Written by Shelley Rotner and David A. White
Your body is incredibly well-designed! Rotner’s and White’s book is an easy-to-understand book about the major organ groups of the body. With large, real pictures and clearly written text, this book is well-suited for a third grade class as a read-aloud, especially in a small group setting. Students will find the illustrations overlaying the photographs easy to understand; the ear bones illustration is especially helpful. The x-ray of teeth is also enlightening because students reading this book will be in full swing of tooth loss and replacement, so they will marvel at the sight of the adult teeth growing beneath the baby teeth. For students who are hungry for more information, there is a glossary and a section that further describes the body’s systems.
As a comprehension activity, students may list five facts they learned from the book and one thing they would like to learn more about. Students may then visit the library and research their topic further. Activities like this help students learn the basics of research, reinforcing library and inquiry skills. As a math-literacy connection, students should measure each other and figure out how long their digestive tracts are, according to the ratio given in the book. For kinesthetic learners, it would be really good to pose as the models in the book, take pictures, and then label the students’ body systems just like in the book. All students will get a kick out of trying to capture an up-in-the-air shot like the photograph for muscles. Students may even create scale illustrations of their body systems to overlay their photographs. Body Actions is a fantastic book for connecting literacy with science, math, and physical education.