Engaging Students in Wonder Using Melissa Stewart Books

Sep 16, 2012

Phillips Family

In preparing for the #Wonderchat Monday night, I have been thinking about the books (both fiction and nonfiction) I use in my second grade classroom that promote and engage students in wondering.  There is one series of nonfiction books that I have found this year to be a great addition to our "wondering".  The series is Why Are Animals....... by Melissa Stewart.  In total there are six books in the series.  Each book focuses on a color and why animals are that color.  In addition to using her books, she has a great website to encourage even more wondering.

One of my favorite books in Melissa Stewart's series is Why Are Animals Green?  From the first few pages, Melissa encourages children to to wonder by saying, "go outside and look outside" and "Can you think of some green animals that live near you?"  One example of a green animal given in the book, was the male mallard duck.  Melissa shares that the male's head is green so that it can be easily seen and attract a mate.  She also shares how the female mallard duck is entirely brown to hide from enemies while sitting on her eggs.  This ties in perfectly with Do Animals Play Hide and Seek? and how and why animals camouflage.

In addition to using these books to encourage "wonder" in my classroom, I also used them as a mentor text in writing a lead and an excellent example of organizing information during our nonfiction writing unit.

What books do you use to encourage and engage children and students in "wonder"?  Come share them Monday, April 2nd at 8:00 pm EST on Twitter.  Be sure to the hashtag #Wonderchat.


Latest Posts from Our Lead Ambassadors:

Jennifer McDonough Mar 20, 2016

Jen McDonough

Jen McDonough has been teaching and wondering with kindergarten and first graders for the past sixteen years at The Benjamin School in North Palm ...

Renee Cunningham Mar 17, 2016

Power in the Partnership

Do you have a work BFF? That person that you can say anything to, bounce ideas off of, even share workplace gossip (it happens everywhere). Beyond ...

Robyn Thiessen Mar 8, 2016

How an ice cream headache made me fall in love with Wonderopolis.

I loved to see that other Wonder Leads felt that becoming a Wonder Lead was a dream come true because I felt exactly the same way!! I have used ...