Sunday, November 6, 2011

Annotated Bib - Plants

There are hundreds of thousands of plants in this world, but no matter the plant, they all need nutrients, water, air, light and a place to grow to survive. They can exist in many different climates, whether the rainforest or the desert, it is vital to the plants survival to maintain proper nourishment.


The Magic School Bus, Plant Seeds. By Joanna Cole & John Speirs. Illus. by Bruce Degan. 1995. 32 pg. Scholastic Paperbacks. (978-0590222969). Gr. K-3.
Ms. Frizzle's class is growing a beautiful garden, but Phoebe's plot is empty. Her flowers are at her old school! So, the kids climb aboard the Magic School Bus. They go to Phoebe's old school to get some of her old flowers, but they end up actually going inside the flowers. Follow the kids' colorful adventure as they learn how living things grow.

Plants Are Living Things. By Bobbie Kalman. Illus. Unknown. 2007. 24
pg. Crabtree Publishing Company. (978-0778732570). Gr. 1-4.
Kalman, well-known for nonfiction books, delivers another winner with the "Introducing Living Things" series. With colorful labeled photos and drawings, bolded content words in the text, and guided reading levels aimed at first and second grade, these books include excellent resources for younger readers. Complete with a "Contents" page, a "Words to Know" section, and an "Index" page, the books make it easy for beginning readers to locate information. A short review chapter about what living things need leads into a description of how plants are living things. Chapters about the types of plants, the parts of plants, the life cycle of a plant from seed to seed, and the many ways that plants grow are coupled with vivid photographs that explain the text. How plants help the environment and humans by providing oxygen, food, wood, and shelter completes the book. This is an excellent resource for any elementary student or classroom since it combines easy to read text with relevant information.

From Seed to Plant. By Gail Gibbons. Illus. by Author. 1993. 32 pg. Holiday House. (978-0823410255). Gr. K-2.
In this well-structured presentation, Gibbons explores the complex relationship between seeds and plants in a simple, concise format. This book gives young readers an interesting look into the basics of plant reproduction, pollen transference, seed dispersal and germination. A great first look at botanical science, with Gibbons' characteristically vivid illustrations. Plant this one in your science collection.

A Seed in Need: A First Look at the Plant Cycle. By Sam Godwin. Illus. Simone Abel. 2004. 32 pg. Picture Window Books. (978-1404809208). Gr. K-2.
Come along with Worm, Ladybug, and Snail for a first look at the plant cycle. Spring adds water and warmth, encouraging a seed to wake up. Roots push down and shoots push up, forming a seedling. The stem thickens and leaves appear. Buds appear and begin to unfold, turning into beautiful flowers. As flowers die, gardeners collect seeds and store them for the next season. Along the way, plants supply food and shelter to garden creatures and often reseed themselves. The plant used as an illustration throughout is the sunflower. Soft watercolors and smiling insect escorts give this book a warm and comfortable feeling that children will enjoy. The thirty-two page title includes an index, book and website references, a page of fun facts, and a glossary.

I Wonder Why Trees Have Leaves: And Other Questions About Plants. By Andrew Charman. Illus. Unknown. 2003. 32 pg. Kingfisher. (978-0753456637). Gr. K-3.
Designed to amuse and intrigue the young reader, this book is packed with information about plant life. It combines artwork and factual text in order to answer the questions children really ask. "Why do leaves change color in the fall?", "Are plants really alive?", and "Why do plants have flowers?" - these are some of the questions children love to ask their parents, and the answers are "growing" right here!

Useful Websites

BrainPOP: Plant Growth
How does your garden grow? In this BrainPOP movie, Tim and Moby examine how plants grow and grow and grow! You’ll learn why flowers grow on apple trees, and how plants reproduce through pollination. Find out the parts of a flower and what each part does, as well as how insects help in the reproduction process. Discover what seeds are and how they sometimes go on long journeys to make new plants. See what conditions can cause a seed to germinate into a seedling, and how that seedling can become a full grown plant. All this talk of plant growth really plants the seed of knowledge!

TIME For Kids is a weekly classroom news magazine that motivates kids to read! Issues cover a wide range of real-world topics kids love to learn about - and it's the best nonfiction text you'll find! Our Digital Editions are the perfect supplement to your TIME For Kids print subscription, and they deliver a host of exciting features to help bring TIME For Kids to life.A powerful teaching tool, TIME For Kids builds reading and writing skills and is easily integrated across your curriculum, including social studies, science and math.TIME For Kids is committed to helping teachers meet Common Core State Standards, National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies and National Science Education Standards.

PBS KIDS is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children through curriculum-based entertainment with positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being. With a 360-degree approach towards learning and reaching children, PBS KIDS leverages the full spectrum of media and technology to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. PBS KIDS encourages children to interact as respectful citizens in a diverse society. By involving parents, teachers, caregivers and communities as learning partners, PBS KIDS helps to empower children for success in school and in life. PBS’ bottom line is measured by how much it contributes to the welfare of America’s children.

Kids can spend hours engaged in learning at the National Geographic: Kids site. The five major sections include animals, videos, activities, games, and stories. The animal section includes high resolution images of amazing animals and creature features, where users can browse from an alphabetical index or by category (Amphibians, Birds, Bugs, Fish, Invertebrates, Mammals, and Reptiles). Animals are also grouped by habitats (Antarctic, Arctic, Forest, Freshwater, Grassland, Mountain, and Ocean). Click on one of the animals and find facts and photos, video and sound, and maps. Other sections include word games, brainteasers, geography games, action games, interactive games, puzzles and quizzes, a video gallery, some very interesting science stories, and activities that can be done online and at home. Overall this is a great learning site that teachers and parents will want to bookmark for their children.

Discovery Kids is an educational site that encourages discovering all the world has to offer. Articles cover topics about natural disasters, growing up, machines, continents, space, and much more. An activities page provides interactive ideas for recipes, making crafts, designing clothes, and experimenting with science. Games are age appropriate, challenging, and educational, and the online puzzles are fun and entertaining. Parents should know that some games ask for a user name and email address. Also, the site does include a link to shopping and banner ads advertise more Discovery Kids shows.

Teacher Information:
Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL)
K.7. The Student will investigate and understand basic needs and life processes of plants and animals. Key Concepts include: b) plants need nutrients, water, air, light and a place to grow to survive.

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework:
•Plants and animals change as they grow.
•Plants and animals need food, water, and gases in the air to live. (Many animals and plants that live in water use the gases that are dissolved in the water.)
•Plants and animals live and die. This is part of the life cycle.
•Many offspring of plants and animals are like their parents but not identical to them.

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