Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Bunch: It's All about the Weather

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather
Written by Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by Frane Lessac
HarperCollins, 2000

On the Same Day in March is a fine nonfiction picture book that could be used to introduce a unit on weather in the early elementary grades. It’s also an excellent book for connecting science and geography. Both the author and illustrator take readers to various locales around the world on one day of one particular month of the year to show how people living in different places don’t all experience the same kind of weather at the same time.

Singer takes us on a tour of cities, areas of countries, and continents situated in all the hemispheres of the globe. Readers travel to the Arctic; Alberta, Canada; Paris, France; New York City; the Texas Panhandle; the Nile Valley; a Louisiana bayou; Xian, China; Darjeeling, India; Central Thailand; Dakar, Senegal; Barbados; Northern Kenya, the Amazon Basin in Brazil; Darwin, Australia; Patagonia, Argentina; and Antarctica. Lessac’s endpapers label these locales on a hand-painted map of the world.

Here’s a partial weather report for this “same day in March”:
  • There’s a tiny twister in Texas.
  • “Fog threads through the temples” in the Nile Valley.
  • Hailstones fall on a hillside in Darjeeling.
  • In Thailand, it’s hot…hot…hot.
  • The rains leave behind a river in Kenya.
  • It’s raining, too, in the Amazon Basin.
  • While in Patagonia, autumn “shears the clouds like a flock of sheep.”

The text printed on each page of the book is brief—usually just a sentence or two. The illustrations extend the text. They show how animals and people in different habitats experience this particular weather day in March where they reside. Folks in Paris sit outside a café or sell produce in an open market. People swim in the ocean and play cricket at the beach in Barbados. A family in Darwin pulls their boat out of the water and boards up their windows before the willy-willies (cyclones) arrive.

Singer includes A Note from the Author in the back matter of the book.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

From Open Wide, Look Inside
Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: On the Same Day in March


Here are two books of poems that could be used to integrate poetry with a unit on weather:

Weather: Poems for All Seasons
Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Melanie Hall
HarperCollins, 1994

This is a Level 3 I Can Read Book. It’s excellent for using in primary grades. The twenty-nine poems are organized in five sections: Sun, Wind and Clouds, Rain and Fog, Snow and Ice, Weather Together. It contains works by some of our finest children’s poets—including David McCord, Lilian Moore, Valerie Worth, J. Patrick Lewis, Barbara Juster Esbensen—as well as poems by Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes.

Here are some excerpts from the SUN section to give you a flavor of the book:

No-Sweater Sun, the first poem in the collection, captures the excitement children feel when spring has finally arrived.

No-Sweater Sun
by Beverly McLoughland

Your arms feel new as growing grass
The first No-Sweater sun,
Your legs feel light as rising air
You have to run—
And turn a thousand cartwheels round
And sing—
So dizzy with the giddy sun
Of spring.

J. Patrick Lewis personifies the “star” of our solar system in Mister Sun—who “puts his gold slippers on” at dawn. He also switches off the “globe lamplight” and pulls “down the shades of night.”

Isabel Joslin Glaser’s summer sun sports a “lion face” at noon and “shakes out/its orangy mane”—and its searing “tongue scorches leaves.” Valerie Worth’s sun “is a leaping fire” that can form “warm yellow squares/on the floor” where a cat can sun itself.

The SUN section is typical of the rest of the book. It includes short poems that are easy to read. Some poems are straightforward rhythmic, rhyming poems of a lighthearted nature; some poems are free verse and do not rhyme; some poems have lovely imagery.

Click here to browse inside this book.

Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather
Written by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated with photographs
Capstone Press, 2008

Laura Salas wrote poems for this collection in a variety of forms: limerick, cinquain, haiku, concrete, and acrostic. The photographs included in the book served as Laura’s inspiration for her poems. For example: Laura was inspired to write a list poem for the picture of a child flying a kite across an expanse of a bright blue sky dotted with puffs of white clouds:

Wind Is An…

Expert blower
Seed sower
Sailboat go-er
Hat thrower
And, best of all, a
Kite tow-er

Seed Thrower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather was published by Capstone for the educational market. It contains poems about fog, arid lands, rain, icicles, lightning, wind, a tornado, and clouds. In the back matter of this book, the author includes a glossary—as well as recommendations for other poetry books about weather and the seasons. In addition, there’s a section titled The Language of Poetry in which the author defines poetic terms—such as alliteration, repetition, free verse, and cinquain.

Edited to Add:

Click here to read more poems from Laura’s book at her blog.

Click here to read another excerpt from the book and for links to a couple of classroom activities at Laura’s Web site.


laurasalas said...

Thanks for including Seed Sower--it was fun to write! Nature poems are my favorites. (I have a post about this book at and my website has another excerpt plus links to a couple classroom activities:

I love On the Same Day in March! I haven't read it in quite a while, and I don't think I realized that was a Marilyn Singer book!

And, of course, is there ever an LBH anthology that doesn't fill me with joy? Nuh uh. Love that McLoughland poem.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks for the links. I'll add them to my post.

I think ON THE SAME DAY IN MARCH is a great book for introducing a science unit on weather and/or climate in the elementary grades. I always loved connecting science and poetry when I was teaching.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Thanks, as always, for the titles!

soulsearcher said...

this is definitely a good way of teaching weather to kids..the best way to teach a concept is through was the same way when our IT teacher taught as how to use the report scheduler
...missed those old days