From Unit Plan: Water Works Wonders

Water is everywhere. You can see the water cycle in different stages and examine the various bodies of water on Earth. Help students understand and discover that concept through the beautiful illustrations, photographs, and text in these books.

General Books About Water

A Cool Drink of Water
by Barbara Kerley

This book from National Geographic has beautiful photographs depicting people all over the world collecting, chilling, and drinking water.

Classroom Tip: Have students draw pictures of how they use water for a class book.

A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
by Walter Wick

Color photographs of water in various states capture moments of change in beautiful patterns.

Classroom Tip: Have students cut out photographs of water from magazines and make a collage.

I Am Water or Soy el agua
by Jean Marzollo

Colorful cut-paper illustrations and simple text depict a rainy day, steam cooking, and ice cubes.

Classroom Tip: Draw pictures of where students find water in their home.

Water: Emergent Reader Science
by Susan Canizares; photographs by Pamela Chanko

Vivid photographs with simple descriptions of water in all its forms help students contrast the larger concept with familiar sights they can easily identify.

Classroom Tip: Go on a water-hunt field trip around the school and community and take pictures of places you can find water.

Books Showing Events in the Water Cycle

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
by Verna Aardema; illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

A cumulative rhyme tells of the importance of rain to nature and a legend of how Ki-pat brought the rain to his drought-stricken homeland.

Classroom Tip: Experiment for a week with two plants. Water one and don't water the other. Discuss what happens.

Come On, Rain
by Karen Hesse

The magnificence of a sudden rainstorm on a sweltering hot day is captured in this portrayal of the tenderness of mother-daughter relations and the power of nature to transform life.

Classroom Tip: Draw a crayon picture depicting an outdoor scene and then splatter it with drops of blue watercolor paint.

The Rain Came Down or Y siguió lloviendo
by David Shannon

An unexpected rain shower causes an uproar in a small community.

Classroom Tip: Compare and contrast how the characters feel in the beginning of the to the end after the rain stops.

Little Cloud
by Eric Carle

A little cloud transforms into various shapes and sizes until he joins with other clouds to make a rainstorm.

Classroom Tip: Make a simple outline of an object or animal and then glue cotton balls to it, filling in the shape.

The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story
by Neil Waldman

This book follows the journey of a single drop of water throughout the year.

Classroom Tip: Make paper cut-out snowflakes and hang from the ceiling.

The Snowy Day or Un día de nieve
by Ezra Jack Keats

A young boy explores the world of snow and how it melts.

Classroom Tip: Put shaved ice in the water table for children to explore.

Books About Bodies of Water

Across the Stream
by Mirra Ginsburg; illustrated by Nancy Tafuri

A hen and her chick have a bad dream and go through an amazing rescue against the backdrop of a stream.

Classroom Tip: Discuss alternate endings to the story.

Hello Ocean
by Pam Muñoz Ryan; illustrated by Mark Astrella

Told in rhyming text, a child explores the ocean through each of her five senses.

Classroom Tip: Create an ocean discovery table using sand and shells.

In the Small, Small Pond
by Denise Fleming

Shows the activities of pond creatures throughout the seasons of the year.

Classroom Tip: Make a classroom pond diorama.

The Water Hole
by Graeme Base

From the plains, jungles, woodlands, and deserts of the world, the animals come together to drink from a mysteriously diminishing water hole.

Classroom Tip: Fill a cup with water and watch it evaporate over time.