Building from the successful format and platform used in “Hop Into Action: The Curriculum Guide for Grades K-4 – PB287X,” David Alexander was able to take his subject matter a few steps further in “Buzz into Action.” Granted, the subject matter of insects and related invertebrates lends itself to greater diversity of explorations and extensions, but David also goes further in other areas. David’s passion and personality shine through even greater in this guide, and it is especially evident when he draws directly from his experience at Essex County Environmental Center in providing a readily applicable blueprint for starting a Bug Club. Clever quips and cultural references such as “Savage Garden” and “The Sweet Life” are well-placed and greatly appreciated. Although written for elementary school learners, he does not shy away from relevant vocabulary or content, and as such, activities such as “Insects in Winter Scavenger Hunt” can easily be used in higher grades and are a great option for homeschoolers, scouts, nature centers, and families with mixed-age learners. An extensive glossary will help define any term that comes up in your entomological exploration. The activities in “Buzz into Action” pair well with a variety of service learning activities or curricular units you may already be doing, such as composting, gardening, Certified Wildlife Habitat, or GreenSchool! David also provides an amazing resource list that will provide a starting point for any citizen science project, special event, or curricular journey you wish to embark on. David’s activities are readily, if not instantly, applicable. A week after receiving my copy, I was already using the Seasonal Discoveries journal page with ruler markings for kids to measure and record observations about natural objects during a “Get Out and Play” day event at my nature center. I also plan on incorporating other lessons into early childhood education programming and am looking at pages such as “Mommy and Me Metamorphosis” in considering how to re-design an exhibit. I look forward to making some of David’s Famous Seed Balls soon as well. If you do not yet own a copy of “Buzz into Action,” I suggest you swim, crawl, or fly to your nearest internet connection to place your order today.
Two antennae up! Jessica R. Kratz’s Review of Buzz Into Action