We all know that there are only so many hours in a school day and I don’t know about you, but I am ALWAYS looking for ways to cover Science and Social Studies curriculum in my Language Arts and Math blocks! I LOVE making cross curricular connections with our learning. Not only because it helps with the time crunch, but also because it helps students to develop deeper connections and understandings of the material being presented.
Lucky for us, there are a TON of amazing novels and picture books that are perfect to incorporate a little bit of Science into our read aloud, independent reading, or even small group reading time.
Today I am going to highlight my top 5 books for an Ecosystem Science Unit. These books are perfect for teaching about the different types of organisms, food chains, life cycles, adaptations, etc. If you teach in Alberta, all of these books are going to be AMAZING for your Grade 5 Wetlands unit (even though some of them aren’t set in a wetland!)
Note: This post contains amazon affiliate links. This means that if you purchase the books through these links, amazon sends a few pennies my way. Thanks for supporting my blog!
1) Zoey and Sassafras Monsters and Mold
This super cute book (Guided Reading Level O) is a great way to introduce students to the concept of decomposers. Students develop a clear understanding of mold, through this short chapter book. Furthermore, all of the Zoey and Sassafras books talk about the Scientific Method! This book would make a fantastic read aloud or you could even use it as a Guided Reading text. If you have some English Language Learners in your room, reading at this level, this text would be an amazing way to front load some of the Science vocabulary terms that they will need in their unit. I even have some FREE vocabulary puzzles and Experiments that you can use with this book! Click on the images below to be taken to the FREE downloads!
- scientific method
You can find this book on amazon here!
Monsters and Mold
2) How to Survive as a Firefly
This amazing picture book is a fantastic hybrid text. It combines elements of both fiction and non-fiction to create a hilarious survival guide for fireflies. This book will help you to teach life cycles as well as creating scientific diagrams. Furthermore, fireflies go through a partial metamorphosis, which makes for another intriguing teaching point. If you are looking to use this book as an interactive read aloud, I have put all of the prompts together for you in a IRA package. I have also created a set of FREE vocabulary puzzles to accompany this book. Click on the pictures below to be taken to the products.
3) Pond Circle
Pond Circle is a beautifully written, rhythmic text that would make an amazing read aloud to introduce your wetlands or ecosystems unit to students. It’s a short read and students will learn a ton about food chains from it!
- Food chain
- animals that live in ponds or wetlands
You can find this book on amazon here!
4) Be a Pond Detective
This book is actually Canadian, which makes me love it even more! Instead of following a typical structure for informational texts, this book shakes things up a little by providing mysteries that are then solved through research. This would be an AMAZING book to read if you take an inquiry approach to teaching science. Even if you are teaching a different unit, the questions asked in this book are fantastic examples for our students.
So this book doesn’t specifically talk about wetlands, however it does address a very important concept when teaching about ecosystems… adaptations! Adaptations are always a kid favourite to learn about, there is just something truly mesmerizing about the concept.
There you have it, the BEST books to launch your unit on wetland ecosystems! Don’t forget to pin the image below so that you can find this post when you are ready to start planning your unit.