Friday, March 4, 2011

3rd graders leave comments as if they are a rain forest animal!

This lesson is presents a great example of a persuasive text for young ones to experience and next provides a research task and then the students are expected to post a comment on the class blog as their animal persuading the loggers to save the tree.
First runner up in the 2010 Edublog Awards for 
                  Best Class Blogs

The Great Kapok Tree 
The story takes place in the rain forest of the Amazon. Throughout the story, rain forest animals try to persuade a logger to leave the kapok tree. The kids will love hearing about all the animals trying to convince the logger to save the tree.

This is a beautifully illustrated fable of interdependence in the rain forest. As a teacher, I use this story to teach about ecosystems here at home. Even though it is appropriate for younger children, I read it to my outdoor school students (5th-6th grade) on the day we study ecosystems to help them understand the inter-relationships we see and study in the field. I like to bring the story to life by giving the animals special voices (lots of hissssing for the snake, chattering for the monkeys, squawking for the birds, etc.) At first the students laugh and are amused by the voices, but when the tree frogs talk about ruined lives and being left homeless, they begin to get more serious, and by the time the sloth asks "How much is beauty worth? Can you live without it?" they are fully engrossed. After reading the story, I send the students out to find a "magic spot" to do a writing assignment: write their own story of "The Great ______"..

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