Connecting Children and Nature
Children have a natural curiosity about the moon, especially now because of the solar eclipse. Support this curiosity and encourage a deeper understanding of the moon and outer space topics with these books. They’re perfect for launching into a new school year.
A Moon of My Own–An adventurous young girl journeys around the world, if only in her dreams. Always changing, yet always with her, the moon remains her magical friend and loyal guide. Activities are provided in the back of the book, and additional lessons free online.
Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun–Our earth is part of a fascinating planetary family that tilts, spins, rolls, and whirls around the sun. Set to the tune of “Over in the Meadow,” kids get a glimpse of our place in the very big universe. Check out the activities in the back of the book as free download.
The Next Time You See the Moon–Through vivid pictures and engaging explanations, this nonfiction book teaches about many of the Moon’s mysteries. Free supplementary activities are available on the NSTA website.
Kinder Kapers–Early education teacher Terri Izatt offers suggestions about sharing the eclipse with young children on her recent blog. One idea I’m going to use is creating an “eclipse snack.” Cut a banana into rounds, put a dab of yogurt on it, and half a grape. The grape (representing the moon) covers most of the banana (the sun), allowing just an outer ring of the banana to show (the corona of the sun at the time of total eclipse).
Artist of the Month
Ashley White, whose debut book for Dawn is A Moon of My Own, also describes herself as an “outdoor fanatic, peony-gazer, and daydreamer, with an eye for all things fabulous and creative.” Her illustrations for A Moon of My Own are inspired by her love of travel and her daughter who wears rain boots every day of the year. When […]
Nature Books for Kids
A Moon of My Own launched into space onboard Space X-13 on August 13th, heading to the International Space Station (ISS). This book, along with 8 others, was specifically chosen to be read aloud by one of the ISS astronauts while orbiting earth as part of the Story Time From Space project. A video of the reading will be archived on the the Story Time From Space website. I’ll be sure to let you know when a video is available online.
In the meantime, you can read the book here on Earth. With the upcoming solar eclipse, A Moon of My Own is a timely book to share with children. The story makes a personal connection with the moon, which is complemented by the scientific information about the moon that’s included in the back of the book.
In a total solar eclipse, the moon blocks out all of the sun’s light. But how is that possible? The moon is 400 times smaller than the sun! However, a total solar eclipse can happen because the moon is also 400 times closer to the earth than the sun is. NASA suggests this easy-to-do event sun and moon activity to demonstrate how a solar eclipse happens.
The American Astronomical Association has compiled an extensive collection of eclipse information, websites, and teaching resources for elementary teachers. And be sure to follow safety measures for watching the eclipse with your students.