Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Day that Changed America: Earthquake! (April 18, 1906) by Shelley Tanaka

Hardcover, 48 pages
Published July 26th 2004 by Hyperion 
On a Peaceful Spring Morning, Disaster Strikes San Francisco. On the early morning of April 19, 1906, the city of San Francisco was struck by a devastating earthquake that crumpled buildings, cracked water mains, broke gas pipes, and sent kerosene lamps flying. Fires quickly engulfed most of the city, leaving exhausted civilians to fight the flames with well water, sewer water, and old rags. Despite valiant rescue efforts, estimates place the death toll at around 3,000.
 Fantastic non-fiction book to add to your collection! This book brings to life the earthquake that struck San Francisco in 1906 through first hand accounts, pictures of the destruction, stories, maps and pictographs and much more. Readers are able to see what San Francisco was like before and after in the various neighborhoods from Chinatown to the outskirts. I love that there are also pictures of the artifacts that have been preserved so that you can see the damage that was done. It was fascinating to see how the people adapted to life immediately after the earthquake and subsequent fire. Cooking on makeshift stoves in the street just to survive? Wow. 

Lesson Ideas:
This book is broken into easy to read sections which would make it an easy read for students and teachers to use as a resource too! The pieces of the book can be broken apart for students to get a feel for what was going on at the time and then report back to the class (jigsaw method). 

This would also be a fantastic piece to use to show the culture of this part of America in the early 1900's. The pictures, graphics, maps, and other resources make for great conversation starters!

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