Did you watch Blue Planet 2? It was a massive hit in our house. Fair to say we were mesmerised and captivated. Now with a surfer in our household we are already highly aware of the plastic problem, highlighted by Surfers Against Sewage. So when this problem was raised by Sir David Attenborough, it really hit a chord with us. We were delighted to hear of the show winning the Impact award at this year’s National Television Awards.
“…if our television programmes have helped stir the consciences of people around the world, and we are going to do something to protect our beautiful planet, then all of us will be very pleased.” – Sir David Attenborough
Isn’t the best way to deal with issues like this by teaching the next generation? If you want to do this in your own classroom, here are some books I’d recommend:
First up has to be the book that accompanies the winning series itself. The photography is so good. That in itself is worth purchasing the book for. The capture the awe and wonder, the beauty and power of our beautiful world. Use them to grab attention, stimulate writing or to generate questions. Then there’s the text. Now if you’re anything like me, it’s a joy to read, as I here the great Sir David in my head! Maybe this is a special skill of mine. Who knows! The text would be a great read aloud. We should do much more of this with non-fiction. Choosing a page would be great for a KS2 reading lesson or guided group. Full of interest and glorious use of vocabulary. A winner like the series!
And reading isn’t just books is it. This poster that supported the series is great. It is now available for download only.
Meet Duffy, the lucky turtle who survived the plastic problem! This little tale would be great to share with a KS1 or EYFS class to help them understand the reasons plastic is such a problem. The artwork is a joy and the lesson in the story is strong.
At the back of the book, you” find ways to help turtles just like Duffy. If you’re near the coast, why not take your class on a mini beach clean. It’s surprising how much plastic you find when you start looking. Did you see Plasticus? Maybe use what you find to creat an ocean creature sculpture. #OceanHero
Billy’s Bucket! Oh this book holds a special place in my heart. I remember hearing of this book on a course in my second year of teaching and how a book could lead your curriculum. I was won over completely. This year, my daughter came home from school enthusing about this book with buckets and whales. To my utter delight her y1 class were reading Billy’s Bucket. Ace!
This is a book of family, of belief and imagination. A lovely story to share and what a book to spark intrigue about marine life. So get your buckets out. What can you see in yours?!
Well here’s a book just made to be read alongside Billy’s Bucket in year 1. The illustrations are beautiful and the text is short and simple yet highly informative. One younger book worms can tackle themselves or share with others. To me it’s a ready made idea or wordbank for writing linked to Billy’s Bucket. It’s a springboard for further exploration of creatures that peak interest, too.
Now we’re interested in different marine life, this and the one below from Nicola Davies (with the wonderful illustrators Emily Sutton and Lorna Scobie) are great books to dip into to explore the wonder of animal diversity.
I just love the watercolour illustrations. A perfect inspiration for a bit of artwork I’d say. But again, each double page spread is effectively an inspiration for writing. When you looked in your Bucket, what type of whale did you see? Which type of crab nipped at your finger as you dipped your hand in your Bucket?
So what were those creatures getting up to? In steps the next great book. This book looks at how creatures live together supporting each other – symbiosis or animal friendships. Great for reading and glorious for ideas for writing.
And this book was made to be read next. Animal jobs – looking at creature behaviours but making it understandable by linking with human jobs. Great fun to read! Many of the creatures and their jobs are mentioned in both books. Perfect to cross-reference book to book.
If you wanted to follow this interest, some of the creatures also appear in this compendium. You can raise the challenge of the text without it being too scary because the content is so familiar.
Keep your eyes peeled for other texts that would link with children’s reading. Leaflets are excellent content for reading lessons too. This was picked up in Devon. Maybe pupils could create their own.
If you’re inspired by this topic, get your hands on a copy of issue 25 of WhizzPopBang, the marvellous science magazine. I love the double page articles for reading lessons, displays and grabbing children’s enthusiasm. Well written, full of content that’s accurate and relevant and brilliantly presented.
If you haven’t read a Joe Todd-Stanton book yet, you really need to. This book with its TinTin inspired cover is a treasure. Joe’s illustrations have a wonderful style and text and pictures work together to tell the story. This book is perfect for the whole school to use together to inspire reading, writing and science too. Link back to all the sea creature reference books I’ve shared and you’ll get some brilliant writing.
There are many more great books out there that would fit nicely with this theme. Last few suggestions above! I have a few more on my wish list too!
Thanks for reading 🐟 🌊 🐠 🌊🦀 🌊 🐳