In every science unit that I teach I believe it is important to make sure that both fiction and nonfiction books are read to the students. These pictures books are terrific for discussing concepts such as characters, setting, and plot. The nonfiction books are important for giving the students factual information about the topic.

Fiction

Animals Strike at the Zoo. It's True! by Karma Wilson
This colorfully illustrated rhyming text picture book is about zoo animals that are fed up with how they are being treated at the zoo.

Classroom Tip: I use this book to explore rhyming words. We choose two words that rhyme. The students need to brainstorm three more words that rhyme with those words. This book also serves as an introduction to discuss where animals would really like to live: at the zoo, at the circus, on a farm, or in their own natural habitat.

Miss Moo Goes to the Zoo by Kelly Graves
A darling illustrated picture book in which a bored cow in need of an adventure decides to leave the farm and ends up at the zoo.

Classroom Tip: I use this story to compare and contrast farm and zoo animals.

My School's a Zoo by Stu Smith
A creative story about a boy who finds his world bombarded by zoo animals

Classroom Tip: I use this story as an innovation. We create our own story based on My School's a Zoo. The students and I come up with the text. Then the students get into pairs and illustrate their page of the story. I read the story to the students and then put it in our class library.

Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson
A hilarious picture book about a little girl who creates chaos at the zoo when she lets out a little shout.

Classroom Tip: I use this book as an introduction to the zoo unit. We discuss concepts such as characters, setting, plot/problem, and solution.

Zoo Do's and Don'ts by Todd Parr
A hysterical read-aloud about what is appropriate behavior at the zoo and what is not! 

Classroom Tip: I use this story to teach the students how to act at the zoo, before we make our own field trip to the local zoo.

Nonfiction

At the Zoo from Building Language for Literacy
A factual book about animals that live at the zoo.

Classroom Tip: I use this book as a building block to increase language growth and development.

The Kids' Guide to Zoo Animals by Michelle Gilders
A valuable informational book about zoo animals.

Classroom Tip: I use this book as a resource to help the students with their zoo animal research report.

Lunch at the Zoo: What Zoo Animals Eat and Why by Joyce Altman and Rick Chrustowski
An informational book about what types of food zoo animals eat.

Classroom Tip: I use this book as a resource to help the students with their zoo animal research report.

Welcome Books —Weekend Fun: Let's Go to the Zoo
An informational book about going to the zoo with real pictures and a patterned text.

Classroom Tip: I read this book before we go on our field study to the zoo. I take a picture of each student at the zoo and then create a class book: The K-2 Class Goes to the Zoo

Zoo Animals: A Smithsonian Guide by Michael H. Robinson, David Challinor, and Holly Webber.
This nonfiction book provides real information about zoo animals

Classroom Tip: I use this book as a resource to help the students with their zoo animal research report