Friday, December 21, 2012

Curious Critters

Curious Critters By David FitzSimmons
Grades K-6

Phenomenal! Vivid photographs, uncluttered pages, bright colors, amazing close-ups, this is what an animal nonfiction book should like. The photographs themselves are stunning, but what really made this book unique was how David FitzSimmons then wrote a first person narrative of what each animal was thinking when being photographed.

Ohio Crawfish: Do you want to know something really cool? If any of my legs get hurt, including my giant claws, I can grow new ones. Pretty neat, huh? Now, enough chitchat. Back off!

From Eastern Screech-Owl to Red Flat Bark Beetle, there are lots of unusual animals to learn about and study. In the back there are some more cool things to check out. Each animals has a short paragraph telling a little more about it, plus there is a two-page spread of life-size silhouettes so that the animals can be compared in size to each other.

Lesson Seed: Have students bring in a photograph of their own pet, or find a photo of an animal from a magazine, and then ask them to write first-person narratives from the animals' perspectives.  Take this project a step further and have students do short research reports to go along with their photos as well. They can use an online encyclopedia to look up a few facts and then combine this nonfiction writing with their fiction writing for a really interesting project.

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