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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hurricanes and Earthquakes

Natural disasters and concerns are all around us.  Often times we shelter our children from some of life's difficulties, but there are certainly times when it is most appropriate to educate our children instead of ignoring their concerns or educating them before it is a concern.  Ready, Set...WAIT! and Panda's Earthquake Escape offer insight as to animals' reactions to hurricanes and earthquakes.  If you live in a region where earthquakes or hurricanes are the norm, it's most critical to teach your child how to prepare and react.  These books will help parents and educators comfort children and teach them how animals prepare and react to natural disasters.

Before I share with you the books, I want to tell you what Sylvan Dell books offer for those of us who teach, whether at home, school, or other setting.  Their books are aimed for children ages 4-8 (and 9).

Sylvan Dell Publishing educates children in science and math through the means of literature.  They're doing a fantastic job, too, offering informative, educational books with realistic and beautiful illustrations.  The books alone are really great, but they help classroom teachers and homeschooling parents in huge ways.  Each book (and ebook) comes with great resources!
  • 3-6 pages For Creative Minds which is an educational section in the back of each book.  It extends the story and gives additional information.  
  • 40-60 pages of Teaching Activities!  These activities are incredible!  They allow a teacher to customize a unit study to meet their students' interests.  The Teaching Activities go beyond math, science, and literature.   Just click Teaching Activities and choose a title to see for yourself the plethora of activities there are.  The table of contents gives an overview and makes it easy to find what you want. With so many choices, the teacher can choose what is right for the age group they are teaching.  (I love that!!  Unit studies really benefited my students, and I think it's very enjoyable to teach and learn from a unit study.)
  • 3 Interactive Quizzes per title.  A Reading Quiz evaluates reading comprehension from the book itself.  The For Creative Minds (FCM) Quiz is based on the 3-6 pages from the back of the book.  The third, th Math Quiz uses information and context appropriate to the book and creates word problems for the student to solve.  
A hurricane forms over ocean. Humans board up windows, gather food and supplies, and then wait for the storm to arrive. But what to wild animals do? Written by Patti Zelch, Illustrated by Connie McLennan.Being September, we are in peak hurricane season.  Living just a couple hours from the Atlantic Ocean means that we watch the weather for hurricanes, though they typically do not impact us too significantly here.  Ready, Set...WAIT!, written by Patti R. Zelch and illustrated by Connie McLennan offers children a look at how people and animals prepare for an approaching hurricane.  It begins with what children know best-people.  After boarding windows and gathering supplies, we go inland.  Then the book continues to answer the question of what animals do and if they know that a storm is coming.  Nine different land, sea, and air animals sense, react, and prepare for the approaching hurricane.  I think this is an excellent way to reassure children of God's special and unique design of all his creatures!  Through their instincts, animals are able to sense approaching danger-even that of a hurricane.  (FYI: This is not a Christian book, but I still think it shows God's greatness and design.)

Pandas' Earthquake Escape
Panda's Earthquake Escape is a fictional story based on real-life events.  A mother panda, LiLing, and her one year old cub, Tengfei survive an earthquake and its aftershocks, but in fear they ran.  LiLing's instinct is to protect the cub, but they get lost.  They eat strange food, but come through just fine and are returned to their reserve.  This book would fit perfectly into a unit study of endangered animals as well as teaching children about animals when they are learning about emergency drills.

I can honestly say that I wish I had had access to Sylvan Dell books when I was teaching.  (And am thankful for the opportunity to review them now and use them with our family, even if we are not homeschooling.)  You may be thinking the same thing.  If you are, consider the School and Library Resource Grant.    This grant is available to public and private schools, libraries, and homeschool associations.  

Thank you Sylvan Dell Publishing for providing these books for review purposes.


phasejumper said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. I had a great time this morning, looking through all your activities. I have planned to do your freight train activity next week! Thanks!

Ticia said...

So....... My kids freak out each time we learn about a new natural disaster "Can that happen in Texas?" Sigh, makes teaching about things like volcanoes very complicated. We haven't even really touched on tornadoes, which could happen here.

But, those look like good books.

Raising a Happy Child said...

Panda's Earthquake Escape sounds very interesting considering that we live in an Earthquake area. We talked to Anna a little about earthquake, but we didn't want to alarm it too much. Thanks for your review, and I'll look for this book.

Carrie said...

LOVE Sylvan Dell books!

Christy said...

C is obsessed with natural disasters. I will definitely look for these books, especially the hurricane book because we are occasionally affected by them.

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