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Our youngest students—kindergarteners and first, second, and third graders—are probably the most visual generation we've had in our classrooms. Movies, television, magazines, and of course computers have brought the world to them in pictures. And the Kingfisher Young Knowledge series capitalizes on their ability to take in images and learn from them. In your early-childhood classroom, these books will serve as basic science learning and teaching tools, covering subjects in which children have a natural interest—perennially popular topics given completely modern presentations.

The vocabulary words introduced, both those highlighted at the bottom of many of the pages and those defined in context, will enable your students to talk about the subjects they are learning with precision. The projects in the books, presented with step-by-step instructions, offer hands-on learning experiences for individual students, groups, or the whole class. Or they might be used for take-home projects children can share with their parents.

The books also give your students experience with nonfiction reading in the content areas. With their thorough indexes, they also serve as ready reference sources to lead children to answer questions that naturally arise in the classroom. A rock sample brought in for show-and-tell is further explained in Rocks and Fossils. A story about finding a bird's nest will be better understood with reference to both Animal Homes and Birds. And a science fiction movie will make some real-life sense after students look through Robots.

This guide is designed to be used with the individual books or with the KFYK series as a whole.

Kingfisher Young Knowledge

Animal Disguises

Oceans and Seas

Animal Homes


Apes and Monkeys

Rocks and Fossils



Maps and Mapping

Solar System

Kingfisher Young Knowledge Books in Your Classroom

Introducing Science to Your Students
Teaching science in the early elementary grades is a combination of introducing very particular vocabulary and helping students build a foundation for looking at the world and being able to talk about it. It is stimulating their curiosity, encouraging their questions, and supporting their search for answers through observation, projects, and research.

Each guide to a Kingfisher Young Knowledge book begins with a discussion and the creation of a KWL chart. Through the discussion, children will recognize that they already know a lot about science. By creating the chart, they will guide the class's study of the subject.

Each book's learning guide features a vocabulary-building section. The words the children learn should be mastered with each book and then combined into a growing general science classroom dictionary, so that your students will get a sense of how much they are learning every day.

For each book, we suggest creating a word wall based on the new words introduced at the bottom of many of the pages. The word wall should also contain science words and unfamiliar general vocabulary words that students discover within the text.

The words from the word wall should also be added to a classroom science word box. New words should be written on 3 x 5 index cards. The definition of the word should be written on the back of the card. The cards should be entered alphabetically in the vocabulary box. Students should be encouraged to bring in other words or phrases they gather from their own experiences.

Creating a Science Corner
Make a place for scientific discoveries in your classroom. Create a sign—SCIENCE LIVES—and place it on a table in a corner. Ask children to bring in discoveries—a bird's nest, a fossil, a photograph or drawing, or something else they've seen. They should complete the "My Discovery" form for each object they add to the class's science collection.

Parent Involvement
Each Kingfisher Young Knowledge Book offers several activities that are easy to adapt to take-home projects, inviting parents and children to work together to enhance classroom studies at home.

We have developed a letter to parents that you can to inform your students' parents and caregivers about what the class is studying in science. It also welcomes parents who have special knowledge of a field or who work in a field to visit the class and talk about what they do.

We encourage you to allow your students to take the Kingfisher Young Knowledge Books home. Place each book in a one-gallon zipper-lock plastic bag, punch a hole in each bag, and hang the books on hooks in your science corner. Place a card in the bag with the title of that book printed on it. Have the child sign the card when he or she takes a book home, so you can keep track of where the books are. When the student returns the book, be sure to ask if he or she did any of the activities at home.

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