Saturday, March 4, 2017

Guinness World Records 2017: Blockbusters

Guinness World Records 2017: Blockbusters!
2017 (Guinness World Records Limited)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

The chapters are based on six of your favorite things to do: Watch (movies and TV), Browse (internet and social media), Read (books and magazines), Play (toys and games), Go (attractions and events) and Consume (shopping and brands)

When I was a child, I received two gifts every year at Christmas. One was the Associated Press Sports Almanac and the other was the Guinness Book of World Records. I've been batty about facts since childhood. I've found as a teacher that I'm not the only one and my fascination with facts has spanned generations. This is one book guaranteed to fly off the shelves. Within each chapter, there are several popular cultural topics. For example, in the Watch chapter, there are spreads dedicated to The Avengers, Pixar movies, Star Wars, and other movie and TV phenomena. In the spread, you will read short paragraphs peppered with facts that you expect from Guinness. A fact box titled Most Valuable Movie Franchise in the Star Wars section reveals that this franchise is worth $41.98 billion. Then, you get a breakdown of that giant number. Box office is about a fifth of the total, while toys and merchandise ($17 billion) make up almost half. Can you see the possibilities of fun math activities here? Teaching the concept of average numbers? You can discuss how Pixar has the highest average gross ($626.52 million) of any movie studio. Working on addition? Eric Jaskolka can help you. He has the largest collection of X-Men memorabilia. The paragraph featuring him breaks down the numbers by category of his 15,400 items. If you add Eric's 6,000 comic books and his 3,500 trading cards, how many items does he have? You've just made math more interesting by connecting to popular cultural topics.  If you're studying place value, you can download a scavenger hunt using the book right here. The activity has participants thumbing through the record book and answering place value questions. This would be a fun Friday activity or a center during math.

In addition to the chapters, there are four brand new Guinness challenges in the back of the book for students to try on their own. One of these challenges is to stack 20 Lego bricks in a right angle tower in the fastest time. Readers can also find out how to prepare for breaking a Guinness record. I think you could brainstorm a list of challenges for your school/class to undertake on a special day. That would be engaging for students. Fact is, older elementary and middle grade readers will enjoy this book.

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