What books do you use? Here is one that I recommended for her list (the title is linked to a description of the book and a huge lesson guide [for purchase], but I've provided links to places where you can get the book for free or low cost).
The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann David Wyss, 1812) - A Swiss family in the Victorian days becomes shipwrecked on a tropical island in the Pacific on the way to their new home in Australia - a great book for studying island life, or survival, or the tropics. Written by the author to teach children about perseverance in times of trouble, self-reliance and Christian family values.
- e-Book (free .pdf) (Google Books)
- Nook Book (free) (Barnes & Noble)
- Audio Book (free) (Books Should Be Free)
- Paperback or Hardcover (used from $0.01) (Amazon)
- Paperback (used from $1.99) (Barnes & Noble)
- Kindle version ($1.99) (Amazon)
- EasyFunSchool has a unit planner, by chapters, that includes a chapter summary, vocabulary, comprehension questions, and suggested activities. The suggested activities definitely support a study of tropical island geography, flora and fauna, as well as ships and shipbuilding. The questions tend to be "identify" level questions -- I would add some more "Why?" level questions to make kids think more.
- Sites Alive offers a plan for an "Island Survival" problem-solving lesson/activity that can be used with The Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Cay or any other book about being shipwrecked on a deserted island. This looks like a fun way to bring any of these books to life -- like Survivor, in the classroom.
My comments: My son loved it. We downloaded it with 24 other children's classics, for our Nook Color, (25 Favorite Kid's Books for Middle and Young Adult Readers, $0.99, Barnes and Noble.
If you would like to recommend a book for Barbara's project, go to The Handbook of Nature Study and send her an email. Include the title of the book you love, and a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of the book. If you have written about the book on your blog, send her a link to your blog. What a great resource this will be for all of us!
Peace... and happy (nature) reading!