theme: weather, clouds, nature
Clouds: a compare & contrast book
by Katharine Hall
32 pages; ages 4-8
opening: "Some clouds are big and fluffy; others are thin and wispy."
This book is filled with photos of clouds - perfect for browsing, and comparing different kinds of clouds. The language is simple enough that young readers can peruse it themselves. At the back are two hands-on experiments about precipitation, a cloud-matching game, and a handy guide to predicting the weather from the clouds.
by Martha Sullivan; illus. by Cathy Morrison
32 pages; ages 4-10
Dawn publications, 2015
opening: "Pitter and Patter dropped from a cool, gray cloud one day."
Pitter lands on an oak leaf, drips into the stream below, and is on a water cycle adventure that carries him through a valley, wetland, and finally into the ocean. Along the way he meets fox and deer, dragonfly and trout. Patter lands in a meadow and percolates into the soil. His journey is different from Pitters, but eventually they both meet when they are evaporated back into the sky. There's plenty of back matter explaining states of matter, water cycle, and water sheds, plus hands-on activities.
What I like about these books: they're a fun way to introduce a complex topic ~ the water cycle. I always love books with back matter, especially when it includes hands-on activities with easy-to-get materials, which both books do.
Beyond the book activities: there are tons of things to do besides pulling on your boots and splashing through puddles.
Cloud Watching ~ Take a camera outside and look for different kinds of clouds. Sometimes we'll have nice, fluffy clouds in the morning, and then some that look like fish scales in the afternoon. Try to get photos of different kinds of clouds so you can make a "cloud finder" chart - or draw pictures of different kinds of clouds. Have a cloud-watching contest to see who finds the most humorous or weirdest shape in the clouds.
Play a game of Drip, Drip Drop ~ Exactly like duck, duck, goose, but with drips and drops.
What floats in a puddle? After a rainstorm, gather things from nature - stones, pine cones, twigs, etc - and guess which ones will float in a puddle. Then test them out.
Cloud Painting - with a "bath poof" or a loofah.
How big is a Raindrop? Collect raindrops and measure them ~ directions here.
Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copies from the publishers.