Plant Books: 3rd Grade Unit

I’m preparing to do a rad GLAD integrated plants unit this year, so I want plenty of books I can use during our literacy block. Our school nonfiction selection, although significantly improved this past year, is still wimpy. I get most of these books from the Seattle Public Library. Our school district does a trees unit in Kindergarten, a plant unit in 3rd grade, and an ecosystem unit in 4th grade, so many of these books would work in all three of these units (HINT HINT, NEW WILDWOOD LIBRARIAN, PLEASE BUY THEM!!!). I’m organizing these books by approximate reading level for 3rd grade, although you may sort them differently. I’m also attaching a shopping list without cover pictures!

I know that no book list can be exhaustive. I tried to include mostly titles that you wouldn’t necessarily find if you ran a basic library search for “plants” unless they’re excellent (like How a Plant Grows, which is brilliant). I’ve also sorted them from most recently published to older, because I know my science curriculum does a pretty good job of covering classic kids’ books about plants (i.e. Aliki’s Corn is Maize).

What am I missing? Tell me in the comments!

Emergent Readers

And ANOTHER thing. Really quick. I hate it when curricula are like “here are some books for beginning readers” and I get them and I’m like NO WAY are these a good fit for my beginning readers. So most of the books in this section are wordless or have less than a sentence on each page. For real.

A Leaf Can Be..
A Leaf Can Be, Laura Purdie Salas (2012)
The Conductor
The Conductor, Laetitia Devernay (2012)
Ava's Poppy
Ava’s Poppy, Marcus Pfister (2012)
The Giant Seed
The Big Seed, Arthur Geisert (2012)
Green
Green, Laura Vaccaro Seeger (2012)
Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant
Rah, Rah, Radishes!, April Pulley Sayre (2011)
Green Beans, Potatoes, And Even Tomatoes: What Is In The Vegetables Group? (Food Is Categorical)
Green Beans, Potatoes, And Even Tomatoes, Brian P. Cleary (2010)
Farm
Farm, Elisha Cooper (2010)
How a Plant Grows, Bobbie Kalman (1997)

Grade-level Readers

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard
Citizen Scientists, Loree Griffin Burns (2012)
Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic, Ginnie Lo (2012)
C. R. Mudgeon
C.R. Mudgeon, Leslie Muir (2012)
Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring The Earth To Life
Living Sunlight, Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (2009)
People Need Plants!
People Need Plants!, Mary Dodson Wade (2009). EVERY BOOK IN THIS SERIES (Plants Grow!, Flowers Bloom!) IS EXCEPTIONAL.
Uno's Garden
Uno’s Garden, Graeme Base (2006)
My Light
My Light, Molly Bang (2004)
Mathematickles!
Mathematickles!, Betsy Franco-Feeney (2003)
The Bee Tree
The Bee Tree, Patricia Polacco (1998)
Tops & Bottoms
Tops & Bottoms, Janet Stevens (1995)

Advanced Readers / Read Alouds

The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth
The Plant Hunters, Anita Silvey (2012)
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
Ocean Sunlight, Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (2012)
The Camping Trip that Changed America
The Camping Trip that Changed America, Barb Rosenstock (2012)
First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew
First Garden, Robbin Gourley (2011)
Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces
Grow Great Grub, Gayla Trail (2010)
Mama Miti, Donna Jo Napoli (2010)
The Huckabuck Family: and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back
The Huckabuck Family, Carl Sandburg (1999)
The Legend of the Bluebonnet, Tomie dePaola (1996)

Look! PlantBooksShoppingList! Click and download! Then you can get ALL OF THE BOOKS!!!

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