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Early Explorers Program Resources

Recommended Reading for Plants and Trees:


Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
fiction
Grades: Preschool - 2nd
Lexile Level: 460L

Selected because: 
Leaf shapes match those found during the program at Blandy. Strong emphasis on color and shape. Incorporates an activity of collecting and/or rubbing leaves and identifying them in a field journal. 

Suggested activities:
Practice word and letter, shape and color recognition during read aloud. 

Go outside to collect leaves (or bring from home) and use them to assemble new pictures. Optional – cut leaves and/or glue in place to develop motor skills. 

My Leaf Book by Monica Wellington
non-fiction
Grades: Preschool - 2nd
Lexile Level: 450L

Selected because: 
Illustrations include leaf shapes that will be seen at Blandy. Artwork is imaginative and compelling, unique page margins.  

Suggested activities:
Practice word and letter, shape and color recognition during read aloud. 

Go outside to collect leaves (or bring leaves from home) and create a leaf book. Practice writing by labeling the leaves. (teacher will need to be comfortable identifying leaves OR make a literacy activity of describing the leaves and giving them names based on characteristics) 

Create leaf rubbings or prints (activities in book)

Recommended Readings for Weather:

Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrator Lauren Stringer
fiction
Grades: Preschool - 3rd
Lexile Level: AD480L

Selected because: 
Brightly colored illustrations dense with detail. Excellent descriptions of sensory experiences and weather play. 

Suggested activities:
Identify the senses used in the book (smell, sight, touch, hearing) Have students imagine how each of the sensory moments in the book might feel. 

Have students design a rainwater capturing machine, use the captured rainwater to watercolor their favorite rainy-day activity.

Image result for Come On RainCome On, Rain by Karen Hesse, illustrator Jon J Muth
fiction
Grades: Preschool - 3rd
Lexile Level: AD660L

Selected because: 
Implies necessity of rain for people and plants. 
City setting with a diversity of female characters.
Beautiful watercolor illustrations full of movement.

Suggested activities:
Comprehension read-aloud and paired text lessons can be found at ReadWorks.org
Science and literacy connection ideas can be found at ToolOfTheWeek.org

While reading, have students make predictions and connect Tesse’s experience with their own experiences of weather (dry and hot, cooling rain, thunderstorms).

Track weather over time. View and make forecasts, go outside to test weather conditions and compare them to forecasts and historical data. What patterns do students notice?

As a group, compose a weather song. Practice, record, and dance just like the mamas and the children. If permitted, play in sprinkler on a hot, hot day.