Tag Archives: Science

Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm by Jamie Harper

Schema: weather, field trips

Science: weather terms and events

The author shares a very entertaining story for students about a field trip to a mountain where Miss Mingo and the class encounter weather changes, meet animals that predict weather events, and discover many interesting little known facts about animals and weather.

Fact and Opinion: This book would be a fun one to distinguish the differences between fiction in the actual story and the facts that are included in smaller print below each story page of the book.

Henry’s Heart: A Boy, His Heart, and a New Best Friend by Charise Mericle Harper

Schema: human heart functions, love

Informational Literature: much factual information about the function of the heart is included. Information about foods, exercise, and the function of the parts of the heart are included in the story.

Personification: Henry’s heart is depicted with some human features with eyes a mouth and feelings.

Henry falls in love with a puppy. We finally have an author who thinks about the chaos that is caused by a nude body part and includes a fig leaf to cover that part in the illustration of Henry’s body. This would be a fun book to read around Valentine’s Day.

Cause and Effect: Henry’s heart is effected by the different causes that occur in the story. His heart reacts to the different stimuli with a fast or slow beat.

Drawing Conclusions and Inferring: What do you conclude Henry has fallen in love with when you read the description of the “girl?”


Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Schema: mysteries, museums

Text-to-text connections: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Cause and Effect: Because Ben was talking on the phone during a storm, the effect was that Ben lost his hearing when lightning struck the phone line.

Characterization: List Ben’s traits: curious, smart, brave to travel alone, good speller and writer, uses any resource available, resourceful for eating food left by others. How are the character traits of Ben and his mother alike?

Drawing Conclusions: Practice drawing conclusions as you read the pictures for Rose’s story. Inference is used to draw the conclusions.

Point of View: author’s: third person, character’s: Ben and Rose

Summarizing: Summarize Rose’s early life up to when she meets Ben

Mental Image: Can you make a mental image of the wolves chasing Ben? Check out the wolves’ diorama from the AMNH in New York City.

Go to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC’s website and look at some of the exhibits online.

Check out the panorama of NYC boroughs at the Queens Museum of History.



Bailey by Harry Bliss

Schema: first days of school, steps to getting dressed and ready for school

Text-to-text connections: being prepared with homework, participating in music, p. e., share time

Cause and effect: Because Bailey eats paper, the effect is his stomach hurts

Point of View: the story is told from Bailey’s point of view in 3rd person

This book is a great choice to teach text-to-self connections with the youngest reader.  Students will relate to the activities that Bailey goes through during his school day.


The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara & Mark Fearing

Schema: The original story of the three little pigs

Compare and Contrast: the original story with the modern one

Personification: the robot

Characterize the robot and the wolf in the original story

The story of the Three Little Pigs meets the space age in this new twist on the original story. The three aliens all find homes in space, one on a rover, one on a satellite, and the third one on Mars where he builds a sturdy house. The planets are illustrated in order from the sun so a reader could gain some reinforcement of space learning as the book is read. This would be a support for a compare and contrast unit. The illustrations are colorful and add humor to the story.

The Goose Man: The Story of Konrad Lorenz

Schema: geese, pets

The goose man is Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian born doctor who devoted his life to the study of ethology, an animal behavior involving instinct. This focus of this book is on the his work about geese and how they communicate with different types of honks and how they imprint on the first living creature they see.  Konrad learned how to imitate the goose honks to communicate with them. He had several pets throughout his life, and he won the Nobel Peace Price in 1973. The lively illustrations and amount of text on the page makes this book a very interesting read aloud that students will enjoy.

Author’s purpose: to share information about a famous scientist

Cause and Effect: Because Konrad was the first creature the baby goose saw, the effect is that the goose imprinted on him.

Drawing Conclusions: What conclusions does Konrad draw from observing the geese?

Mental Image: Several remarks are made in the book about the mess the animals made in the house.  Can you make a mental image of what a mess a monkey or a goose inside the house would make?

Arthur Turns Green by Mark Brown

Schema: Earth Day, conservation

Text to text connection: 10 Things I  Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh

D.W., a preschooler, is concerned because she infers that the project Arthur is working on at school is making his hands, and those of her father, and Arthur’s  friend, Buster, turn green. The reader will conclude that it is the paint they are using by carefully looking at the pictures in the book. This is a great story to teach inference to young readers. Once again, with an eagle eye, the reader will find the names, Tolan, Tucker, Isabella, and Skye, Brown’s sons and grandchildren, scattered through the illustrations. This book would be great to pair with a nonfiction book for Earth Day in April.

Inference: D.W. infers the reason that Arthur’s hands are green.

Cause and Effect: Because Arthur is using green paint, the effect is his hands are stained green.


The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne Cherry

Schema: islands, conservation, ecosystems, biomes

Text-to-text connection: The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Author’s Purpose: persuade readers not to cut down the Mangrove tangles

Cause and Effect: Because the propagule falls off the mangrove tree, the effect is that a new mangrove tangle begins. 

Drawing Conclusions: The fisherman drew the conclusion that he should not cut down the mangrove tangle to make a shrimp farm because of what the other fisherman told him.  He was persuaded to leave the tangle alone.

Point of View: The story is told from the point of view of the animals that inhabit the tangle.

Synthesis: The reader will synthesize that there are certain things that keep the balance of nature.

The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward

Schema: trees

Personification: The point of view is from the tree.  The tree’s voice is heard through a rhyming text about a tree from its roots to its branches.

Author’s Purpose: The simple text provides the reader with the basic information about how a tree grows, what lives in it, and what lives below it.  The youngest reader will know more about trees after reading this book.

Reader’s Theater: The rhyming couplets read by young children dressed as tree inhabitants would be a wonderful production!

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems

Schema: seasons

Text-to-Text Connections: City Mouse, Country Mouse

Life cycle of a frog

This book is a great one to show the seasons.  During the season of winter, frog does not come out to play.  He could be hibernating since frogs do hibernate.  I think the reader can read this book on many levels.  For the youngest child, the focus on the seasons, hibernation, and playing is enough.  For the older reader, a discussion about meeting new friends, coping with change, and enjoying life as it comes to us can happen.  Maybe the frog had died, but the reader is not told.  I choose to think he is just hibernating and will join dog and chipmunk later.