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Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects

Last updated Monday, April 4, 2016

Author: Matthew Clark
Illustrator: Giuliano Ferri
Date of Publication: 2015
ISBN: 1477826327
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2016

Synopsis: Meet Jean-Henri Fabre, one of the most important naturalists of all time. As a boy in the French countryside, Henri spent hours watching insects. He dreamed of observing them in a new way: in their own habitats. What he discovered in pursuing that dream was shocking; these small, seemingly insignificant creatures led secret lives—lives of great drama!

Note to readers:
•  Read the Historical Note and Author's Note in the back for a better understanding of the book. If time permits, read them to the kids. Vocabulary:
•  lurked--wait in ambush
•  scuttling--run hurriedly
•  trudged--walk slowly with heavy steps
•  ferocious--fierce, cruel or violent
•  entomologist--scientist who studies insects

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever watched a butterfly, ladybug or other insect?
•  What do you think bees are doing when they hover over flowers? (pollinating the flowers as they search for nectar/food)
•  Why are insects and bugs important to humans? (they pollinate our fruits and vegetables; make food/honey and clothing/silk)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Would studying how bugs and insects live and work be a fun job?
•  Henri was curious about insects. What are you curious about?
•  What is your favorite thing to do when you are outside?

Craft ideas:
•  Make an "observation notebook" with recycled paper and color the cover with our favorite bugs, flowers, things.
•  Draw a detailed picture of an insect or butterfly.
•  Make a beetle or butterfly bracelet. Cut out a shape of a beetle or butterfly and attach to the middle of a two inch wide strip of paper.
•  Check out our April craft ideas on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/april-2016-animal-crafts/

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!