Common Core Review: No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

It can be difficult to comprehend events that take place in other parts of the world, so when an opportunity comes along to make a connection between life as we know it and another culture or part of nature it can provide a great opportunity. No Monkeys, No Chocolate provides just such a connection. In this delightfully illustrated nonfiction book, authors Melissa Stewart and Allen Young explore where chocolate comes from on an ecological level. From pods to beans and back again, Stewart and Young explain the various stages of the lifecycle of the cocoa tree and the various organisms that help along the way. Readers will learn the importance of midges, maggots, lizards, fungi, and of course monkeys in the production of chocolate. Without all of those living organisms we would have no cocoa trees. Without cocoa trees we would have no chocolate. And where would we be without chocolate? The book concludes with a concise explanation of the connection between cocoa trees and rainforest preservation and some tips to teach young readers how they can do their parts to help the rainforests as well.
In addition to the wealth of information found within the pages of this book, Melissa Stewart offers more resources on her website including a timeline of her writing process for No Monkeys, No Chocolate as well a list of other great books about ecosystems and how living organisms work together. For teachers or librarians looking for book extension activities Stewart has also created a Reader’s Theater script for No Monkeys, No Chocolate and a few other fun activities on her website.
When it comes to Common Core State Standards, this book hits the jackpot. It is a great resource for teaching informational texts in a science setting, and provides a great opportunity to meet the third RI ELA-Literacy standard for Key Ideas & Details for grades 3 through 5. (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3) For even more ideas on teaching with this book, take a look at Melissa Stewart’s curriculum guide.

Just a Few of the Correlations to Common Core State Standards:
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Posted by: Staci

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