Oct / Nov 2018

Can't-Miss Teaching Extras

Keep the learning going with additional videos, book recommendations, discussion starters, and more! 

Saving the Dolphins

When dolphins like these are in danger, this amazing man comes to their rescue.

Dolphins in Action!

Show your students this 4-minute video Hardy Jones shot of dolphins happily swimming in the Bahamas. We predict they’ll be mesmerized by the sights and amused by the sounds. For a social-studies connection, show your students where the Bahamas is in relation to the United States by exploring it on Google Maps.

Using Maps in the Classroom 

As a class, explore this interactive map of endangered species from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  It lets you click on your state to see what endangered species live there and what's being done to help them.

Class Pet?

If after reading the story, your students are inspired to do their part to help save dolphins, consider adopting a dolphin from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The Ghost of Specter Elementary

Mia isn’t interested in making new friends—until she meets a ghost!

About the Author

Did you know that Lauren Magaziner was an editor at Storyworks? She left to pursue writing full-time, and she’s had lots of success! Check out her new choose-your-own-adventure series “Case Closed”.

A Ghostly Connection

Got any Harry Potter fans? Ask students to make connections between the ghost of Specter Elementary and Moaning Myrtle, the student-turned-ghost who haunted the girls' bathroom at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The Fight for What's Right

Until the 1940s, many Mexican- American kids in California weren’t allowed to go to school with white kids. Eight-year-old Sylvia Mendez helped change that.

Sharing Personal Experiences

Play this 2-minute StoryCorps interviewbetween Sylvia and her younger sister, Sandra. Listen to Sandra tell the story of when she discovered her family had made civil-rights history. Shockingly, she didn’t learn about their legacy until she was in college!

Further Reading

Learn even more about Sylvia’s story by sharing with your students the fantastic picture book Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Sylvia Today

Sylvia grew up to be a pediatric nurse. In California there’s an elementary school named after her, and a high school named after her parents.

Connect with Sylvia

To learn more about Sylvia, connect with her on social media or have her speak to your students.

Talen's Got Talent

How one boy copes with stuttering--and steals the show

SEL Alert!

This story offers an excellent opportunity to discuss stuttering with your students. Ask your class if they know anyone who stutters and how the story helped them better understand stuttering.

Even More Context!

Check out the kids of SAY (and founder Taro Alexander) in this 3.5-minute video about their summer camp. Your students will see how much they have in common with them and how their stutter is one small part of what makes them unique.

Related Content

This 5-minute Today Show clip about how a woman’s stutter affected her childhood, and how she’s found her confidence in spite of it, will help your students empathize even more with those who stutter.

Who Has Seen the Wind?

This poem captures the mystery of an event you can feel but not see

Secret Namesake

Did you know Christina Rossetti wrote other poems under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne?

Further Reading

We found this poem in A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children by Caroline Kennedy. Consider adding this wonderful collection to your classroom library.

Poetry in the Classroom

This app is guaranteed to engage your students! Your students will have another super-engaging way to write their own poetry as they apply concepts taught in class.

Death by.... Chili Pepper?

Read this before you take a bite!

Fun Fact

Back in 1912, pharmacist Wilbur Scoville invented the Scoville heat scale to measure a pepper’s hotness. For instance, your basic bell pepper has 0 Scoville Heat Units, while a jalapeno pepper can have 50,000! Show your students this infographic that breaks down where all peppers fall on the Scoville Scale.

Impact of Peppers

For a laugh: This viral video of a boys’ choir in Denmark singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” after popping a mega-hot ghost pepper will show your students the wild physical effects of heat! (The action kicks in around 1:30.)

Science Connection

If your students ever eat a pepper that’s too hot, tell them not to drink water. Instead, go for milk, or even ice cream--those contain a protein that breaks down the spice-producing capsaicin in the pepper.

Beach of Glass

Where nature has turned piles of trash into treasure


Underwater View


Here’s a cool view of the beach from the perspective of a scuba diver, 50 feet below. This nearly 8-minute video gets really interesting around the 2:30 mark when funky, colorful fish start to appear.


On the Scene

After reading the story, show your students the first photo in this photo gallery for them to envision what the town of Fort Bragg was like in the 1960s.


Try This!

For a cool science project, have students tumble rocks to smooth and polish them like the ocean does. Since rock tumblers are pretty pricey, try this easy DIY version that only requires a jar, water, sand, and rocks.

Finding Sea Glass

Which color sea glass is easiest to find? What will you almost never see? This poster shows the range, from extremely rare to common.