Science

Here Come the Humpbacks!

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Body Smart, Craft and Structure, Early Learning, Key Ideas and Details, Michigan Author, Nature Smart, Range of Reading, Science, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here Come the Humpbacks written by April Pulley Sayre illustrated by Jamie HoganHappy March, everyone! This month I’m sharing a terrific informational picture book about humpback whales and a fabulous, free activity guide that will have your students up and moving as they process information. For those Nature Smart students who’re fighting the winter blahs, this kind of reading will be especially meaningful.

Here Come the Humpbacks! written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Jamie Hogan is a nonfiction book detailing the migration of a humpback whale calf. Sayre gives us all the excitement of the treacherous journey that spans over 1,500 miles and doesn’t skimp on rich vocabulary or solid information.

After reading the book, your students can review what they’ve learned and “act out” the migration of a humpback. (Go, Key Ideas & Details!) Curious City has a wonderful, free humpback migration game you can download with step-by-step instructions and printables for 10 stations for students to visit. To add another layer of fun, go to YouTube and let kids hear the sounds that humpback whales make. (For more information about Curious City and its free children’s book engagement materials as well as book giveaways, please visit: curiouscitydpw.com. You’ll thank me later.)

I’ll be in New Jersey in April giving a seminar on early literacy skills for preschoolers and kindergartners. Please keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be enjoying tulip blossoms and not ice storms!

For more information about the author, please visit: aprilsayre.com.

For more information about the illustrator, please visit: jamiehogan.com

 

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A Warm Winter Tail

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Craft and Structure, Early Learning, Key Ideas and Details, Michigan Author, Nature Smart, Non-Fiction, Range of Reading, Science, Self Smart, Vocabulary | 0 comments

A Warm Winter Tail by Carrie A. Pearson and illustrated by Christina WaldHere’s what you need this chilly January: A Warm Winter Tail by Carrie A. Pearson and illustrated by Christina Wald!

This nonfiction picture book about animal adaptations in winter is perfect for a Range of Reading lesson (Core Standard #1 – check!). Carrie Pearson, a Michigander who knows all about staying warm in winter, uses a conversational tone to share a great deal of information. On each double-spread, kids learn what an animal does to stay warm in the winter when a baby animal wonders if humans do what they do to stay warm. For example, a baby box turtle asks its parent if humans dig deep into the mud and bury themselves like it does. A white-tailed deer asks, “Do they grow hollow hair/ so the coats that they wear/ trap the heat from their bodies for warmth?” A wide variety of animals is presented, and there’s plenty of extra information at the back of the book.

On their website, the publisher, Sylvan Dell, has an avalanche of free activities to go with the book (don’t you love not needing to recreate the wheel?) In the back of A Warm Winter Tail there’s a “Winter Animal Matching Activity” where students match the description with the correct animal, and if you go to sylvandellpublishing.com you can print off the animal sorting cards to make a fun independent/pairs/center activity. (Key Ideas & Details – Core Standard #2!) I can’t wait until February when a companion book, A Cool Summer Tail, comes out. Integrating Knowledge & Ideas – Standard #3!

For more information about the author, please visit: carriepearsonbooks.com.

For more information about the illustrator, please visit: christinawald.blogspot.com.

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You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Art, Early Learning, Key Ideas and Details, Logic Smart, Non-Fiction, Range of Reading, Science, Vocabulary | 1 comment

You Can't Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!Happy 2014! My goal this year is to share more nonfiction titles with you, so your Common Core Reading Standards Bingo Board will always have Range of Reading covered! I’m enjoying the new “You Can’t” series from Blue Apple books, especially You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon! by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Amanda Haley.

This picture book has short chapters and all the informational text features we educators love, including informative illustrations with labels (why hello, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas!) Your students can use the fun space facts they learn from You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon! in a creative project that incorporates using labels on a diagram or picture as a part of informative writing.

After sharing the book, discuss as a class why you can’t ride a bicycle to the moon, and discuss the features a spaceship needs to support human life. Create a class-made checklist of spaceship essentials: food storage, sleeping area, etc. Students can design, draw, and write about their ideal spaceship. (If you are extra-crafty, get out the cardboard and glue along with the paper and markers to make the spaceship 3-D!) The spaceship should have everything inside that astronauts need to live, as well as something to make your spacecraft go. Encourage students to use labels on any illustrations to convey information as well as write a paragraph or two of explanatory text.

With interesting informational books like You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!, all your students will be superstar readers!

For more information about the You Can’t series, please visit blueapplebooks.com.

 

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You Can’t Taste a Pickle With Your Ear

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Art, Body Smart, Early Learning, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas, Nature Smart, Non-Fiction, Range of Reading, Science, Self Smart, Vocabulary | 0 comments

You Can't Taste a Pickle With Your Ear by Harriet Ziefert and Amanda Haley When it comes to Common Core State Standards, the one that I think is the most fun is Range of Reading. (I know, I know, all the CCSS are fun, but this one is the most fun!) Range of Reading: Informational Text means we want kids to “read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts.” In other words, we can share all kinds of cool nonfiction books with our students, and I have a fun pick this week.

You Can’t Taste a Pickle With Your Ear: A Book About Your 5 Senses by Harriet Ziefert with pictures by Amanda Haley is an informational picture book with a great sense of humor. It has some nice text features like a table of contents, an introduction, a conclusion, and questions at the end of each mini-chapter for discussion. The information presented about the five senses is appropriate for early elementary students and will work well for any “all about me” units as well as for health and science studies.

Read aloud the title You Can’t Taste a Pickle With Your Ear and you’ll get students grinning. You can read the 32-page book in one sitting, or read each mini-chapter devoted to a different sense one at a time. For an art activity that will bring together all the information in the book (so we’re Integrating Knowledge & Ideas as well as working on Range of Reading), have students make a self-portrait and label the body parts they use for each of the five senses. To get those Nature Smart/experiential learners really involved, bring in pickles for the class. Students can write about how they used each of their five senses as they look at, smell, touch, hear (long crunchy pickles that snap in half work best), and taste. Remind your students again about the title of the book (but keep paper towels on hand in case any of your students feel the need to test for themselves.)

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