In my speech sessions, I like to read picture books to the kids, and nonfiction science books are great ways to help improve children's language skills and knowledge of the world around them. (Science, as you know, is really not emphasized as much these days in elementary school--it's not on the end of grade tests until 5th grade.) A favorite of mine is the book Actual Size by Steve Jenkins.
Children love the illustrations: (from the Library School Journal, "In striking torn-and-cut paper collages, Jenkins depicts 18 animals and insects–or a part of their body–in actual size."
|Group rules that I teach|
|Part of the "Actual Size" organizer. Kids follow along while I read.|
The kids need role playing, and clear instructions to learn the group discussion rules, but after a few months, they know what 'on target' talking means, and how to raise their hand to speak. We use many science picture books to provide the median to teach these skills. I encourage my teachers to use the same visuals---pictured rules, and book organizers. A book like Actual Size lends itself to this type of lesson since the language is simple, the topics are clearly defined, and it's interesting to the children. I love it! Steve Jenkins has written many books perfect for this type of lesson. Check out his website!