Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sparrow, Eagle, Penguin, and Seagull: What is a Bird?

Sparrow, Eagle, Penguin, and Seagull:What is a Bird?
written by Brian P. Cleary; illustrated by Martin Goneau
2012 (Lerner Publishing)
Source: Orange County Library

Check out Nonfiction Monday at Perogies and Gyoza

Feathers serve to block the sun 
and keep birds warm and dry.
They help them in attracting mates,
And plus, they help them fly!

What makes a bird a bird? With fun rhymes and illustrations, Brian Cleary and Martin Goneau explore the characteristics that make up our fine feathered friends. It is indeed feathers that unite this group. They can block the sun, keep a bird dry, attract a mate, or provide camouflage from predators. In order to be part of these proud preeners, you have to have a backbone which makes you a vertebrate. Eggs are the preferred form of birth for these warm blooded creatures. Other characteristics that are explored include size, sound, and motion.

I used circle maps quite a bit in kindergarten and this book lends itself to using that form of organizer. You can put the word birds in the center circle and ask students to list what they know about the subject. During reading, you can ask students to contribute more answers to the circle map. If you are studying classification of animals, this would also be a very good book to use. You can create tables or use a spreadsheet to classify birds and compare to other groups such as reptiles.

Check out Brian P. Cleary's website for games and teacher materials. This would be a cool site to visit with your class in your school's computer lab.


  1. Oh circle maps! I love those.

    This looks really good, my kids love animals and at first glance you wouldn't think a sparrow and penguin are at all the same.

  2. I'm more familiar with his language and math books. I like the sounds of this one and will look for it. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Apples with Many Seeds


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