Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 SOLC Day 25: Light chatter

"Bioluminescence is the most widely used form of communication on the planet."--W.H. Beck, Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights

I've read this sentence ten times this week, as part of my Book Nook time with our kindergarten classes. There are some weird and wonderful facts presented in this great nonfiction book, but the quote above is my favorite pause-and-comment point during the read-aloud.

Think about what this sentence means, I tell the students as I repeat the words.  

It means that that are more living creatures who use light to talk with each other than there are

people who use words
lions that roar
dogs that bark
cats that meow
crickets who chirp
birds who tweet

all the sounds that creatures make to communicate with each other.  

Light wins over sound, mostly because at least half of the living creatures on earth exist underwater.  I find these facts fascinating, leading to thoughts of the dark, silent depths of our oceans and the amazing creatures scientists are finding there.  I'm also looking forward to the return of the fireflies in our yard and park beyond.  

Bioluminescence--light chatter-- is the word of the week.


  1. Quite a few years ago, another teacher and I did an ocean unit together with ELLs. Bioluminescence was a word that captivated them. They remembered it long after. They loved saying it; I think it made them feel smart. Especially since they really understood what it meant. I hope it lead them to wondering like yours as they moved on to middle and high school and beyond.

    1. I focus on wondering questions all the time, in this age of "choose A, B, C, or D". So many of my students just want to get to the right answer right away, and don't stop to wonder. I love your connection to my post; let's hope for continued wondering for all of our students!

  2. We don't have fireflies in Colorado, so I miss them every year, but usually get to see them when I visit family in Missouri.This book is wonderful, and I bet the students thought so, too.

    1. They were still talking about it a week later! I hyped up the weird and wonderful facts with some side commentary, of course.