Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball

When I discovered that I had a set of Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball by David A. Adler hiding in my classroom library, I was giddy with excitement! I LOVE Cam Jansen but didn't have the money to buy sets of Cam Jansen along with the Flat Stanley, Henry and Mudge, Toad and Frog and Horrible Harry sets I was creating in my nearly bare classroom library last year. This year, changing schools, and briefly going through the books left in the room, it completely went unnoticed that I had this set of Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball. I came across them during my not so fast crawling process of leveling my library in the midst of everything else that needs to be done during the week...

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 & Baseball

Introducing 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)
                          DRA: 20
                          Lexile: 500L

Teachers... here are some resources for you.

Web Resources:
  • 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.
Freebie from me! Comprehension questions chapter by chapter. This is the exact packet I am currently using for the guided reading group reading this book.

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!

Read Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at31808PM_zps68eb8a00.png

1 comment:

  1. thank you for the help my daughter need to know about this book and it helped me and her and i'm a teacher too it's hard but we can get threw it i hope you have a nice christmas


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