by Janell Cannon
Lesson plans and teaching resources
Animal Study: From Fiction to Facts
This lesson describes how to use selected fiction and nonfiction literature and careful questioning techniques to help students identify factual information about animals. Children first identify possible factual information from works of fiction which are read aloud, then they listen to read-alouds of nonfiction texts to identify and confirm factual information. This lesson is designed for grades K-2.
Build prior knowledge with these worksheets and other activities.
Bats in the Classroom: Activities Across The Curriculum
This page begins with a report of an unusual bat phenomenon in Texas and then lists possible bat-related activities.
Bats, Why Should You Care?
A great resource on bats to support reading Stellaluna .
Echo the Bat
This site from NASA uses an interactive story to help children learn about bats, their habits and habitats.
Fishing for Readers: Identifying and Writing Effective Opening "Hooks"
Students work in pairs to read introductory passages from several fiction texts and rate them for effectiveness. Then, the teacher guides the class in categorizing their favorite "hooks" according to the author's strategy (e.g., question, exaggeration, exclamation, description). Strategies and examples serve as resources for students' own writing, and students can then explore how the same story can be introduced in different ways. For the final part of this lesson, students write a variety of hooks for one story topic, using the interactive Flip Book (included on site) to publish their work. This lesson is designed for grades 3-5.
An Interesting Animal
Informative/expository writing prompt. Students choose an animal and tell about it. Could serve as pre-reading or extension activity. 1 page; Adobe Reader required.
Investigating Animals: Using Nonfiction for Inquiry-based Research
Students begin their inquiry by comparing fiction and nonfiction books about animals, using a Venn diagram. They list things they want to know about animals on a chart. As a class, students vote on an animal to research. They revise their question list, and then research the animal using prompts from an online graphic organizer. After several sessions of research, students revisit their original questions and evaluate the information they have gathered. Finally, students revise and edit their work and prepare to present their findings to an authentic audience. This lesson is designed for grades K-2.
Lesson for Speech/Language
This document includes target words to practice articulation/pronunciation, vocabulary, comprehension questions, practice with figurative language, and some followup craft activities. Access requires Adobe Reader.
A Play on Words
Students make predictions about the story Verdi , based on the cover. After hearing the story they will make a new list of descriptions, personality traits, etc. Students will select an animal and write a narrative story about the animal.
Storyline Online Resources for
A downloadable video of actor Pamela Reed reading the story aloud and a 3-page handout of related activities. The video runs about 11 minutes and resides at YouTube. The handout requires Adobe Reader for access.
Click on the link within the blog post for a lesson on fact vs. fantasy. Word processor required for access.
6 sets of discussion questions covering different aspects of the book.
In addition to a 10-question trivia quiz (and answers), this packet includes 4 printable coloring sheets. 6 pages; Adobe Reader required.
Teacher Packet for
Learning activities for language arts, science, social studies, and math, with emphasis on language arts. Word Wall words, printable handouts, writing prompts, comparison/contrast, classification practice, and ideas for Bat Day. 23 pages; Adobe Reader required.
A printable bat outline with lines for student writing.
Your Students will Love
Pre/post-reading with KWL chart about bats, writing and science suggestions.