Phew...it's been a week! I'm excited to finally be sharing this book though. I came across Seeds by Ken Robbins (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005) while working on a project for my marketing class and I was really pleased with this book. The book is intended for 1st to 4th graders, but I think it could even be used in Pre-K and Kindergarten as well. Robbins uses photography and simple text to explore MANY types of seeds, including milkweed seeds, cherries, wheat, corn, berries, acorns, avocados, and even coconuts! I really like that there is such a wide variety, including so many that children have either seen or eaten before. This seems like a wonderful way to help young readers make text-to-life connections. Here are some examples of how the pages are laid out:
I especially like the sticktights picture of the sock, because I'm sure that's something that many kids have encountered while playing outside, and this shows them up close what those tiny, prickly, things really look like!
This book could be used for a read aloud, as well as for independent exploration. The one thing I think could be stronger about Seeds is the "extras." So many of the other nonfiction books I've read this semester have impressed me with the other features included such as resources for further exploration or ideas for extension activities, but Seeds does not have any of these "extras." Which doesn't make it a bad book in my opinion, I think I've just grown so accustomed to seeing them that I was a bit surprised that this didn't include anything.
Here are a few resources for exploring seeds with kids:
The National Gardening Association has a site for kids that includes information about seeds and gardening for kids, as well as information about family and school gardening projects. The school gardening page has a lot of helpful resources, including Lesson and Activity Guides, Classroom Projects, and Professional Development Opportunities.
The BBC Gardening with Children guide is a fun page to explore! There are plenty of interesting facts available about things from insects to cacti. Ideas for indoor and outdoor projects are available, as well as detailed information pages about things such as seeds, compost, and worms.