Almost all young children enjoy the wonder of nature, and teaching them about the living things around them is a good way to introduce science into your studies. If you have an early elementary student and you’re looking for a good book to start with, The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature might be the book for you.
This book is actually a combination of seven smaller books from the Usborne First Nature Series. It contains beautiful color illustrations, so you’ll be sure to find some topic of interest to your child.
The first section covers birds, including how and why birds fly, how they eat, eggs and nests, and resting and preening. This section also includes a couple of games, such as searching for the grasshoppers hidden on the pages.
The next two sections discuss trees and flowers, including interesting facts about trees, what happens to the roots underground, how a twig grows, tree stumps, leaves, seeds, the parts of a flower, and pollination. This section also includes a picture hunt; children must search the pages for the nut weevil and bumblebee.
The last four sections cover more of the animal world, with sections about butterflies and moths, wild animals, fish, and creepy crawly things. Most of these have hidden creatures to find as well.
An easy way to use the First Book of Nature is as the basis of one or several unit studies. As you read through the chapters, you’ll be able to tell which topics your child is most interested in. Perhaps he especially enjoys the section about butterflies. You could then expand on the topic by visiting your library and finding other nonfiction books about butterflies, as well as fictional picture book stories. You can search the Internet for butterfly crafts, printables, and games. You might even go as far as to order a butterfly kit, in which an educational company sends you caterpillars, food, and a net cage so your child can observe the lifecycle for himself.
However you use it, The Usborne First Book of Nature is a great resource for any homeschooler teaching those younger grades.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from Amazon.com