Books to Compliment the Outdoor Classroom

By: Angela Bianco

This spring, Dawn Publications donated 3 of their new spring books, Over the Farm, Green Bean! Green Bean!, and Wild Ones: Observing City Critters  to us.  I wanted to try to these books with my elementary students.  The book that I used with 4th grade students was Wild Ones. This is a fun book about all of the animals and biodiversity of the city.  Wild Ones is  told through the eyes of a dog. This is great for 4th graders as we talk about point of view.  Before reading the book, students could take a walk around their neighborhood and note the life they see. After the book, have them do the same thing and see if they notice more.  This book helps students focus their observation skills and is fun to read.

A kindergarten class read the book Green Bean! Green Bean!  This story is about the life cycle of the bean.  This book is a good fit for kindergarten because it tells the story in rhyme and lends itself to discussions about sequence.  The story starts in the spring and goes through each of the season and shows what is happening to the bean.  This is a book that would be a good fit for young gardeners.  It highlights the process as well as the patience and reward of gardening.

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