Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Animals and Plants: Structure and Function

Here are some of the MANY books that I use to teach first graders about the world of plants and animals.  

Humans and Animals - 
making the connection


Animals: Structure and Function
This strand of the NGSS is broken down into four components:

1. body parts that ensure survival
2. biomimicry
3. parent/offspring behavior for survival
4. similarities/differences between animal babies and parents

Here are books I use, organized by component: 

Books About Animal Body Parts and Behaviors
That Ensure Survival

All animals need to find or catch food.  Most animals need to avoid being someone else's lunch.  Many animals must make shelters or build nests.  Many animals need to find mates.  These animal body parts, or structures, enable animals to meet these needs.

The author's name is hard to read: It's David M. Schwartz.  This is part of the excellent "Look Once, Look Again" series.

Books About Biomimicry

Books About Parenting Behaviors, and How Animal Babies and Parents are Alike and Different

Animal babies and parents look and behave the same in some ways, and differently in other ways.  Many animal parents protect their young.  

(Well, this book is about a mama bird who refuses to sit on her egg... but an elephant comes along and takes over the job, so all ends well.)

And finally, some stories about the scientists who have studied animals and helped us learn about their behavior:



Plants: Structure and Function

(Bill Nye: Food Web is actually a video... well worth watching!)

This beautifully written book about Wangari Maathai describes how tree roots keep land from eroding and provide oxygen and food to keep us alive and healthy.

This is a biography of Kate Sessions, the woman who transformed San Diego from a barren land to a lush, tree-filled oasis.