Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Talk Thursday-ish: Creature Features

Hi everyone! I'm going to just stop apologizing for not posting as frequently and accept that this is just going to be the new norm for me. At least until Caffrey is a little older and I can get a better grasp on time and life and all that stuff. And in my defense, I started this post yesterday, but I didn't have a chance to finish it until this morning.

I did, however, want to share a new book that I discovered. Every year, a committee selects books for the Virginia Readers' Choice list, and they publish the next year's list in February. I happened to get my hands on the latest list last week and IMMEDIATELY started hunting down all of the books. I have 7 of them in my possession now and two others on hold at the library.

Andrea is featuring one of the books on her blog today, and I wanted to link up with one of my favorites here: Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do.

Click on this image to see other great books!

This book is perfect for questioning, AND it ties right in with science for an animal adaptations lesson. I used it as a model to ask "why" questions, which I feel like my students always struggle with. In my class, we use the Fountas & Pinnell LLI system, which is a kit that includes leveled books to quickly get students reading on grade level. The fourth grade pack has a series called Intriguing Animals. I pulled a few of those books and split my students into groups. Then they looked through the books and found unique characteristics about each animal to come up with two questions and answers. Then they selected their favorite and shared it with the class.

To extend this activity, I would love to give the students a picture of a strange animal and have them generate a list of questions to then research online or in a book later. There are so many possibilities, and I love the fact that the lesson is cross-curricular!