Hello everyone! Hope you all had a restful long weekend and are enjoyed time away from school. Things seem to be “opening up” slowly, with “in person teaching” scheduled to start in a few weeks. I know that the thought of being back in schools with children brings with it a range of emotion and I am sending you positive thoughts and energy as you transition to yet another version of our “new normal”.
Thank you for the positive responses to my weekly OLLI posts “Online Learning Lesson Ideas“. I’m happy that you are finding them helpful for your distance lessons. You can see my first OLLI HERE (The Hike), my second HERE. (If I Could Build A School). My Mother’s Day lesson is HERE. And last week, my OLLI lesson based was based on the book Everybody Needs a Rock. You can view that lesson HERE.
This week, I’m excited to share WANTED! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom a new nonfiction book, written by Heather Tekavec and published by Kidscan Press. This book is a such a genius idea! I love it! I can see it being a HUGE hit with kids. (Attention TL’s!!!) The book combines facts about rather uncommon, quirky animals and turns them into a hilarious memorable Fact File Rap Sheets. Each double page introduces a ‘criminal’ and gives details of their ‘crime’, for example, the cuckoo who steals other bird’s nests and “lets the other mother do all the work to hatch the eggs.”
Of course, while reading this book, I immediately thought about how much kids would enjoy making their own MOST WANTED page about a unique, weird and wacky animal criminal. Unfortunately, this book is so new that there is no online version, so you may need to share one of these images with them as a reference if you do not have your own copy to read aloud online. I have also included several additional anchor books that can be found online. After learning about some of these weird and wacky creatures, students can choose one from a list (see list below) and do a little research about them.
Click HERE for the Weird Animal Research Page
Here’s the website where I found many of these strange animals that students may find helpful for their research: https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/outdoors-and-adventure/photos/15-of-the-strangest-animals-in-the-world-and-where-to-see-them
There are also many “Weird Animal” educational videos students could view including this one: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/really-weird-animals/
Some key teaching points to this activity:
- identifying the crime – helping the students turn one of the animal features into a “CRIME”.
- criminal vocabulary: dangerous, frightening, sneaky, shady, sketchy, identity theft, bribery, burglary, hides, corruption, crime, fraud, loots, steals, pick-pockets, smuggles, disguises, trespasses, vandalizes, chases,
- Criminal name and Aliases – helping students come up with a clever criminal name for the animal
After students have gathered facts about their “criminal animal” (can I invent a new word: “craminal”?) they can use the template I created based on the anchor book, to make their own “WANTED Weird Animal Rap Sheet” poster.
Click HERE for the WANTED Weird Animal Rap Sheet template for Primary.
Click HERE for the WANTED Weird Animal Rap Sheet template for Intermediate.
If you or your students prefer, they could design their own WANTED poster. Here is a great site for free WANTED posters templates: http://templatelab.com/wanted-poster-template/
Other anchor books you could use to support this lesson, all featuring odd or ugly animals with interesting, unusual features. Check Epic Books or YouTube for online versions of these books.
Animals Nobody Loves – Seymour Simon
What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? – Steve Jenkins
Ugly Animals – Laura Marsh
Odd Animals – Rose Davidson
The Ugly Animals – We Can’t All Be Pandas – Simon Watt
Have a great week, everyone! Hope this lesson is one that you can possibly use for your online teaching this week.
You are doing an amazing job! There is a light at the end of this tunnel! You can do it!!!