Monday, July 6, 2015

The Fenway Foul-up

Mrs. Edwards just got back from a two week long adventure with her sister and dad in Washington DC, Boston, and Philadelphia.  Among the places they visited, the ballparks of the cities were on her list.  Her husband and sons LOVE baseball.  The oldest and most iconic ballpark is Boston's Fenway Ballpark.  It opened it's doors in 1912 and has been the host of the Boston Red Sox since its premier.  Mrs. Edwards was able to visit this amazing ballpark, which reminded her of the very first chapter book series her son read when he was in second grade.  The series is called Ballpark Mysteries by David Kelly and each book is set at one of the big-league ballparks across the country.  The first book of the series is The Fenway Foul-up.

The Ballpark Mysteries series follows the adventures of two young cousins, Kate and Mike.  Kate's mom is a sports writer, so she travels all over the country chronicling baseball teams.  But, while Kate's mom is watching the players, Kate and Mike get to enjoy the games.  They get tickets to the game and behind-the-scenes passes, which works out well for them as there is usually some dastardly mystery occurring.  In The Fenway Foul-up, the Boston Red Sox's famous player Big D has 'lost' his favorite bat.  As Kate and Mike soon discover, Big D's bat was stolen!!  Now Kate and Mike must solve the mystery of Big D's stolen bat or he may never be able to hit again and the Red Sox could lose the big game!

This was such a fun book for Mrs. Edwards's son to read.  He currently has nine of them, and he is anxiously waiting for the next book to be published.  These are great books for early readers, girls or boys, and kids who like mysteries or baseball.  The author David Kelly even includes "Dugout Notes" about the ballparks and teams at the end of the book.

Ballpark Mysteries Book 1: The Fenway Foul-up by David A. Kelly
Copyright:  2011
ISBN 10:  0375867031

Where to find it:  F Kel
Lexile level:  

Using this book in a 2nd-3rd grade class to explore informational text and writing.  Although the story itself is fictional, the 'Dugout Notes' provided by the author are plain factual information.  This information could easily be a stepping stone for students to read and understand informational text, and perhaps expand into a research 'report.'  I use the term report loosely because I think there are so many more fun things for younger students to create information-based work such as:  a padlet, a movenote, a cahoot, an animoto, or a fun video to present their information.

Standards Covered:
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.