Have you ever wondered where raindrops come from? Do you want to learn how they form?
Down Comes the Rain, by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by James Graham Hale is an informative and brightly colored approach to learning about the life of a raindrop. The book begins simply by stating where raindrops come from: clouds. Children will learn that clouds are made of tiny drops of water that have gone through many phases before they reach the earth. These phases are described by examples of everyday activities children can observe, such as the evaporation of water as clothes dry outside on a line in the sun. Children will learn all the different places that this water in the air comes from and then finally, why it falls to the earth.
In these high, cold clouds,water vapor changes to droplets, and the droplets change to drops. The drops freeze into ice.
The book then transitions and teaches about hailstones and their creation. This type of weather may be fascinating to a child because it is so rare. In recapturing the child’s interest, the author is again reinforcing the stages that occur in order for it to rain. At the end, there is a recap of all that was covered in the book. The bright and busy pictures and the way that some of the text reads like a comic book, create a more exciting approach to learning about rain.
This book may help a child observe the weather in his/her everyday life (K.8). The student will understand basic types, changes, and patterns of weather (2.6). The student will understand the processes involved in the water cycle (3.9). The student will investigate certain weather phenomena (4.6).
Book: Down comes the Rain
Author: Franklyn M. Branley
Illustrator: James Graham Hale
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 1997
Have you ever found an egg in your backyard? Do you want to find out more about eggs and the creatures they protect within them?
An Egg is Quiet, illustrated by Sylvia Long and written by Dianna Aston, portrays the life of an egg and all of its many characteristics. The book describes not just one type of egg, but an array of animal eggs and reflects on their unique differences while reminding the reader of their similarities. The depictions of the eggs themselves in the beautiful water color illustrations are ideal in learning sizes and shapes and textures of each individual egg. Every egg is always labeled so that the reader knows which creature is waiting inside the egg until the time that the egg breaks and is no longer “quiet”.
We even find out why eggs have the shapes, colors and textures they do. It is because they need them to survive. They blend in or use “camouflage”. In this quotation from the book, we find out where the egg lives and why its shape is important.
“Sea turtles dig a hole in the sand and lay up to 200 soft, round eggs. Round eggs fit together nicely in tight spaces.”
At the end of the book, there are diagrams showing the different stages of growth inside the egg. We find out how the egg takes care of the creature inside it. Finally, the creature hatches and the last page depicts colorful pictures of the animals that spring from their egg homes.
This book may help a child understand the life cycle of animals and how these offspring are different from what the mother looks like at first(K.6). Children can also learn that a creature has needs, even within the egg, in order to grow(1.4). Children will learn about the physical characteristics animals needs to survive(1.5) and how camouflage works (3.4). Finally, children can investigate changes in the life cycle (2.4).
Book: An Egg is Quiet
Author: Dianna Aston
Illustrator: Sylvia Long
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 26 pages
Have you ever wondered why when you plug your ears, you cannot hear as well? Learn why and how your ears allow you to hear sounds and have fun while doing it.
Perk Up Your Ears by Vicki Cobb cannot only be used as an educational way to learn the mechanisms or the ear and how they produce sound. It is also a fun-filled, activity based book that will have kids on the go from the very beginning. Let’s face it, even the front cover entices you to take a peek inside for those people who judge a book by its cover. The catchphrase on the front says it all. “Discover your sense of hearing.” Not only will kids read and learn, but they will investigate and experiment with the ways in which sounds are produced using ordinary objects found in the home or classroom.
“The outer ear is made up of the pinna and the ear canal. The end of the canal is closed by a very thin “skin” called the eardrum. Sound strikes the eardrum and makes it vibrate. You can see how this happens if you stretch some plastic wrap tightly across the top of a bowl. Imagine that the stretched plastic wrap is your eardrum. Sprinkle some grains of sugar on the stretched plastic wrap drum. The sugar will dance up and down as the drum vibrates.”
The excerpt above is an example of the method the author uses to make the lesson information more tangible. The language of the book at times may seem a bit over the top in explaining the workings of the ear, but Vicki brings it back down to a child’s level by following it with an interactive approach. She discusses sound as energy and diagrams the structure of the inner ear. She also lists the parts of the outer ear and fun ways to understand how the entire ear works together by having the child use other senses, such as touch and vision, to understand concepts. Cobb even gives ways to check one’s own hearing and that of others. She gives tips about maintaining one’s hearing health and the ways in which harm may be done to it.
The bright and witty illustrations of Cynthis C. Lewis in this book will have kids mesmerized. The funny cartoons and eccentric art are another way for kids to be engaged in this book. Cobb definitely makes a point to ensure that this learning process is fun.
This book could be used to help students seek, find, take in and react to information about the sense of hearing and its sensory descriptors (K.2). It may also help students learn to conduct investigations in which differences in physical properties are observed using the senses, simple tools are used to enhance observations, simple experiments are conducted to answer questions, inferences are made and conclusions are drawn about familiar objects and events.(1.1)
Book: Perk Up Your Ears
Author: Vicki Cobb
Illustrator: Cynthia C. Lewis
Publisher: The Millbrook Press, Inc.
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 29 pages