December 10, 2010

FIsh: Shark Day

We didn't do much of anything exciting with sharks (besides a few accidental terrifying youtube videos the kids clicked on when I turned my back for a second--we were supposed to be learning about marlins), but we did read several books that we really liked.

Risky Business Marine Biologist: Swimming with the Sharks by Keith Elliot Greenberg. This book pretty much convinced my son he wanted to be a marine biologist.
The Magic School Bus Chapter Book: The Great Shark Escape by Jennifer Johnston. This one Miriam read to herself. She loves Magic School Bus.
All About Sharks by Jim Arnosky. Perfect for the younger crowd--lots of info but not too much and very interesting.
Shark Lady: True Adventures of Eugenie Clark by Ann McGovern. This book is about 100 pages long. I checked it out for Miriam to read on her own, but she turned up her cute little nose and said it looked "boring." I said, "fine," and proceeded to start reading it to Cowen. Within 10 seconds Miriam was tucked up next to us on the couch. She and Cowen stayed that way while I read the entire thing in one sitting. There are lots of pics and larger print. Emeline stayed for half of it. Her story was fascinating, especially from a feminist standpoint since she was a working mother before that was acceptable in a job that almost entirely excluded women. My children didn't really get that, but they certainly loved the first part about her childhood and the parts where she hung out with the prince of Japan. They liked all of it, as did I. I just wished she'd managed to keep her family intact while accomplishing everything else she accomplished. Not really my business. I know.
The Shark Almanac by Thomas B. Allen. This book is an adult book and too detailed to be useful with really small children except for the center portion with a number of large color photos. We liked those. We liked those a lot. Not National Geographic quality, but still very nice to have all in one place so we could compare different sharks and find things like gills and lateral lines.

After reading through our shark books, we made our own little shark book. I used the kidzone Itsy Bitsy Books printout. You can find it here.

After coloring, cutting, and stapling our little books, we filled out the shark labeling worksheet. I used the "beginner" worksheet that has the possible word choices listed at the top of the page. Miriam adores worksheets and we hadn't done one in awhile. Plus, excellent handwriting practice. You can find the worksheet here.

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