Summer is a time when many families visit a beach. How do you help your students build on what they learned through their summer beach experiences when they return to school? Maybe our colleagues whose schools are within walking distance from a beach can offer suggestions! When school begins in August or September and children’s memories of a trip to the beach are fresh in their minds, a tray of objects from an ocean or bay can inspire their drawings and writing about their own experience. Those teachers who live in communities where the beach is an everyday experience may have some favorite books to share with us. If so, please add your suggestions for books with accurate science, whether fiction or non-fiction, by commenting below.
I was raised in Ohio and had just a few beach experiences in childhood. Like the edges where a meadow meets a forest, the beach seems to have a great diversity in animal and plant life. Writer and scientist Ann McElhatten, shares her knowledge of Atlantic seacoasts in a free e-book, 10 Beachcombing Activities: A guide for investigating the Atlantic coast shoreline, and a blog, Beach Chair Scientist, where she and her collaborators use video and text to show readers the wonders of tiny colorful coquina clams making their way in the sand and many other marine science topics. Does anyone know of resources for inland and West Coast beaches?
Here are a few books for young children about the beach, from my favorites and from the NSTA Recommends list, to look for at your public library or bookstore:
Ocean Seasons by Ron Hirschi (2007 Sylvan Dell Publishing)
Oceans by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill (2012 Peachtree Publishers)
On the Way to the Beach by Henry Cole (2003 Millbrook Press)
Wow! Ocean! by Robert Neubecker (2011 Hyperion Books)
Yellow Ball by Molly Bang (1991 Morrow Junior Books)
And for adults:
The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson with a new introduction by Sue Hubbell (1998 Mariner Books)
Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by Sylvia Earle (1996 Ballantine Books)