For those of you who have wondered about what type of activities are available in our Teacher’s Guides, we’ve created a “sampler” of what you can find inside each one below. You can also view actual teacher lesson plans from these guides in our “Downloadable Activities” section.
From the guide to “How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate” – The lesson “Scientific Inquiry in Action” underscores one of the key messages of the book: we know what we do about climate change because of the questions that scientists have investigated and the results they’ve found. After you use a KWL Chart (Know/Want to Know/Learned) to assess students’ prior knowledge about climate change, students work in small groups to identify the hypothesis, data, and conclusions of the scientists presented in the book. Students compile their information to create a wall chart for the classroom.
From the guide to “Lifetimes” – The lesson “Venus Flytrap” develops the idea from Lifetimes about the Venus flytrap – a plant with a flower that looks like a great place for a fly to land, but isn’t. The lesson presents various situations that appear to be good ideas. Groups of students brainstorm some of the consequences of different responses to the situations, and select most likely outcomes. The lesson is designed to assist students to see that you can’t take things at face value; to learn to anticipate possible negative consequences of an action; and build self-reliance and self-control.
From the guide to “A Walk in the Rainforest” – The lesson “Step by Step” develops the observation from A Walk in the Rainforest that leaf-cutter ants engage in an intricate process of producing their food by raising fungus from leaves. Students choose a personal goal that they would like to accomplish within a month; determine the smaller steps needed to achieve it; and chart their steps with “leaves,” followed by a certificate of achievement. The students learn to set goals, identify necessary steps, and persevere.
From the guide to “A Swim through the Sea” –The lesson “Go Swim! Tag” is based upon the observation in A Swim through the Sea that the clownfish has a symbiotic relationship with the anemone. The clownfish feeds the anemone; the anemone’s poisonous tentacles protect the fish and its eggs. In a modified tag game with teams of anemones, clownfish, and a predator, students playfully and energetically discover how important anemones and clownfish are to each other.
From the guide to “A Drop Around the World” – in the picture book, a drop of water travels through various bodies. In the lesson “Body Buddy,” after a guessing game about the amount of water in various foods, students calculate how much water is needed by their own body based on their body weight. They also decorate a water bottle, and learn that ample water is critical to the brain – it helps them think.