Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Weeds Find a Way

Fisher, Carolyn (Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2014. 36 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781442412606 (hardcover)
Original language: English
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:

This poetic yet straightforward non-fiction book reflects an appreciation of the wonderful—yet often ignored and under-appreciated—world of weeds. More than just a nuisance, weeds are a testament to resilience, a remarkable symbol of strength and determination. They survive and thrive where others fail.

The text is rich with imagery and dense with descriptive language: “weeds find a way to fight, hooking tender skin with horny thorns, stinging unsuspecting tongues with invisible prickles.”

Brightly coloured mixed-media illustrations fill the pages with imaginative paintings of the natural world. We are often close up, immersed in nature, with a girl and her dog as our guide. Occasional digital images give a vivid, layered effect.

In the end, weeds manage to find a way to be loved, bringing bees and birds and a profusion of wildflowers. There is an extensive “Meet the Weeds” section at the back with small botanical thumbnails of the plants, promoting curiosity to go out and identify them.

  •  

    Discuss the word weed. What does it mean as a verb? As a noun? What does the expression to grow like a weed mean? Are weeds good or bad?

  •  

    As you read, make note of interesting verbs (swirl, float, fluff) used to describe what weeds do.

  •  

    How have weeds adapted for survival? Use the text to infer the ways that weeds thrive in a variety of environments and despite many threats.

  •  Use the glossary to identify weeds in the illustrations. Make connections between the descriptions in the glossary and facts in the text.
  •  

    Design an illustrated Wanted poster for a weed that can be found in your community. Incorporate facts from the book and conduct additional research.

  •  

    Discuss the word weed. What does it mean as a verb? As a noun? What does the expression to grow like a weed mean? Are weeds good or bad?

  •  

    As you read, make note of interesting ways that weeds propagate themselves or reproduce.

  •  

    Make a list of vocabulary related to plant life. Create an illustrated glossary chart for these words.

  •  

    In your schoolyard or neighbourhood, look for and collect specimens of the weeds shown in the book. How do they propagate? What are their characteristics? Dry them and create an annotated herbarium for your class.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology