Pivotal Kids' Books


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Booklists of kids books

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Get news of the latest games, book reviews, articles and more that have been added to the website. 






Getting Involved in Your child's Education

When parents are involved in their children's education, kids do better in school.1. Want to learn how to help your child achieve and succeed? Read on! You'll learn why involvement is so important and suggestions for how to get involved.

Looking at the processes and actions embedded within various team and individual sports is a great way to get exposed to concepts and ideas from physics, engineering, and any other number of basic and applied sciences.


Watch a video of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter


Classroom Management

 "FREE 10-Part Mini-Course Helps You Get The Most From The Worst Class In School"

Pivotal Gold Members request this for free.  Not a member?  Join here and then request the free course. 



Find out about plants with Zip the bee

This interactive activity provides information about the different parts of a plant, the plant life cycle and pollination.










Angela Maiers puzzle lesson

Angela Maiers demonstrates to 1st grade students how piecing together a puzzle is similar to being a great reader  

For children, sight word recognition is an important step to being able to efficiently learn to read. If they don’t have to stop and consider what each word is, they will have the freedom to comprehend the meaning and context of sentences and paragraphs.
Consequently, it’s critical for parents, babysitters, guardians, grandparents and educators to help beginning readers


Share the World

Share the World is an educational programme designed to help students better understand and appreciate the animal kingdom. The site provides worksheets and assembly ideas.

Indian in the Cupboard Study Guide


Omri receives several conventional gifts for his ninth birthday, including  longed-for skateboard. However, two gifts you would expect to be of least interest to a young boy prove to be magical and exciting. Suitable for primary aged students this study guide has learning outcomes in key learning areas such as English, Art and Society and Environment.

Quizlet is similar in concept to flashcards, but much more interactive. You can create short quizzes then choose from a range of activities to perform the quiz, share it with others or a select group or class.


Kids in the Kitchen


Scarlett’s Yummy Fairy Cakes


Mapping our world
Discover a unique perspective on the world with this interactive whiteboard resource for ages 8-14.



Backyard Buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, waterways,  backyards and parks. Backyard buddies are also the people who value native animals  and plants, and want to protect and help them.

















Teaching Outside the Box:


How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains


by LouAnne Johnson


This book is a must for beginning teachers and for pros who need new ideas. It combines street smart practicality with the creative thinking we need to reach kids today.



Where in the world have Australians served?



Explore this interactive map to work out where in the world Australian
servicemen and service women have served in both peace and war. It is part of the ANZAC Adventures Series of Interactives produced by Ryebuck Media.


Islam for Kids

 Many non-Muslim children (and their parents) know very little about how Muslims practice their faith. This great site will answer the most common questions that kids and adults have about Islam, including what the month of Ramadan and the celebration Eid ul-Fitr are.


Catch the Fly
Mr. Frog needs you to give him the x, y coordinates for a fly so he can dine. Type in the correct coordinates of where the fly lands to feed the frog.

With the camera at Anzac

An online photographic album of the Australian soldiers at Gallipoli is freely available on the National Archive of Australia's website. This album contains 41 views of Anzac Beach and the surrounding hills and gullies taken in 1915. The photographs capture Gallipoli through the eyes of the digger.


Open Source Mind Mapping Programs EdDraw,  MindMeister, FreeMind

 Video - The Road to Meaning




The process of reading is very like that of driving a car. As readers, it is our charge to "navigate" our way to meaning as we enter nonfiction texts and tasks. For students the, road to meaning in informational text is one paved with challenge and complexity.  This presentation explores what great "drivers" need to do before, during, and after reading to successfully arrive at their final destination...UNDERSTANDING THE BIG IDEA!

The Courage to Teach:  Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life


by Parker J. Palmer

“Though not an easy book to read, as a teacher of some thirty years I find this book to be challenging, inspiring and definitely thought-provoking. Mr. Palmer is challenging us to reexamine not only our teaching styles but ourselves as teachers..”

This Science Experiment looks at what happens when Food Coloring is mixed with Oil and Water





















Teaching notes for "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series" by Michael Scott



Water conservation online game

Mission H2o, a water conservation game that teaches players how to optimise water usage in the home.




Websafe Crackerz
WebSafe Crackerz is a spoof world, online game, built around Internet Safety. Users find genuine safety information throughout all the sites, but it is surrounded by a fictional story about gladhanders, liars, stalkers, bullies, security bouncers, detectives, fake spam and mobile phone companies and a big boss (the Baron), who runs the whole show.


Carbon Smart

Calculate a household's greenhouse gas emissions online by answering questions about the use of transport, home appliances, and wastes. Also find
out what can be done to reduce a carbon footprint.

Video -

Microsoft's learning Essentials













Click on the picture



Fiction Activities





Onion Tears You may also use the principles of this lesson guide and apply them to the text/novel of your own choice.



Storybook Web
"This exciting online resource contains a collection of activities for children aged 5-8 years. The site is based on popular children's stories and supports early literacy and numeracy skills."



Science Fiction in the Science Classroom

Tips for using science fiction in the classroom, with teacher notes for SciFiZone activities, recommended Web sites, and other materials

Literature Cyberguides K-3
 List of book guides and activities for over 40 children's books.




 Fox in Sox Game
 Rearrange the words in the correct order to describe the picture shown.

If you give a cat a cupcake

by Laura Numeroff

Name tags for a party, decorate a cupcake colouring pages, poster, Make and decorate your own cupcakes, story starters, C is for cat activities, Letter C Activities, If you give a ... activities

Rattletrap Car

By Phyllis Root

--3 excellent Library/Classroom Suggestions
--Lesson Idea on using onomatopoeia

--Examples of Art by Jill Barton

--Read and listen to the book online


Character education










The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

The Book, the movie trailer, the lesson plans, the downloads


Holes by Louis Sachar

Watch the trailer, use the lesson plans, investigate the book, access the media


Doctor Who E-Books
 From the BBC, free downloads of books of the cult classic show. "All feature brand new artwork and extensive notes by the original authors."


Finnikin of the Rock

By Melina Marchetta

Read an extract, Author's website, Audio reading, Author video, Teacher Notes

Chicken Little

by Rebecca Emberley

Teaching About Story Structure Using Fairy Tales, Down on the farm lesson, Chicken Little lesson plans, Video, Lesson plan for a similar telling of the story, Chicken Little Literacy/Art Lesson


Marvel Comics has posted comprehensive lesson plans to support several titles from Marvel Illustrated, Marvel’s graphic novel adaptations of classic literature. Lesson plans for The Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island and The Man in the Iron Mask are available at http://www.marvel.com/comics/Marvel_Illustrated.



by Eleanor Davis

Author interview and lesson plans

Bad Kitty

by Nick Bruel

Book activities, related books, websites

Lesson plans,Activities


A Unit Study on Treasure Island
Offers some fun activities and thoughtful questions.



The Wizard of Rondo

 review, conversation with the Author, lesson plans

Now It's Fall
Learn about autumn and different objects and events associated with this special season

A Unit Study on Pirate Diary: the Journal of Jake Carpenter
A comprehensive unit study using this book. Very well-laid out and thorough and includes ideas for everything from art to math.




The Tale of Despereaux:

Review plus Multiple lesson plans and activities


Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls - review, read an excerpt, activities related to the book


EnhanceTV - Indian in the Cupboard Study Guide
Omri receives several conventional gifts for his ninth birthday, including a
longed-for skateboard. However, two gifts you would expect to be of least
interest to a young boy prove to be magical and exciting. Suitable for
primary aged students this study guide has learning outcomes in key learning
areas such as English, Art and Society and Environment.



Teaching notes for "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series" by Michael Scott


Guiness Book of World Records 2009 - lesson plans and activities

Charlotte's Web:


Listen to Charlotte's Web.  Hear E.B. White read from his book, virtually visit his farm (in the “Down East” part of Maine) and watch a spider, like Charlotte, spin a web. Also learn how she catches (and eats) food, observe how she lays eggs and find out how her wingless babies (called spiderlings) can “fly” (or “balloon”) from the place where they were hatched.  http://www.awesomestories.com/site_map/Movies/charlotte_web.htm




Remember Anne Frank


Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, and died in 1945 at the age of 16. Her diary has been translated into hundreds of languages and has been read by millions of children and adults worldwide. This June 12, take a few minutes to remember Anne, her family, and the millions of others who lost their lives during the Holocaust by visiting this great site designed especially for kids. Here, children can learn more about Anne’s life both before the War and during her days in hiding, and also about the rise of Hitler and his persecution of the Jews. Teachers can find an excellent time line that parallels Anne’s life with key events of WWII. Of special note is the excellent glossary of terms, which can be viewed by clicking on the “Word List” link at the bottom of every page




Horrendo's Curse


Rowan of Rin

Discussion guides

from the Multnomah County Library

These guides will help you begin the discussion. If you're hungry, they also provide snack suggestions! Warning! Some guides contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

Universal questions

  1. What did you enjoy about this book?
  2. What have you read that is similar to this book?
  3. What are some of the major themes of this book?
  4. What do you think the author was trying to accomplish with this novel?
  5. Who was your favorite character? What did you appreciate about him/her?
  6. Consider the main character: what does he or she believe in? What is he or she willing to figtht for?
  7. At the end of the book, do you feel hope for the characters?
  8. What is stronger in the book: plot or character development? Why? Do you think this was intentional on the part of the author?
  9. Have you ever experienced anything similar to the action of this novel?
  10. Did you find this book a quick read? Why or why not?
  11. What are your concerns about this book?
  12. How did you feel about the main character?
  13. What are the most important relationships in the book?
  14. What makes a minor character memorable?
  15. What are the most revealing scenes?
  16. Are any of the events in the book relevant to your own life?
  17. What did you think of the style of the writer?
  18. Was the story credible? The characters credible?
  19. Did you find any flaws in the book?
  20. Compare the hardcover and paperback covers. Which one do you like better? Why?


The Hobbit Site
 Chapter summaries, quizzes, artwork, links and reviews related to The Hobbit.

 Which Hobbit Are You?

 Complete this online quiz to determine which hobbit you are most like.

 Hobbit Crosswords
 Collection of ten online crosswords for The Hobbit.

 Hobbit Activities
 These activities can help children identify how character and setting are created, and how plot, narrative structure and themes are developed.

 The Hobbit Unit Plan

 This unit of work uses The Hobbit as its major resource but other aspects such as the creation of a story and the fantasy genre are included.


Readers' Theatre

Imagine this : a readers' theatre source book / Marion E. Robertson and
Barbara Poston-Anderson.
Rydalmere, N.S.W. : Hodder Headline Australia, 1995.

Multicultural folktales : readers theatre for elementary students /
Suzanne I. Barchers.
Englewood, Colo. : Teacher Ideas Press, 2000.

Readers theatre : a practical guide / Marion E. Robertson and Barbara
Poston-Anderson ; illustrated by Paul H. Johnson.
Sydney : Hodder and Stoughton, 1986.

Readers theatre for children : scripts and script development / Milfred
Knight Laughlin, Kathy Howard Latrobe.
Englewood, Colo. : Teacher Ideas Press, 1990.

Readers theatre for young adults : scripts and script development /
Kathy Howard Latrobe, Mildred Knight Laughlin.
Englewood, Colo. : Teacher Ideas Press, 1989.

Readers theatre : performing the text / Susan Hill.
South Yarra, Vic. : Eleanor Curtain Publishing, 1990.

Scary readers theatre / Suzanne I. Barchers.
Englewood, Colo. : Teacher Ideas Press, 1994.

Aaron Shepherd's website includes a range of reader's theatre scripts
these scripts can be freely copied and performed for any educational,
noncommercial purpose.
Reader's Theater: Giving Students a Reason to Read Aloud
Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job (script)
The Power of Reader's Theater
Reader's Theater Scripts

Wilfred Gordon MacDonald Partridge

How about having a memory box in the classroom. Children can bring along an item that has a memory for them to talk about.

Searching for teaching notes for novels.

First, if it is a well known publisher, go to their web site and look for a teachers OR readers section. You often find notes tucked away there.

If that isn't successful, go to Google and search on the string <title author teachers notes> (don't include the carats). You might have to use
<readers notes>, especially for adult titles ( but if you have to fiddle any further than that it's probably not worth it).

For Australian publications, search on Australian pages only.

It doesn't always work but then neither does my lawn mower. However I have been able to send worthwhile sites to almost every recent notes request using this technique.

Yahoo: Harry Potter Lesson Plans http://dir.yahoo.com/arts/humanities/


 List of lesson plans related to Harry Potter.

 Harry Potter Hot list
 Links to Harry Potter related sites.

 Harry Potter Page
 Links compiled by Milton State School

 J. K. Rowling Teacher Resource File
 Biography, lesson plans, criticism and other resources for teachers.


Lothian provides comprehensive Teaching Notes notes for a wide variety of fiction.

Hairy Maclary - the Author's site



Boy Overboard


Roald Dahl Matrix




Into the Wardrobe: a Website devoted to CS Lewis


Teachers and students wishing to gather in depth material on the author CS Lewis can access research papers, audio, photographs, a bibliography, extensive links and a message forum.


Activities for Stone Soup

 Make Your Own Stone Soup
 Ideas for Stone Soup

 Stone Soup: A Puppet Show

 Simple props and script for Stone Soup.

 Stone Soup Activities

 Ideas for teaching Stone Soup.


Making Stone Soup

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 A lesson plan for grade 2 mathematics, English language arts, and computer technology skills.

 Stone Soup

 Ideas for teaching Stone Soup.

 Stone Soup

 Students will create a recipe and a shopping list.



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