GREAT MONKEY RESCUE

GREAT MONKEY RESCUE
Look what's coming! I'm thrilled to share it's a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection. Click on this photo for a free activity MARKLE'S BOOK SAFARI ADVENTURE on SANDRA MARKLE SPEAKS!

Monday, April 20, 2015

CELEBRATE SAVE THE FROG DAY





It's time once again to celebrate SAVE THE FROG DAY. Of course, that also includes appreciating their cousins TOADS.


I value these amphibians for all they do for us:

Eating lots of insects like mosquitoes and flies that would otherwise become pests.

Being food for lots of animals, such as birds, snakes, foxes, and some fish like pike and bass.


Plus they are just plain cool. Like the fact that they have a sticky tongue attached to the inside front of their mouth and it rolls out in less than a second to snag a bug. Or that to swallow their eyes sink to push food down their throat.

Here are some more fun facts about frogs and toads:




A group of frogs is called an army. A group of toads is called a knot or a nest.







Only male frogs croak. They may also whistle or bark. In some kinds of toads both the males and females make noise.

Some toads play dead or puff up to look bigger, if threatened by a predator.



Toads have special glands on the back of their heads. If the toad is stressed, these give off poison that can kill a predator that bites it. It won't cause warts on people but it's best to not touch toads or wash well if you do.




No matter how many times you kiss either a frog or a toad, though,
it won't turn into a prince.

And here are some fun frog and toad activities to enjoy in honor of this special event.

Hopping Off The Page

Compare the toads in each of these two book. To do this, first read these books.

Fiction:  Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (Harper Collins, 1972)













Faction (fictional story where all the facts are true): Toad Weather by Sandra Markle (Peachtree Publishing, 2015)







1. What is one way the toads in these two books are different?

2. What is one way the toads in these two books are alike? 

3. What time of day does the fiction story take place? How about the faction story?

4. Look at the pictures of toads in each book. What's one way the toads look alike? What's one way they look different? 

Say It In A Poem


Create a cinquain (say sin-cane) about a frog or toad. This is a kind of poetry first created by the American poet Adelaide Crapsey about 100 years ago. 

This kind of poem is just 5 lines long. It usually tells a short story about something and follows this format--2,4,6,8.2. That means
The first line has just 2 syllables (pronounced beats)
The second line has 4 syllables.
The third line has 6 syllables.
The fourth line has 8 syllables.
The fifth line has just 2 syllables again.

What's more there's a flow to the short story shared in a cinquain. It goes like this:
Line 1 = Name the subject
Line 2 = Describe it
Line 3 = Show some action
Line 4 = Share some feeling about it
Line 5 = Give a quick conclusion




For example


Bull frog.
Green and hungry.
Sees a fly and snags it.
What a master garden insect
hunter!


BONUS Fold A Hopper

Visit this website and follow the directions to fold a paper frog. Then push on the frog to make it hop off a starting line. Measure how far it hops. 

Try your paper hopper on 3 different kinds of surfaces, such as carpeting, wood and tile. On which does your frog hop the farthest? How much farther is the longest hop than the shortest?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A LITTLE FOOTWORK--JUST FOR FUN!



I want to kick off my newest WHAT IF YOU HAD!? book WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL FEET!?. So here are some fun activities to start things hopping.

( Below each activity, the Common Core State Standards being developed for grade 2 and 3 are identified)

LET’S STOMP


Have each child choose his or her favorite animal feet. 

Choose some foot stomping music and have the children spread out at least an arm’s length apart. Then turn on the music and have kids dance where they’re standing. 

Remind them to dance as if they had their favorite animal feet.



Afterwards, ask the children to tell how it was different to dance with that animal’s feet. Next, have them tell how they think it would be different to do each of these things if they had that animal’s feet.
  • Take a bath
  • Pick up their room
  • Make their bed

Now, let them pick another animal’s feet, start the music, and dance some more!

   CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.


BEASTIE SHOE SHOP

Start by having children list all the kinds of shoes they can think of. That list will include: boots, sneakers, loafers, high heels, waders, sandals, high tops—and more.

This animal's shoes will need to be big and tough!


As a class, vote on one animal from WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL FEET!? to treat to their very first pair of shoes. 

Share building a list of ideas to answer these questions:
  • What should those shoes do for the animal’s feet?
  • What material will the shoes need to be made out of to fit the animal’s habitat and behavior?
  • What special features could be added to the animal’s shoes to make them extra special?  


Have the children work alone or in small groups to draw and color pictures or make models of their special animal’s new shoes.


   CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).

MY NEAT FEET

The Rest of the Story


Have children look through WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL FEET!? and pick their favorite picture of a boy or girl with animal feet. Now have them tell the rest of the story.

Each of those pictures shows only one moment in a story. Challenge children to imagine--and tell--the rest.
  • What led up to the moment shown in the picture?
  • What is really happening in the picture?
  • How is this story likely to end?



For example, look on page 19 at the boy digging for treasure with aardvark feet. How did he get the treasure map and find the right spot to dig?
How does he feel about finding the treasure? And what kind of treasure did he find?
What will he do now that he’s found the treasure? How will it change his life?

   CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

NEW FEET





I'm sure everyone will agree that the animals in the book  have totally cool feet. For this activity ask children to pick an animal that isn’t in the book. 

Have them dig into books and work with older students or adults to search on-line and find out about that animal. 


Most important, encourage them to find the answers to these two questions:
1. What are that animal's feet like?
2. How does the animal use its feet to move and stay alive?


Next, like WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL FEET!? have children make two-pages (a left hand/right hand spread) for their animal. On one page, they should answer the two questions. On the second page, they should share at least one super fun way it would be cool to have that animal’s feet for a day.

       CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
       CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

FOOT SWAP









What if one of the animals in WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL FEET!? woke up one day with another kind of animal’s feet!?






Ask children to imagine what it would be like if—
A Mountain Goat had White Rhinoceros feet?
A Cheetah had Eastern Gray Kangaroo feet?
A Barn Owl had Cheetah feet?
A Giant African Millipede had Green Basilisk feet?
A Wolf had Duck-Billed Platypus feet?

Or make up another foot swap.  

Challenge children to think of something totally cool that animal could do with its new feet. Be sure they also consider how that swap might cause serious problems.

   CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

Did you and your students enjoy leaping into these activities? Then run with these ideas and come up with even more.