November 23, 2010

Animal Classification--Other Bird Books We Liked

For poetry our favorite was Today at the Bluebird Cafe: A Branchful of Birds by Deborah Ruddell. Very cute, very clever, perfect for the early elementary age group.
For older students (this was not as well received by my four year old) we liked Wild Wings: Poems for Young People by Jane Yolen. My older children loved it because of the photographs. They prefer seeing real birds to drawings of birds.

For general bird information we really liked How and Why Birds Use Their Beaks by Elaine Pascoe. We even quizzed ourselves using the vocabulary words in the back and the quiz found in the back. Perfect because it doesn't have as much text as some of the other books but what is there is interesting and the pictures are nice.

We also greatly enjoyed Eggs and Chicks by Fiona Patchett. It was about eggs and chicks. The text was relatively minimal and it had great illustrations. All my children enjoyed it.

World Book's Animals of the World: Penguins and Other Flightless Birds was one of our very favorites. There was no cover picture available. Although this is a longish book for my children's ages, none of my children got bored or left or started trying to flip the pages (does that bug anyone else when their children do it???). We read it in the morning, and that night at supper my children were full of flightless bird facts to share with their dad. Awesome.

For deciding what kind of birds flock to eat the berries from our burning bush every fall, we found World Book's Science and Nature Guides: Birds very helpful. It organized the birds by habitat so we stuck mainly to the "City and Suburbs" section when we looked at it together. Miriam, however, discovered how to use the index and became an expert at looking up birds in the Nature Guide while we read other bird books. For example, while we read Wild Wings by Jane Yolen, Miriam had the Nature Guide handy and decided from the photograph where each bird's most likely habitat was and looked up that section in the Nature Guide to see if the bird was included. The first photo/poem is about an egret in a river so Miriam quickly flipped to the "Seashores and Marshes" section to see if she could find "egret." She was thrilled when she was successful in finding a bird. I was thrilled that she could navigate a non-fiction reference book so handily. Yeah for an unexpected language arts lesson created entirely by my 7 year old daughter. (No picture was available.)

All these books are available from the Davis County Library System. Go reserve your copy.

PS Does anyone else think of taking their children to the library as worse than cleaning the bathroom? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I pretty much do all of my library "shopping" online. Reserve all the books in advance, then flip through them when they arrive to do a quick "appropriate for age group" check while at the library, then peruse them more thoroughly when I get them home. I love my librarians. They never complain about the extensive work I create for them. Maybe they're glad I don't bring Eli--Mr. Pull Every Book Off the Shelf in Thirty Seconds himself. Or maybe they are glad I don't take Cowen--Mr. Yell As Loud as Possible at Eli for Pulling Books Off the Shelf.

While it would be perfectly legitimate for them to be grateful that I don't take my children to the library, I don't think that is why they are so sweet to me. I also don't think it is just because it is their job. Since the librarians ask me what we're studying, and what we'll be studying next, and if I had all the resources I needed for that last unit--I think they are just nice. All-round nice people.

Bless librarians everywhere. Especially the ones at the North Branch.

1 comment:

  1. I had been wondering how you "found" all of your books for a unit so quickly and easily! Very clever (and totally logical! Why didn't I think of that?!). :)

    I have four kids (including a baby) and I've taken all four kids to the library -- by myself -- only once. My four year-old daughter thought it was clever to pull off the series books from the rotating shelf thing (it holds books like "The Magic Treehouse", "Nancy Drew", etc. etc. You know, older-kid books) and lay them all over the floor and then sit and look at one or two. :) Very nice. So mom had to help her put them all back -- in their proper places -- because said-4 year-old doesn't know how to alphabetize. :)

    But, I'd have to say, it's not so bad taking them to the library, BUT I certainly get a lot more quality books checked out if I check ahead of time online or go by myself!! :) :) So, I understand your angst!!

    I'm loving your animal classification unit. We'll be starting our animal unit in January and I'm VERY excited about it!! :) :)