10 different books and 10 very different activities
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10 Different Books and 10 Very Different Activities. Ring-o Sarah Rushing. The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle

From Amazon.com - With its lovely, humorous illustrations and wonderful narrative about a hungry caterpillar growing up to be a beautiful butterfly, Eric Carle's story touches anyone who still has some growing to do. Along with reassuring repetition--"He was still hungry ..."--the book includes some wonderful interactive moments: what youngster can resist sticking a finger through that hole in the page as his ravenous friend makes his way through various delicacies?

the very hungry caterpillar by eric carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle
  • Read the book with the students. Talk about why the caterpillar is eating and what it is helping him do.
  • Show a video of the transformation, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAUSKxWMIh0, remind them of the elapsed time and to think about what the caterpillar needs to transform.
  • Have the students write a short description of what they witnessed in the clip.

Language Arts: 1.6.1 Print legibly and space letters, words, and sentences appropriately. (Core Standard)

Science: 1.1.3 Recognize that and demonstrate how people can learn much about plants and animals by observing them closely over a period of time. Recognize also that care must be taken to know the needs of living things and how to provide for them. (Core Standard)

Gardner’s: Verbal-Linguistic

somewhere in the ocean by jennifer ward
Somewhere in the OceanBy Jennifer Ward

From Amazon.com - The nursery rhyme "Over in the Meadow" provides the model for the rhyming text of this picture book, but the habitat is the ocean, and the animal families are sea creatures. The idea works well, though the lines don't always trip easily off the tongue: "`Munch!' said the mothers. / `We munch!' said the five, / so they munched prickly urchins where the kelp forests thrive." Graceful of line and glowing with color, gouache paintings illustrate each quatrain on a double-page spread with a scene of sea life. The book ends with five pages of "Fun Facts" about the animals and their habitat as well as simple piano music and chords for setting the rhyme to music.

somewhere in the ocean by jennifer ward1
Somewhere in the OceanBy Jennifer Ward

Five little fish swimming by the shore.

One got caught, and then there were four.

Four little fish swimming in the sea.One got caught, and then there were three.

Three little fish swimming in the blue.One got caught, and then there were two.

Two little fish swimming in the sun.Once got caught, and then there was one.

One little fish swimming for home.Decided 'twas best to never roam.

  • Read the story with the students.
  • Place 5 felt fish on a flannel board explaining to the students that they will take turns “catching” the fish while you tell another story. Between each set of lines ask students to predict what will happen next and explain why

Language Arts: 1.2.6 Draw conclusions or confirm predictions about what will happen next in a text by identifying key words

Math: 1.2.2 Show the meaning of subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference) using objects. (Core Standard)

Gardner’s: Spatial

the curious garden by peter brown
The Curious GardenBy Peter Brown

From Amazon.com - One boy's quest for a greener world... one garden at a time.While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book

the curious garden by peter brown1
The Curious GardenBy Peter Brown
  • Read the book with students and discuss how plants grow.
  • Have the students make a record sheet like the one above.
  • Have soaked and dry Kidney beans for each group. Ask the students to split a bean lengthwise in half. Discuss how it looks and feels. Have students record this on their sheets.
  • Using a document reader split a bean lengthwise in half and identify the parts like above.

Language Arts: 1.4.6 Organize and classify information by constructing categories on the basis of observation. (Core Standard)

Science: 1.2.6 Describe and compare objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion. (Core Standard)

Gardner’s: Naturalist

the day it rained hearts by felicia bond
The Day It Rained HeartsBy Felicia Bond

From Amazon.com - Originally published in 1983 as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, this sweet book remains the same except for a new cover. Still, many libraries will no longer have the original, and this is a good choice for holiday shelves. Young Cornelia is walking along when it starts raining hearts. Catching them in her hand and in her yellow slicker, she takes them home to make valentines. Because each heart is different, she is able to make very special cards for her special friends. The small watercolor-and-ink illustrations in the center of each snowy page give the spreads a cozy feel. Little ones will enjoy watching as Cornelia catches her hearts and decides what to do with them, and they will appreciate the happiness the valentines bring to Rabbit, Turtle, Mouse, and Dog.

the day it rained hearts by felicia bond1
The Day It Rained HeartsBy Felicia Bond

Water Cycle

(Sang to the tune of She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does (use pointer finger to make a big circle)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does(repeat finger circle)

It goes up as evaporation(moves hands up to the sky

Forms clouds as condensation(make a cloud overhead with arms)

Then comes down as precipitation, yes it does!(sprinkle with fingers while bringing arms down in front of you)

  • Read the book with students. Discuss what the story says rain can do that it really can’t.
  • Using the Water Cycle song talk about what rain does and where it comes from.

Language Arts: 1.7.6 Speaking Applications: Recite poems, rhymes, songs, and stories. (Core Standard)

Science: 1.4.1 Identify when stories give attributes to plants and animals, such as the ability to speak, that they really do not have.

Gardner’s: Musical

from head to toe by eric carle
From Head To ToeBy Eric Carle

From Amazon.com - Animals and multiethnic children illustrate various body movements on large, double-page spreads. A giraffe bends its neck, a monkey waves its arms, etc. The repetitive text has the animal stating the movement and asking, "Can you do it?" Each child responds, "I can do it!" Carle's vivid cut-paper collages are striking and invite sharing individually or with a group. There is no story, Rather the book is an invitation to get everyone moving. A nice addition to a toddler story time, but it may get lost as it's cataloged in 613.7.?

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From Head To ToeBy Eric Carle
  • Read the book to the students having them follow the movements given in the text.
  • Discuss the importance of stretching and that we are supposed to hold a stretch for about 20 seconds.
  • Show the length of time on a clock and talk about the fraction of a minute that is 20 seconds

Language Arts: 1.7.1 Comprehension: Listen attentively. (Core Standard)

Math: 1.1.8 For a shape divided into 8 or fewer congruent (matching) parts, describe a shaded portion as "__ out of __ parts" and write the fraction.

Gardner’s: Bodily-Kinesthetic

there s no place like space by tish rabe
There’s No Place Like SpaceBy Tish Rabe

From Amazon.com - The perfect first space book for those almost-readers, There's No Place Like Space takes us on a whirlwind tour of our solar system, with a few constellations thrown in for good measure. Cat in the Hat (along with beloved Thing One and Thing Two) straps on his space suit and rhymes his way among the nine planets, presenting important facts along the way. Where else could your preschooler learn phonics and astronomy at same time? "A planet can have satellites that surround it. Uranus has lots of these objects around it" is just one example. This is a fine addition to the library of any young stargazer-few books are written with this many facts in such an easy-reading manner.

there s no place like space by tish rabe1
There’s No Place Like SpaceBy Tish Rabe
  • Read the book with the students. Have a yellow punch ball, nine balloons, and paths set up earlier.
  • Take the students outside/gym where the paths of the planets are lined out.
  • Explain revolution and rotation only once
  • Have each student take a turn being a planet
  • Have students practice giving directions each time they switch places.

Language Arts: 1.7.3 Give, restate, and follow simple two-step directions. (Core Standard)

Science: 1.3.4 Investigate by observing, and then describe how things move in many different ways, such as straight, zigzag, round-and-round, and back-and-forth. (Core Standard)

Gardner’s: Interpersonal

what do you do with a tail like this by steve jenkins and robin page
What Do You Do With A Tail Like This?By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

From Amazon.com - Children will learn that lizards can completely break off their tail as a defense and that it will grow back. And, they'll find out that crickets' ears are on their knees. Most fish have two eyes, but some have four, the better to see above and below the water at the same time. These are just a few of the fascinating facts of nature dangled out front to draw readers into this beautifully illustrated book. On each spread, five different animals' tails, ears, eyes, or other body parts, done in vibrant cut-paper collage, appear with a simple question. The next spread shows the five creatures in their entirety and offers a brief explanation. For example, "If you're an elephant, you use your nose to give yourself a bath." The back pages offer more information for older or more curious readers.

what do you do with a tail like this by steve jenkins and robin page1
What Do You Do With A Tail Like This?By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
  • Read the story with the students. Separate them into cooperative groups for the activity.
  • Help each group choose an animal to write a poem about. Use the example (right) together to show what the final will look like.
  • Share them aloud.

Tiger!You have a roar like thunderYou are fuzzy, gold, and black You ______________ You scratch your back on a lonely treeYou are the biggest cat I have ever seenYou are my favorite animal because you ___(Name of Animal)!

Language Arts: 1.5.3 Write rhymes and simple poems.

Science: 1.4.2 Observe and describe that there can be differences, such as size or markings, among the individuals within one kind of plant or animal group.

Gardner’s: Interpersonal

first the egg by laura vaccaro seeger
First The EggBy Laura Vaccaro Seeger

From Amazon.com - Beginning with the die cut on the cover, to completes the title and hides a secret underneath, this delivers a string of delightful surprises as Seeger crisply explores the stages of development in the natural world and, then,  how a story grows. Textured backgrounds provide visual energy for minimalist images that incorporate additional die cuts. “First the EGG,” reads the text on the opening spread, which pictures the egg through an appropriately shaped hole. When children flip the page, they’ll find a fuzzy chick and its adult counterpart—“then the CHICKEN.” So it goes through the life stages of frog, flower, and butterfly. Suddenly, Seeger turns away from nature. “First the WORD,” she writes, “then the STORY.” “First the PAINT . . . then the PICTURE,” accompanied by a painting that pulls the book together, showing chicken, flower, frog, and butterfly enjoying a beautiful day together. A funny finale sets up the book’s beginning. 

first the egg by laura vaccaro seeger1
First The EggBy Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • Read the story with your students.
  • Discuss ideas about what came first and the life cycle of a chicken.
  • Have students make a journal entry about what they think came first and ask them to include an illustration of the life cycle of a chicken

Language Arts:1.3.5 Understand what is read by responding to questions (who, what, when, where, why, how). (Core Standard)

Science: 1.5.2 Make and use simple picture graphs to tell about observations.

Gardner’s: Intrapersonal

the new way things work by david macaulay and neil ardley
The New Way Things WorkBy David Macaulay and Neil Ardley

From Amazon.com - The New Way Things Work boasts a richly illustrated 80-page section that wrenches us all (including the curious, bumbling wooly mammoth who ambles along with the reader) into the digital age of modems, digital cameras, compact disks, bits, and bytes. Readers can glory in gears in "The Mechanics of Movement," investigate flying in "Harnessing the Elements," demystify the sound of music in "Working with Waves," marvel at magnetism in "Electricity & Automation," and examine e-mail in "The Digital Domain." An illustrated survey of significant inventions closes the book, along with a glossary of technical terms, and an index. What possible link could there be between zippers and plows, dentist drills and windmills? Parking meters and meat grinders, jumbo jets and jackhammers, remote controls and rockets, electric guitars and egg beaters?

The New Way Things WorkBy David Macaulay and Neil Ardley
  • Review Simple Machines found in the book: wedge, lever, inclined plane, pulley, wheel and axle, screw
  • Pose the following questions to groups of students
    • How could you get an ATV into the back of a pickup truck?
    • How do you separate two boards that have been nailed together incorrectly?
    • What do you look for when you open a drink bottle that does not have a screw-on cap?
  • Provide manipulatives for them to explore with while figuring out and writing answers to the questions.

Language Arts: 1.4.1 Organization and Focus: Discuss ideas and select a focus for group stories or other writing (Core Standard)

Science: 1.1.2 Investigate and make observations to seek answers to questions about the world

Gardner’s: Mathematical/Logical

the magic school bus in the time of the dinosaurs by joanna cole and bruce degen
The Magic School Bus in the Time of the DinosaursBy Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

From Amazon.com - Preparations for Visitors Day in Room 101 come to a sudden halt when Ms. Frizzle receives an invitation to a dinosaur dig. With a twist of a dial, the Magic School Bus becomes a time machine hurtling through prehistory, stopping at various points in the Mesozoic Era so the class can observe flora and fauna, shoot a video, make smart remarks, and generate the usual blizzard of written reports. Readers may be confused to read on one page that reptiles are cold-blooded and that dinosaurs were a kind of a reptile, and on the next that some may have been warm-blooded; otherwise, Cole mixes up-to-date facts and general statements with virtuoso skill, stirring in plenty of jokes, small subplots, and flights of fancy. One gruesome scene aside, Degen's full-color illustrations enhance both the humor and the information, featuring maps, charts, actual-size drawings of fossil teeth, and plenty of dinos in action.

the magic school bus in the time of the dinosaurs by joanna cole and bruce degen1
The Magic School Bus in the Time of the DinosaursBy Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

Five enormous dinosaurs Letting out a roar-- One went away, and Then there were four.

Four enormous dinosaurs Crashing down a tree-- One went away, and  Then there were three.

Three enormous dinosaurs Eating tiger stew-- One went away, and  Then there were two.

Two enormous dinosaurs Trying to run-- One ran away, and then there was one.

One enormous dinosaur,  Afraid to be a hero-- He went away, and Then there was zero.

  • Read the story with your students talking about the plot and different dinosaurs they encounter
  • Introduce the finger play (right) and go through more than once
  • Ask for descriptions of events and dinosaurs from the students.

Language Arts: 1.7.9 Provide descriptions with careful attention to sensory detail.

Science: 1.2.6 Understand the role of zero in addition and subtraction. (Core Standard)

Gardner’s: Verbal Linguistic