Nature is pretty amazing no matter what the season. I will admit to be particularly impressed in the fall. I love that evidence of the changing seasons literally falls at our feet. The leaves, the nuts, the seed pods. I love the colours of the leaves, of the last flashes of fall flowers and of the stormy skies. And I especially love bringing all of this into my classroom. I bundle up herbs and flowers and stalks for us to draw. We have a fallen wasp’s nest under glass. There are collections of leaves, chestnuts and acorns in various piles and baskets around the room.
Nature soothes. It calms. It is quiet. This energy is particularly appreciated in my room.
In this post, I wanted to share a few books we have been looking at for more inspiration. Sometimes just a page or a section and other times the whole book. Some of these books are not necessarily children’s books and some are not nonfiction. But there is a general theme so, please indulge me. Happy fall! Happy nature.
Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman with help from John Niedkrasz (2015)
I fell a little in love with this book when I met it. I plan to use it to inspire flower painting, to highlight the power and the simplicity of a labelled diagram and to go leaf exploring. And about a million more things. Perfect for a classroom, for an artist’s studio, for homes with little and big learners.
More than a picture book – this is a handbook, an amazing collection of nature details.
Collect Raindrops: The Seasons Gathered by Nikki McClure (2007)
Paper cut images strong and striking with an accompanying word to take us through the seasons. I love particular images especially. One egg on a woven nest with the word RESUME. A blue bird in the jaws of a black cat: WITNESS. Little hands peeking out around a tree branch: DISAPPEAR. What a book to get us talking about the images of nature, the emotions, the associations, the memories.
What in the World?: Numbers in Nature written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (2015)
Perfect to inspire looking closely at the world and finding numbers everywhere we look.
The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes (2015)
Yes, this is a fiction title. But I can’t wait to have my students recreate a little gardener space and while these illustrations will us to get lost in their deep colours and details, they also lead us to seed and garden books to learn more.
A Garden of Oridinary Miracles: An Alphabet Book by Robert R. Zakanitch (2012)
We have been using pages of this book to inspire flower collages out of various materials – math blocks, stones, beads, glass. Just gorgeous.
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!