Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Murphy, Stuart J.
Earth Day - Hooray!
HarperCollins Publishers.

The students in Mrs. Watson's Save-the-Planet Club are planning an Earth Day Celebration that will take place at Gilroy Park. However, the park is in no condition for a celebration and the students must clean up the park and get it ready. Once they begin working on cleaning up the trash and recyclables, they decide the park needs some sprucing up. They come up with the idea of collecting cans that can be redeemed for money and spending the money on flowers to plant in the park. The adventure takes readers on the journey of the Save-the-Planet Club members while introducing/reinforcing the concept of place value.

Place value, from the experience I've had with it, is one of the hardest math subjects to teach... at any grade level! This book really does a great job showing the concept through the use of different sized garbage bags. I could definitely see myself using this in the classroom on Earth Day as a math activity (even if the place value unit has already been completed, there's always room for review and more practice)!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:

Perez, Monica.
Curious George Plants a Tree.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Although it was released in March, I've been holding off on a review, as it seemed perfect for my Earth Day post... and it is! Someday, when I have one, I will be using this book as read aloud on Earth Day. The 20 tips for living green that are provided on the last page will definitely open up the door for discussion and allow students to start thinking about themselves living green!

It's been a while since I've read Curious George! And while this book wasn't written by Margret & H.A. Rey, Monica Perez did a wonderful job writing the same style! There's lots to be learned in this book as Curious George sets about participating in the museum's Earth Day Rally.

George and the man head out to the museum for a day of exploring and to check out the new special exhibit. When they get there, George naturally heads to his favorite exhibits first: the rocket room, the mirror maze and the butterfly space. Then they move on to the special exhibit... How YOU can take care of our Planet. The illustration for this section of the book really have the capabilities of allowing children to almost imagine they are there, seeing the exhibit first hand. And the facts to be gained? Wonderful!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:

King, Stephen Michael.
Roaring Brook Press.

As I initially started reading the book, I was like, what? It made no sense to me... but, I stuck it out, and I'm so glad I did, because the ending is where it all happens! This is definitely a cute book for kids!

Mom's broken out the scissors and a little boy is now expecting a haircut. Knowing what's in store, he dashes away from his mother and hides in the bushes. While he's hiding, a bird plants a seed atop his head, which soon begins to spout. Eventually the boy can no longer hide from his mother and her plans for a haircut. When she cuts off his hair, he takes the sprout and plants it into the ground. As time passes, we see the sprout as it grows, aging with the little boy who turns into a teenager. Years later, as he has a family of his own, he returns to the tree he sprouted and shares his story with his own family.

This really was a darling story... it's not really something I could share in a classroom, as the book is somewhat small for sharing just the pictures as a whole-group deal. However, I think it'd make for great sharing as a family - you could discuss the changes that occur over time in a family... or look at the Earth Day possibility... how will planting a seedling have an impact on the Earth years from now?

Earth Day Lesson Plans/Worksheets

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' Bookworm said...

Thanks Katie!

I have read Earth Day Hooray over and over and over again. Defintely a must have!

style='clear: both;' Bookworm said...

Also, I didnt know about the new Curious George book....We really like Curious George over here! I'll have to check that one out!

Thanks--AGAIN! You are THE BOOK WOMAN!