Exploring the World of Chemistry by John Tiner. These two resources were a great starting point for him, but I wanted to add some living books and some reference books to his study. Reading is Elijah's strength, and he retains more information when it is presented through a living book. Living books make the learning real and relevant.
We added one reference books and four living books to his study:
The Elements by Theodore Gray
This reference book is perfect for visual learners as it includes "an eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table."
The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin D. Wiker
"Leads the reader on a delightful and absorbing journey through the ages, on the trail of the elements of the Periodic Table as we know them today. He introduces the young reader to people like Von Helmont, Boyle, Stahl, Priestly, Cavendish, Lavoisier, and many others, all incredibly diverse in personality and approach, who have laid the groundwork for a search that is still unfolding to this day."
Robert Boyle: Trailblazer of Science by John Tiner
Robert Boyle is known as the "Father of Modern Chemistry." This book chronicles his life and faith as the most important scientist of his day.
Who Was Marie Curie? by Megan Stine
"Born in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867, Marie Curie was forbidden to attend the male-only University of Warsaw, so she enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris to study physics and mathematics. There she met a professor named Pierre Curie, and the two soon married, forming one of the most famous scientific partnerships in history. Together they discovered two elements and won a Nobel Prize in 1903."
The Wonder Book of Chemistry by Jean Henri Fabre
"Starting with a mixture of iron filings and sulphur, Uncle Paul awakens in his young nephews an eagerness to learn more about the properties of the elements. Through a series of carefully-devised experiments and conversations about the experiments, he leads the boys to an understanding of some of the basic principles of chemistry."
(All quotes are taken from reviews from Amazon.)
Elijah is currently finishing up his 8th grade year, so I am going to go ahead and share his reading list. As always we both chose books for this list. I give him a list at the beginning of the year, and he adds to it based on his interests and authors he enjoys.
Please use PluggedIn and Common Sense Media to find reviews that include specific details about sex, profanity, violence, spiritual beliefs presented, etc. The 7th and 8th grade reading lists include more mature content than the elementary lists.
Earthquake at Dawn by Kristina Gregory
Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic
The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz
Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese-American Evacuation by Yoshiko Uchida
Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China by Janet & Geoff Benge
C. S. Lewis: Master Storyteller by Janet & Geoff Benge
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin*
The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman*
Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt*
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare*
Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes*
Dragon's Gate by Laurence Yep
Stowaway by Karen Hesse
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse*
The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner
The Prospering by Elizabeth George Speare
The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell*
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus*
Nory Ryan’s Song by Patriica Reilly Giff
The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley*
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt*
The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird
Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman*
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead*
The White Mountains by Christopher John
Savvy by Ingrid Law*
Scumble by Ingrid Law
Switch by Ingrid Law
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Extraordinary Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White
*Newbery Award or Honor Book
What books has your 8th grader enjoyed?
If you are looking for more lists for kids who love to read, please check out my Reading Lists for Voracious Readers page.