Recommended Reading About The Night Sky
- Pre-K to Grade 2 "When the Moon is Full-A Lunar Year" -Penny Polluck A book of poems describing the name of each month's full moon as shared through Native American stories/history. It is a great ELA complement to any science lesson on the moon!
- Grade K-4 "The Constellations" series. This series includes 8 different books on various constellations and is where I got most of my constellation lore from to support this month's lesson. The stories include fabulous and sometimes "colorful" myths that may need an adult to translate it into something more kiddo friendly!
- Grades 1-4 "Midnight on the Moon" Mary Pope Osborne This is the 8th book in the Magic Tree House series. It is interesting for young readers and has lots of information about what it is like on the moon. She wrote a factual supplement to complement the story with more space facts.
- Moon Sand: this website lists 6 easy recipes, all of which will add a tactile component to a lesson about the moon!
- Constellation Cards: here are the cards I used during the lesson for you to print for your own use. We did the winter constellations: Gemini, Orion & Cassiopeia this December. But here are my summer cards also: Aguila, Ursa Major (the Big Dipper is his tail) and Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). And here are the kid-friendly versions of the Greek myths that went with the winter cards.
- Constellation Tubes: a fun craft, can be done with a little planning ahead but otherwise with things found around the house!
- The phases of the moon can be tricky, but for you elementary (and older) classroom teachers, this display may do the trick!
- Here is a neat and inexpensive way for little hands to paint the moon with foil.
Recommended Reading About Birds
- Pre-K-Grade 3 "Owl Moon" -Jane Yolen This book is good anytime, but maybe more so in the winter as it is a book that makes you feel like you are out "owling" in the wintry woods with the characters!
- Pre-K-Grade 1 "Feathers, Not Just For Flying" -Melissa Stewart Great information about the many uses of feathers.
- Pre-K to Grade 2 "Mama Built a Little Nest" -Jennifer Ward Sweet, sweet book. My 8 year old LOVED it!
- Grades 1-5 "Everything Bird" -Cherie Winner (very kid friendly language with lots of accurate and interesting information)
- Grades 3+ "Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists: Backyard Birds" (great general information about common birds)
- Grades 5-8 "What Makes A Bird A Bird?" -May Garelich
- N is for Nest requires considerable scissor work for the teacher before the lesson, but is a great way to incorporate letter sounds with a lesson on birds
- Bird Feeders or Bird Cakes for the playground--This will attract fun visitors to your yard. Use lard as a substitute for almond butter if allergies are a concern.
- Dove Paintings easy set-up, neat result
- Bald Eagles Older kids like crafts too! This is a great way to finish up a book, report or lesson on Bald Eagles or other birds
- Paper Plate Owls looks like fun!
Recommended reading about habitats
- Pre-K-K "The Busy Tree" -Jennifer Ward (the book I read in the twos and threes lesson)
- Pre-K-2 "One Small Place In A Tree" -Barbara Brenner
- Pre-K-5 "Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow" -Joyce Sidman (a book of poems about nature with an explanation of the related science)
- Grades 2-5 "About Habitats" -Cathryn Sill (a series of books with information on different habitats; great reference books for projects; beautiful pictures, simple writing but great information)
- Grades 3-5 "One Small Square: Woods" -Donald Silver (also a series with terrific information)
- Porthole Habitat Craft The website said this was done by a preschool which I find impressive; I think it would be terrific to accompany a research project on a habitat--could be really fun for crafty and imaginative kids
- Mixed Media Forest Print (Grades 1+)--could tie into a discussion of using recycled materials for art
- Letter Art: Cut out a large block first letter of each child's first name. Take the children outside to collect natural materials from their playground or bring some natural materials in for them to choose from (leaves, sticks, acorns etc.) With glue, allow students to decorate their letter with the natural materials.
Check out how beavers make their dams!
RECOMMENDED READING about insects
Pre-K "How to Hide a Butterfly & Other Insects" -Ruth Heller
K-2 "Are You An Ant?" -Judy Allen & Tudor Humphries
K-3 "The Best Book of Bugs" -Claire Llewe
pre-K-grade 2 "A Butterfly is Patient" -Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long
Grades 1-4 "Cicadas! Strange & Wonderful" -Laurence Pringle
Insect Themed Crafts
Pre K-1 Tissue Paper Bee Simple & Inexpensive
Pre K-1 Butterfly Suncatchers Will Need Time to Go Outside to Collect Sticks; Time Intensive for Teacher
Grades 1-3 Yarn Wrapped Bee Craft Requires Teacher Prep Beforehand
- Pre K -2 Butterfly Life Cycle Using paper plates, pasta and colors, this is a fun, easy activity that you can keep simple or expand as a bigger project.
- Butterfly & Grasshopper comparison game--cut, color and spin to compare different insect life cycles
Grades K-2 "Inspect an Insect" just under 4 minutes; provides an overview of information
Grades 1+ "Amazing and Unusual Insects" about 8 minutes; a slideshow of pictures with music
- Cicada Life Cycle--an AMAZING up close video from the BBC. It is about 5 minutes and shows the transformation from a larva to a winged adult. For kids in NC this is so relevant and worth the watch!
Recommended Reading About Seeds
"The Nature & Science of Seeds" -Jane Burton & Kim Taylor (wonderful research book with activity ideas) Recommended for Grade 2+
"The Life of An Apple" -Clare Hibbert (great for a research project and beautiful pictures) Recommended for Grade 2+
"What Kinds of Seeds Are These?" -Heidi Bee Roemer Recommended for Pre K-Grade 1
"A Seed is Sleepy" -Diana Hutts Aston (absolutely beautiful pictures!) Recommended for K-2
Seed Crafts (follow the links below)
Sunflower Full of Seeds Very fun, inexpensive and a little messy! Beware of students with seed allergies!
How to Make Maracas This is terrific for preschoolers
Pine Cone Bird Feeders This is something your students could bring home or you could hang in your school yard to attract wildlife! I think older students would have fun with this too! Beware of students with seed allergies!
Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders This one is messy but my boys had a great time doing it and they made great Christmas gifts for their teachers!
I Can Hear The Ocean: A Study of Seashells
Seashells.org A resource to bookmark on the device you bring to the beach so you can identify the shells you collect on vacation! A great alternative to those of you who have given up on traveling with books thanks to your electronic devices.
"Carolina Seashells" -Nancy Rhyne A small paperback perfect for your beach bag. This book will help you identify what you find at the beach this summer or anytime throughout the year.
"Seashells of Georgia & the Carolinas, a Beachcomber's Guide" -Blair & Dawn Witherington Also a great guide for a trip to the beach. This book has fewer individual organisms listed than Rhyne's book but lots of information on groups of organisms. This is a great book for kids to flip through in the classroom.
"Snails & Other Mollusks" -Steven Otfinoski While written for terrific second grade readers and older, I learned a lot from this book! This would be a great resource for class projects on mollusks or just a good read for a young animal lover.
Sensory Bin Alphabet Shells: This sensory bin can be set up for the summer and stored away the rest of the year, allowing for a fun change of scenery for kids. I love any opportunity to use natural materials for classroom lessons like early reading and spelling skills!
Fun with Play-doh: This is Play-doh with a purpose: teaching form and function, anatomical studies & observation and fine motor skills. Easy and inexpensive!
Painting Seashells: This simple activity will inadvertently introduce the wide diversity of shells to your students and may help them develop an appreciation for the beauty of seashells.
Seashell Mosaics: Who else has kids who bring home buckets of shells and shell fragments from the beach? Here is a fun way to save the memories of the trip!