The Big Field: A Teachers' Guide by Anne Morddel

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The Big Field: A Teachers' Guide by Anne Morddel

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The Guide gives background information to support lessons for Key Stage One and Two pupils and is particularly strong on plant and animal species. Suggested activities range from the fun to the practical. Internet links are given. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 39 Date: July 2008
Publisher: MorddelEditions
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-2953186413

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This teachers' guide is designed to accompany The Big Field: A Child's Year Under the Southern Cross by Anne Morddel. The inspiration for the book came about when the author worked as a librarian at a school in the state of Paranã in Brazil. In trying to find a book about the seasons (and how the natural world around them changed) for children in the five to eleven age group she realised that none existed for the southern hemisphere. She set out to remedy the situation.

In the book the narrator (given neither name nor gender) takes the reader through the seasons on the edge of the Atlantic Rainforest – an astonishingly beautiful habitat about which there is little in the way of literature for children. The book was originally intended to be published in Portuguese, but because the contents are of interest to children everywhere the book is also published in English.

The book is intended for Key Stages One and Two and ties in with Geography (solar system, weather, land use and places), Science (life processes and living things), General History and Art.

The spiral-bound book gives background to the story as a whole – about the geographical location, the seasons and the Atlantic Rainforest. There are several suggested websites for further information on the Rainforest, but they're aimed at adults rather than children and some have limited or no English content. Some are also primarily concerned with fundraising. The author might well have spotted another gap in the market here – a website about the forest aimed at children? I'm far more impressed by the internet links for birds, butterflies, insects, trees and plants, with many of the sites being aimed at children and occasionally with a section for teachers.

There are suggestions for activities which might be ongoing throughout the year as well as background information and suggested activities for each month. Sensible warnings are given where appropriate and the activities range from the fun to the practical. The details on animal and plant species are particularly good, giving such pointers as where pictures of particular butterflies can be found on the internet and where pictures of similar butterflies common in Europe are sited.

There's an index of the species contained in The Big Field, but sorted by the Latin names. In response to a suggestion about this the author now also supplies an index ordered by English names.

I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

This book would make an invaluable classroom guide to accompany The Big Field: A Child's Year Under the Southern Cross by Anne Morddel. I'd also seriously consider it as a parent as it extended my knowledge of the rainforest and made reading the book itself a richer experience. Posters are also available.

The book is available from Amazon but can also be ordered direct from www.morddeleditions.com.

Buy The Big Field: A Teachers' Guide by Anne Morddel at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Field: A Teachers' Guide by Anne Morddel at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Big Field: A Teachers' Guide by Anne Morddel at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Field: A Teachers' Guide by Anne Morddel at Amazon.com.


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