March is here and I have the perfect book to recommend at the beginning of the new month: On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather by Marilyn Singer. This book is a fabulous way to help children understand that on any given day, people around the world experience different weather depending on their location. It also features a circular plot, in which the book starts and ends in the same way (or in this case, in the same geographical location).
My daughters both liked reading On the Same Day in March. While at the public library, we even found its companion book by Marilyn Singer titled Nine O’Clock Lullaby. Despite the word “lullaby” in the title, it is not a babyish book. It has a similar premiss to On the Same Day in March, but focuses on how time changes depending on a person’s location in the world. Our family read both books multiple times and found them very helpful for introducing basic concepts of geography, weather and time.
Best Ages: kindergarten – 2nd grade
- Look at the illustrated map before the story begins. Point out where you live on the map.
- After reading, ask your child which country he/she would like to visit, and why. Also ask which type of weather your child prefers.
- Make a simple and fun weather chart craft using a paper plate. Then use it each day this week to describe the weather.
- Write the name of 5 locations featured in the story on small slips of paper. Place in a basket. After reading the book, ask for student volunteers to choose a slip of paper. As a class, help that student locate the place on a world map or globe.
- Set up learning stations with activities targeted for a selection of countries featured in the book. Activities can include books, travel guides, popular items imported/exported from the country, coloring pages, music or video clips. Or simplify and create learning centers for one country out of the book that interests you or corresponds to your curriculum. (For example, highlight Argentina with 4 centers: this free handout for Tradition Day, a colorful buildings art collage center with color print-outs of Argentine streets, a screening of this 2-minute film and a soccer center with this fun coloring page and some soccer-themed items.)
- Track the weather for the month of March in your classroom. Integrate into your morning circle, daily work or science class. Check out this free daily weather chart or this free monthly handout.