2nd Grade Text Set • Related Virginia Standard of Learning: • 2.4 The student will investigate and understand that plants and animals undergo a series of orderly changes as they mature and grow. Key concepts include • a) animal life cycles; and • b) plant life cycles. • Jennifer Morasco & Janel Cajigas
How a Seed GrowsAuthor: Helene Jordan • Book Description: • This book accurately describes different life cycles of seeds through text, illustrations, and models. The book talks about how not all seeds look the same, grow the same, or how the same life cycles. This book is really fun for children because it talks about how you can plant your own seeds, take care of them, and watch them grow! The end of the book even includes an extension activity where children can find out what happens when a seed does not get everything it needs to grow or if it gets too much of something. Although this book is rated almost above grade level because of larger words, it is still appropriate because the children are familiar with these words since we have been learning them. • Instruction: • Since this book goes into detail about how to plant and grow seeds, it is a great idea to use this book as a read aloud to introduce children to the activity of planting and growing their own seeds in the classroom! This instruction would happen over a period of time but would be a great experience for children. After the read aloud the teacher can have students try to comprehend all of the steps they need to take to grow their own seeds. Afterwards, children can plant their own seeds and watch them grow. To incorporate writing, teachers can also have children write about their experience completing this activity. Teachers can even have children keep a journey and record the seeds progress every few days through pictures and words. Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 93.2 Average grade level: 2.9 Jordan, H. (1992). How a seed grows. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
From Tadpole to FrogAuthor: Wendy Pfeffer Book Description: This book accurately describes the lifecycles of a frog through text and illustrations. It describes how female frogs lay masses of jelly-coated eggs in the water and these eggs hatch into tadpoles which then grow legs and develop lungs to become a frog! This book has detailed descriptions and pictures that are child-friendly! Instruction: This book would be great for children to read on their own as long as they are reading at grade level. To differentiate learning, teachers could have students describe the life cycle of a frog using pictures or words or both. Teachers could have gifted children independently read this book and then complete an extension activity to further their learning and understanding. For instance, teachers could have gifted children create a model of the lifecycle of a frog and write descriptions of each stage. - Aside from science education, these activities are also beneficial because they relate to fluency, writing, and comprehension • Reading Levels: • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 95.7 • Average Grade Level: 2.7 Pfeffer, W. (1994). From tadpole to frog. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
What’s it Like to Be a Butterfly?Author: Jinny Johnson • Book Description: • This book accurately describes the life of a butterfly from a butterflies point of view. It talks about the stages of a butterfly through text and illustrations. Aside from the life cycle, the book also provides additional information about butterflies such as where the live in the winter, what there wings are made of, and how big they are. Furthermore, at the end of the book there is a glossary of butterfly words! Although this book is rated above grade level because of words such as butterfly, it is appropriate because the children are familiar with these words since we have been focusing on learning them. • Instruction: • Since this book is above second grade level, it would be great for a read aloud! Teachers can read this book aloud to the whole class and have children complete a writing activity following the read aloud. Since the book is written in the perspective of a butterfly, teachers can have children write their own stories in the perspective of a butterfly and they can draw on information they learned from the book. Teachers can differentiate instruction by differentiating guideline and instruction for children based on their readiness. • - Aside from science education, this instruction is beneficial because it gives children the opportunity to participate in a read aloud, practice comprehension, and writing. Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 87.2 Average grade level: 3.4 Johnson, J. (2012). What's it like to be a butterfly?. Mankato, MN: RiverStream.
From Egg to ChickenAuthor: Dr. Gerald Legg Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 96.7 Average grade level: 2.5 • Book Description: • This is a fun, bright, and educational book for children! It accurately describes the lifecycle of a chicken in detail through illustrations and text. The language is simple and easy for children to understand. Also, the book describes any vocabulary words that may be unfamiliar to children. In addition, at the end of the book, there is an illustration timeline of how an egg grows into a chick as well as fun facts about chickens. • Instruction: • For this book, teachers could have children read independently or with a partner. Children can be asked questions about the book and teachers can have them answer the questions while reading the book or afterwards depending on the children’s readiness levels. Teachers can have children write their answers as well. • Examples of questions include: (1) Where does a hen lay her eggs?, (2) Does a hen lay more than one egg at once?, (3) What does a baby chick grow inside of?, (4) How does a mother hen know an egg is about to hatch? • -Aside from science education, this instruction is beneficial because it gives children practice with fluency, writing, and comprehension. Legg, G. (1998). From egg to chicken. New York, NY: Franklin Watts.
Ten, Wriggly, Wiggly CaterpillarsAuthor: Debbie Tarbett • Book Description: • This is a fun counting backwards book for younger grades that surprises them at the end when all of the caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies! It is a 3D book with colorful and bright illustrations! • Instruction: • Since this book is on a second grade level, we would have students independently read this book. It could be put in a bin for early finishers along with an accompany worksheet. The worksheet would be meant for students to fill out as they read along, asking them what was happening as a certain number of caterpillars were left, along with space for them to predict where the caterpillars were disappearing to as they read. Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 96.7 Average grade level: 2.5 Tarbett, D. (2004). Ten wriggly wiggly caterpillars. New York, NY: Sandy Creek.
Oh Say Can You Seed?Author: Bonnie Worth Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 99.5 Average grade level: 2.9 • Book Description: • This book is colorful, humorous, and educational for children! It accurately teaches about the life cycles of plants in an entertaining way! It also contains various rhymes and picture models of plants. It provides a detailed description of the growth, parts, and functions of plants. In addition, it provides a model of the parts of a flower. Furthermore, at the end of the book, it includes a glossary of words that may be unfamiliar or difficult to children. Although this book is rated almost above grade level because of larger words, it is still appropriate since the children are familiar with this words since they have been learning them over a period of time. • Instruction: • This book would be great as both a read-aloud (assuming your class is at or below grade-level) or as an individual or partner activity (if your class if at grade level or above). There are several plant diagrams in the book that are labeled, so regardless of whether the teacher reads the text, two students read it together, or it’s read individually, the student(s) could be given worksheets with the same plant diagrams for students to color and label. Worth, B. (2001). Oh say can you seed?. New York, NY: Random House.
Growing FrogsAuthor: Vivian French Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 93.8 Average grade level: 3.0 • Book Description: • An accurate narrative tale of a young girl and her mother that decide to watch frog eggs grow and continue through the frog’s life cycle from an egg to a tadpole to a frog. The colorful illustrations and text that grows bigger and bigger alongside the frogs will captivate younger and older readers alike. • Instruction: • Because this book was rated with a 3rd grade readability level, we decided to use it as a read-aloud with a following writing prompt. After reading the book to the class, they would be asked to respond to the following question in their writing journals: • Would you want to watch your own tadpoles grow? Why or why not? French, V. (2000). Growing frogs. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
The Very Hungry CaterpillarAuthor: Eric Carle • Book Description: • A classic tale of a young caterpillar with quite the appetite serves as a good introductory tale to learning about a butterfly’s life cycle. Although lacking in key vocabulary to the insect’s life cycle, it captures students’ attention by giving them a character that is relatable in its food choices, a farce that also catches students’ humor. It is also a good resource for younger grades to use for reinforcement for counting through ten and for knowing the order of the days of the week. The average grade level was noted as being third grade, but we felt that due to the repeated use of the multi-syllabic word Caterpillar that the book would still serve as a good independent read for students on or below grade level. • Instruction • Students would read this book independently and then do a sorting activity in which they would organize events from the story (his beginning appearance, the food he eats in order, the post-binge appearance, and his transformation into a butterfly. The activity could either simply be sorting reusable laminated cards or cutting and pasting pictures from the scenes into their reading notebooks. Reading Levels: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 93.2 Average grade level: 3.0 Carle, E. (1987). The very hungry caterpillar. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
Website Resources • Games • Frog Life Cycle: • The game begins with a video explaining the frog’s life cycle. Following is a labeling and then a sorting activity. Afterwards, the game has students use critical thinking to jump on all of the stones until none are left (stones disappear after the frog has jumped on it.) • Turtle Diary. (2013). Frog life cycle. Retrieved from: http://www.turtlediary.com/grade-2-games/science-games/frog-life-cycle.html • Plant Life Cycle: • The game begins with a video lesson explaining the plant’s life cycle. Afterwards students may play a game in which they can harvest vegetables. • Turtle Diary. (2013). Plant life cycle. Retrieved from: http://www.turtlediary.com/grade-2-games/science-games/plant-life-cycle.html Informational Life Cycle of a Plant: This site includes key vocabulary and terms associated with the plant life cycle, as well as three videos that both explain and show the plant’s life cycle. Gerth, L. Second grade plants: Life cycle of a plant. Retrieved from: http://secondgradeplants.weebly.com/life-cycle-of-a-plant.html Animal Life Cycles: This site includes for games and quizzes about butterflies, frogs, and overall animal life cycle information. This is definitely a site I would allow my students to explore freely. Douglas County School District: Acres Green Elementary. (2013). Animal life cycles. Retrieved from: http://schools.dcsdk12.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=128972
Student Apps • Life Cycles for Kids by Rishi Chhibber • - This app is educational, fun, and appropriate for young children. It describes the life cycles of different animals and plants through illustrations and simple text. Children can also learn about life cycles by listening to spoken explanations! This app is great for differentiating instruction since students can either read about life cycles or listen to a description about them. • Chhibber, R. (2012, October 9). Life cycles for kids. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/life-cycles-for-kids/id471392397?mt=8 • A Life Cycle App by NTH Fusion LLC • - This app is educational and appropriate for young children. It informs you about the life cycles of different animals and plants through pictures and illustrations. • Fusion LLC, N. (2012, August 7). A life cycle app. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-life-cycle-app/id394578286 • Animal Life Cycle- Insects and Arachnids by Kok Leong Tan • - This app demonstrates the life cycles of 21 different insects using animation and sound effects. Using a drop and drag feature, this app shows how insects change as they develop. In addition, it even includes fun videos for children to watch! This app is appropriate because it is educational and is geared towards young children. • Tan, K. L. (2013, September 20). Animals life cycle- insects and arachnids. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animals-life-cycle-insects/id658293496
Instruction Ideas for Student Apps • Student apps are a great way to get young children excited to learn about the life cycles of animals and plants! Teachers can have students use these apps to further their understanding in an engaging and fun way. • Here are some instruction ideas for students to do while exploring apps: • - Have students fill out worksheets with questions about the life cycles of specific animals or plants. • - Have students label life cycle models and diagrams. • - Have students put the stages of a specific animals life cycle in order. • - Have students write about what they learned.
Student Website Ideas • Online Poem and Response: • - Students will find a poem about the life cycle of a plant or animal online to put in their website and will include the author’s name, title of the poem, and a drawing they have created in response to the poem. • Online Resources: • - Students will find 2-5 resources about the life cycles of plants and animals and will include links to these in addition to summaries about the sources and how they are useful. • Posters: • - Students will create a poster about the life cycle of a frog that includes drawings and descriptions of each stage. Students will include a picture of this poster on their website. • - Students will create a poster about the life cycle of a bean that includes drawings and descriptions of each stage. Students will include a picture of this poster on their website.
Student Website Ideas Continued • Poem Creation: • - Students will write their own cinquains about the life cycle of a butterfly and will include this on their website. • - Format of Cinquains- Line 1: Who, Line 2: What, Line 3: When, Line 4: Where, and Line 5: Why • Experience Watching a Bean Grow: • - Students will get to plant their own bean and watch it grow. Students will write a summary of their experience doing so and write about what they learned through this experience. Students will include this summary on their website. • Writing Activity: • - Students will write about what animal they would like to watch grow in person and why they chose the animal. Students will also include the life cycles of the animal they chose. Students will include this writing in their website.
Some Benefits of Read Aloud’s(Since some of our instruction included read aloud’s) • Read-alouds are beneficial because they..... • Help children develop positive associations with books and reading • Model good reading habits • Stimulate imaginations and emotions • Build listening and comprehension skills through discussion during and after reading • Increase vocabulary foundation, memory, and language skills • Improve classroom climate • Demonstrate the power of stories • Encourage high levels of understanding • Provide common ground for discussion • Build word-sound awareness • Stimulate cognitive skills
Resources • Carle, E. (1987). The very hungry caterpillar. New York, NY: Philomel Books. • Chhibber, R. (2012, October 9). Life cycles for kids. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/life-cycles-for-kids/id471392397?mt=8 • Douglas County School District: Acres Green Elementary. (2013). Animal life cycles. Retrieved from: http://schools.dcsdk12.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=128972 • French, V. (2000). Growing frogs. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. • Fusion LLC, N. (2012, August 7). A life cycle app. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-life-cycle-app/id394578286 • Gerth, L. Second grade plants: Life cycle of a plant. Retrieved from: http://secondgradeplants.weebly.com/life-cycle-of-a-plant.html • Johnson, J. (2012). What's it like to be a butterfly?. Mankato, MN: RiverStream. • Jordan, H. (1992). How a seed grows. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Resources Continued • Legg, G. (1998). From egg to chicken. New York, NY: Franklin Watts. • Pfeffer, W. (1994). From tadpole to frog. New York, NY: HarperCollins. • Tan, K. L. (2013, September 20). Animals life cycle- insects and arachnids. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animals-life-cycle-insects/id658293496 • Tarbett, D. (2004). Ten wriggly wiggly caterpillars. New York, NY: Sandy Creek. • Turtle Diary. (2013). Frog life cycle. Retrieved from: http://www.turtlediary.com/grade-2-games/science-games/frog-life-cycle.html • Turtle Diary. (2013). Plant life cycle. Retrieved from: http://www.turtlediary.com/grade-2-games/science-games/plant-life-cycle.html • Worth, B. (2001). Oh say can you seed?. New York, NY: Random House.