Jacqueline Briggs Martin lives in Vernon, Iowa with her family. She is an award winning author who has been honored as the recipient of the Bulletin Blue Ribbon book, SLJ Best book, ALA Notable, and many more. The way she is able to truly incorporate history into a fun and interesting children’s book in just incredible. Snowflake Bentley is based on a true story of W.A. Bentley and his early recordings of snowflakes. The book begins with W.A. Bentley as a child, playing in the snow and absolutely loving each and every snowflake. It then shows W.A. Bentley growing into a teen and how his family spent all their life savings on a camera for Bentley to use to photograph snowflakes. It then leads us to him in his older age, and how because of W.A. Bentley we now get to see pictures of snowflakes. Another aspect about this book that was really enjoyable was on the side of each page there were true facts about W.A. Bentley himself. Therefore if you had a child which was really interested in learning more about this topic, you could refer him to this book. For example one page talked about how he got a camera, but the side information explained
The camera made images on large glass negatives. Its microscope could magnify a tiny crustal from sixty-four to 3,600 times its actual size.
This book is truly a wonderful book for children of all ages.
This book would be a wonderful asset to a lesson dealing with weather, observation, change of habitat, and many more. This book can help you cover many of the Virginia SOL’s for second grade.
- Jacqueline Briggs Martin herself has a website with different materials which directly relate to her different books. This is a wonderful way of incorporating different materials along with her books. This is a great site with tons of different activities, check it out!!!
- It would be really awesome to show the children Wilson Bentley’ actual site with real pictures of snowflakes he actually took pictures of. This is a sight that you would project up in your classroom and actual read more about Wilson Bentley himself, and observe some of his work.
- This is actual a really awesome lesson plan dealing with snowflakes. I found it to be very cute and something that you could very realistically use in the classroom.
Book: Snowflakes Bentley
Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrator: Mary Azarian
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 32 pages
Mia Posada is a fantastic author and illustrator of children’s literature. She has won many awards for her work, such as the National Science Teachers Association Award, Children’s Book Council Award, and the Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students k-12 Selector’s Choice Award. She truly has a gift and a outstanding passion for children’s literature.
Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg starts off my giving you visual and conceptual clues on what type of eyes are being shown. This can give you, the teacher, the opportunity to ask your students to guess and explore what exact animal the book is talking about.
Their mother crawled from sea to land
To bury these soft eggs in the sand.
Can you guess what is
growing inside these eggs.
As you can see the book is laid out by using rhyming words, which makes it fun for the children to read. It also allows us to continuously work on phonics with the children and having a fun rhyme to is a different twist to a book’s layout. Also, throughout the book you will notice that once it tells you what type of animal egg they were describing, it goes on to talk about that animal and its life. As a teacher you can read this to your students and use the facts as a learning tool and/or you can use this book as a fun exploration activity to spice up a lesson plan. Teachers would/should be able to find many options and activities to explore the concepts of this book. At the end we get to see the actual size of the eggs for each animal that was talked about in the book. I find this to be a great summary to an interesting book. You may want to allow students to pass this around or have an actual sheet for them to compare and contrast the different egg sizes we just read about, in order to make the activities hands-on with your class.
This book would be a wonderful asset to a lesson on life science with grades 1st-3rd. In the Virginia SOL 1.5, 2.5 and 3.4 students will investigate and understand that animals including people have life needs and physical characteristics. Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg allows students to guess different animal eggs and their characteristics. By allowing students to guess which animals are in the pictures will allow them to use their imaginations and explore the physical characteristics of different animals and their eggs.
- Color Color Color – If you incorporated this book into the first grade classroom it would be really interesting to print pictures of a bunch of different animals from different environments. Then, allow the children to pick the different pictures they would like to color and make our own animal home. For example, you would print off 5 Alligators, 5 ducks, 5 penguins, and 5 octopus pictures!
- CyberSleuth gives us many different lesson plans for animal life cycles and characteristics. Its always nice to get ideas from different teachers who have been successful teaching the same subjects.
Book: Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg
Author/Illustrator: Mia Posada
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 28 pages
Robert E. Wells is a fantastic author of children’s literature. He’s written many educational books such as How Do You Lift a Lion, Can You Count To a Googol, What’s Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah and What’s Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?. All these books use an abundant amount of vocabulary and have detailed pictures to help students understand what is being read to them.
How Do You Lift a Lion teaches how to use the simple machines; the lever, the wheel and the pulley. There are wonderful pictures which provide a visual to the sometimes complex vocabulary used in the book. There is also arrows which point out the exact vocabulary used to a picture. For example
The main part of a lever is a bar or rod which balances, or pivots, on a fulcrum. If the force side is longer than the load side, you will have leverage. Leverage adds force to your own strength. With a force side this long, you could lift a lion.
Although this page uses a lot of vocabulary that students may not understand, there are arrows which point out what the load side is, what the fulcrum is and what a force side is. Allowing students to physically see what each of the vocabulary words look like allows them to visually understand the basic understanding of a lever, wheel, and pulley.
This book could be used as an introduction to a lesson on simple machines and or a review on the different types of simple machines and their make up. How Do You Lift a Lion, teaches about the lever, wheel, and pulley and their functions. This covers the Force, Motion, and Energy Virginia SOL 3.2.
- Moving Along With Simple Machines is a wonderful sight with great ideas a pictures for a lesson deal with simple machines and their functions.
- Pieces of Science gives so many great activities along with actual work sheets for fun, interesting and interactive activities dealing with simple machines.
- This WebQuest is a wonderful idea to have students explore simple machines by using technology. Incorporating technology into your lesson will allow students to get familiar with technology and the benefits that can come from the computer.
Book: How Do You Lift a Lion
Author/Illustrator: Robert E. Wells
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 32 pages
My Five Senses is a wonderful book for children to learn and/or refine their process skills. Born in New Jersey, Aliki is a wonderful author who incorporates a creative approach to story telling along with excellent pictures in order to attract many different age groups.
It is very important that children learn different processing skills, whereas the idea of the five senses is a very important concept to learn at a young age. In this book, Aliki allows us to bring together the concept of "sight" using a visual picture of eyes. After illustrating and explaining each of the senses, the book reviews the fact that there are five senses and explains that at any given time you can use more than one sense. For example, Aliki states "Sometimes I use all my senses at once. Sometimes I use only one. I often play a game with myself. I guess how many senses I am using at that time. When I look at the moon and the stars, I use one sense. I am seeing."
Next, Aliki continues to use examples to show children how many senses they are using while doing certain activities that they can relate to. For example, the book reads "When I laugh and play with my puppy, I use four senses. I see, hear, smell, and touch." By the end of the book the readers have reviewed the five senses once more and are reminded that throughout the day they use all five of their senses giving them confidence in their knowledge and a fun way to refresh it.
This book could be used in grades K-2. It introduces students to the five senses and relates each sense to a body part. Then the book goes on to relate each sense to an actual activity. In Virginia this relates to the K.2 SOL, which states that each child should learn the five senses and sensory description. For example, that sight comes from the eyes. You could use this book as an introduction to the lesson on senses and follow this reading with an activity allowing the students to get up and move, using each one of their five senses.
- Time For Kids offers wonderful tips and worksheets for teaching the five senses. This PDF will allow teachers to think about different ways to teach the five senses. This website also states interesting facts on each of the five senses that can be a fun way to learn and be excited about the five senses.
- A to Z Teacher Stuff has tons of different lesson plans for teaching the five senses. These lesson plans include worksheets and activities to help teach and review the five senses with your class.
- About.com offers lesson plans that direct a teacher's attention to children that are having trouble comprehending the lesson being taught. They provide many different ways of teaching the five senses and also offer worksheets and fun activities for the class to do along with integrated lessons for all types of learners.
Book:My Five Senses
Publisher: Harper Trophy
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 32 pages