I’m excited to be, once again, participating in this summer’s 10 for 10 Picture Book celebration! #pb10for10 This annual celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Hard to believe this is my eighth year of participating in this event! (you can read my 2019 here, 2018 here, 2017 post here, 2016 post here, 2015 post here, 2014 post here and 2013 here. ) Each year on August 10th, the blogging community chooses 10 picture books on a range of themes – from diversity, to community building, to writing, to conservation. It is an amazing opportunity to explore new picture books related to a wide range of themes. (It can also be a little hard on your bank account, if you are anything like me!)
2020…. A year for the record books. As we prepare and venture into the unknown of classrooms during Covid, many are pressing the reset button and looking for new ways to support their students learning while trying to keep everyone safe. While there is no doubt school start up will be challenging and look very different from any other year, it may also open up some exciting opportunities for exploring new ways to teach. Outdoor learning is one of these new opportunities. Outdoor learning is more than just taking students outside to play at the end of the day. It is an outdoor learning space that provides an opportunity to integrate nature into your teaching and promotes play, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Traditionally, I have always organized my #pb10for10 around Reading Power – two books for each strategy (connect, question, visualize, infer, transform). But this year, I am breaking with tradition and focusing on a theme more fitting for the times – 10 books that celebrate nature and may inspire outdoor learning and exploring.
(Note – I found so many wonderful books for this theme, I will continue with a second post later this week!)
1.Run Wild – David Covell
This book makes me want to take off my shoes and run around outside and explore! A wonderful reminder that there are so many adventures to be found when you put down your screen. Lovely rhythmic text and detailed illustrations!
2.The Not So Great Outdoors – Madeline Kloepper
The little girl in this story hates nature. She wants her WiFi and her electricity, and she doesn’t see what the big point of this “outdoor stuff” is. Camping with her family is not exactly her idea of fun. But she soon discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers. Love this playful picture book celebrating the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.
3. Daniel Finds a Poem – Micha Archer
What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Crisp leaves crunching? A cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? Maybe poetry is all of these things – you just have to take the time to really look and listen. I use this book when launching my poetry unit but it’s the PERFECT book to inspire exploring and writing.
4. The Listening Walk – Paul Showers
What can you hear when you’re out for a walk? The tap of your shoes, the whirr of the sprinklers, the chug of the bus? This classic picture book encourages you to slow down and listen to the noises all around you. I have always loved using this book for visualizing and teaching onomatopoeia but would be an great inspiration for taking a “listening walk” with your students.
5. Autumn Math Walk – Deanna Pecaski McLennan
Outdoor learning means finding ways to integrate nature into all areas of your curriculum. This is a wonderful series that can spark mathematical conversations with children, and be used as a guide for discovering the rich math that exists in nature. See also Winter Math Walk, Beach Math Walk and Playground Math.
6. Everybody Needs a Rock – Byrd Baylor
This is one of my all-time favorite books to share with students. Byrd Baylor invites readers to find their “perfect rock” and gives 10 “rock rules” to follow while searching. So many lessons and activities stem from this book – a perfect introduction to rocks and minerals unit in science; students can find their own rock to learn about; learning a First Nations ways of knowing perspective; students to find a special rock and write a description and about their journey to find it. LOVE! (Check out my OLLI – Online Learning Lesson Idea on this book HERE)
7. You’re Missing It! – Brady Smith
Sometimes, it’s parents who need reminding to turn off their phones and enjoy the sights and sounds around them. Perfect reminder to practice mindfulness, being present and enjoying the moment. A great to companion (text-to-text) to Sidewalk Flowers.
8. Backyard Fairies – Phoebe Wahl
Where are those fairies? I am certain they are here – there are clues everywhere – but I just can’t see them! Follow a little girl as she sets out into the woods in her backyard searching for the backyard fairies. Although readers can see them, as hard as she looks, the fairies are always just out of view for the narrator. Delightful illustrations. I would use this book to promote Imagination Pocket writing. Children could also go on a fairy walk outside or draw their own fairy forest.
9. Finding Wild – Megan Wagner Llyod
Breathtaking illustrations and enchanting language, this book takes readers on a sensory journey though nature. Would be a great anchor book for visualizing and sensory details. Would also be inspiring for kids to find their wild!
10. The Hike – Alison Farrell
Share the joy and excitement of three friends as they head out to enjoy the great outdoors together. I love the beautiful, lyrical storytelling and the details of nature that fill every corner of this book. Besides the overall message of encouragement to get out and enjoy the world outside, I would definitely use this for launching scientific notebooks and labelled diagrams.
Moving the Classroom Outdoors: Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning in Action – Herbert W. Broda
A great resource of new ideas and advanced ways to meaningfully use the space on school grounds to support student learning. Includes research and practical examples from schools across North America. Great photos!
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you found a book to caught your eye!
(Note – I found so many books for this theme, I will continue with a second post later this week!)