Thursday, February 19

Friday Finds - Learning with Literature

I have not fallen in love with a new book as thoroughly as I fell in love with this one in a long long time. Going Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes is a fantastic way to introduce any child to the way our solar system works. Books like this make learning fun and engaging. Froggy learned all the planets in order along with some unique facts about each planet. Not the typical lessons for a preschooler. I would never have tried to teach such information in a traditional setting to this age. But with literature like this the students seek out the learning.

Modeled on "Over The Meadow", this rhyming tour of the solar system is set a conversation between Mother Sun and her satellites. Each planet is introduced as Mother Sun speaks to it in turn.

Each stanza of the poem is about one of the planets in the solar system, and underneath the stanza is a short fact about the featured planet. Pluto even gets a mention and a little chastising from Mother Sun for not staying in line, but it's made clear that Pluto is no longer considered a planet, but a "dwarf planet." I was amazed that the book showed the new scientific view. The planets are shown in appropriate colors and in proportion to one another. The brilliant pictures and well-chosen words describe the uniqueness of each planet. Mercury "whirls" and Neptune "rolls." Saturn is shown with all its glorious rings.

What are your favorites books to help children learn in a fun way?

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