Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How to Survive as a Firefly (Hint: It's not so easy!)

Hi, Teaching Friends!
This post contains affiliate links. I received a complimentary review copy of this book.

Do you know much about fireflies? I thought that I knew a few things, but once I read this book, I realized how little I'd known before!

How to Survive As A Firefly, written by Kristen Foote and illustrated by Erica Salcedo, is loaded with facts that your little learners will love!

Try these facts on for size!

* Each species of firefly glows in a different color, but each species glows in only its own color.

* Each species of firefly also has a unique  on-off pattern of glowing, to attract mates of the same species. But fireflies, beware the female Photuris, a type of firefly who uses aggressive mimicry to copy the pattern of another species and then eats them!

* Many adult fireflies don't eat. Anything. As larva, a firefly eats constantly to get ready for the No Food stage of their life cycle. Larvae eat slugs, snails, and worms. They inject poison into their prey, which turns the prey into a liquid that they then eat drink. {Ohhhh, won't the kiddos love that cool fact!!}

All of this information is presented in the book by a funny and sarcastic adult Firefly General of sorts, addressing a corps of eager-to-learn (and awfully cute) larvae. This leads to lots of opportunities for funny bits of humor on the side. There's also a good deal of fun in the illustrations ... you can see some of the quirky larvae in the illustrations on the post.

How to Survive as a Firefly is loaded with so many facts and technical terms that I might almost say that it's beyond first grade as a read aloud ... except we've all taught kiddos who have total instant recall of 50 dinosaur names and facts about them. If the interest is there, children can often amaze us with the information they can understand and retain, so it's definitely worth it to give this book a try! 

So, although Amazon lists this book for grades 3-7 (Lexile 690), I think I'd extend it a bit lower, while making some modifications, like pre-teaching some of the more difficult vocabulary and perhaps doing two readings, the first being the straight storyline of the firefly teaching the larvae how to survive, and on the second spending time on the very informative and high-interest sidebars, glossary, and added fact pages.

If you think facts like these will amaze your students, then you'll definitely want a copy of How to Survive as a Firefly. This book is a great example of rigorous learning, sprinkled with fun!

Please stop by my TpT store for this free activity to accompany How to Survive as a Firefly. It includes vocabulary cards for bioluminescence and metamorphosis, as well as 12 of the split sentences pictured below. They're great for reviewing the science information, and will also be a good fit for a literacy center. Try giving a card to each student and having them find their partners!

Click here for your free set!

Happy Teaching!

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