Author Feature-Marisa De los Santos

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Marisa De los Santos

Marisa De los Santos & David Teague

Connect the Stars

Marisa de los Santos has published three New York Times bestselling novels for adults. Her latest novel is The Precious One. David Teague is the author of the critically acclaimed picture books Franklin's Big Dreams and The Red Hat. Their first joint middle-grade venture was the Texas-Bluebonnet-Award nominated Saving Lucas Biggs, and their second collaboration, Connect the Stars, appeared in September 2015 and is a Scholastic Book Fair pick. They live in Wilmington, Delaware, with their two children, Charles and Annabel, and their two dogs, Huxley and Finn, and they like nothing better than visiting schools, libraries, and community centers to talk about books.

 

Find her on the web:

Website

 


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Book Trailer

 


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Book Quiz

Printable Copy

  1. Audrey has no longer has faith in other people. She has a gift to: 
    1. know if they're sick. 
    2. tell if they're lying. 
    3. see if they're paying attention. 
    4. hear their thoughts.
  2. Aaron is special with his talent of: 
    1. remembering everything he sees. 
    2. remembering everything he hears. 
    3. remembering everything he reads. 
    4. all the above.
  3. Audrey and Aaron each end up at Camp El Viaje a la Confianza. They were sent there because: 
    1. they were in trouble  
    2. they had to do  community service  
    3. they needed to learn about themselves 
    4. they got kicked out of other camps.
  4. At camp, Aaron gets picked on by Randolph because:  
    1. Aaron keeps spitting out facts. 
    2. Aaron is much smaller and weaker than anyone else.  
    3. Randolph is jealous of Aaron.  
    4. Daphne tells Randolph to do it.  
  5. Louis has difficulty with: 
    1. breathing. 
    2. overactive senses. 
    3. hearing. 
    4. staying awake.
  6. Kate's greatest strength is her ability to:  
    1. strategize.  
    2. empathize. 
    3. communicate. 
    4. motivate. 
  7. After the teams competed to capture the flag, the air mattress was awarded to: 
    1. Audrey's team because they found it first, and the other teams followed them.  
    2. Daphne's team because they physically beat Audrey's team to the flag. 
    3. Kevin's team because his teammate Enod was injured and needed it. 
    4. Jare because he didn't like the way Randolph treated a bat. 
  8. Randolph bullies the campers, but especially Audrey's team. He: 
    1. put a millipede down Louis' back. 
    2. heaved Aaron's backpack over a cliff. 
    3. beat up on Audrey. 
    4. steals Kate's food.
  9. Daphne disappears from camp after an altercation with Jare. After looking for her all day, the campers believe: 
    1. she's left to get them better camp food. 
    2. she's run away to find her father. 
    3. she's been murdered by Jare. 
    4. she's playing a trick on them.
  10. At the end of camp, Audrey, Aaron, Kate, and Louis decide to: 
    1. say goodbye and go their separate ways. 
    2. meet at Kate's house because her family is the most stable. 
    3. stay friends as pen pals. 
    4. meet at Louis' house because he has a pool. 
  11. Aaron decided the following year he wants to start up a: 
    1. star-gazing club. 
    2. gardening club. 
    3. wilderness club. 
    4. swimming club. 
  12. Throughout Connect the Stars, Aaron references an object from a poem. The object is a: 
    1. bluebelle.  
    2. green bottle.  
    3. white albatross. 
    4. red wheelbarrow.

 

 

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Academic Program 

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

Cache QR Codes

Geographical Handbook

Geocaching Texas

INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE OF PROGRAM:

In the book, Connect the Stars, by Marisa de los Santos, her characters learn survival skills at a camp out in West Texas. Taking the idea from a scene where the characters have to navigate their way through the terrain to find a goal, students in your class will be using GPS to find information about their content. 

TEKS:

Texas History -

Geography 7.8A, 7.8B : using tools to collect, analyze, and interpret data 

Geography 7.9A, 7.9B, 7.9C: understands the location and characteristics of places and regions of Texas 

Social Studies Skills 7.23A, 7.23B: uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings

Science -

Scientific investigation and reasoning: 6.1A, 6.2A, 6.2B, 6.3A, 6.3B, 6.3C, 6.4A, 7.1A, 7.2A, 7.2B, 7.3A, 8.1A, 8.2A, 8.2B, 8.3A, 8.3B, 8.3C, 8.4A

Earth and space: 6.10B, 6.11A, 7.8A, 7.8B, 8.7A

Organisms and environments: 6.12F, 7.10A, 7.10B, 7.11A, 7.11B, 8.11A, 8.11B, 8.11C

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM:

Using geocaching coordinates based on the geography on and around your school campus, create a course that will have students utilizing gps/compass technology to find hidden caches which give in-depth information about the geographical areas of Texas. (This activity could be used with any content area, just switch out the cache for each location based on content learning objectives.)

LESSON:

This specific lesson focuses on the geographic areas of Texas. There are four caches, one for each geographical area of Texas: Mountains and Basins, Great Plains, North Central Plains, and Coastal Plains regions.

Objective: The student will be able to use GPS coordinates to locate hidden caches that provides information abou

Demonstrate: teach how to use GPS device to find something in the classroom (for example: window, door, closet, teaching station, bookshelf)

Guided Practice: ask students to find several locations in the school using GPS coordinates and device (for example: library, cafeteria, gym, office)

Self Practice: students (individually or as a group) are given a set of coordinates around campus that have hidden caches that have QR codes for content information. In this instance, use these QR codes to hide in the different caches.

    • Using GPS device locate four spots around the campus (indoors and/or outdoors) to get coordinates to share with students; hide caches in these areas
    • Provide students with a copy of the Geographical Handbook to take notes in
    • Use gps device to locate coordinates and find caches
    • Use QR reader to gather information about content (if teachers and/or students do not have the devices/capability to read QR codes, provide webpage content in print form)
    • Return to class and share findings

SUPPLIES:

PROGRAM RELATED BOOKS TO DISPLAY OR BOOK TALK:

  • Hengel, Katherine. Cool Maps & Geocaching: Great Things to Do in the Great Outdoors. Minneapolis: Abdo, 2016. Print.
  • Quinlan, Julia J. GPS and Computer Maps. New York: PowerKids, 2012. Print.
  • Rajczak, Michael. Texas Geography. New York: PowerKids, 2014. Print.
  • Sturm, Jeanne. GPS: Global Positioning System. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke, 2011. Print.
  • Wade, Mary Dodson. All around Texas: Regions and Resources. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2004. Print.

RESOURCES (print and electronic):

Geocaching

QR Codes

Geography of Texas

PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES (for librarian and teacher use):

PROGRAM TEMPLATES, RUBRICS, ETC.

 

 

 

 

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Active Programs

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

Compass Art 1

Compass Art 2

Make Your Own Compass and Treasure Hunt

Introduction/Purpose of Program

The characters in Connect the Stars spend most of their time navigating their way in a wilderness environment. This program provides participants the opportunity to make their own compass and then, using that compass, navigate themselves using a series of clues to reach a predetermined destination.

Description of the Program

Use the supplies and instructions provided to make a compass. Then, using that compass, follow the clues of the Treasure Hunt to find a prize.

Instructions for making the compass:

Rub the sewing needle with the magnet in a downward direction toward the point of the needle. It's important to always rub the needle in the same direction, not in a back and forth motion. This will magnetize the needle.

Using the pliers, carefully push the needle through the side of the cork until there is an equal measure of needle on either side of the cork.

Fill the cup with approximately one inch of water.

Place the cork into the center of the cup being careful to keep it from touching the sides.

Set the cup on a flat surface. The needle will point to the nearest magnetic pole.

Attach the compass art to the bottom of the cup with two-sided tape or glue.

To create the treasure hunt, choose a starting point (the reference desk?). From your starting point, look around for an optimal location for the first destination. Note the direction of the location on the compass. You can use the basic N, NE, NW style of direction or the more advanced degree bearings (see compass art below). Walk to the first location, counting your steps along the way. Write down the compass direction or bearing and the number of steps. This is the clue you will provide the participants at the starting point. Repeat the process for each clue location, retracing your steps to the previous location to leave the clue to the next location. Clues can be left in plain sight, hidden, or further research at the clue location can be done by the participants to find the clue or determine the direction and number of steps to the next clue. The level of difficulty is up to you.

List of Supplies

  • Metal sewing needles (2 inches or longer)
  • Magnets (a more powerful magnet will produce a more powerful compass)
  • Pliers (to push the needle through the cork)
  • Corks (you can pre-cut the cork into ¼ inch tall sections or provide scissors and rulers for this step)
  • Water
  • Cups – small, wide-mouthed, clear plastic drinking cups are recommended
  • Compass art that shows directions (N, NE, NW, S, SE, SW, etc) and/or compass bearing degrees can be attached to the bottom of the cups with double-sided tape or glue sticks.
  • Compass art offered by http://9manathan.wikispaces.com/Geometry under a Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Incentives (Optional)

Prizes offered can be whatever you choose; bookmarks, books, promotional book swag, school supplies, school spirit swag, candy. Use your imagination for prizes that fit well with your location/theme/program.

Resources (print and electronic)

Professional Resources (for librarian and teacher use)


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Passive Programs 

Program Printable Copy

Supplemental Documents

Program Flyer

Compass Art 1

Compass Art 2

Make Your Own Compass

Introduction/Purpose of Program

The characters in Connect the Stars spend most of their time navigating their way in a wilderness environment. This program provides participants the opportunity to make their own compass.

Description of the Program

Use the supplies and instructions provided to make your own compass.

*Optional: Combine this program with the Treasure Hunt Active Program.

Instructions for making the compass:

Rub the sewing needle with the magnet in a downward direction toward the point of the needle. It's important to always rub the needle in the same direction, not in a back and forth motion. This will magnetize the needle.

Using the pliers, carefully push the needle through the side of the cork until there is an equal measure of needle on either side of the cork.

Fill the cup with approximately one inch of water.

Place the cork into the center of the cup being careful to keep it from touching the sides. The needle will align itself with the Earth's north and south poles.

Set the cup on a flat surface. The needle will point to the nearest magnetic pole.

Compass art can be attached to the bottom of the cup with two-sided tape or glue sticks.

*Optional – Create a compass-led treasure hunt around the library or school by combining this program with the Treasure Hunt Active Program.

List of Supplies

  • Metal sewing needles (2 inches or longer)
  • Magnets (a more powerful magnet will produce a more powerful compass)
  • Pliers (to push the needle through the cork)
  • Corks (you can pre-cut the cork into ¼ inch tall sections or provide scissors and rulers for this step)
  • Water
  • Cups – small, wide-mouthed, clear plastic drinking cups are recommended
  • Compass art that shows directions (N, NE, NW, S, SE, SW, etc) and/or compass bearing degrees can be attached to the bottom of the cups. These provided by http://9manathan.wikispaces.com/Geometry
  • *Optional – If you choose to combine this program with the Treasure Hunt activity, prizes for the Treasure Hunt Activity; bookmarks, books, promotional book swag, school supplies, school spirit swag, candy. Use your imagination for prizes that fit well with your location/theme/program.

Incentives (*Optional)

Prizes offered can be whatever you choose; bookmarks, books, promotional book swag, school supplies, school spirit swag, candy. Use your imagination for prizes that fit well with your location/theme/program.

Resources (print and electronic)

Professional Resources (for librarian and teacher use)

Program Flyers, Posters, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, etc.

 

 

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Created on Mar 29, 2016 | Last updated April 17, 2016