Miss Katie's Recommended Books
- What’s Alive? by Kathleen Zoehfeld, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Introduce the theme of story time with this beginning science book. Either read the entire book straight through, or pick and choose segments that you think will be easiest for your audience to understand.
- Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter
This lift-the-flap book is a great guessing game that reinforces the concept of being alive with a series of questions about whether objects can or cannot grow. Kids as old as six and seven get really into this, but even the little ones will enjoy trying to figure out whether cars grow to become trucks or shirts grow to become sweaters.
- Are You Living? by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
This is a singable non-fiction picture book by an excellent CYBILS award winning children's poet, all about the differences between living and non-living things. Sidebars provide additional information that can be shared as appropriate.
Other Possible Books
- Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
- Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni
- Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Crinkleroot's 25 Mammals Every Child Should Know by Jim Arnosky
- Duck and Goose by Tad Hills
- The Growing Story by Ruth Krauss
- Hunwick's Egg by Mem Fox
- I Can't Said the Ant by Polly Cameron
- Mary Had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner
- Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly
- Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
Songs & Rhymes
- Song: Everything Grows by Raffi
This song would be fun to sing with musical accompaniment (guitar, ukulele, piano, etc.) and/or with the kids holding up pictures to represent each growing thing represented in the lyrics. This would also be a good one to play as background music while the kids color or work on a craft.
- Rhyme: Five Eggs and Five Eggs
This fingerplay is also fun to do with puppets if you have an egg and a hen.
- Song: Mr. Sun
After discussing how the sun helps living things grow, sing this song with a puppet, or holding up your arms in a sunshine shape.
- Song: One Seed by the Laurie Berkner Band
Watch this video for the hand motions for Laurie Berkner's song about the importance of planting trees and passing down responsibility for our Earth to future generations.
- Flannel Board Sorting Game: Is this alive or not alive?
Provide children with a series of objects and ask them to decide whether they are alive or not. Hopefully, if you have a lot of flannel board pieces already made, you'll be able to choose from what you have without having to make anything new. Otherwise, kizclub.com has a lot of great clipart of all different objects that can be printed out, laminated, and used as is, and or used as templates for actual flannel pieces. There is also a set of Living and Nonliving Picture Cards available here. Librarians who are looking to introduce more technology at story time might also try sharing this game from Thinkcans.net.
- Act out the Animals
Provide puppets, flannel board pieces, or just simple pieces of paper printed with the names/images of animals and have the kids act them out. You could also ask them to act out other living things, such as flowers or plants, though they might have a limited range of movements. A good book to inspire animal movements is Pretend You're a Cat by Jean Marzollo.
Visit These Sites for More Ideas
- Living & Nonliving from Adventures of a K/1 Teacher
- Living and Non-Living: A Science Mini Unit by April Larremore
- Teaching Living or Nonliving from Lerner Books