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Books for Spring & Farm Units

last modified on 02/29/2008

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As the snow melts and I see the first signs of spring, I gleefully get out my lesson plans for spring and farm themes. These books remind me of great activities, science experiments, and the smiles on their faces when my students hear them for the first time.

Total: 12
Status: Public
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Are You a Butterfly?

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz

Genre: General Nonfiction

Resources: Yes

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I bought butterfly wings to wear for the day we read this book at story time. If you ever have a chance to go to a butterfly garden - do! Take loads of pictures and use them as teaching tools. I like to load the pictures into a slideshow on my laptop. Items like these make this book even more special!

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Barnyard Banter

by Denise Fleming, illustrated by Denise Fleming

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 1.7

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Poetry and Rhymes

Resources: Yes

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This book has fun illustrations and shows all the farm yard animals. Read the story with a sound effect CD that has farm animal sounds. After reading the story, make a time to play Barnyard Bingo. Pre-make bingo cards by using clipart of the different animals in the story. Use the sound effect CD to play an animal, have the children guess the animal they hear, and put a button on the picture of the animal.

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Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin, translation by Alberto Jimenez Rioja

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 1.3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Comedy and Humor, Series

Resources: Yes

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After reading I bring out a type writer. How many preschoolers have even seen one? I make sure that I leave it out in my dramatic play area for the rest of the month. The dramatic play area is set up with a child-size barn. I draw a cow that looks like the cows in the story. Then I add a plastic glove filled with water for the children to pretend to milk the cow. Our new friend is named Betsy-the-cow (named after the illustrator).

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Counting in the Garden

Interest Level: Grades PreK - K

Genre: Informational

Resources: Yes

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Bring the outdoors into the classroom! Some great activities to do with the children are: Greenhouse Bags - Have the children plant beans in soil-filled sandwich bags. Try and put the seed where the children can see the roots form through the bag. Hang them either in a window or place them on a bulletin board with a measuring tape to see how much they grow every day.

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FARM COUNTING BOOK

Interest Level:

Resources: Yes

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Instead of discarding your favorite thematic books, use them to create a learning center or in this case I laminated them and placed them inside our barn in our dramatic play area. The barn is filled with yellow Easter grass for straw and farm animal puppets. The photographs in this book are a great. The children are able to count while playing with the farm animals.

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Flower Garden

by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 1.9

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Poetry and Rhymes, Realistic Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Flower Garden Counting Game - Not everyone can have a large garden as Flower Garden shows us. I love this four-player game for Center Time. Place floral foam inside four plastic window boxes. Purchase silk flowers and cut them so that each bloom is separate. Place the flowers in the middle of the table. Have the children take turns rolling a dice and adding that number of flowers to their window box.

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Giggle, Giggle, Quack

by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin, translation by Alberto Jimenez Rioja

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 1

Grade Level Equivalent: 1.9

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Comedy and Humor, Series

Resources: Yes

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Do not forget to show the children the Scholastic video of Giggle Giggle Quack. It helps the children know the characters even more. You will get a kick out of seeing some of them recite the story again in the Reading Center or during their dramatic play.

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Rechenka's Eggs

by Patricia Polacco, illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Fiction, Fables, Folk Tales and Myths

Resources: Yes

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Check out the book and the Reading Rainbow episode from your local library. I have purchased my own copy and love to show it to the children during our spring theme. This video shows the author creating unique eggs as she did when she was a child. When I was in high school I had several exchange students from Russia give me some eggs painted like this. I bring these cultural items in the classroom for the children to explore and learn about other traditions around the world.

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Rosie's Walk

by Pat Hutchins, illustrated by Pat Hutchins

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 3

Grade Level Equivalent: 1.5

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Comedy and Humor

Resources: Yes

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I found a film strip and audio tape that went with this book. It is good for the children to hear other voices reading aloud to them. Then, after story time go for your own walk. Set up an obstacle course in your classroom with tunnels, chairs, mats, and other items from your gross motor activities. Take a walk and remember to have the children go around the chairs, through the tunnels and over the mats. It is a fun way to teach these basic concepts.

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Tuesday

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 1.7

Includes: Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy

Resources: Yes

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Some teachers shy away from wordless books during story time. I think it is a great way to get the children to interact, take turns observing, and communicating what is happening in the story. What better way to get your children excited about frogs than decorating your room in them? My favorite frog center is our Frog Habitat Center. Purchase river rocks and silk ferns from a craft supply and place them on the table. Add plastic frogs for the children to play with.

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What's Inside?

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 2

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Resources: Yes

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I can trust this book to be a favorite among the children during story time. I love books that are interactive. Every time the photograph of the egg is shown, ask the children, What is inside? Let them try to guess. Some of the eggs are easy for preschoolers and some are not. The book introduces children to animals that they may never have known hatched. Make sure to add it to your Reading Center for the children to read for themselves.

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Wonderful Worms

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 2.1

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Informational

Resources: Yes

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Worms, slimy as they may be, are great for our environment. How can you create memorable moments after introducing your children to Wonderful Worms? Place gummy worms at your art center with brown paint. Bring the real thing into the classroom with some dirt from your own garden. Use magnifying glasses to get a closer look! Get faux worms from the fish bait section of your outdoor sporting goods store and put them in brown play-dough.

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