Every Monday, I highlight a book from our school bookroom along with lesson plan suggestions. I hope you find this useful, and please leave a comment with any suggestions or additions!
Bert Kitchen has illustrated and written a variety of books about interesting animals. Many of the books seem out of print or difficult to find, but I’ll keep nosing through the bookroom to see if we have any others. If not, we have a TON of guided reading book sets about unusual mammals, insects, and birds that would be a good complement to this text. If you’re looking for another mentor text to go along with this, check out the lesson plans posted for A Hummingbird’s Life.
There is a CAFE menu included with this mentor text, and I’ve highlighted these as suggested lessons:
- Determine and analyze author’s purpose and support with text. As you go through the text, keep a running chart with the characteristics each of the animals seem to have in common with each other. At the end of the book, an author’s statement is included, so they can compare their ideas with his intent.
- Tune in to interesting words and use new vocabulary in my speaking and writing. It’s exciting to see strong adjectives, strong verbs, AND strong nouns in this text, and it might be useful to do a word sort having students categorize words according to the different forms of speech (which will help make students more comfortable to use them independently). I might suggest these words for a word sort. Adjectives: formidable, devastating, brackish, grating. Verbs: merging, recoils, cruises, emerge. Nouns: mangroves, surface, plumage, fringes.
- Use prior knowledge and context to predict and confirm meaning. In addition to neat unfamiliar words, the text also uses many words in ways that are different from casual speech. which would be good for conversation or charting, particularly with pictures. Potential words to discuss include: bed, meat (shellfish meat), dense, fringes, recoils, cruises, throw, call.
Please add any lessons or supplemental materials to the book bag so future teachers can utilize your good thinking!
Comments and constructive feedback are always welcomed. Please let me know if these lessons were useful in your class!