One of my favorite (and many of my students' favorite) topics in science is animal relationships, life cycles, defenses and adaptations. Ask Dr. K. Fisher about Animals is one of my favorite books that covers all of these topics.
In this book, animals write to Dr. K. Fisher asking for some advice (Dear Abby style). For example, there is a tadpole who is freaking out about the way his body is changing. Dr. K. Fisher responds that this is part of the normal process of becoming a frog.
Because my students loved this book so much, I purchased another one about Creepy Crawlers.
One of the issues in this book is a millipede who doesn't understand why he is constantly loosing to a centipede when they race. He does, after all, have more legs (prefix review :). Dr. K. Fisher responds by explaining that carnivores need to run faster than herbivores because they need to chase their prey. He continues to give advice by saying, "Try not to annoy him, though, as he has sharp jaws and poisonous fangs. If he gets nasty, curl up until he goes away." (p, 13)
This book works great when you are covering animals relationships, adaptations, defenses, and life cycles. You can also carry this concept into any science topic. In fact, there are other books with Dr. K. Fisher on weather, the earth, reptiles, and dinosaurs. I use this as an example of RAFT writing and have students come up with their own ideas for advice on our current topic. Topics that have worked in the past are ecology, symbiosis, and cycles (water, nitrogen, carbon-oxygen). I am not teaching science next year, but I still plan on using these books for examples of RAFT writing. I'm thinking about incorporating them into social studies when we speak of prehistoric people. Maybe I'll get the dinosaur book to go with that.
I'm looking forward to reading about all the other great books that people are sharing.