To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World

To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World

by Laurie Rubin
     
 

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Whether it's a trickling stream, a grassy slope, or an abandoned rail line, the natural world offers teachers a wonderful resource around which to center creative, inquiry-based learning throughout the year. Nobody knows this better than veteran teacher Laurie Rubin. In To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World, she demonstrates how

Overview

Whether it's a trickling stream, a grassy slope, or an abandoned rail line, the natural world offers teachers a wonderful resource around which to center creative, inquiry-based learning throughout the year. Nobody knows this better than veteran teacher Laurie Rubin. In To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World, she demonstrates how nature study can help students become careful, intentional observers of all they see, growing into stronger readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists in the process.

Laurie invites you to join her class of twenty-one second graders as they visit a small stream in the woods behind a suburban elementary school, and she shares her reflections on class discussions, activities, and learning experiences. From setting a tone of inquiry-based thinking in the classroom to suggesting specific units of study for reading, writing, and science, Laurie guides teachers step-by-step through the basics of how to integrate the skills acquired through nature study into every subject. You will also discover all the ways this purposeful work nurtures "green" citizens who grow up determined to value and protect the natural environment.

Filled with student journal entries, narratives, and poems inspired by experiences in the natural world, To Look Closely will inspire and encourage you to become a careful observer of your own "sit spots" outdoors and embrace nature study for a year—or for whatever part of a year is possible for you. This book will change the way you view the world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

As students increasingly plug in to smartphones and tablets, it is more important than ever to expose them to the outside world. If you aren’t sure how, then get your own copy of Laurie Rubin’s To Look Closely and begin your journey today. Your students across the grade levels will thank you for it! - MiddleWeb

"This is a heartwarming and extremely practical guide that would be useful in any grade level." - VOYA 

"Throughout the book, Rubin gives example after example of her students learning and growing and becoming scientists in their own right." - A Writer's Journal blog

Informed, informative, superbly organized and presented, To Look Closely is very highly recommended for Natural Studies school curriculums and supplemental reading lists.  - Wisconsin Bookwatch

Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Kaitlin Connors
After years of observing monarch butterflies, from caterpillars until their ultimate transmutation, Rubin was in a pinch when, one August before her first-grade students were to arrive, she could find no monarch caterpillars. It was then she stumbled upon a stream in the woods behind her school and decided that this would be her students’ subject of study. What follows in her guide is a passionate and spirited explanation of the hows and whys, as well as affirmation of student work. Through eight chapters, Rubin describes a year of nature study by her students and the evolution of her curriculum through all subject areas, specifically how nature and nature study can have a dramatic impact on students’ interest and dedication to schoolwork. Yet, the main focus of the book is literacy—reading and writing. The children in her class visit the stream periodically throughout the school year to observe and journal what they see. This includes drawings, poetry, and more, which Rubin includes throughout the book, along with photos, narratives, and more poetry in the appendices. The final appendix includes a list of websites and resources that would be useful to any teacher looking to expose his or her students to nature study and how to incorporate writing. One of the most essential chapters is the first, titled “Ten Tips for Getting Started on Nature Study.” She advises that the teacher become a naturalist, that such activities become part of a weekly schedule, and that volunteers can be an integral part of such a curriculum. This idea builds throughout, as ultimately we, as educators, wish to see our students (and whole community) become stewards for Mother Nature. This is a heartwarming and extremely practical guide that would be useful in any grade level. Reviewer: Kaitlin Connors; Ages adult professional.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781571109927
Publisher:
Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date:
11/28/2013
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
781,212
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
5 - 13 Years

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