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Children's Book Review - Shaquille O'Neal

Guest Author - Mary Ann Graziani

Book Review: NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal Scholastic 2002 by Lyle Spencer

Genre: Biography/Non-fiction

Reading and Audience
Reading Level: 6.7 Interest Level 3-6
Accelerated Reader Reading Level: 4.5
Reading Counts Reading Level:3.4
Lexile Measure: 670

About the Book:
This is a book published by Scholastic. It is about the biography of NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers. This book will appeal to children since Shaquille O’Neal has many young fans and because he is popular and a very exciting player to watch in the league. This book will give children information about his games, his personal life, and his charitable nature.

This book starts with Shaq’s life starting from a baby, to his years in college, and finally to being a respected athlete in the NBA. The book contains information about Shaquille’s statistics and championship days with the LA Lakers. Shaquille O’Neal is a good role model for the reader because he is not only a respected athlete, but a person who contributes to many charities.

This subject offers meaning and interest to the reader because it is about a respected and successful athlete who is very appealing personally to kids. Knowing about Shaquille O’Neal will help children know about an important figure in basketball.

Shaquille O’Neal experiences growing up and going through college to become a successful athlete and charitable person can widen children’s views on the possibilities for their own lives in the future.
In the beginning of the book the reader will learn that Shaq’s struggled with acceptance from his peers because of his size. It was difficult for him to make friends. Many children will relate this to their own childhood struggles and look at Shaq as a mentor and give them hope for the future in their own lives.

The text and illustrations are accurate and authentic and reflect careful research of the life of Shaquille O’Neal. The illustrations in the book are from NBA Entertainment photos.

Note: This copy of NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal was purchased by me with my own funds and is part of my personal library.

Context clues lesson plan to go with this book:

Instructional Objectives:
•The targeted strategy for this lesson is using context clues.
•Students use a variety of strategies to determine word meaning and comprehend text.
•Students extend existing vocabulary and establish meaning.

Materials Required:
• NBA Team Name Poster
• Name That Team Worksheets
• Word/Context Clues/Definition Chart

Pre-reading Activity:
Look at the cover of the book and ask anyone if they know what this book will be about
Ask: Does anyone know who Shaquille O’Neal is?
Ask: What do they know about him?
Ask: What they think NBA stands for?
Ask: Does anyone know what team Shaquille O’Neal plays for?

Show children the NBA Team Names Poster and initiate a discussion about the different teams.
Ask children to share their personal experiences and knowledge about basketball.
Ask children to name different sports.
Ask children about other sports that they are interested in and if they have played on any teams or have siblings who play on a team.

During Reading Activity:
Ask children what they can do if they see a new word they don’t understand.
Make a large chart with three columns-one column is for word, one column is for context clues, and one column is for definition. Explain to them that while the story is being read they should raise their hand whenever they hear a word that they do not understand. Explain that you will write the unfamiliar words under the word column. Students then reread the sentences before and after the unfamiliar word and find context clues and teacher writes the context clues under the context clues column. Students then guess what the definition of the word and this is written on the definition column.

Model a think aloud strategy on how to use context clues by doing a think aloud strategy as you read the sentences with unfamiliar words.
Example: “Before he moved to Orlando, Florida, Shaq went to Los Angeles to spend some time with Magic Johnson. The Lakers’ superstar gave Shaq a lot of advice. They played basketball together and Magic taught Shaq come new tricks. “
Model the think aloud strategy: ‘I don’t know what the word advice means. Let’s read the sentence before and after for any clues to the meaning and guess what the meaning of the word may be from the clues.
Ask the class to list words that are clues to the meaning of the word and write them under the context clue column. Have students then try to guess what the meaning of the word may be. Let the students know the definition of the word if they cannot guess the meaning and start reading again where the story again where was left off.

Post Reading Activity:
Hand out Name That Team Worksheets to each student. Explain that the phrases and sentences on the worksheet give clues for the names of the NBA teams. Read each clue carefully and try to figure out each team’s name. Provide the Team Names Poster to help students’ complete the work sheet. When finished call on each student to give an answer to a question on the worksheet.

Individual Evaluation will be done by evaluating the students work sheet answers.
Students will also be evaluated on their understanding of context clues from the Context Clues/Definition class activity.

Invite a guest to talk about basketball.
Take the class to see a local high school or middle school basketball game.
Have students explore nba.com

NBA Team Names Poster
Indiana Pacers
Detroit Pistons
New Orleans Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks
Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76’rs
Boston Celtics
N.J. Nets
Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards
New York Nicks
Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets
Minnesota Timberwolves
Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets
Memphis Grizzlies
Sacramento Kings
Seattle Super Sonics
Phoenix Suns
Portland Trailblazers
San Francisco Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers

Name That Team Worksheet
1. The opposite of chill. ______________
2. Something that can go to the moon. _______________
3. A kind of music. _____________
4. The opposite of moons ____________
5. A king marries a ___________
6. A sport truck.____________
7. What you use to cut hair.______________
8. You can use these to catch butterflies._____________
9. A type of fighting bird._____________
10. A type of part used in a car. ________________
11. Insects that can sting.______________.
12. The year of the Declaration of Independence.________
13. A kingdom for families to visit in Disney World._________
14. What was found in the gold rush.__________
15. A type of bear. _______________

Answer Key:
1. Miami Heat
2. Houston Rockets
3. Utah Jazz
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Portland Trailblazers
7. L.A. Clippers
8. New Jersey Nets
9. Atlanta Hawks
10.Detroit Pistons
11.New Orleans Hornets
12.Philadelphia 76ers
13.Orlando Magic
14.Denver Nuggets
15.Memphis Grizzlies
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Content copyright © 2015 by Mary Ann Graziani. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Mary Ann Graziani. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Mistler Davidson for details.


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