Friday, November 26, 2010

Concept Books: Animals (Learning Numbers & Counting)

There are so many excellent books that teach counting skills.  While sitting cuddled up in a rocking chair, I used to teach counting and vocabulary.  After counting, I loved pointing to the animal, saying its name, and finally, giving the animal sound.  It is never too early to begin doing it.  After perusing extensively through the library stacks in the concept corner, these are my favorite books that count forward with animals. 

Moo Moo, Brown Cow by Jakki Wood

A curious cat travels around the farm asking each animal if she has any babies.  The animals respond with her number of babies from one to ten.  Each animal is predominately one color for practice with colors as well as counting. Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Farm Animals, Animals Sounds, Onomatopoeia, Colors, Animal Babies 

1 Zany Zoo by Lori Degman

A little boy sneaks into the zoo before it opens where he witness one fearless fox steal the zookeeper’s keys.  Not only do many of the animals roam free as a result of the sneaky fox, others (in groups 1-10) are cooking chili for lunch, playing in a band, and creating new designs for their fur. Before the rest of the children arrive, the zookeeper gets everything back in order.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Numerals, Zoo, Animals, Rhyme, Alliteration, Shapes, Personification, Humor 

Ten Little Wishes by Andrea Alban Gosline

A family of four brings their new baby home.   They walk around outside their country farm home and point out various farm and forest animals (each in groups of 1 to 10) to the new arrival while speaking blessings on the baby, such as may she learn to do good deeds and have dreams that reach the sky.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Numerals, Rhyme, Baby Animals, Habitats 

Click, Clack, Splish, Splash: A Counting Adventure by Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin

While the farmer sleeps, the farm animals plan a "fishing trip."  They sneak around, type up a note for the farmer, and gather all the supplies.  All the animals work together in groups to make their trip to the pond a success. The end results of their "fishing trip" are not expected—for the reader or the farmer!  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Numerals, Farm Animals, Farms, Cooperation, Rhyming  

Roar! A Noisy Counting Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards  

A jolly little lion cub goes looking for some amusement on the African savannah.  Even though he gives his friendliest roar, all the animals run away out of fear.  Finally, he finds a group of 9 lion cubs where he fits right in.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Colors, African Animals, Rhyme, Onomatopoeia, Habitats, Alliteration 

Over the Meadow by Jane Cabrera  

As the reader goes “over the meadow,” he encounters fish, owls, frogs, ducks, bees, and many other creatures.  Each picture features a mother with her babies in groups from one to ten.   Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Animals, Baby Animals, Animal Sounds, Habitats, Number Words, Rhyme, Onomatopoeia, Poetry

Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward & T.J. Marsh  

Set to the tune “Over the Meadow,” the rhythmic poetic words and vivid illustrations reveal sea animals with their babies in their natural habitats.  Each two-page spread is an animal with her babies, beginning with a mother manatee and her one baby and ending with a mother octopus and her ten children.  The back of the book includes additional information about each animal.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Sea Creatures, Number Words, Alliteration, Onomatopoeia, Rhyme, Habitats, Baby Animals 

One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root  

A duck goes down to the marsh where he gets stuck.  Various creatures try to rescue him (two fish, three moose, four crickets, and so forth).  Finally, when they all work together, duck gets unstuck.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Number Words, Animals, Onomatopoeia, Rhyme, Poetry, Alliteration, Repetition Participation (Says “Help! Help! Who Can Help? On each page) 
   

Ten Naughty Little Monkeys by Suzanne Williams 

This books follows a similar rhythmic format as Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, but there are some distinct differences.  For instance, there are ten monkeys instead of five.  Also, the monkeys begin by jumping on the bed, but quickly move to other activities like racing out the door, skating in the street, climbing up a tree, and rolling down a hill.  Each time one monkey gets hurt though, it is because of the mischief of the first monkey who was hurt.   After ten phone calls from the mother monkey, the doctor insists she put the monkeys down for a nap which does not happen as easily as she would like!  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Number Words, Monkeys, Kindness, Obedience, Playing Fair

How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten by Jane Yolen 

Using every day items like books, balls, balloons, trucks, and blocks, Mark Teague’s lovable and colorful dinosaurs learn to count.  Dinosaur lovers can also learn to count backwards with Paul Strickland’s Ten Terrible Dinosaurs. Teaching Opportunities: Counting, Number Words, Dinosaurs, Vocabulary 
Honorable Mention:
Animal Antics from 1to 10 by David Wojtowycz
In every room a group of animals is doing something outrageous, such as three thirsty flamingos drinking tea to seven singing sheep impersonating their favorite rock stars (i.e. Elvis, Tina Turner, and Michael Jackson).  At the end, children can recount the groups of animals each looking out the door of their room.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Number Words, Numerals, Alliteration, Animals

One Nighttime Sea by Deborah Lee Rose
Count from one to ten, backward and forward, while observing sea creatures like crabs, otters, fish, whales, sharks, and morays as they swim, hunt, hide, and hatch.  Teaching Opportunities:  Counting, Numerals, Sea Creatures

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