Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ocean Book Review

I wanted to share some of the best ocean books I've found for kindergarten.  There are so many great choices out there, fiction and non-fiction, but these are a few favorites!

1. Atlantic, by G. Brian Karas.  This is a beautiful book, in both pictures and words.  It is written in a poetic tone, with the Atlantic ocean as narrator.  I love it for both the facts it shares and the romantic picture it paints of the Atlantic.

2. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea, by Jan Peck.  This is a super fun book, and the first one I read to my summer school class!  It gives an overview of animals you can find in the ocean from the perspective of a little boy using his imagination in the bathtub.  The rhyming verse makes for a great phonemic awareness connection as well!

3. Hello Ocean, by Pam Munoz Ryan.  I love this book for teaching students how to observe using all five senses.  A little girl narrates and describes in rich language how she experiences the ocean using each of her five senses.  I used this to introduce a science lesson, where students had to observe our "mini ocean" (sensory bin) and write to describe what they saw, smelled, heard, felt, and tasted.

4. Eye Wonder: Oceans, by DK Publishing.  My favorite thing about this book is the way it teaches about ocean zones.  It has two pages that explain the three ocean zones.  Then, each following page about different animals includes a diagram showing which ocean zones you can find the animal in.  It helps reinforce the concept of the zones while students read about different sea animals.

5. I Wonder Why The Sea is Salty, by Anita Ganeri.  This book has answers to some of the questions your students might ask, like: Why is the sea salty?  What is sand made of?  And, how deep is the ocean?  It is a good way to answer curious minds with easy-to-understand language, and it also provokes students to think deeply about what they're studying.

6. The Pout Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen.  This has been one of my favorite books for a long time!  My students always love it and want to hear it again and again.  The illustrations and rhymes are so fun and the repetitive language makes it easy for kids to read along.

7. The Ocean Story, by John Seven.  I couldn't teach an ocean unit without including information on pollution and conservation.  The Ocean Story shares this information in a kid-friendly way.  Jana Christy's illustrations are beautiful, too!

8. National Geographic's First Big Book of the Ocean, by Catherine D. Hughes.  This is a great book which your kids will love.  It has awesome photographs and colorful, simple diagrams.  I love it for teaching about non-fiction text features, like the table of contents, index, captions, and diagrams.  It's also organized in a unique way - by the four oceans.  This helps students to internalize the concept of the different oceans and associate animals with the different geographical areas.

9. Bats at the Beach, by Brian Lies.  This is kind of a bonus book, because it's not so much about the ocean as the beach.  I just love all of Brian Lies' bat books, so I can't resist the opportunity to read one!  My kids squeal at the bug-snacks the bats eat, and we love spotting the inventive ways the bats act like people at the beach.  Definitely a must read for summer!

What's your favorite ocean book?  I would love to add more to my collection!

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