Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all

I have been exploring the new B.C. curriculum drafts for Social Studies and thinking about what directions we might take in my Grade 2/3 class next year.

A few of the big ideas:

  • Local actions have global consequences, and global actions have local consequences.
  • Communities are interconnected with their natural environment

Some content items:

  • diverse features of the environment in other parts of Canada and the world
  • responsibilities of global citizenship
  • relationships between people and environment in different communities

All of these things (above) started me thinking about . . . water.

Access to water. Shortages of water. Water scarcity. Water as a human right.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

I think there is so much to learn here. So many questions. Such a relevant and necessary topic. And of course, I immediately started making a book list. Here are titles I may share in my room this year. Other suggestions? Please share them in the comment section.

Through these books, I hope we can both learn about and celebrate all that is water.

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Katherine Tillotson 

All-the-Water-in-the-World Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home by Michelle Mulder

 Every Last Drop Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley

 A Cool Drink of Water Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth written by Rochelle Strauss and illustrated by Rosemary Woods

One Well Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Poetry (with a water theme):

Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija

Water Can Be Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Songs of the Water Boatman written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange (pond life)

Songs of the Waterboatman Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs illustrated by Meilo So 

Water Sings Blue Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Relevant biographies:

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A Nivola

Life in the Ocean Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Éric Puybaret 

manfish Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino 

Cousteau Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Monday September 24th, 2012

It’s Monday!

What are you reading?

Connect to Jen and Kellee’s meme to share all of your great reads – from picture books to young adult selections.

This is such a wonderful way to learn about a variety of new titles and to ensure that those To Be Read piles are very tall and very tippy. I think I have book stacks in about six different places in my classroom and my house.

Sigh. This will be week two where I haven’t completed a novel. Hoping this is not not indicative of my school year and instead just a result of a busy back to school season! It also doesn’t help that the book I have my nose in is 539 pages long (Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore) Although, I am loving every page so happy that there are more than 500 to savour!

So for this It’s Monday! What are you reading? post I am going to highlight  ten picture books (both fiction and non) that I read this week (some shared as class read alouds).

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty. This is an interesting little story told as much through the illustrations as through text. Jeremy is too shy to venture out and play and when he draws a monster and it comes to life, it turns out to be an annoying creature he wishes he could just erase. A very clever ending does resolve the monster issue but along the way some interesting themes are explored: imagination, the shy child, taking risks, etc. Beautifully illustrated by McCarty.

The Worrywarts written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustated by Henry Cole. I used this book to launch learning about making connections. Read more in this post. If you are reading this aloud, warm up! All of those W’s will exhaust your lips as you read! Fantastic alliteration from Edwards as usual.

Marshall Armstrong is New to our School by David Mackintosh I shared this book with my new class as a morning read aloud. We talked about how in a sense we are all new when we start a new school year even if we are not new to the school. This book helped us understand to reserve judgement with people “new” to us, to not turn away from someone who is different and to celebrate the unique aspects about us all. The students LOVED the illustrations and keenly studied all of the details on each page. They were particularly intrigued with Marshall’s “space” food.

There is a bit of a book obsession going on in our room with Mo Willems right now! Check out how book boxes looked on day one of setting them up. Elephant and Piggie books were gathered by the handful! We have, as a class, come up with a new rule: no more than one Elephant and Piggie book in your box so that there is access to all. Oh how we adore these characters!

I still come across titles that I haven’t read yet. I read When We are in a Book by Mo Willems aloud when requested by numerous students. And then I read it again because, well, if you read carefully, it does request the reader to do just that!

I am Going by Mo Willems was another title I read this week and then read over and over with a keen student who wanted to read with me, each of us being a character (Gerald or Piggie).

Jeremiah Learns to Read written by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Laura Fernandez and Rick Jacobson. This was a book I shared with my reading group as we talked about how reading is a gift. (For student reaction to the fact that Jeremiah couldn’t read, read here.)

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Katherine Tillotson Lyrical language. Stunning art. Superb images. Wow. And . . . a fantastic book to teach the water cycle.

Are you a Grasshopper? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries I love these Are you a ____________? books and just added this title to my class collection. I have a real admiration for grasshoppers. For the last three summers we have walked through a water starved grassy bluff on Galiano Island. There is never anyone else there and it is vey quiet except for the grasshoppers. They are hidden in the tall dry foliage and the air absolutely vibrates with all of their noise. We always talk with our children about how this noise is produced and I love how it is explained and illustrated in this book.

What Comes Next? by Bobbie Kalman I have continued to add Bobbie Kalman titles to my non-fiction collection. This title begs to be interacted with, perfect for buddy reading. Full colour photographs illustrate a variety of nature concepts.

Animal Families by Bobbie Kalman This is another wonderful non-fiction title with many colourful photographs of animals and their families. Love the pages that explain how seahorse mothers transfer the eggs to the father seahorse. So interesting!

Really hoping next week will give me more time to read for big chunks of time so that I can finish Bitterblue and tackle other titles sitting in a stack just waiting for me. Next book? I think it will be Code Name Verity.

Celebrating students, celebrating books

Having time off from the day to day of teaching gives us space to reflect back on all that we treasure. Highlights of the last calendar year for me and picture books that exemplified these important themes:

1. Lots of laughter.

This was one of the favourite non-fiction read alouds I read with a class.

Poop – A Natural History of the Unmentionable written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton. This was the discussion. Theories of why some animal poop seems to have hair on it and why do we fart anyway. Hard to keep a straight face.

2. Moments of awe

Sometimes in sharing a powerful piece of literature, the learning in the room just surrounds us. The book or the important conversations are not soon forgotten.

Nan Forler‘s Bird Child was one of the most beautiful books I have ever shared with a class.

We learned about the power in all of us to stand up for each other. Recounting our conversations in this post was important. As a group, we shared something big.

3. Experiencing vulnerability

Some books produce such strong reactions. In our responses, we are vulnerable and need discussion and support to make sense of our feelings.

This book reduced some of us to tears: The Day Leo Said I Hate you! written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Molly Bang

What happens when our feelings explode and we say something hurtful? How do we navigate our way back? We talked about this book here.

4. Honouring the power of books

We were inspired by the beautiful Book written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated byPeter Catalanotto. to talk about what reading means to us.

This post details the beautiful art and writing we did in response. Students talked about how reading transported them into the book and about how much they love to be read to.

5. Celebrating wonder

I love to use information storybooks to inspire student questions. This book The Last Polar Bear written by Jean Craighead George motivated students not only to ask questions but to explore answers.

In this post we talked about how climate change is affecting the habitat of the polar bears. We found we were left with more questions than when we started.

Looking forward to what books will bring to us in 2012!