Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nothing Stopped Sophie (Women's History Month Book!)

My husband handed me the book Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain a whole year ago!  A whole year!  During Women's History Month no less.  It sort of got buried under a pile and when I recently asked about a STEM book featuring a strong female character, he said, "What about Sophie?"  Oops!  So sorry I lost track of you, Sophie Germain! After reading it, I'm kicking myself that I didn't read it earlier.  An excellent story and a fun read!

From School Library Journal:

Gr 1–3—An illuminating look into the life and work of Sophie Germain, a self-taught mathematician, who was the first woman to win a prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences. Bardoe's prose injects the title refrain often as the story unfolds. Germain, who came of age during the French Revolution, studied math despite her parents' wishes. Women were not allowed to attend university, but she secretly got notes from math classes and sent in homework using a male name. She worked for six years on a theorem to predict patterns of vibration, and experienced rejection at least twice before her work was accepted. The artwork—created with pen and ink, watercolor, and collage—is truly a sight to behold. McClintock depicts Germain's inner thoughts, often numbers and equations, surrounding her and at times isolating her from others. This makes the penultimate spread of Germain's prize-winning equation extending from her person and wrapping around the male scholars, even more triumphant in comparison. Extended back matter includes more about Germain's life, recommendations for further research and activities, a selected bibliography, an author's note, and an illustrator's note. VERDICT Excellent illustrations elevate the inspiring prose, making it a highly recommended choice to the growing shelf of picture book biographies featuring women in STEM.—Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library

Give it a try!  I'm so glad I did!  You know I love a book when I make a packet for it.  Take a peek and if interested, click on one of the pictures...

Aimed at Grades 1-3.  Some of the activities...

Since Sophie loved numbers and puzzles, I made the numbers 0-9 into a Squiggle Write. 
See more about Squiggle Writing here.  My kiddos love this activity.  Since so many numbers are included, you can use these throughout the year.  Makes a cute display or fun class book.


Power bracelets are sure to be a hit!  After discussing book and making connections to our own lives, I have kids make/wear these bracelets with a clear message to the world: Can't stop! Won't stop!

Five reading responses are included and the product preview shows them all.

Who doesn't love a headband?  Sometimes I have kids pick a name our of a hat and make the headband for a friend.  A fun twist!

In First Grade, to make Acrostics easier, we brainstorm a list over a few days and I ask kids to RETELL the story at home and get words for Sophie.  By the time we start this, we have dozens of words on our board.  Kids can pick from them or think up a new word.  


If you follow me, you know I am a huge fan of making words.  Why?  Because I can easily see who is APPLYING the sounds/letter combinations I've been teaching each year.  When we first started doing Make-a-Words, the kids had trouble coming up with ten words.  Now?  Some kids make over 100 words each week!  My lower kids can make anywhere from 7-15 words independently now.  That THRILLS me!  I try to give them words with an "S" so they can make plurals. 

Pick-a-Prompt shares are fun because you never know which one a child will share.  You can run these two-sided for kids who write a lot.


Two pages of synonyms are included using text in context.  Great conversations stem from this.  Always amazed at the kids' vocabulary. 

A book (Cover, Dedication, page for each kid to contribute, and then ending page where you can put class pic) is also included.  The kids fully can identify with Sophie and can easily think of a time they they were UNSTOPPABLE!

Full preview available in my store. 

I truly hope you can share the book with your class.  Sophie is a great role-model and message taken away from this book will be heard loud and clear.  Promise!

Happy reading!

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