Sunday, March 13, 2016

Science Sunday Story

I am a big fan of Jim Arnosky books. Just looking at the titles in his series gets me excited for what kids can learn: Creep and Flutter, Shimmer and Splash, Slither and Crawl, and Wild Tracks are just to name a few of his titles.

To me, one of my most favorite things to do, when I get a new Jim Arnosky book, is to look at the author’s note in the back of the book. Jim always gives the reader insight into his journey of creating his books. When the reader looks closely upon this text, they will notice that the author uses color and sketches throughout.

Today I will be reviewing Jim's book Frozen Wild How Animals Survive the Coldest Place on Earth. His book has a beautiful feature of pages folding out and becoming extra long. This book has an excellent balance of information and illustrations. I think this is a great book to have students notice whether it is fiction or nonfiction book. Students could go on a book walk and list the features they notice.This book looks like a storybook but has many nonfiction text features.Jim gives the reader a sneak peak of all his beautiful sketches on the side of the book.

 This book is loaded with information about how animals survive in the coldest place on earth. Did you know that lightweight animals such as the squirrel do not sink into the snow? Squirrels and mice have the ability to tunnel underground when looking for snow? When a deer is in the snow, it can be impossible for them to get away from predators. This an excellent book to read with Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart.

Classroom Ideas 

Use an Alpha box to collect important words and phrases from the book. Once students record important words, it will remind them later of the facts they learned about animal survival. Students can use their Alphabox as a resource to write a piece of nonfiction writing. In the primary classroom, the teacher can record important words or phrases.

                                               Here are some facts we collected from Frozen Wild

One trick that researcher learn is to limit the number of words they use when taking notes. The trick is to jot a phrase or bullet facts.

Teach Students to Mark Key Words

Teach students to collect keywords and phrase that capture the most important information. I love how this first-grader made a little key on the post-it in which they put in their books.

What are we learning when we read nonfiction?
These are some of the strategies second and firsts graders are learning. This teacher is implementing the Lucy Calkin's nonfiction reading units.


  1. Thanks for sharing these great ideas to use during NF reading

  2. Your welcome!

    Have a great week. Melissa

  3. As always, you share meaningful strategies. I haven't used alpha boxes in a long time. It's good to be reminded.

  4. Hi Tammy,
    Me too! I am taking a RETELL class which is required in MA for ELL students and we do a lot on vocabulary. They have shared a few other great vocabulary strategies too that I hope to share.

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