Teaching Tools

January 01, 1998 2 min read

Following is a list of free or inexpensive resources that teachers can order.


Heinemann’s new book, What’s a Schwa Sound Anyway? A Holistic Guide to Phonetics, Phonics, and Spelling, argues that teachers with a working knowledge of the English sound system are more powerful observers of students’ reading miscues and invented spelling. Written by Sandra Wilde, the book is divided into two sections: The first explores the English sound system and its relation to reading and spelling, and the second helps readers apply in the classroom their knowledge about sounds, letters, and the relationships between them. Cost: $22. Contact: Heinemann at (800) 793-2154.

PBS Guides.

WGBH, Boston’s public television station, offers social studies and science teachers a variety of free guides tied to PBS programming. The biannual guide accompanying the Nova series features hands-on science activities on topics such as bridges, avalanches, and ancient wonders of the world. A Carmen Sandiego guide focusing on world history for grades 4-6 and Science Odyssey guides with hands-on activities for middle and high school students are also available. For more information, contact: WGBH Educational Print and Outreach, 125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134; 617/492-2777, ext. 3848; e-mail


A Child’s Garden of Grammar, published by University Press of New England, teaches grammar through verse and cartoon drawings. Author Tom Disch and illustrator Dave Morice cover 36 topics, including nouns and verbs, compound-object pronouns, and the agreement of predicated pronouns. Cost: $9.95. Contact: University Press of New England, 23 S. Main St., Hanover, NH 03755-2048; (800) 421-1561.

Art Resources.

Crystal Productions offers an “Art Education Resource” catalog for elementary, middle, and high school students of art and art history. The free catalog includes videos, CD-ROMs, posters, prints, slides, and books for use in the classroom. Contact: Crystal Productions at (800) 255-8629; e-mail

Migrant Workers.

The Harvest Gypsies is a volume of seven newspaper articles on migrant farm workers that John Steinbeck wrote in 1936. The articles provided the foundation for The Grapes of Wrath, published three years later. With an introduction by Charles Wollenberg, professor of history at Vista College in Berkeley, California, this collection contrasts the misery Steinbeck found in the squatters’ camps and Hoovervilles with the hope offered by government resettlement camps. Also included are photographs of Dust Bowl migrants by Dorthea Lange and others. Cost: $7.95. Contact: Heyday Books, P.O. Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709; (510) 549-3564.

Math For Children.

Equals, an organization at the University of California at Berkeley that promotes math and science education for women and minorities, announces Family Math for Young Children. Written by Grace Davila Coates and Jean Kerr Stenmark, the book features games and activities for children ages 4-8 that integrate counting, sorting, classifying, logic, arithmetic, and other math skills. Cost: $18.95, plus $5 shipping and handling. Contact: University of California, Berkeley, Equals Publications, Lawrence Hall of Science, #5200, Berkeley, CA 94720-5200; (800) 897-5036; fax (510) 643-5757; e-mail