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This fall season we can use the themes of the harvest and giving thanks to help young readers learn key life-science concepts. Children grow in their understanding of the life cycle of organisms by direct participation, such as planting a garden, and by reading books. Books about gardening and food also provide an excellent starting point to implement the Common Core State Standards, tying in opportunities to ask questions about unknown words in a text (RI.1.1), use illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas (RI.1.7), and describe the connection between a series of scientific ideas or concepts, or the steps in technical procedures in a text (RI.2.3).
Celebrate the season with Awesome Autumn, by Bruce Goldstone. Look at how plants grow all year with Up We Grow!, by Deborah Hodge.
Food on the Table
Find out the names of all the vegetables on your plate with Rah, Rah, Radishes!, by April Pulley Sayre. See what the kids at the White House grew to eat in First Garden, by Robbin Gourley.
Go to School
Experience a year of poetry and growth in Our School Garden!, by Rick Swann. See how food gets to the cafeteria at lunchtime with How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?, by Chris Butterworth.Bibliography
Awesome Autumn. By Bruce Goldstone. Illus. by the author. 2012. 48p. Holt, $16.99 (9780805092103). 508.2. Gr. 1–3.
First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew
. By Robbin Gourley. Illus. by the author. 2011. 48p. Clarion, $16.99 (9780547482248). 712.09753. Gr. 1–4.
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food. By Chris Butterworth. Illus. by Lucia Gaggiotti. 2011. 32p. Candlewick, $12.99 (9780763650056). 641.3. K–Gr. 3.
Our School Garden! By Rick Swann. Illus. by Christy Hale. 2012. 32p. Readers to Eaters, $17.95 (9780983661504). Gr. 2–5.
Rah, Rah, Radishes! A Vegetable Chant. By April Pulley Sayre. Illus. by the author. 2011. 32p. Beach Lane, $14.99 (9781442421417). 641.3. PreS–Gr. 1.
Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm. By Deborah Hodge. Illus. by Brian Harris. 2010. 32p. Kids Can, $16.95 (9781554535613). 630. Gr. 1–3.
Anastasia Suen, the author of more than 150 books for children and adults, has taught kindergarten to college.
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