Who is the world's richest man? Which country has the most cell
phone users? For the answers to these questions and more, your students
can consult the Scholastic Book of World Records 2004. It's
filled with 300 records, plus photos and graphics! Organized into
chapters from "Culture" to "Money and Business" (plus an Index and
Bonus section), this 320-page reference tool will be a great conversation-starter
in your classroom!
Set the Stage
Begin with a discussion of popular sports record-holders, such as
the teams with the most Super Bowl wins (Cowboys and 49ers). Talk
about what students know about these teams. Explain that this reference
book will give readers interesting facts and figures for record
holders in Music, Car Racing, Money, and more.
Show the Contents
and Index. Discuss how these sections can be useful in finding information.
Give students practice by naming a record and asking who or what
holds it now.
These will provide a lively discussion of the book:
Which record came as a surprise to you?
For what kinds of projects will you find this book useful?
Why are the photographs, charts, and illustrations important
to the book?
What kinds of resources do you think the author/photo editor
used to create this book?
Which record do you hope to hold one day?
Students will have fun while building their recall skills by writing
the record-holders in each category from the Scholastic Book of
and Copy the Classroom Activity Now (PDF)
To extend students' enjoyment of the book, try these:
- I'm the
Best!: Have each student dress as their favorite record-holder
and introduce themselves to the class. Speaking in first person,
have them explain what their record is for.
Your Own: Ask students to set their own goals for a school
record (for example, Most Math Examples Correct in a Week). Have
them write a plan to achieve their goal and keep a journal of
their steps to achieving it.
Sketch: Have students research and write a short biography
of a human record-holder named in the book.
- Hang It
Up: Each week, ask a team of different students to create
a bulletin board called Who Won? Have students write a title for
each of four categories (such as World's Smallest Mammal), along
with an illustration. Ask classmates to provide answers.
by Dr. Susan Shafer
Dr. Susan Shafer is a former elementary school teacher with more
than twenty years of classroom experience and a doctorate in education
from Teachers College, Columbia University. While teaching she received
special recognition for her innovative, theme-based teaching methods.
The author of two books for children and numerous articles for adults,
Susan is presently a freelance writer, editor, and educational consultant.