Booktalk for THE BEETLE BOOK by Steve Jenkins

beetle3How many kinds of beetles are there?

More than a hundred. More than a thousand. More than ten thousand. Over 350,000 kinds of beetles have been named, but scientists think there may be more than a million different species.

There is a beetle that can kill a horse. Another that eats frogs. Another so strong it can snap a pencil in half with its jaws.

There’s even a beetle that looks like a pile of bird droppings.

Find out all about amazing beetles in The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins.

Genre: nonfiction / science

Grades 4-6.

Anna’s take on it:

I like to use this title midway through a booktalk presentation–it’s a good interactive title for when students start to get a bit antsy. I start off by asking them to guess how many types of beetles there are in the world. Sometimes the guesses will start out at a million, but usually it’s more in the 50-100 range. We’ll go through several rounds, with me saying, “More than ___.” “More than ___” for each guess. Finally, I’ll admit that it’s a bit of a trick question since no one actually knows how many species there are, and then I go on with the booktalk from there.

In classes where there’s enough time for the kids to come up and look at the books at the end, I usually see a clump of students engrossed in this one. If I haven’t shown the page with the beetle that looks like bird droppings, they’ll go hunting for it. (Page 24.)