One of my favorite science books is Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Stellaluna is the story of a fruit bat who gets separated from her mother. Stellaluna lives with a family of birds who accept her for who she is and teach her how to live like a bird! I love this book because it teaches SO many skills. I generally use this text in the fall when we are learning about bats. We read and learn about fruit bats and birds. We examine the different ways they eat, sleep, and live within their habitats. We talk a lot about what it means to be nocturnal.
I read this aloud with all of my students, however, I have my advanced students use this as a book study. The students examine the vocabulary, compare and contrast birds and bats, and discuss and answer comprehension questions that require them to think beyond the basic text. This book lends itself well to cause and effect situations. I provide my students with effects and have them use the text to find the cause. This is usually very difficult for even my advanced readers. I like to push them above and beyond and this is a great way to do so.
One of my favorite extension activities for this book is to ask my students these questions:
If you were to land in any animal's habitat, which habitat would you want to land in and why? Stellaluna adapted to live with the birds. If you landed in your new habitat, which adaptations would you need to survive?
I am sure you have read this to your kiddos, but if not, I would highly suggest this book. This book also has a Project U-Stars unit which goes along with the book. If your school district has access to Project U-Stars lessons, this is an excellent resource to pull into your teaching. Project U-Stars is a program that integrates science and literature and requires students to think critically!
Make sure to head on over to the Collaboration Cuties to link up and to see what other great science books are being shared!