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Which encyclopdias for First Grade life science, and how to cover animals?

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Which one for animals?


  • Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of Animals
  • DK First Animal Encyclopdia
  • National Geographic Encyclopdia of Animals


Which for human body?


  • Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopdia (how much detail does it have on reproduction, btw?)
  • DK First Human Body Encyclopdia

Now then...how should we go about studying animals? By habitats or classes? I thought I read Trivium Academy (don't remember her real name!) mention wishing she had done them by habitat.


I;m planning on doing science 2 or 3x/wk. We have 2 conservation centers nearby and a lake. Would you study local wildlife just casually by nature study, or incorporate them into the main science lessons? Am I making sense?


I'm probably over-thinking these things, but this is my first "official" year and I want to have my ducks in a row.



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We used the Kingfisher Encyclopedias and loved them. And then we would check out books from the library on the same topics.


The first day we did the Kingfisher book: bears, giraffes, etc. Then the second day we would do the library books. We covered science twice a week. We also had a subscription to My Big Backyard, and even though next year is Earth Science and Astronomy for us, we will get a subscription to Ranger Rick, I think.


I had grand plans to do the animals according to habitat or class it didn't work out. We simply studies each animal and discussed where they lived. We did a separate couple weeks on habitats.


One fun thing that my daughter really enjoyed is making an animal book. Mead makes a primary journal that has an open spot on top for pictures and then lines for printing below and on the back. We took pictures from the internet, or our trips to the zoo, or from books, and put them on one page at the top, and then she wrote what the animal was, and two facts on that animal. In the end, she has a nice encyclopedia of her own making.


Good luck!

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I really love the Usborne First Encyclopedia set. Probably very similar to Kingfisher, but I am just partial to Usborne. They have First Encycl. of Science, Animals, Space, Human Body, History, Sea Creatures, etc. (there are 9 I believe).


I've never done an informal science like this...just using encyclopedias...so I don't have a ton of advice for you. I also don't follow the WTM science method to a "tee". I would just say keep it fun, hands on, exploratory and possible add in some nature study and journaling! Enjoy!

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I don't know what to start with first, either to explain how/why of what we're doing or to offer advice for what you're looking to do.


IF you wanted to study habitats and needed a hand-holding I would use Winter Promises' Animals and Their Worlds http://www.winterpromise.com/animals_worlds.html


But if not, you could do do each biome and learn about the animals within their biomes. In ds4's upcoming K year, we'll be using Galloping the Globe which will accomplish this in a way for us and then in his 1st grade year, we'll study different biomes for 4 months before moving onto other earth science topics.


My personal goals and reasons for this is that I want to provide world geography from the start, I want an introduction to animals in 1st grade and their place in the world so that in 2nd grade we can dig a little deeper and learn about vertebrates and invertebrates. Studying biomes is a great way to discuss landforms, food chains, provide general information about animals and their behaviors, and also learn about the landscape of the world.


BUT none of that matters if you wish to follow a WTM timeline for science. You could also just allow your child to pick the animals to learn about and find resources to use from your library, nature studies, conservation center, etc.



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My kids loved studying animals. We just got lots of books from the library and from used book sales, and we had a couple of animal encyclopedias that were geared towards 1st through 3rd graders. I chose them based on how attractive they would be to young children. We also watched a zillion videos about animals.


The kids loved The Magic School Bus videos, books, and t.v. show. They also loved the Let's Read and Find Out books and anything by Seymour Simon. We got some of the Delta Education science kits, too, because the kids enjoyed doing the experiments.


In 5th grade we used Real Science 4 Kids Biology I. For 6th grade, I used a textbook to make sure we had covered the basics.


I guess I was kind of lax because we followed the kids interests, mainly, but it did the trick because they did well on standardized tests.

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