The Science of Seasons - Books & Resources

 

Science curriculum books

Below you will find the scheduled resources for The Science of Seasons Curriculum. Additional, free, online learning materials can be found in the curriculum schedule.

I recommend purchasing the books that are used over a long period of time (as noted below). You can borrow the rest (or similar titles) from your local library. When using a literature based curriculum, like this one, I would always check my library for titles ahead of time and purchase the titles they didn't have that I knew my kids would really enjoy and would make a good addition to our home library.

Four read-alouds add a literature component to the study. Each book was chosen for how it deals with the natural world and life in the context of seasons.

If you'd like to keep this curriculum trimmed to JUST science concepts, then feel free to skip books that cover other subjects, including the read-alouds.

I've scheduled in several kits, that are in the list below. I recommend you get at least two of them, if you can. Most kids LOVE kits and that is what they will remember long after most of the books are forgotten. I invested in quite a few kits over our homeschool career and they helped spark an absolute love of science in my son and created special memories we will have for a lifetime. I always took lots of pictures of the kids with their kits and other hands-on homeschool activities and made "yearbooks" using scrapbooks from Shutterfly. We love thumbing through them and seeing all the neat things we did!

 

The Science of Seasons

The Science of Seasons

Join Abigail, Henry, Grace, and their lively Fox Terrier, Beowulf, as they learn about the seasons in this lavishly illustrated, Christian friendly science book! Kids will learn about the seasons in different parts of the world, solstices, equinoxes, and a myriad of other topics brought together in a way to draw in both strong and reluctant readers!

There are fun comics to read, celebrations in other parts of the world to learn about, and even yummy recipes to commemorate each season.

Used or referenced in weeks 1-14.

Science of Seasons Activity book

The Science of Seasons Learn-and-Play Activities book is stuffed with over 125 pages of engaging things to learn and do that expand on the topics in The Science of Seasons. Kids can bring to life the lessons they are learning with character cutouts and playsets, fill out the make your own comic templates, and create a globe of the earth for fun experiments and much more! Far more than a typical activity book,The Science of Seasons Learn-and-Play Activities contains a highly varied assortment of cross-curricular lessons and projects, which will engage children on many different levels.

Click here to buy a PDF version.

Weeks 1-14.

Explore Spring: 25 Great Ways to Learn About Spring

 

Explore Spring: 25 Great Ways to Learn About Spring

Used in weeks 1-12.

This is an easy to read book with comic style illustrations and tons of activities. Even though it says, "Explore Spring!", the book covers lots of different, basic science concepts.

Quotation marks

 

If You Were Quotation Marks (Word Fun)
Week 1

A fun book to make language arts a lot more interesting!

Art for Kids: Comic Strips: Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish

 

Art for Kids: Comic Strips: Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish
Week 1

This optional book is for kids who enjoy the comic book templates in The Science of Seasons Activities book and want to write and create more comics. It's a great way to sneak in language arts for more reluctant writers, or to fan the flames of those who can't write enough.

Miracles on Maple Hill

Miracles on Maple Hill
Weeks 2-4

Recommended as a read-aloud for younger children. Older children can use it as a reader.

"The war is over and Marly's father is home - but he's not the same. Something inside him seems as cold and dead as the winter world outside. But when the family moves to Grandma's old house on Maple Hill, miracles begin to happen. The sap in the trees begins to rise, the leaves start to turn, and maybe, just maybe, Marly's father will begin to bloom again, like the world around them.

Winner of the Newbery Medal, this wise and moving classic is a story of children and parents and the miracles of nature." Quote is from the back of the book.

 

Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?

 

Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?
Week 2

"There are trillions of stars in the universe, but we rely on our sun to provide (or contribute to) most of what we need to survive and thrive: heat, light, plants, animals, wind, and water. Complete with fun, cartoon illustrations, this book give kids plenty of information about our sun in an easy-to-read and digest format. By focusing on the needs of an elephant, Wells makes clear just how important the sun is to life on Earth." Quote from the book description

 

The Sun

The Sun
Week 2

"Seymour Simon explores the wonders of the sun, from the constant nuclear explosions at its core to the sea of boiling gases that forms the surface, in this crisp, clear book illustrated with over twenty startling, full-color photographs, The Sun presents a fascinating introduction to the star that is the center of our Solar System and essential to life on Earth." Quote from the book description

My son loved Seymour Simon books, including this one!

 

Come See the Earth Turn

Come See the Earth Turn This book is only available used.
Week 2

"A sickly child, a poor student, and a medical school dropout, Léon Foucault seemed an unlikely candidate for greatness. But his ingenious experiment—simple, beautiful, and stunningly original—changed how we see the world." Quote from the book description

Tedco 8" X 10" Sun Art Paper Kit

 

Tedco 8" X 10" Sun Art Paper Kit
Week 2

  • Use natural or man-made objects to make beautiful and unique prints
  • Contains fifteen 8" x 10" sheets and a Plexiglas overlay. This Plexiglas overlay helps press objects such as leaves flat in contact with the paper to insure a good print.

List from the description

What a fun project!

 

Whales book

 

National Geographic Readers: Great Migrations Whales
Week 3

This book is a fun and easy read with lots of beautiful photographs.

 

What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?

What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?
Week 3

"On a trip to Egypt, Pythagoras' curiosity helps him discover the secret of the right triangle. A clever introduction to the Pythagorean Theorem."

I love books that teach math concepts with picture books! What a nice break from a textbook! I read this to my son several times over the course of our studies when he was younger.

 

The Greedy Triangle

 

The Greedy Triangle
Week 3

Another fun math book that reinforces the lesson in The Science of Seasons Activities book.

Explore Earth's Five Oceans

 

Explore Earth's Five Oceans
Week 3

 

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights
Week 4

"Imagine a land where the sun rises at 1:58 a.m. in the summer and shines for less than four hours on a winter's day.  The animals in the wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska, witness some of the world's greatest temperature extremes and light variations ever year.  At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light shows are always glorious!" Quote from book

This book reinforces quite a few lessons from The Science of Seasons books.

 

How Much Is a Million?

 

How Much Is a Million?
Week 4

This book was taken off the shelf and read multiple times by my son. It is a family favorite and does a terrific job of making the number million meaningful. How Much is a Million is used to help kids better understand just what it means when we say the sun is 93 million miles away!

The Wheel on the School

The Wheel on the School This book is only available used.
Weeks 5-7

Recommended as a read-aloud for younger children. Older children can use it as a reader.

"Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true." Quote from the book description

Less Than Zero

 

Less Than Zero (MathStart 3)
Week 5

Introduce your children to negative numbers with this fun book about Perry the Penguin.

Extreme Temperatures: Learning About Positive and Negative Numbers

 

Extreme Temperatures: Learning About Positive and Negative Numbers
Week 5

Another picture book to help reinforce negative numbers and help your children reinforce what they are learning in The Science of Seasons Activities book. Click here for a Google preview.

The Great Graph Contest

 

The Great Graph Contest
Week 5

"Two comical creatures go crazy with graphs in an imaginative look at organizing information. Young readers can learn about bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, and more. Details about how each graph was made are shown at the end plus instructions for students to make their own." Quote from the book description.

 

 

Options for week 6:

Australia (Country Guides, with Benjamin Blog and his Inquisitive Dog)

The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef: Sydney, Australia (Around the World in 80 Mysteries) This is a longer book. Good for a read-aloud or an older child to read.

Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures #8: The Australian Boomerang Bonanza

Florence Young: Mission Accomplished (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) This is a long book. We used this series as read-alouds. It would take 2-4 weeks to read it aloud.

 

Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

 

Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
Week 7

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America
Week 7

If you get this book, encourage your children to reference it throughout the year! Beautiful photographs illustrate this very informative book that features 100 species of birds from coast to coast.

A New Beginning

A New Beginning
Week 7

"The spring equinox signals the time of year when the days are getting longer, the growing season has begun, and animals give birth to their young. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this book explains the science behind spring and shows how spring has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the ages and the world. Teachers will appreciate the simple science, the multicultural history, and the hands-on activities in this book." Quote adapted from the book description

This is a nice series of books. I love the illustrations. I also like the information about other cultures and science!

 

Slide and Slurp, Scratch and Burp: More About Verbs

Slide and Slurp, Scratch and Burp: More About Verbs
Week 8

and

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective?

I used these book with my son as well as a student I tutored. They both really enjoyed them. The books are silly, but get the concepts across in a fun and easy to understand way. I recommend the entire set for a home library, especially if multiple siblings can use them over the years.

 

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration
Week 8

"Teachers! You will love this one, which is almost a whole unit on migration wrapped in a winning combination of easy verse, factual language, and beautiful illustrations. For animals, migration is a powerful compulsion, sometimes over long distances, often skipping meals. Sometimes, as in the case of the monarch butterfly, a round-trip takes several generations. Why do they do it? How do they succeed? The ten featured species offer a broad representation of migration: loggerhead turtles, monarch butterflies, manatees, ruby-throated hummingbirds, Pacific salmon, Canada geese, California gray whales, caribou, Arctic tern, and emperor penguin. The book is loaded with additional tips for teachers. Once again Marianne Berkes combines her teaching, writing, and theatrical skills to combine entertainment with education--creative non-fiction at its best." Quote from book description

 

Face to Face with Caterpillars

Face to Face with Caterpillars
Week 8

"Readers learn to study these insects like the experts: witness the astonishing life cycle with its metamorphosis from caterpillar to pupa to butterfly; see the amazing snake-like defenses of some poisonous species; and the silk stitching used by others to build leafy hideaways.

Face to Face with Caterpillars encourages an active study of this intriguing insect: How to find caterpillars, how to raise a monarch, how to help preserve their habitats, how to photograph the caterpillar, and how to learn more; it's all in Darlyne Murawski's fun book." Quote from book description

 

Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden

 

Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden
Start using in week 8. This will be a multi-week project.

My family did this project several times over the years and it was well worth it. Highly recommended for a memorable experience and hands-on science your kids will love!

Creation Camouflage

Creation Camouflage One-Week Unit Study / Lapbook
Week 9

Click here for a sample.

"Day 1: Hiding in Plain Sight
Day 2: Getting to Know the Rain Forest
Day 3: What Is in the Desert?
Day 4: Hiding in the Ocean
Day 5: Cool Things About the Tundra

Learn all about how and why animals hide in different parts of the earth, from oceans and rain forests to deserts and even the tundra. Meet distinguished animal-loving experts and watch videos of astonishing animals from around the world while learning about their most amazing forms of camouflage."

 

Cherry Blossoms in Twilight: Memories of a Japanese Girl

 

Cherry Blossoms in Twilight: Memories of a Japanese Girl
Week 9

Recommended as a read-aloud for younger children. Older children can use it as a reader.

A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home

A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home
Week 9

"Under the desert's cracked and barren skin, spadefoot toads are waiting for rain. In the endless black of the deepest caves, blind fish find their way. Even in the frozen hearts of glaciers, ice worms by the billion flourish. In this fascinating look at fourteen animals who defy the odds by thriving in Earth's most dangerous places, renowned poet Marilyn Singer and celebrated artist Ed Young show that of all the miracles of life, it is life's persistence that astounds the most." Quote from book description

 

Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri: A Year of Seasonal Japanese Festivities

 

Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri: A Year of Seasonal Japanese Festivities
Week 9

You might be wondering what a book about the Japanese is doing in a science curriculum. It's all part of learning the Guest Hollow way! LOL...I like weaving in extra topics. You'll see how it all ties together when you read the Science of Seasons books!

Hide-and-Seek Science: Animal Camouflage

Hide-and-Seek Science: Animal Camouflage
Week 9

"The stunning book looks at how animals use camouflage in seven distinct ecosystems spanning the globe: swamp (Florida Everglades), desert (Africa's Sahara), rain forest (South American's Amazon), deciduous forest (Europe), arctic (North America), and coral reef (Australia's Great Barrier Reef). For each habitat. A lush full-page spread is followed by the key that explains how each animal uses camouflage and where it can be found in the preceding spread." Quote from book description

The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice

 

The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice
Week 10

"The Longest Day takes us on a journey through the history and science behind the summer solstice, with a focus on summer celebrations from various cultures around the world. Teachers and students alike will treasure the varied and accessible knowledge, and activities in the back let everyone in on the festivities." Quote from book description

Farmer Boy (Little House)

 

Farmer Boy (Little House)
Weeks 10-14

My kids loved this book, as did I, when I was a child! There is a rhythm to Almanzo's family's life that is dictated by the seasons.

All About Me: A Keepsake Journal for Kids

 

All About Me: A Keepsake Journal for Kids
Starts in week 10

This is an optional book for kids to start during this week and continue writing in as desired over the year.

Sea Clocks: The Story of Longitude

 

Sea Clocks: The Story of Longitude
Week 11

"Sailors knew how to measure latitude, their location north or south of the equator, but they could not measure longitude, their location east or west of their home port. Because of this, many lives were lost worldwide. The key to solving this problem lay in devising a clock that could keep absolutely accurate time while at sea, unaltered by rough water or weather conditions. With such a timekeeper sailors would be able to know the time back at their home port and calculate the longitude. But no one knew how to design such a clock.
John Harrison (1693-1776), an Englishman without any scientific training, worked tirelessly for more than forty years to create a perfect clock. The solution to this problem was so important that an award of 20,000 pounds sterling (equal to several million dollars today) was established by the English Parliament in 1714. Harrison won recognition for his work in 1773. " Quote from book description

My son and I read this book together when he was younger and enjoyed it.

 

National Geographic Kids Everything Weather: Facts, Photos, and Fun that Will Blow You Away

 

National Geographic Kids Everything Weather
Week 11

"Weather can be wild, freaky, and fascinating! Powerful twisters roar through homes; earthquakes shatter whole cities; hurricanes fly through towns. How does it all happen and how do we know what we do? All you need to know about weather and all of its wildness will be found in the pages of this colorful, energetic, and accessible book." Quote from book description

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season

 

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season
Week 11

"The fall equinox signals the time of year when we gather our harvests and give thanks for their bounty. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this nonfiction picture book explains the science behind autumn and the social history of harvest-time celebrations." Quote from book description

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

 

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Week 11

Every child should read this book at least once. I remember listening to it read aloud at a library story time when I was little. I was delighted to find it for my own kids. It's a family favorite!

 

Battleship game

Battleship
Week 11

This game is optional. I've linked to free printable versions of the game in the weekly schedule. It's a great way to reinforce what your child will be learning about coordinates.

 

Stormy Weather Make & Learn Project
Week 11

 

Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)

 

Why Do Leaves Change Color?
Week 12

I've included more detailed information for older children to read (or listen to), in the curriculum schedule. This picture book is still worthwhile for older children who don't know why leaves change colors.

 

Thames & Kosmos Wind Power

Thames & Kosmos Wind Power 2.0
Week 12

Your kids may need more than a week to play and learn with this kit.

  • Electricity generating turbines
  • Build wind powered generators to energize your electric vehicles and charge your rechargeable batteries
  • Kit includes two styles of wind turbine blades and a gearbox with three different gear ratios for experimenting.
  • Explore this amazing free source of renewable energy
  • Kit comes with everything you need

Bulleted list from kit description

 

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder

 

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder
Week 13

"How do snow crystals form? What shapes can they take? Are no two snow crystals alike? These questions and more are answered in this visually stunning exploration of the science of snow. Perfect for reading on winter days, the book features photos of real snow crystals in their beautiful diversity. Snowflake-catching instructions are also included." Quote from book description

The Big Snow

 

The Big Snow
Week 13

A classic about woodland animals getting ready for the winter.

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

 

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold
Week 13

" In this outstanding picture book collection of poems by Newbery Honor-winning poet, Joyce Sidman (Song of the Water Boatman, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night), discover how animals stay alive in the wintertime and learn about their secret lives happening under the snow." Quote from book description

Pink snow kit

 

Pink Snow and Other Weird Weather Kit
Week 13

My kids LOVED kits like this. This kit will make your science time FUN and connect it to literature. Highly recommended.

Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley
Week 14

"From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist's vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. " Quote from book description

 

Volcanoes

Volcanoes
Week 14

My son loved the Seymour Simon series of books. They are full of beautiful photographs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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