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Friday, December 14, 2012

A Warm Winter Tail

Just in time for snuggling-in weather, A Warm Winter Tail, a companion book to A Cool Summer Tail, will delight your little ones, and it is full of educational enrichment activities. 

A Warm Winter Tail is an entertaining picture book with a twist. It is an educational resource with activities that include: language arts, science, math, and geography. This story about how animals adapt to the changing winter climate takes an interesting spin on the topic and shows the animals’ perspectives on how humans adapt to the winter season. Through large, easy-to-read print and realistic illustrations featuring creatures such as bees, squirrels, deer, and hummingbirds, the story teaches how animals prepare for the winter and adapt to harsh living conditions:

How do humans keep warm in the winter, Mama?
Do they grow hollow hair
so the coats that they wear
trap the heat from their bodies for warmth?
No hair coats for warming
when winter is storing.
Their jackets have zippers and snaps.

My son giggled at the drawings in the background showing the humans doing what the featured animals do to adapt, such as a little boy with a fluffy tail and a little girl with a turtle shell.

A Warm Winter Tail includes a “For Creative Minds” section in the back of the book with animal and winter adaptation facts and a winter animal matching activity. These pages are reproducible or may be downloaded from the publisher’s website. They are also available in Spanish. 

The Sylvan Dell website also includes a free downloadable 55-page teacher’s guide with cross-curricular teaching activities, reading comprehension and math quizzes, and curriculum standards for the benefit of classroom teachers. They also provide a list of related websites to learn more about each animal featured in the book and winter survival.

The wonderful thing about A Warm Winter Tail is that you can choose to add on as many or as few activities as you would like. You can incorporate the deeper study into your school work or simply read it as a storybook. I think page numbers would simplify using it with the activities. 

This book is sure to be a hit with boys, kinesthetic learners who like non-fiction, or anyone who loves animals and nature. A Warm Winter Tail is an example of how you can create more opportunities for learning from a simple story, which is especially appealing to young learners. 

Snuggling up on the couch on a cold winter day to learn is much more fun than sitting at a desk with a textbook studying the same concepts. As a homeschooling mom, I appreciate the ease of having high quality resources available that simplify planning and stretch learning materials further.