LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARD PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY
This wordless picture book explores the importance of bees in our lives and shows just how special they are!
The Year 4 Programme of Study for Science requires children to be taught to recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things. As bees are so threatened, this book is perfect as a starting point as children will develop their own narrative to support the pictures, naturally discussing and exploring the issues. The fact that it's also beautifully illustrated is a real bonus!
The book could also be used as part of the classification work in the Y6 as there are about 250 species of bee in the UK! Observation and identification skills are a core part scientific working skills - and studying bees certainly encourages this! The excellent Bumblebee Conservation Trust website is full of useful information: https://bumblebeeconservation.org
Plant and animal life cycles could also be looked at. The book is the perfect starting point for planning and growing a bee friendly garden which could be added to an existing nature area or as a new project. There are ideas for planting at the end of the book.
As a story, the book is a lovely tale of friendship and togetherness. Initially scared by the bee, a little girl threatens to swat it before trapping it under a glass and taking a closer look. Looking in her book about bees, she gives it sugar and water and so their friendship begins. It shows that friendship can be found in the most unusual places and with those we might not have expected. On the inside flap of the jacket,it explains how the story came from the author/illustrator's own experience- something children will enjoy knowing and might encourage them to share similar experiences.
The story offers many writing opportunities both fiction and non-fiction- reports, persuasive, instructional, diary, letter, narrative... The lack of words makes it the perfect starting point for creating word banks based on the illustrations, considering synonyms and antonyms and exploring choices through zones of relevance.
Every time you look at this book, you will find something new to enjoy and explore in the illustrations. Bee and Me is a lovely book with many possibilities!
Bee and Me by Alison Jay
Old Barn Books ISBN: 978-1910646052