Children Exploring Their World: Theme Teaching in Elementary School

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Children Exploring Their World is the first book on theme teaching to review comprehensively the existing literature on themes, cover the full range of different kinds of themes, and advocate the value of teachers enlarging their own knowledge of the topics they want their students to study as themes.

Engaging and reader-friendly, this book provides a rationale for themes, a thorough explanation of a variety of themes and ways to put them together, and a series of examples of themes in action in K-6 classrooms. Readers will gain an appreciation of different approaches to theme teaching and an understanding of the different kinds of themes (i.e., content area, conceptual, calendar based, form, biographical). The author presents ways in which themes can be created in the classroom and describes the stages of assembling and carrying out a theme. The book also includes detailed examples, written by classroom teachers, of themes in action.

Richly illustrated, the book will be invaluable for any K-6 teacher interested in integrating themes into the classroom, as well as reading and learning disabilities specialists, curriculum supervisors and developers, and college instructors teaching courses in language arts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A mouthwatering confection that might bring back the taste and smell of why you chose a career in education in the first place . . . I think executive educators as well as teachers should have access to [this book].”–Executive Educator
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435088040
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/18/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 278
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Walmsley is a Professor in the Reading Department at the State University of New York at Albany. He has taught in the United Kingdom and in the US in both elementary and secondary schools. For the past 15 years, he has been working closely with a small number of school districts helping teachers rethink their K-8 language arts programs. Sean received his B.A. and M.A. in History at Trinity College, Dublin University (Ireland), and his Ed.D. in Reading at Harvard University. For the past four years, Sean has been researching the teaching and learning of literature in elementary and middle schools, funded through a federal grant to the National Center for the Teaching and Learning of Literature at SUNY-Albany.
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Table of Contents

Theory and Practice of Teaching Through Themes

Themes in Action, Grades K-6

Insects: A Kindergarten Theme, B. Walmsley & A. M. Camp

Fish Hatchery: A First Grade Theme, D. Fabian, M. E. Gaddy, & M. Wertime

Indian Land: A Second Grade Theme, C. McNall

Human Body: A Third Grade Theme, P. Brumbaugh

Architecture of Kinderhook, New York: A Third and Fourth Grade Theme, J. Fingar & D. Beaudry

Whales: A Fourth and Fifth Grade Theme, M. Capabianco

Westward Movement: A Fifth Grade Theme, J. K. Paulson

Egyptian Mummies: A Sixth Grade Theme, T. Willcox Schnabl

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