As the temperature dips low and snow piles up across large areas of the country, I find myself thinking about the spring weather to come and working in my garden. So I was delighted to have the chance to read author Steve Rich’s latest NSTA Kids books, My School Yard Garden and Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden.
The exquisite photography and clearly told stories in both books made me feel as if I were actually in a garden, a particularly terrific activity when the weather outside is frightful.
In My School Yard Garden, Rich tells of the many ways that a school yard garden can help the students, the animals who live nearby, and the people living in the community. By planting herbs and vegetables that people can eat, students learn how human activity can affect the food chain. The glossary provided in the book gives an idea of the important concepts covered in this simple story for early elementary students. Reading this story with your students can familiarize them with terms such as compost bin, food web, habitat, nature journal, pollinator, predator, and water cycle.
In Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden, Rich tells the story of how former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a lifelong lover of gardens, wanted to be involved in what type of garden would be planted at the home they granted to the National Park Service.
Mrs. Carter did her research and learned about a special kind of garden that has everything a butterfly needs. She learned that human activity has destroyed many habitats for butterflies, so she wanted to plant a garden to attract pollinators to the area. Reading this book with your students will impart useful information and may inspire young naturalists to learn what they can do to help attract beautiful butterflies.
NSTA Kids book are trade books dedicated to nurturing the wonder and curiosity inherent in young minds. Learn more.