Okay, enough chatting, for those "great books" fans of the past (if you didn't know this is how my blog started) and fans of the present, here's a book review and classroom ideas, hooray...
Photographic Memory & BaseballIntroducing Cam Jasen, whose real name is Jennifer, but earned the nickname "Cam" because of her photographic memory (think - Camera!) She is a curious and smart and loves nothing more than solving crimes with her best friend Eric.
This mystery involves a hobby show, a very impressed crowd and a missing baseball signed by none other than Babe Ruth! When Cam and Eric meet Mr. Baker and see his baseball collection, Mr. Baker becomes quickly impressed with Cam's ability to memorize and tell all about a baseball player after one glance at a baseball card. In the excitement of a crowd asking Cam to memorize various cards, Mr. Baker's most prized possession, his signed Babe Ruth baseball, disappears. It is up to Cam and Eric to find out who stole Mr. Baker's baseball! Get caught up in David A. Adler's mystery series in Cam Janeen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball.
Reading Level: Guided Reading: L (and so are all the other Cam Jansen mysteries which I find much more convenient than the series that jump around, it's hard to tell a kiddo well, you'll enjoy and be comfortable with this book in the series, but not this one)
Teachers... here are some resources for you.
- Teacher Resources: This link within David A. Adler's website is just for teachers! It includes ways to introduce mysteries, discussion questions and activities to go along with Cam Jansen books.
- Monthly Planning: Why not make it a Cam Jansen year?! Here is a planner to help you pair up Cam Jansen stories month-by-month.
- Teacher's Guide: Some overlap from the above links but lots of other activities & printables as well, and all free (unless you've surpassed your max number of free views on Teacher Vision)
- Vocabulary: A free vocabulary printable companion for this story focusing on context clues.
Vocabulary: Same as words in vocabulary link above.
Chapters 1 & 2: hobby, exhibits, autograph, photographic memory, upset, valuable
Chapters 3 & 4: amazing, apology, reached, explain
Chapters 5 & 6: avoid, lobby, confused, flier
Chapters 7 & 8: complaint, proud
Before Reading: Access background knowledge: Do you know anything about Babe Ruth? If not, what can we infer about Babe Ruth based on the title of the story? What is a mystery? Do mysteries have the same story parts as a narrative/What are the important parts of a mystery?
For the last question, use this guide to mystery elements from Teacher Resources link above.
During Reading: Have kiddos read one chapter at a time, prereading questions from the freebie packet then discussing afterwards. Make sure students know they can/how to go back and access the text to find answers. Depending on your students' level of experience with answering comprehension questions in written format and accessing text, you may want to model with a think aloud and answering questions together for the first chapter.
After Reading: If this is the first time your kiddos are reading a mystery story, be sure to find out what they thought about mysteries and if they would want to read a mystery again. It is important to know your students' interests so that you can build a classroom library that will encourage your students to read!