Monday, October 19, 2009

Book of the Week: “An Environmental Guide from A to Z” by Tim Magner Revisited

Back in May I reviewed this book. I’m revisiting it today because Tim and his staff have added more ways to take this book beyond reading.

First he’s added a Parent’s Guide. The 14 page guide “promotes outdoor activity necessary for healthy childhood development. It gives children a chance to bond with and understand nature, a chance to become excited about and
involved in the places we live. Uncovering the secrets of nature, opens opportunities in transforming how we live-—from changing where energy is derived to how products are made.”

The book is divided into 3 sections.
Where do we live? Who lives with us?
How does it work?
How do we protect our places, keep them working and build a better future?
Each section is filled with activity ideas, detective questions, writing activites and section one has map activities as well.

This is a wonderful addition to “An Environmental Guide from A to Z” and a great way for parent and child to study the world they live in. My children are grown and off involved in their own careers, but, I plan to use this book for my own learning and pleasure.

The second book is a well thought out and comprehensive Teacher’s Guide. Written for the state of Illinos, this can be adapted to any state with a few changes. Starting with pre-reading questions and ending with post-reading discussion the students will get a real feel for the essence of this book. Going through every letter in the alphabet, there are ‘Be a detective’ questions and a wide variety of activities for teacher and students to do. For example here is a sampling from questions and activities for one section.
H is for Habitat and N is for Nature
Be a Detective general questions:
• Why are maps important? What are they used for? How do we “read” maps?
• Are the plants and animals living near us, native to the area? Why? If not, how did they arrive and
what is the impact?

4. Native American Story: In conjunction with researching pre-European history in America and the prairie-lands of the Midwest, write a story as a Native American child five hundred years ago, e.g. “A Day in the Life,” or, “A Year in the Life.” Describe their relationship among local resources?

8. Need vs. Want: All our needs, including air, water, food and shelter, are met. What members of the community have unmet needs? What is it like to feel cold, hungry, thirsty or lonely? As a person? As a wild animal? Have students choose animals to act out. After the drama ask the student to explain why the animal felt that way. Note: the “L is for Lugari” contains a Need vs. Want exercise.

I believe these books are excellent ways to take a book beyond reading and very good ones to have for anyone interested in studying the environment they live in.

I’ll be back Wednesday with my take on the Muse Online Writing Conference.

posted by Joy Delgado
We go Beyond Reading
Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
Check out what’s going on at the zoo!
Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa blog


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good read. Thanks for pointing out another great book!

Joy said...

Tim has done an excellent job with his teacher's guide and parent's guide. Thanks for stopping by Christina.