The Little Island explores the changing seasons and the wildlife found on the island. The story is for five to eight year olds; however, it does have one aspect that some children will struggle to understand. This book can introduce activities for art, meteorology, and science with a little section about faith and believing.
They can construct their own little island complete with the animals, plants and birds. An aquarium could represent the ocean that surrounds the island. Start by asking children what they already know about islands. What is special about the island in the book? List anything they learn that is new to them. Make mobiles from clothes hangers and pictures from magazines or the children’s drawings. The pictures in the book make good, coloring page examples.
The book talks about the four seasons and the weather, that the little island experiences. Ask students whether the seasons have cold or hot temperatures. What is fog? What are clouds? What goes during those seasons? Do different animals live on the island during different times of the year? Draw pictures of the island and its weather.
Teachers can prepare a lesson about habitats. Show them where different animals live, what foods they eat. Students can locate islands on a globe or map. Introduce the kitten. Have the children discuss the island’s thought, “all land is one under the sea.” The book suggests that kittens can jump in the air and fly. Is that possible? Have the children identify the animals that are on the pictures. What animals are in the story? What ones does the story omit? Take children on a tour of a real island either as a field trip or via a slideshow or movie. Teachers can introduce the concept about migration.
This is a good topic for older children. Young ones may not understand the concept. With older children, teachers can explore the whole idea and how it can affect their actions. What do the students believe? Do they agree with the kitten, the fish, or the island? This can lead to a discussion about ecology and conservation. The last sentence in the book can spark a whole activity in itself, “The island was a part of the world, and a world all its own.”
The Little Island can inspire complex activities as well as simple ones, from drawing pictures of the island, animals, birds and weather to the deep subject of faith and belief.