Thursday, March 22, 2012


I've been working in a class of 2nd and 3rd grade school children these past few weeks. Our theme study has centered on animals, specifically amphibians. Salamanders are part of this group of animals and fascinating to learn about.
In the book, The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer, a little boy thinks about how he might keep a small orange salamander that he found. His mother asks, "Where will he play?"  The little boy responds, "I will carpet my room with shiny wet leaves and water them so he can slide around and play."

As the story continues, the little boy tells his mother how he will provide food, water, and playmates for the salamander, transforming his bedroom into a perfect home for his new pet. The shadowy paintings look like sunlight through the forest canopy. Beautiful illustrations by Steve Johnson capture the quiet, magical metamorphosis.
This is a wonderful science based read aloud for young children. It speaks to the natural world and needs of the amphibians, as well as the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Science Extension Idea:
You may not be ready to adopt a pet salamander like the little boy in the story, but you can create a type of "salamander environment". Building a terrarium in the classroom with your children is a great hands on activity. You can review the pages of The Salamander Room as you add moss, stones, plants and water to your container.
Click here for a great website that gives you step by step instructions to creating an ecosystem of your very own!

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