Children’s Nature Book Review: On the Move: Mass Migrations

on-the-move

Book Review by: Susan Olcott

On the Move: Mass Migrations, by Scotti Cohn

Topics – migration, seasons

Summary:  This is yet another great educational book by Arbordale Publishing (formerly Sylvan Dell) that is a treasure trove of information both in the text, afterwards in the “For Creative Minds” section, and in the additional online resources. In On the Move, Scotti Cohn, gives wonderful descriptions of the migration patterns of a variety of animals. From seaside horseshoe crabs to arctic caribou, she covers many types of habitats and even includes seasonal interactions of animals in such as the salmon and the eagle. The details she adds like, “a mother caribou snorts and shakes her head. She is telling her calf to stay close to her,” help the reader to imagine being that animal. Susan Detwiler’s illustrations in this book as well as Scotti Cohn’s other stories, One Wolf Howls, and Big Cat, Little Kitty, are both eye-catching and realistic. These are all terrific books that I would highly recommend to classroom teachers as well as to parents.

Suggested Ages – This book is suggested for ages 4-8, but would be a wonderful text for slightly older readers as well. They can delve into the details and extra information at the end of the story. The illustrations will appeal to younger readers along with the sweet details of each animal’s life.

Nature Explorations: Life Under Logs…Discovering Decomposers!

FullSizeRender(8)

Are you looking for a simple and fun activity to get your kids out into the local forest or even the back yard this summer?  Thinking about the living organisms that rely on a simple log can be a great way to learn about decomposition and the soil cycle as well as an excuse to get your hands dirty and get out and explore your forest.  We tried this activity with our family nature club and it was a blast!  This is a GREAT exploration for kids of any age!

Rotten Log Puppet Show:

FullSizeRender(11)

The Rotten Log Real Estate Puppet Show!

Rather than just going out to roll logs and see what is underneath we started our activity with a puppet show. A butterfly was a real estate agent and many animals (ants, worms, etc) came looking for a new home (an old wrapping paper roll made the perfect “log”). The log was the ideal place to provide food and shelter for a wide variety of animals. We talked about how the log is a home and the importance of putting logs back after we turn them over.

Children’s Literature Connection:

Next we read A Logs Life by Wendy Pfeffer. This book shows the process of a tree to soil with wonderful illustrations. Through this book we introduced the word decomposition.

books_003

Outdoor Activity:

Before heading outside each child got a sheet of paper with pictures of the animals they might find under a log. We talked about what each animal would eat and determined which were decomposers. As we entered the woods we listened for other animal sounds. When we got to the log, children were asked to feel if it was hard or soft, wet or dry, and use other senses before looking under the log. This helps focus children so the log turning isn’t as much chaos. We turned over one big log together and looked; then children were free to explore on their own.

FullSizeRender(9)Art and Nature Connection:

At the end, children could draw their favorite living organisms they observed in their nature journals.

Have fun rolling logs with your friends and family and discovering decomposers everywhere!!!!

FullSizeRender(10)

Activity Written and Created by: Carey Truebe

Children’s Nature Book Review: Good-Night Owl

Book Review By: Kyle Koyle

good night owlWhat makes a book your kids’ favorite? In short it’s the book’s ability to be read over and over and still create wonder and excitement. Good-Night Owl, by Pat Hutchins, is that book for my three year old. This delightful story is full of bright, jovial illustrations backed up by witty yet melodic text. Kids learn a bit of ecology and animal science through the point of view of Owl, who just wants to go to sleep! I have honestly read this book about one hundred times, and I’m not even tired of it yet!  Good-Night Owl is best suited for toddlers to six years old, but can be used as a learn-to-read book for beginning readers. This book is available through most book stores and your local library. If you are interested in exploring this book further check it out here on Amazon.

Reviewer’s Rating: 5 out of 5 Acorns

This Book is Perfect For: Ages 1-6