Overall, the books are honest and also optimistic. Their structure invites younger buddies to read the larger, simpler type, while older children can focus on the more detailed sidebars. The buddies can then look for the animals in the stunning artwork created by Higgins Bond and discuss what they’ve just learned before moving on to the next double-page spread.
Here are two great activities the buddies can do together after reading these books. They will deepen student understanding of the goals described in CCSS for ELA: Reading Informational Text #1 and #2. The first one also addresses standard #5 and both support Writing standards #2 and #8, but I’ll discuss that more later.
Have each book-buddy team create a see-saw book that compares two of the butterflies discussed in A Place for Butterflies If the students decide to focus on monarchs and Karner blues:
- On the first left-hand page, they might write: “Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed leaves.”
- On the facing right-hand page, they could write: “Karner blue caterpillars eat wild lupine.”
- The next page would read: “Both kinds of caterpillars eat plants.”
After the buddies read A Place for Birds, ask them to pretend they are a bird.
- Have younger buddies write a paragraph describing what it feels like to learn how to fly.
- Have older buddies describe how it feels to soar through the sky and include details of what they see as they fly over their town or city.