Curious Critters: Backyard Animals

Mo Wilems found an excellent way to engage children with his books by having them interact with the pigeon character. My kindergarten summer school class answered the pigeon every time.

David FitzSimmons created another text written in second person to grab the reader’s attention in Curious Critters: Backyard Animals,   He has a mixture of familiar animals kids recognize that “talk” to them. Throw in some humor and the kids want to learn more. Sneaky right? Who would think a scientific, informational text could be creative and fun? David did.

“Air Traffic Control, This is Monarch Flight 1 preparing for takeoff, flying from Milkweed, Minnesota to Oyamel Fir Forest, Mexico. The estimated flight time for our two-thousand mile journey is just over two months.”

Kids will be asking for this read aloud and more. Use it as a mentor text for their own animal reports. No more boring.

Video clip of the author sharing how he takes the photos of each animal.

Savorings for reading and writing for Curious Critters: Backyard Animals:

  • Genre Forms within the collection – first person narrative, riddle, poems including a limerick, math connection
  • Class Book -have kids create a two-page layout of an animal
  • Onomatopoeia – animal sounds
  • Voice – Bluegill, Eastern Cottontail – point of view with dialect
  • Author’s Note – importance of nature, reading, animals

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