Monday, January 4, 2010

Non-Fiction Monday: Introducing Snow!

Well, to start out your child with these snowy-themed reads, you'll likely want to give them the bit of important, true information they'll be needing to really appreciate snow for what it is. Today, I have a few non-fiction titles that you may wish to choose from to get started!

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs.
Snowflake Bentley.
December 28, 2009 (1998).
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Guided Reading Level: N

Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

In this simple biography written specifically for children, Wilson Alwyn Bentley, also known as Snowflake Bentley, is introduced in a manner that is sure to have children hooked! The story is basic, yet detailed enough to allow children to know what they should know about Bentley - his life growing up on a typical Vermont farm, his love of snowflakes, and ultimately, his coming to be known as one of the greatest photographers of snowflakes in history. Coupled with Mary Azarian's typical woodcut illustrations, are snowflake borders on each page that present readers with detailed factual information about Wilson Alwyn Bentley and his work with snowflakes (how they are formed, symmetrical design, magnification when using a microscope, etc.).

Reading/Learning Activities:
  • Head outside on a snowy day, being sure to bundle up! With your child, collect a mitten-full of snowflakes. Sit together on the porch, sipping hot chocolate. Grab a magnifying glass and together, explore the snowflake. If a table is available (and dry), ask your child(ren) to draw the snowflake that he/she sees. Repeat this several times. Later, once you're back inside and warmed up, take the snowflake drawings, reread Snowflake Bentley and discuss what your child(ren) saw with what Bentley saw. Did he/she observe the same things that Bentley noticed of snowflakes?
Branley, Franklyn.
Snow is Falling (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-About-Science).
HarperCollins Publishers.
Guided Reading Level: K

Review copy borrowed from local library.

In typical Franklyn Branley style, children are introduced to a (new) topic in a simple, yet fun manner that will have them eager to learn more. Intended for young children, here, they will learn all there is to know about the ways in which snow can help humans and animals. The book would also be perfect for children living in areas where snow is not part of the "winter" climate, as it allows them to experience the wonder of snow as it begins "falling." Overall, the book is very educational in a simple manner that children will easily connect to, making it the perfect candidate as an introduction to this snowy theme!

Reading/Learning Activities:
  • Download and print out the Snow is Falling Venn Diagram worksheet. If your child is familiar with the use of Venn diagrams, this should be a somewhat easy activity, as they are comparing and contrasting the ways in which snow is helpful to humans and animals. If not, this would be a perfect book to help introduce the useful organizational tool!
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