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Animals and Their Homes in a Picture Book to Learn About the Wonders of Nature

Updated on February 28, 2019
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

The Homes of Forest Animals Come in All Forms

Fun picture book for young children to learn about nature
Fun picture book for young children to learn about nature | Source

What Lives in Each of These Homes?

Animals are always of interest to young readers. Varsha Bajaj's The Home Builders is a delightful picture book to introduce young children to forest animals and the variety of homes that these animals construct for their families. Trees, tunnels underground, and caves are all types of homes that forest animals construct. Nests, homes close to water, and homes hidden in tall grass are also homes for the forest animals. Forest animals dig, gather different types of materials, and pile up leaves to construct warm and safe homes.

What lives in the forest? Foxes, beavers, owls, and deer inhabit the forests around the country. The Home Builders presents the opportunity for young readers to discover the variety of animals that inhabit the forests in our country.

The simple rhyming text is easy for beginning readers to explore the story. Simona Mulazzani contributes her talent as an illustrator with her detailed illustrations that fill the pages with the colors of the forest environment. Both bright and dark colors are part of the forest environment. The lesson that our earth belongs to all creatures, great and small, is a part of this delightful picture book and story.

The Home Builders was published by Nancy Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin Young readers Group. It is recommended for ages 4-8 and has an ISBN of 9780399166853.

Colorful and Detailed Illustrations of the Forest Environment

What lives in this home?
What lives in this home? | Source

Bring Animals and their Homes into the Classroom for Fun Science and Language Concepts

The Home Builders is a fun picture book to use in an early childhood classroom to teach basic science concepts to young children. Animals are always part of an early childhood curriculum and simple science concepts can be taught with picture books as a beginning.

*Read The Home Builders in a group story time session. Call attention to the variety of animals that live in our forests. Present an opportunity for children to identify these animals. There may be some that children cannot identify.

*Divide the animals into categories. Birds, creatures with fur, and animals that live in or near the water are all included in a forest environment.

*Call attention to the animals that make their homes underground or in tunnels. Call attention to the animals that live in caves.

*Call attention to the bees. Beehives are a different kind of home and children might like to explore the concept of bees and their hives in a separate science lesson after reading The Home Builders.

*Bring in a collection of natural materials for children to build a home for one of the animals. Sticks, grass, dirt, clay, and cardboard trays can be creative materials that the children can use to construct a home for a forest animal.


The Home Builders is written in rhyme and rhymes can be used to create fun language activities for young children.

*Call attention to the rhyming words as the story is read. Repeat the rhyming words and have children engage by clapping when they hear a rhyming word.

*Make a class list of unfamiliar words from the text. Children become engaged in reading activities when they learn new words. Discuss the meanings of any words that the children are unfamiliar with.

*Provide large drawing paper, crayons, markers, and creative materials for children to make collages and draw scenes from the book.

*Take a class poll of favorite forest animals and present the opportunity for children to use added materials to learn about their favorite forest animal and the type of home that the animal lives in.

*Add other books to your class library for children to explore animals and their homes.

*Add to the fun of learning about forest animals by learning about the types of food they eat.

Science and Language Activities in Early Childhood Classrooms

What materials do you use to teach science and language activities in your classroom?

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© 2019 Cindy Hewitt


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