WELCOME TO STEM FRIDAY

November 4, 2011

Mr. Linky and I didn’t work out after all. Feel free to send your posts  in the comments  thoughout the weekend.

STEM Friday

1. Archimedes Notebook reviews “Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature” – an awesome new book by Joyce Sidman.

2. MotherReader is sharing a preschool program she designed for the library, Science and Stories.

3. Anastasia at Chapter Book of the Day has The Water Cycle (Science Foundations) by Nikole Brooks Bethea (Author) – the debut book of her former student!

4. Roberta at Wrapped in Foil has has two Kingfisher books today from the My Life in the Wild series. She reviews Penguin and Cheetah.

5. Zoe at Playing By the Book has is has The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins.

3-D Theater Rainforest

By Kathryn Jewett

Illustrated by Fiammetta Dogi

Kingfisher, 2011

ISBN #978-0-7534-6467-0

Ages 4-8

“Stand still for a moment on the forest floor and armies of ant will stomp over our feet. Leeches start slinking toward you, hungry for blood. The trees above block out most of the light, so fungi, ferns, and mosses grow where the green plants can’t. It may be dark and damp, but this is one of the busiest layers of the forest.”

This gorgeous pop-up book puts the rainforest in a 3-D view to illustrate and narrate the rainforest layers and its inhabitants. Every other page gives information about the animals and plants living in that level. Alternating pages pop out to form a view deeper inside the rainforest. Cut out pop-ups fill the forest niches with animals and plants found there. Additional animal information is found around the edges of each theater scene.

This twenty page book is fun to read or simply look at. It’s remarkably sturdy and readers can find something new each time it was read. It would be a wonderful way to introduce rainforests to the classroom or make a lovely gift at birthday or holiday time.

Activity 1

Develop a food chain based on the plants and animals in the book.

Activity 2 (for younger children)

Identify the animals in the book or practice the colors of the life found inside the rainforest.

National Geographic has short information and pictures of rainforests.

This site explains a simple food chain.

This site has some rainforest activities.

National Science Standard: ecosystems dynamics, functioning, and resilience

Book provided by Kingfisher


3-D Theater Rainforest and 3-D Theater Ocean

October 26, 2011

3-D Theater Rainforest

By Kathryn Jewett

Illustrated by Fiammetta Dogi

Kingfisher, 2011

ISBN #978-0-7534-6467-0

Ages 4-8

“Stand still for a moment on the forest floor and armies of ant will stomp over our feet. Leeches start slinking toward you, hungry for blood. The trees above block out most of the light, so fungi, ferns, and mosses grow where the green plants can’t. It may be dark and damp, but this is one of the busiest layers of the forest.”

This gorgeous pop-up book puts the rainforest in a 3-D view to illustrate and narrate the rainforest layers and its inhabitants. Every other page gives information about the animals and plants living in that level. Alternating pages pop out to form a view deeper inside the rainforest. Cut out pop-ups fill the forest niches with animals and plants found there. Additional animal information is found around the edges of each theater scene.

This twenty page book is fun to read or simply look at. It’s remarkably sturdy and readers can find something new each time it was read. It would be a wonderful way to introduce rainforests to the classroom or make a lovely gift at birthday or holiday time.

Activity 1

Develop a food chain based on the plants and animals in the book.

Activity 2 (for younger children)

Identify the animals in the book or practice the colors of the life found inside the rainforest.

National Geographic has short information and pictures of rainforests.

This site explains a simple food chain.

This site has some rainforest activities.

National Science Standard: ecosystems dynamics, functioning, and resilience

Book provided by Kingfisher


ANIMALS

December 15, 2010

Welcome to Nonfiction Monday. Add your links in the comments below and I’ll update them throughout the day.

The Little Brainwaves Investigate…ANIMALS

Illustrated by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar

DK Publishing, 2010

ISBN # 9780756662806

Ages 5-10

Nonfiction

“What is an animal? All living things fall into two main groups. They are either an animal or a plant. They all grow, feed, and have young. But animals can do something plants can’t do—they move) or at least most of them can)? Join the little Brainwaves to find out more.”

This is a book I wish I’d written. From the beginning, it captures the spirit and joy of learning about animals and reveals the fascinating side of this area of life science.

This series, for younger audiences, follows the Brainwaves series for older kids using the little characters called the Little Brainwaves, a set of helpful guides to direct the reader throughout the book.

The book begins with an introduction to animals, distinguishing vertebrates from invertebrates. It also introduces scientific nomenclature in a simple way. It’s divided into clear sections, with small segments of information explained in an easily understandable way. Spreads following further distinguish the animals and their activities, including details about the different groups. It covers life cycles, parents, habits, habitats, and invertebrates. The concluding spread gives interesting facts and a little history about animals and grouping. A detailed glossary and index make up the back matter.

Bright, inviting photos are mixed with the Little Brainwaves guys in an attractive layout. The designer did a wonderful job on this book. It’s appealing and bright, friendly and fascinating. It would make a great story time book or would be a good book to book talk. It’s a great reference and an even better bargain at a reasonable price for a resource kids will return to again and again.

Activity

Choose an animal from the book. Look up its scientific name. Then create that animal’s life cycle in an interesting way, showing the stages it undergoes as it is born, develops, and becomes an adult. Include a timeline in the project. This might be a power point, a chart, or a diorama. Maybe you can create another way to show information about your animal.

For more animal information, see National Geographic’s pages.

The Animal Diversity Web has examples of animal life cycles.

Enchanted Learning has good life cycle examples.

This site has a variety of information.

Growing With Science has lots of great life cycle ideas.

National Science Standard: life cycle of animals; organisms and their environment

 Book provided by publisher.

NONFICTION MONDAY

Welcome to Nonfiction Monday. We have some great books and posts about literature for kids today and every Monday. Take a look at them all!

Wild About Nature blog has a review of Jean Marzollo’s new book, Pierre the Penguin: A True Story. They will also be giving a copy away to one lucky reader!

Abby the Librarian has  a review of OLD ABE, WAR HERO by Patrick Young.

Bookends  Booklist Blog has BONES by Steve Jenkins.

 NC Teacher Stuff has a review of SHATTERING EARTHQUAKES by Louise and Richard Spilsbury.
 
Bookends  reviews Steve Jenkins’ fascinating  BONES.

Stacey has Ubiquitous at her blog.

The Cath in the Hat has She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story, a picture book biography about the first woman inducted into the Hall of fame. It’s by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Don Tate.

Bookish Blather continues  reading the YALSA nonfiction award shortlist titles with The Dark Game by Paul Janeczko.

Roberta at Wrapped in Foil offers a book nominated for a Cybils in the nonfiction MG/YA category.  Journey into the Deep is by Rebecca L. Johnson.

Pink Me has a review of Code Quest: Heiroglyphs by Sean Callery and  illustrated by Jurgen Ziewe.

Jone at Check It Out reviews three dinosaur books from the Cybils NFPB nominees–and dinosaurs are always a hit with kids.


A PLACE FOR FROGS

May 12, 2010

A Place For Frogs

By Melissa Stewart

Illustrated by Higgins Bond

Peachtree, 2010

ISBN #978-1-56145-521-8

Grades 2-5

Nonfiction picture book

“Frogs make our world a better place. But sometimes people do things that make it hard for them to live and grown. If we work together to help these special creatures, there will always be a place for frogs.”

This book is the third in a series of A Place For books from Peachtree Publishers. Short, narrative text describes the general topic along the top of the spread and inset sidebars cite a specific example to support the text. Another inset picture illustrates the frog in the example. The book describes the interactions of humans, other animals, and frogs and the resulting, harmful effects on the frogs and their habitat. Suggestions for making changes follow the frog descriptions.

Specific ways children can make a difference in keeping the natural environment safe for frogs is included in the back, along with frog facts, a bibliography, and websites for more information. The realistically rendered artwork by Bond depicts in beautiful detail the environment and the different frogs in their natural habitat colors. Kids should have fun poring over the frogs in this book while teachers and librarians can coordinate it with a lesson on life cycles, the environment, and habitats.

Activity 1

Draw and illustrate the life cycle of a frog.

Activity 2

Create a food chain that includes the frog, tadpole, or frog eggs. Use the information from the book (spread with Other Animals Need Frogs) or look up more information about what frogs eat and expand the food chain to a food web.

Activity 3

Research toads. Look for information about their habitats and environmental problems they may have. Write your own frog page in the style of this book.

Here’s good information with more details.

Life cycle information about frogs

Label the life cycle

Higher level frog food chain activity—reminds me of the project Wild activity Oh Deer!

 Older students may want to read The Frog Scientist by Pamela Turner. See my blog post on The Frog Scientist.

National Science Standards: life cycle, organisms in environment

Book provided by publisher to Librarian’s Choices Committee

 


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