Under the ground is a different topic I picked two weeks ago for Nathan’s story basket. This was an unusual topic and I didn’t find many ideas on Pinterest. So I decided to go with a flow and explore each topic from the book. There are eight topics in the book and we explored each of them in detail. Few topics he enjoyed very much and a few were vague to him. Yet this basket was so helpful for me in the morning he would pick any book and flip the pages. Occasionally, I find him tracing the animal homes of lifting the flaps. This study was a mix of fiction and nonfiction books.

The books we used are,

  • An Usborne flipbook see under the ground
  • Wonderwise: what’s under the bed?
  • Usborne Under the ground

The first topic we explored was all about Germination

Nathan loves to plant seeds and I thought this will be his favourite. Just like I anticipated, he enjoyed the whole read. We loved Flintobox’s vegetable garden activity and we spoke about underground vegetables using that.

The book we read:

Tiny Seed by Eric Carle:

This is a book about the life cycle of a flower through the adventure of a particular tiny seed. The story begins with the wind sweeping up seeds to start an exciting journey through the different seasons. It focuses on the dispersal of seeds and the many obstacles they face before becoming a beautiful flower.

The Enormous Turnip- A touch and feel book

This is the story of a turnip that was so enormous it was pulled by a whole lot of people and animals.

Rosie Plants a radish by Kate Petty

Rosie loves radishes and plants the radish seeds, watches the plants grow and finally pulls the radishes up. A book that says happening to the plant under the ground. This was a perfect book that helped Nathan picture germination.

A fruit is a suitcase for seeds by Jean Richards

This is an informational book about seeds and teaches children about how plants and trees grow by using a metaphor of fruit as a suitcase that protects seeds. The book also helps kids understand the process behind how seeds travel and grow to be planted.

A seed in need by Sam Godwin

It’s a story about the growth of a plant from seed to full flowering, through the characters of a ladybird and snail. A child-friendly book and Nathan could understand the content through the pictures.

The next topic was Grubs and Shrubs

When we dig underground, we see a whole lot of world and each one of them has different homes. Some are farmer’s helpers, some spoil the crops, yet they are needed for the balance of the ecosystem. With the resources in hand, we explored Ants, mice, Worms, millipedes, centipedes, aphids. We didn’t find any book about snakes, so we skipped that. Ant house was Nathan’s favourite among all.

The book we read:

Find Anthony ant by Lorna Philpot

A book, which is filled with mazes, just like an ant’s home and the kid has to find Anthony ant following the clues.

Count to 10 with a mouse by Margaret wise brown

A fun little book about a mouse who wants to learn to count. He finds a book with a hole in it and he makes his way through its pages-and back again!

Little mouse and the big red apple A.H Benjamin

Little Mouse finds a big red apple, but he doesn’t want to share it with his friends. Though he got help from them when he faced an obstacle. This is a colourful story of friendship and sharing. This is Nathan’s favourite book.

A new house for mouse by Petr Horacek

The mouse is little and so her house is, but her apple is huge. She needs to find a home that is big enough for both. Peep through the holes and join Mouse in her search for a new home.

I can only draw worms by Will Mabbitt

A funny counting book that talks about worms in different colours.

Superworm by Julia Donaldson

The worm is a small creature which we don’t get to see often and they are often called as “Farmers friend”. Just like that, they, this superworm is very helpful to his fellow insects. One fine day he was taken by a crow and a lizard. Will other fellow insects save him?

In the tall, tall grass by Denise Fleming

Imagine you are a caterpillar in tall, tall grass. What would you see? You see dart, dip hummingbirds, skitter scurry bees… A story filled with rhyming words and Colourful insects.

Insects and spiders discoveries

A reference book created by London natural history museum talks about different insects, their lifecycle, and their predators. A book with a bundle of information.

Mad about minibeasts by Giles Andreae

This rhyming book is about the different types of minibeasts that you can find in your garden, the story identifies a Snail Slug Worm, Spider Fly Beetle, Earwig, Stick Insect Ant Caterpillar, Ladybird, Centipede, Bee, Dragonfly and a Grasshopper.

The Something by Rebecca Cobb

When a little boy’s ball disappears down a mysterious hole in the garden, he can’t stop thinking about what could be down there: a little mouse’s house? A hungry troll? Or maybe even a dragon’s den. Whatever it may be, he’s determined to find out!

Next, we explored Underworld Animals

Many Australian animals build burrows to hide from prey and many use as their home.

The books we read are,

Aussie Animals by Rod Campbell

The Australian bush is filled with all sorts of different sounds. Can you hear an animal jumping? What’s that? Turn the page and you will see amazing Australian animals. This is such a brilliant guessing book for any age kids to learn about Australia’s unique animals.

Somewhere in Australia by Marcello Pennacchio

A counting book that predominately talks about 10 different Australian animals and their babies.


The next topic was Beneath your street

If we dug up a street in almost any town, we can find an elaborate network of pipes, cables, and tunnels. This topic was a bit vague for Nathan and I kept it very simple. We didn’t discuss this more and hopefully soon he can understand this.

The books we read are,

Curious George: plumber’s helper

A simple book that talks about water pipes and plumbing. George puts his bath toys in the drain and the story goes about how a plumber repairs it.

How a city works by DJ Ward

How a City Works is a non-fiction story about the inner workings of a city. The book explains things like power plants, sewage pipes, water treatment plants, and more, so that a child can see all of the planning that goes into running a city.

Switch on switch off by Melvin A Berger

A picture-book introduction to what electricity is, how electricity is generated for your house, what circuits are, and how that relates to light switches in your house. Pick this for a 5-year-kid so that it doesn’t get overwhelmed.

The next topic was Under the sea

Nathan adores his dad’s saltwater fish tank. We have hermit crab, snails, corals, clownfish, Damsel, Mandarin gobi (we conveniently named it as mudskipper) This topic excited him much and he enjoyed reading each book along with his dad. The glow in the-dark and sea creatures book is his favourite book and it’s been with us for a long time.

The books we read are,

The glow in the dark book of ocean creatures by Nicholas Harris

A book about in-depth under the sea creatures. Also, the pictures glow in the dark, making a perfect bedtime read.

 Sea Creatures by Jen Green

This book is filled with a bomb of information about different sea creatures. The pictures are realistic and so even a 2-year-kid will enjoy flipping the pages.

100 Facts Coral reef

Explore the colourful underwater world of coral in this handy pocket-sized book that’s bursting with giant facts. Discover the different zones of the reef, what sea life depends on it for survival and how humans can help conserve coral.

Young Discoveries: Rivers & Oceans

A non-fiction book filled with details of different geographic facts, like: where are the world’s longest rivers located? How do oceans change the shape of the land? How do we measure the speed of a river’s current? Each page also has an experiment to do according to a different topic.

Collins Oceans: fascinating facts

This book introduces children to life in the deep sea, ocean travel, and the power of waves. From coral reefs to oceanic tides, one can learn all about the secrets of the ocean and the world’s greatest underwater discoveries.

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau By Jennifer Berne

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau is an interesting story of an adventuresome boy who grew up to be an explorer, inventor, and filmmaker whose work continues to inspire today.

Our favourite topic: dinosaur and Dinosaur fossils

Most kids love dinosaurs and every kid loves to do dig fossils. This is an interesting topic we explored and it was fun.

The books we read are,

The Usborne book of dinosaurs

The book of dinosaurs is a piece of jam-packed information about pre-historic dinosaurs. It also has details about the pre dinosaur era and post dinosaur era.

Monster Stones: Story of a dinosaur fossil

A comic-style book taking the reader back millions of years, this is the story of a dinosaur’s death. It demonstrates how the dinosaur’s bones became the rocks we call fossils and how the fossils were discovered.

Usborne See Inside the world of dinosaurs

A fabulous flap book with over 50 flaps to lift, offering a glimpse into the prehistoric world of the dinosaurs. Stunning illustrations show how dinosaurs lived, hunted and died out.

Amazing Dinosaur Discovery- A magic skeleton book

Tom and his dad decided to take a trip to the Dinosaur Museum, and saw skeletons of five different Dinosaurs: A Triceratops, A Stegosaurus, A Corythosaurus, An Apatosaurus, And A big T.Rex! Each page can be pulled out to see the skeleton of each dinosaur.

Dinosaur Disaster! by Sarah Jennings

Molly and Max love dinosaurs and they are roaring with excitement about their trip to see the dinosaurs at the museum. But can their dad stop them from going on a riotous museum rampage?

Ten little dinosaurs by Mike Brownlow

The story starts with ten baby dinosaurs hatching, seeing their mum is asleep, and deciding to go off exploring. A counting book filled with dinosaurs.

The next topic was about Creepy caves

All over the world, there are massive networks of hidden caves that are still explored by humans. There are many types of caves and some caves are so deep that they are under the sea. Caves are home to many mammals and insects. Animals that live inside a cave are often blind and are called troglobites. We explored a very basic idea about the cave,, a few pieces of information were a bit overwhelming for him. So we took our favourite fictional books about caves and he was glad.

Cave Baby by Julia Donalson

The Cave Baby is a simple story of a baby who lives in a cave with his mother and father. There are fabulous drawings on the cave walls, and one day the bored baby decided to get a little creative himself.  His Mom and Dad are furious when they see the result and threaten the baby with the notion of a big brown bear coming to take him away. That night, a huge mammoth came into the cave and took the baby away. Excited baby paints the mammoth’s cave and fulfills its wishes.

Let’s go rock collecting by Roma Gans

A non-fiction book with an introduction to rocks sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks and their properties and life cycle. From the Egyptian pyramids to Roman roads, from the diamond ring on your finger to the pebbles under your feet, rocks are everywhere!

Stone age boy by  Satoshi Kitamura

A modern child ventures into a time long ago when he meets and interacts with a Stone Age family. Full of “how-to” information, from making a fire to making a tool, this story teaches children about prehistoric times while also following a silly story. Children will learn about the stone age right alongside the little boy, using Om as their personal guide. 

Dave’s Cave by Frann Preston Gannon

Dave loves his cave. Inside is decorated exactly the way he likes it. Outside, there is a lovely spot for a fire and the grass is always lovely and green. But, Dave is unhappy. What if there might be an even better cave out there? And off he sets in search of a new home. 

The next topic we explored was Volcanoes

A volcano is a mountain from which hot, melted rock, gas steam and ash from inside the Earth sometimes burst. Hot magma churns around in the mantle far below the earth’s crust. This magma can erupt through a volcano and explodes into the sky.

We did the famous volcano experiment and Nathan had a blast watching it.

The books we read are,

Infographic: how it works

This is a three-in-one book that talks about Life on earth, our planet, and our universe.

Usborne Earthquakes and Volcanoes

A non-fiction book filled with information about the structure of the earth, how and why earthquakes occur, the different types of volcanic eruptions and also the devastating effects when it happens.

We had fun exploring this unit. Let me know your views and did we miss any books for this study.

To read more unit studies CLICK HERE

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Hi, I am Karen- Mom to a 6-year-old and a passionate book reviewer. A book lover myself, I strongly believe in reading to kids on a daily basis, to help them turn into mini bookworms. I find delight in my every growing bookshelf. Join us on our reading journey and don't forget to share your bookish love with us too.


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