The first book I’ve chosen to kick off the new format for my blog is On One Flower: Butterflies, Ticks, and few more Icks by Anthony Fredericks.
Plants are the basis of all ecosystems, and this creative nonfiction story takes place in a very tiny ecosystem—a single goldenrod flower. At the back of the book, two pages of nonfiction information complement the story with “Field Notes” and fun facts.
LESSON PLAN: PICTURE PERFECT
On One Flower is an effective read aloud to introduce the concept of “Relationships in Ecosystems” to younger children. It’s also a creative way to introduce a unit on “Matter and Energy in Ecosystems” for older students.
This writing activity begins by having students look at the book’s cover illustration. Working in small groups, they write a first draft of a story based on the illustration. After listening to the book or reading it on their own, they identify the edits they would make to their stories.
Suggested Grade Level
Read Aloud: K-5; Independent Reading: 3-5
Common Core Connection
~Reading and Literature: Key Ideas and Details (K.1,,1.1, 2.1); Craft and Structure (K.6, 2.4); Integration and Knowledge of Ideas (K.7, 1.7, 2.7)
~Writing: Test Types and Purposed (1.3,2.3, 3.3, 4.3, 5.3); Production and Distribution (K.5, 1.5,2.5,3.5)
~Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration (K-1, 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1); Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas—2.4, 3.4, 4.4, 5.4
Science Framework Connection
~Independent Relationships in Ecosystems (K, 2, 3)
~Inheritance and Variance of Traits: Life Cycles and Their Traits (3)
~Matter and Energy in Ecosystems (5)
- The book On One Flower: Butterflies, Ticks, and few more Icks
- Transparency Paper
- Before reading the book aloud, use several pieces of paper to cover up the words on the cover of the book. Create a transparency of the cover illustration and project it for the entire class.
- Divide the class into several groups. Invite members of each group to generate three to five questions about the illustration. Afterwards, ask each group to write a story that has answers to the other group’s questions embedded in the story (one member of each group records the story that is contributed by all the other members of the group).
- After sufficient time, have the groups to share their completed stories with each other.
- Then read the book aloud. Ask students to pay attention to the details, facts, and information that is shared throughout the story as well as the information presented in the “Field Notes” at the end of the book.
- After reading invite each of the groups to return to their original “Picture Perfect” stories and to edit them in the light of the information they gathered from the book. What changes will they need to make in the next draft.
- Follow up with these discussion questions: Which of the creatures was the most amazing? How did the illustrations contribute to your enjoyment of this book? Which of the animals would you like to learn more about? How are so many animals able to live together in one place? What other animals do you think could be found on a single flower? If you could tell the author one thing, what would you like to say to the author.