Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picture Book (Science): Prairie Storms (by Darcy Pattison)



Summary of Prairie Storms (by Darcy Pattison):  
The prairie grasslands are explored in this ecosystem adventure.   Month by month the various seasonal storms and other weather conditions are depicted and accompanied by expressive lines.  Here is an excerpt: 

"Rain and rain and rain and--it's a flashflood!  Walls of water crash through the prairie dog town.  Deep in the muddy burrows, prairie dog families hunker, safe in pockets of air--until the waters go down."

Readers get a glimpse of the lives of a number of prairie animals, such as prairie chickens, ground hogs, prairie dogs, red foxes, cougars, bald eagles, bison, burrowing owls, and lesser earless lizards.  This celebration of the American grassland habitat is sure to leave an impression. 

Evaluation:

As with all of Sylvan Dell’s amazing titles, Prairie Storms incorporates a mixture of science and language enrichment opportunities.  The striking illustrations (by Kathleen Rietz) are spring boards for discussing the attributes of both the seasons and the diverse weather portrayals.  Each two-page spread is labeled with the month for opportunities to discuss the spelling, which season it belongs to, and typical weather during that time.  There is a nice mix of more commonly known animals with lesser known ones, allowing vocabulary and visual recognition skills to be expanded.  The lyrical lines are well-written and appealing.  I recommend this book for ages 4-8.  


Teaching Opportunities:
Sylvan Dell has developed a FREE 52-page across the curriculum teaching guide to help you with some of teaching ideas above and many more in areas like geography, science, language-arts, and math.  The book page also includes various quizzes and other resources. 

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