Perfect Pairs by Melissa Stewart

Here’s a wonderful new book from nonfiction writer, Melissa Stewart and Maine teacher Nancy Chesley with whom I worked at one point in my teaching career. I love the “wonder” prompts that begin the lessons and I love the combination of nonfiction and fiction texts for science students. Thanks to the Nerdy Book Club blog and Melissa Stewart!

Nerdy Book Club

After writing more than 150 science books for kids, I finally decided to try something a little different—a book for teachers that brings together science and ELA instruction. My co-author Nancy Chelsey and I worked on Perfect Pairs: Using Fiction & Nonfiction Picture Books to Teach Life Science, K-2 for three long years, writing and testing and then re-writing each lesson. So you better believe that we’re thrilled to finally see it in print.

PP cover

The story behind the book traces back to 2006. That’s when I began to realize that some children connect more strongly with nonfiction books, while others gravitate toward fiction. As a result, I started pairing thematically-similar fiction and nonfiction children’s books and developing innovative content-area activities with the books as a centerpiece.


Here are two great articles I read as I was just getting started:

  • Camp, Deanne. “It Takes Two: Teaching with Twin Texts of…

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Wee Bits of Happiness

I was going to write a list poem about all the things that make me sad, but I got about four topics deep and it was too much to take. There has been a lot of sad recently– both personal, and global. I’m finding out that grieving my divorce is a longer process than I expected. It makes me silent. It makes me cry. It makes me angry. It makes me doubt myself. And then something small will snap me out of my grief, and I think that maybe it’s gone.

Wee Bits of Happiness

The light through autumn leaves.
The smell of baking banana/nut bread.
A newly mopped floor.
Cut flowers on the dining room table.
A call from an old friend.
A rockin’ sweat-filled Zumba class.
The disgust in my sons’ eyes when I show them moves from said Zumba class.
Looking forward to a camping trip with my youngest.
Knowing all the names of my students without looking at the roll.
Reclaiming my name.

Creative Chaos can now be found at Join me while I find and write about wee bits of happiness.