Thursday, February 16, 2012


We are continuing our science study of animals. I have decided that we are going to learn about animals individually and then draw comparisons to figure out what exactly they need to survive. The other morning, I had it in my mind that we were going to learn about penguins. I love penguins and so does Ben. When we went to the zoo last year, he spent a long time watching the penguins swim back and forth in front of him. It was one of the highlights of the trip. So, off we went to get books on penguins at the library when Ben (who was in a particularly bad mood) said, "I don't WANT to learn about penguins! I want to learn about elephants!" Deciding that fighting him over the next few weeks was really not worth it, I agreed that we could change to elephants. I have found that if he has a say in what he learns, he is more motivated, more interested, and learns more (go figure).

Our local library has some awesome books about elephants. I wanted to make sure we had a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to fit the theme. Benjamin greatly prefers non-fiction, but I am trying to get him to read more fiction to check for reading comprehension and increase his ability to retell a story. That's more difficult in a book filled with facts. Here are the books we are using during this thematic unit:

  • Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold
  • Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and the Dog who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley
  • Animal Families: Elephants by Daniel Gilpin
  • The Elephant Who Couldn't Forget by Faith McNulty
  • Grandma Elephant's In Charge by Martin Jenkins
Honestly, I have found that some of my "impromptu" lessons turn out better than the ones that I have planned for months on end. We have had so much fun doing the activities that the books led us to naturally. 

1 comment:

  1. I love your flower paintings Ben! I can't wait to see what you will create next!

    Miss Diane (right next door :) )