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


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.

Butterfly Activities

By: Susan Olcott

butterfly 3Our family nature club, Nature Nuts,  recently met and participated in this fun lesson all about butterflies…perfect for the warm spring weather we have been experiencing.  You might want to try all or some of these ideas with your family and friends!

Have Fun, be creative, and please share if you add more to these ideas!

We started the day by reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and passing out the fruits in the story to each child to hold up during the reading when their particular fruit came up as an item the caterpillar ate.  This was a fun way to engage the children with this wonderful classic story!

butterfly lesson 1            Butterfly lesson 2

Then we made butterfly hand kites out of butterfly shaped construction paper-we just drew and cut out our own design, thin crepe paper (streamers), straws (for a proboscis) and pipe cleaner antenna.  To make a hand kite you simply cut a strip of construction paper and make it into a loop-and attach it to the bottom of the paper butterfly.  The children can then use this as a handle and can run around “flying” their butterflies.

butterfly 4            butterfly 5

Next, we wrapped the children up in towels with their butterfly hand kites.  The children then pretended to be caterpillars hatching out of their cocoons into the butterflies they had made.  They wiggled until their “cocoons” began to break.

butterfly 6Butterflies are cold blooded and have to huddle for warmth when it gets chilly, so we had a butterfly huddle and then migrated all together across a local bridge and back.

butterfly 7            butterfly 8

Tired from the “migration”, we huddled up and read a few more butterfly poems from the great book Butterfly Poems before getting hungry and going on a hunt–a short hike– for food (flowers, seeds) and then returning to have a fruit feeding frenzy where we had a group snack of fresh fruits.

butterfly 9We finished by making butterfly feeders out of our plastic snack plates, punching holes and then adding string to create a hanger.  Butterflies love jelly-which you can put on the feeders and hang up at home to watch and observe butterflies in your own yards and gardens.

Supplies List:
Beach towels, Construction paper, Tape, Crepe paper, Scissors, Pipe cleaners, Colored straws, Paper bags (for collection of seeds and flowers during migration), Cut fruit, String, Plastic Plates, Hole Punch