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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Virtual Field Trip: American Museum of Natural History

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you all a resource that might be interesting if you are a teacher or have school aged children or have enjoyed the books by Brian Selznick.

Scholastic has created a website that is a virtual field trip the to American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Your tour guide for the trip his Brian Selznick.  There is a pertinent connection between the two, in case you thought this was just a random association.  Selznick has written two young adult books, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and his newest release Wonderstruck.  His novel Wonderstruck is set in the museum and prominently features the exhibits that he shows you in the virtual tour.  The exhibits featured are: the Wolf Diorama, the Ahnighito Meteorite, and the Giant Anopheles Mosquito.

For teachers, there are wonderful resources, teaching aids, and classroom activities to teach these books.  Scholastic describes these books as great ways to bring social studies, science and art to life.  For those who live far from the museum and may not have the chance to get there, this is an introductory tour.  It's interesting to watch whether you are a student or an adult.

Below is the complete tour of the museum.

Hope you enjoy the tour and have possibly found two new books for yourself or your children.

More about Brian Selznick's books:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

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