A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Archive for the ‘Biology (Life Science)’ Category

The Wonderful Ocean World

Mr. Tate’s class travels to Sunnyside Beach to help clean up trash. Captain Ned encourages the students to listen to the sea and they hear the many creatures that count on clean ocean water to survive. Captain Ned teaches the students that healthy oceans are important to all earth’s creatures.
The kids see how all of the wild life at the beach counts, with counting pages such as one whale, two seas turtles and all the way to ten bottlenose dolphins.

Breathe by Scott Magoon

This sweet story follows a young whale on a journey of discovery as he experiences his first day at sea on his own! He swims, explores, and makes friends in his marine habitat, and then returns home to his mother.

Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale

Fabulous Fishes is a rhyming picture book that is wonderfully illustrated with brightly colored fish. The book describes different types of fish with simple rhymes. The last two pages describe each fish and the oceans in which they are found.

This is a really fun book about a squid who thinks he’s the biggest thing in the ocean. He compares himself to all the animals in the ocean that are smaller than him, like the crab, octopus and turtles. Little does he know that there is an animal bigger than him that eats him!

Here is a link to some storytime ideas for this book. https://www.kidssoup.com/craft-and-resource/story-time-im-the-biggest-thing-in-the-ocean-crafts-and-activities

Here’s a link to NOAA Fisheries’ Education Resources which are compiled from NOAA experts and partner organizations to provide high quality, science-based materials and activities for students and teachers interested in exploring the science behind marine resource management and conservation.

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/educators_students/education.html

Here’s a guide to Greater Atlantic Fish Species.

https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/educational_resources/seafood/fish/

Here’s an Itsy Bitsy ocean book children can create.

http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/learning-letters/ib-book-ocean.htm

Here’s a fun activity featuring oceans zones and layers of the sea with a hands-on science project.

http://www.kcedventures.com/blog/layers-of-the-ocean-under-the-sea-science-activities

 

Birds, birds, birds!

The theme for this week’s storytime was birds!

Early Bird by Toni Yuly

With simple geometric shapes and vibrant colors, this fun story follows Early Bird as she gets an early start to her day. Directional words such as “across,” “through,” “under,” “up,” “around,” and “over” are used as she finally finds the early worm.

Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins

On the first page, a little woodpecker has just learned to peck. He continues to peck everything he comes across! He peck-peck-pecks right through a door and then through a hat, a mat, tennis rackets, and a jacket and continues through the entire house! The preschoolers loved seeing him peck his way through the book, with actual holes in the book.

Here are some great science activities including a beak activity and how to create a bird seed buffet.

http://toddlertalesfun.blogspot.com/2012/11/week-four-woodpeckers-and-beaks.html

Here’s a printable woodpecker craft.

http://madebyjoel.com/2010/10/woodpecker.html

Froodle by Antoinette Portis

The birds in the neighborhood know what sound to make but one day little brown bird decides he wants to try something new. Crow is not amused but some of the other birds are intrigued. The birds begin to make some fun sounds that made the preschoolers laugh! The book reminds children that it’s okay to be different and sing your own tune.

I was able to share some delightful toy birds that sang their song when squeezed. The children enjoyed guessing what each bird was and imitated their song.

This site at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers many bird calls that you can listen to online.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search.aspx

The children also enjoyed the story of a baby owl titled “I’m Not Cute!”

as well as a counting book called Big Fat Hen.

Here’s a free printable of a life cycle of a bird that you can color and cut apart and put in order.

https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/27504

Here’s a free printable bird anatomy worksheet for learning the external parts of a bird to help identify birds.

http://layers-of-learning.com/bird-anatomy-worksheet/?platform=hootsuite

Learning Science the Montessori Way

Teach Me to do it Myself by Maja Pitamic

This practical book is filled with fun, simple and inexpensive activities that you can do with your preschooler. Each activity has a picture next to its description, a numbered list of directions, a list of what you will need and similar activities to try. The book is divided into sections:

  • Life Skills
  • Developing the Senses
  • Language Development (including letters, word building, and first sentences)
  • Numeracy Skills (learning numerals, learning quantities, adding and subtracting numbers and quantities, and shopping number and numeral vocabulary)
  • Science Skills

Some examples of the activities are:

  • Distinguishing sounds with objects such as 2 pan lids or a jar of coffee to shake
  • Musical scales using 5 glass bottles with varying levels of water.
  • Discovering colors using paint color sample strips
  • Understanding volume and estimation with water in different glass sizes
  • Making land models with disposable dishes, paint and play dough

The book How to raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way has a chapter on exploring the wider world with the key idea that children are little scientists, with a drive for discovery. It includes ideas for working in the family garden, taking a walk in the forest, and making your own nature museum. Another chapter includes ways to build sensory awareness and sensory activities that help children learn such as texture matching.

Learning About the Rainforest

Learning about all the colorful animals, insects, and plants in a rainforest make for a fun storytime theme!

The children really enjoyed The Frog With the Big Mouth by Teresa Bateman.  It’s a humorous tale about a little Argentine wide mouthed frog that goes around the rainforest to brag about his fly-eating abilities. At the end of the book there are notes about the Toco Toucans, Coatis, Capybaras, Jaguars and Argentine wide-mouthed frogs, also known as Argentine horned frogs.

The Parrot Tico Tango by Anna Witte is a wonderful cumulative rhyme in which a greedy parrot snatches delicious fruit from his animal friends in the rainforest until he can hold no more.

I used the book Rain Forests by Nancy Smiler Levison with a flannel board activity for the preschoolers.

I handed out animals, insects and plants mentioned in the book and read the pages about the four layers of the rainforest: emergent, canopy, understory and the forest floor.

As I read about each layer, I invited the children to put the corresponding trees, plants, and animals on the flannel board. The preschoolers really enjoyed learning about the animals in each layer and helping to create a rainforest.

Here are two more nonfiction books about the rainforests:

Wow! Rain Forest Animals by Carolyn Franklin

Rain Forest Revealed by Jen Green

Other great rainforest picture books to read to preschoolers are:

Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck

If You’re Happy and You Know it Jungle Edition by James Warhola

Slowly Slowly said the Sloth by Eric Carle

If I were a Jungle Animal by Tom and Amanda Ellery

We’re Roaming in the Rainforest: An Amazon Adventure by Laurie Krebs and Anne Wilson

Jungle Drum by Deanna Wundrow

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry

The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell

Moose Tracks

Moose was a recent storytime theme. A great introduction to this theme is with a nonfiction book with a few facts to share with the children.  Moose by Grace Hansen works well for preschoolers with its brief text and wonderful color photographs.

A picture book that helped describe the size of a moose was Ernest, The Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner. The book ends with a foldout page that shows how big Ernest really is.

The children really enjoyed the humorous book Moose Tracks which led into our science activity with animal tracks.

I began with a brief overview of the book Wild Tracks by by Jim Arnosky. This book features fold out, life size drawings of a variety of animal tracks, including moose. There are  details on how to interpret the footprints as well.

 

 

For visuals I used animal track identification sheets from the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  These printable sheets include ten images of common Minnesota animals and the life sized tracks they make.

I printed out color images of a moose, bear, wolf, raccoon, squirrel and wild turkey to display and handed out a variety of laminated footprints: one per child. The children enjoyed figuring out which tracks to match to each animal.

They compared the footprint they had to the others and determined if it was the smallest, next smallest, largest or not quite as large or looked different such as the turkey footprint. They noticed the difference between the moose hooves and the bear claws to determine which tracks belonged to each animal.

Here is a link to the animal tracks pdf:  http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/education/project_wild/animal-tracks.pdf

For more information about animal tracks:

Animal Tracks & Signs by Jinny Johnson.

 

Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers and Claws by Ingo Arndt.

Worms. Can You Dig It?

Noodle & Lou by Liz Garton Scanlon

Ned’s New Home by Kevin Tseng

Yucky Worms by Vivian French

Worms for Lunch by Leonid Gore

Look under science activities on this link:

http://www.preschool-plan-it.com/worms.html

Find more worm science here:

http://lemonlimeadventures.com/worms-garden-science-activity/

Nocturnal Animals

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Whoooo’s There? by Mary Serfozo

You can find some great nocturnal animal science activities by clicking on the links below:

http://www.teachpreschoolscience.com/NocturnalAnimals.html

http://www.brighthubeducation.com/preschool-lesson-plans/62630-nocturnal-animal-theme/

http://www.stillplayingschool.com/2014/10/nocturnal-animals-kwl-chart-preschool-science.html

 

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