Archive for Nature

Nature’s Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats

By Mary Miché
Illustrated by Consie Powell

Outstanding Science Trade Book 2013 from the National Science Teacher’s Association and the Children’s Book Council (click for more info)

Finalist for the 2013 Foreward Magazine Book of the Year

2013 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval

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In the book Nature’s Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats, readers learn that nature, “…has many different habitats all pieced together to create our wonderful planet.” By extending the quilt analogy through the entire book, author Mary Miché and illustrator Consie Powell provide a solid introduction to the world’s habitats.
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Wings Within

By Franklin Hill, Ph.D.

Illustrated by Aries Cheung

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“I’m tired of being a plain old turtle,” says Myrtle, the main character in Wings Within, “I want to be a BUTTERFLY!”  Myrtle thinks butterfly thoughts and imagines that if she tucks into her shell she will be able to grow beautiful wings and fly. Try as she might, though, Myrtle remains a turtle.
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The Boy and His Mud Horses and other stories from the Tipi

Written and Illustrated by Paul Goble

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At first glance, this lovely story collection is a bunch of random myths and legends that have nothing in common.  On closer inspection, magic is the common theme.  The foreword and introduction written by a tribal leader, Albert White Hat, and the author, Paul Goble, talk about the role that storytelling played for Native Americans.  White Hat emphasizes how stories teach about life, both the good and the bad.  Goble talks about how stories teach in a symbolic way that is meaningful in different ways during different times of a listener or reader’s life.  Goble urges readers to allow time to let the stories take hold in the imagination.  At the heart of all the stories, there is a mystical happening, an ever-present knowledge that there is more than what we humans can see.
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Granny’s Clan: A Tale of Wild Orcas

By Dr. Sally Hodson

Illustrated by Ann Jones

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Can you imagine being a 100 year old Granny? How about a 100 year old Granny that has spent her entire life in the Pacific Northwest Ocean?  This Granny rules as the matriarch of an orca whale pod. She leads the family in searching for salmon, teaches young mothers how to care for their babies, and plays with all the pod.  Third graders will learn about how the orcas live in the ocean with descriptions of daily life. With the help of soft, colorful, and detailed illustrations, the book moves beautifully through the sea with the Orcas.
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A Place for Bats

By Melissa Stewart

Illustrated by Higgins Bond

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There are more than 1100 species of bats on earth. North America has 45 kinds of bats but we really do not know much about them. Maybe it is because they are “creatures of the night”, maybe because we think only of vampire bats and forget all the other species that make our world a better place.
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Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World

By Laurie Lawlor

Illustrated by Laura Beingessner

Outstanding Science Trade Book 2013 from the National Science Teacher’s Association and the Children’s Book Council (click for more info)

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Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World is an excellent resource and biography to include on the third grade reading level list. This book tells of the life of Rachel Carson, pioneering environmentalist.

The subject matter may seem a bit complex at first for third grade readers but the information is written at the third grade level. The book includes many facts about how Rachel Carson became first a biologist and a writer, then a researcher. She became a famous environmentalist and her work had lasting effects on our laws today long after she had died.

Comprehension is enhanced by the water color illustrations throughout the book. There is also a great list of resources and information to enhance the third grade classroom experience. The book gives many of the activities that Ms. Carson did during her career including photography, drawing, writing, and learning all she could about animals and wildlife in and around the ocean. Each of these activities could lead to classroom discussions and activities that mimic Ms Carson’s research giving teachers a spring board for enhancing a science or nature lesson. This book would be excellent to include in science or nature modules in the third grade classroom.

Another positive for teachers is included in the reference section which offers additional details to a number of statements of fact in the story. This allows more ideas for discussion so the third grade reader may comprehend the importance of Rachel Carson and her work and ideas for activities.

  • Rachel CarsonTitle: Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
  • Author: Laurie Lawlor
  • Illustrator: Laura Beingessner
  • Publisher: Holiday House
  • Reviewer: Terri Forehand
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-8234-2370-5
  • Genre: Juvenile Biography
  • Lexile Score: 820

Those Magical Manatees

By Jan Lee Wicker

Illustrated by Steve Weaver

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Did you know that manatees are also known as “sea cows”?  Those Magical Manatees is filled with interesting facts about this gentle sea giant.

The book is organized in a question and answer format. The author asks and provides the answers to twenty questions, starting with “What is a manatee?” and ending with the question “What can you do to protect the manatees?”  We learn that human activities cause them most injuries. In fact, scientists distinguish one manatee from another by looking at the scars.
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Can We Share the World with Tigers?

Written and Illustrated by Robert E. Wells

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Everyone, even the youngest of readers have heard of tigers. The author wisely uses the tiger as a vehicle to present important conservation-related issues.

We read that the Bengal tiger is in danger of becoming extinct, but falling prey to poachers is not the only reason that they are in danger. Their natural habitat (and that of their prey) is being destroyed to make way for farms and ranches. More than 90% of their original habitat, an astonishing number, has been destroyed.
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