All Sorts of Things (Grades K3)
by David Drew illustrated by Dominique Falla
An introduction to classifying "living" and "nonliving" things that make up the world. Living things are divided into animals and plants, while familiar nonliving objects are grouped into solid, liquid, and gas.
Grade level K3
InfoActive is a visual literacy series for K3
Titles in this series:
Do people eat flowers?
Do you ever feel like this?
Find the piece that fits
From egg to butterfly
How could I clean them?
How would you mend it?
I like this park
Ice, water, steam
It's a farm
Make a paper bird
Make it go
Our plant diary
Real or imaginary?
Some plants have no flowers
Spring turns to summer
What goes together?
What is missing?
What will happen?
What's your favorite?
When I was one
Where water comes from
Which animals can fly?
Why does a cat have whiskers?
Tree diagrams: to classify items in groups (such as living things and nonliving things), and then to classify items further into subgroups (such as animals and plants).
Picture glossaries: to provide names for familiar items, and to help children recognize the names by showing the name of each item next to a picture of that item.
- How to group items that are similar
- Writing generalizations such as "All mice are animals" or "Milk and water are liquids"
- Using a tree diagram as a graphic organizer that can help children to write an information report
- Classification of animals, plants and familiar objects
- Differences between animals and plants
- Differences between solids, liquids and gases
- Counting and matching animals with the same/different number of legs
- Working with odd and even numbers
Sorting similar items into groups
Discussing how items are similar/different
Planning a written text using a visual organizer
Samples from the book
A tree diagram organizes items into groups, where all items in a group have at least one aspect in common. Groups can be divided into smaller subgroups. Lines connect groups to subgroups. For example, all animals belong under living things, and the animal group can be further divided into those with 2 legs, 4 legs, and so on. More about tree diagrams here.
A picture glossary is a diagram in which the items are labeled with their names. The words are defined by the images. This kind of text is more useful to young readers than the usual "vocabulary list" because the meaning (and context) of each word is provided visually, assisting the young writer to locate the right word to use.
Ideas to get you started
- Before you read the book, give children some hands-on experience with sorting items into groups. You can do this by downloading the FREE picture cards here.
- Children sort the cards into living/nonliving, then animals/plants. The discussion about which group an item best matches will be an important part of their learning.
- You may need to discuss some of the cards where children find them puzzling. For example, Are tears alive? Is breath alive? (No in both cases)
- Help children to understand the convention of a tree diagram by sorting the cards on a large sheet of paper spread out on the floor. Draw lines, as on a tree diagram, to connect the groups:
- Only when children have a confident understanding of how a tree diagram is made would you open the book and start reading it with the children.
- Use the Big Book version first, so that all the children can read along with you. At pages 2-3, discuss where some of the items on page 2 might be placed in the empty boxes on page 3.
- Turn to pages 4-5, to see where all the items fit.
- Repeat this procedure with the remaining pages in the book.
- After reading the book, choose another science book which discusses animal groups. An example (Tidal Pool) is discussed here.
Contents of All Sorts of Things
- All sorts of things (living and nonliving)
- All sorts of living things (animals and plants)
- All sorts of animals (those with 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 legs)
- All sorts of nonliving things (solid, liquid, or gas)
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The book Tidal Pool is an introduction to animals found in a coastal habitat, and organizes them according to whether they have fins, legs, tentacles, and so on.
A tree diagram can be used to plan an information report.
Here is a tree diagram of the animals in the book Tidal Pool. Work with the children to summarize the book in this way:
This summary of the book can then be used as a framework for writing an information report. The top-level box in the diagram is the heading of the report, which states the topic:
The heading can be combined with the next row of boxes to form the first paragraph, to define the topic:
Now take each yellow box in turn, making it a separate paragraph:
(paragraph 2) Animals with fins include sharks and other kinds of fish.
(paragraph 3) Some tidal pool animals have spines. These are called sea urchins.
(Paragraph 4) Starfish are an unusual kind of animal. They have five arms.
(Paragraph 5) Other animals have legs instead of fins. Two examples are seagulls and crabs.
(and so on)
Using a tree diagram in this way helps the writer to organize the report. It helps children to know:
More on how visual texts can be used as graphic organizers to plan a piece of writing can be found here.