I have decided to link up with my buddies at Hello Sunshine and offer up some ideas about one of my favorite seasons- spring.
I love bugs! Well, not in my hair or in my pants, but I think they are very cool everywhere else. Some kids are super scared of bugs, and squeal when they are found in the classroom. I think I bump up a notch when I pick up crickets with my bare hands and take them outside.
Spring is a natural time to learn about insects. They come out in full force, ready to pollinate and eat my picnic lunch. The kids are so excited when we start to learn about insects. When the kids understand how insects like bees and ants can be helpful, their views seem to change. All of a sudden, I see kids getting down on the dirt to observe the ants, and searching through the grass to find ladybugs. I have always wanted to give them magnifying glasses to look at the ants, but I didn't want to run the risk of frying a few ants in the name of education.
I have decided to share a few of my favorite books about insects. All of these books have been used in my classroom with much success. Amazing questions are asked and connections are made after the books are read. "Is the queen ant fed royal jelly like the queen bee?" Seriously... a six year old asked that question. Ah-may-zing!
Time for Kids is always a safe bet for the classroom. The pictures are awesome, and the book is written at a level that primary students can understand.
I love National Geographic Kids! The books always have plenty of non-fiction text features to point out and discuss. We always talk about the importance of reading EVERYTHING on the page, since it helps with our understanding of the topic. I try to trick the kids and skip over the text features, and they always catch me.
I also love the fact that the books have a Table of Contents. At the beginning of the year, I teach my students about the table of contents, and tell them how it will give a broad range of pages. I always hold my arms out to show them the range is "this big" (like when telling a "I once caught a fish this big" story). We then talk about the index (and we point to show that it's more precise). So, when I flip open these books and say, "It has a table of contents," my students automatically open their arms and say, "Table of Contents". Of course, you can imagine what happens next.... yep... it's a point with "index" being said.
Boys and girls both love Fly Guy. With the addition of the non-fiction to the Fly Guy repertoire, kids are automatically drawn to these books. The facts are great, and the appearances by Fly Guy add a little something.
I love this ladybug book! It is written at an independent reading level, so the kids love to borrow the book and read it on their own. The book is quite large, so it's a bit awkward to hold for a read aloud, but the photos are really cool.