One Day on Our Blue Planet series

November 18, 2016

by Ella Bailey

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These books would make great read alouds when studying biomes or ecosystems.

…In the Antarctic follows an Adelie penguin through a typical day, including interactions with other penguins and penguin lifestyle, as well as other animals and things in the Antarctic. This book includes awesome endpapers that show labeled illustrations of things found above the ice and below the ice.

…In the Savannah follows a lion cub experiencing life, under the protection of his mother, in the African savannah. This book includes awesome endpapers that show labeled illustrations of animals in the daytime and animals in the nighttime on the African savannah.

These are great jumping off points when talking about either of these biomes or continents!


Mama Built a Little Nest

April 6, 2016

Mama Built a Little Nest

by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

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Book Blurb from catalog: Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce different kinds of birds’ nests, from the scrapes falcons build on high, craggy ledges to the underground nests burrowing owls dig. Includes brief facts about each kind of bird.

Wondering how to change a research report into a poetry unit?  Try using this book as your guide!  Have students do their typical animal research, writing a wonderful descriptive paragraph.  Then challenge your students to use the information that they learned to write a rhyming couplet or ABAB poem.  This project might be a good one for your early-finishers or those that love creative writing.

Or use this book in a more traditional sense to compare and contrast the nests created by different animals.  This book would be a great mentor text for young students just learning how to use a Venn Diagram.


April 6, 2016

by Lori Nichols

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This title will be on next year’s Prairie Bud list!

Book Blurb from Catalog: When Maple was born, her parents planted a maple tree in her honor. The tree becomes Maple‘s favorite playmate throughout the seasons. When Maple is surprised with a baby sister, the two of them enjoy the tree, which is right next to baby Willow’s tree.

While the text does not teach the seasons, the beautiful illustrations sure shows how a deciduous tree, like a maple, changes from season to season.

Also, if you have a student who is about to become a big sister or brother, or is an only child, this would be a great book to read aloud to him or her.

I Fall Down

December 11, 2015

I Fall Down

by Vicki Cobb, illustrated by Julia Gorton

Book blurb from the catalog: Simple experiments introduce the basic concept of gravity and its relationship to weight.

Tie in science with your informational text units in reading when you are covering gravity and weight in science class!  This books gives a very basic description of gravity with many hands-on experiments that your students can try along with you as you read I Fall Down!

Neighborhood Sharks

December 10, 2015

Neighborhood Sharks

by Katherine Roy

Book Blurb: Presents information on the great white sharks who live in the waters around the Farallon Islands near San Francisco, including information about their physical characteristics, behaviors, hunting activities, and habitat.


Here are some great resources on how to incorporate Neighborhood Sharks as a mentor text for your nonfiction writing unit:

This activity addresses Common Core Standards RI.2.3, RI.2.6 / RI.3.8 / RI.4.3
Farallon Island Food Chain Graphic Organizer:

This activity addresses Common Core Standards: RL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.7, RL.3.4, RI.3.1, RI.3.7
From the same website, here’s an idea to use this nonfiction book as a starting point to write similes.



A Chicken Followed Me Home!

December 9, 2015

A Chicken Followed Me Home!

Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl

by Robin Page

Inquisitive minds must know!  What do you do if a chicken follows you home?  This nonfiction text teaches you just what to do if you want to be able to take care of that chicken!  In a question and answer format, an unnamed narrator asks simple questions like What will my chicken eat?, Will my chicken fly away?, How do I keep my chicken safe?, among others.  After each question there is a short paragraph answering each question.

A great addition to lessons introducing questioning and diving deeper into a topic.

This is a great addition to the kindergarten unit when hatching chicks!


Another review: