Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Mama Built a Little Nest

Ward, Jennifer (Author)
Jenkins, Steve (Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2014. 36 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781442421165 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 598
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

An exploration of birds and the nests they build, this science-based volume is beautifully balanced with naturalistic paper collage illustrations, rhythmic four-line poems and short factual paragraphs. We learn of the hummingbird’s cup-shaped nest of spider web strands that will stretch as the chicks grow. The cowbird, whydah and cuckoo borrow other birds’ nests, while the swiftlet uses saliva to make an edible nest.

Striking life-like images on double-page spreads focus on birds in flight or floating, catching food, building nests or tending their young. The colourful collages manage to combine a poetic sensibility with biologically accurate detail, fluently reflecting the text.

Catchy, short poems are engaging and fun, and capture the reality of avian life and habits: “Mama built a little nest/inside a sturdy trunk./She used her beak to tap-tap-tap/the perfect place to bunk.” Smaller fonts give scientific information: “Tree-hole nests, also known as cavity nests, are created by the male and female woodpecker.”

Readers can access the information in different ways – through the lush illustrations, captivating poetry or fact-based sentences. A great read-aloud to inspire budding bird watchers and animal lovers, and to cultivate an appreciation of the natural world. A note from the author and further resources can be found at the back.

  •  

    Browse a few pages and notice the use of poetry and non-fiction captions. Discuss your prior knowledge of nests.

  •  

    How could you sort these different types of nests? Working in a group, create a graphic organizer to sort them by an agreed-upon rule. Compare and contrast the different ways groups chose to sort the nests.

  •  

    Choose one type of nest for further research. Make a 3D model and write a few sentences to describe it. Host an exhibit of all your nest models and invite other classes to come see them.

  •  

    Browse a few pages and notice the use of poetry and non-fiction captions. Discuss your prior knowledge of nests.

  •  

    Discuss the different kinds of nests that are featured. Use a teacher-selected graphic organizer to compare and sort the nests.

  •  

    Research how birds from your area create their nests. Make a page in the same style, using poetry and non-fiction captions.

  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology