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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Little Kids First Big Book of Animals


A RIF GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS
Author: Catherine
D. Hughes

Themes: Animals, Habitats


Grade Level: K to 2nd grade
Book Brief: A fun, informative book with colorful
pictures and interesting facts about a
variety of animals.

Content
Connections:
Science, Geography,
Math

TIME TO READ!
BEFORE WE READ,
LETS LOOK AT...
The Cover: By looking at
the cover, what can you
predict about the genre of
this book? Is it ction or non-ction? What kind of
animal is on the cover?
The Pictures: Each page of this book contains
non-ction text features. Show students how the
author uses a table of contents, photographs, types
of print, inserts, an index, and a glossary to help us
learn about animals and their habitats. Flip through
the pages and point out the different text features.

Prior Knowledge: What are text features and how


do we use them? (See Non-Fiction Text Features
handout in Extension Activities.)
Vocabulary: The vocabulary will vary
from page to page.
Purpose for Reading:
To identify text
features in a nonction book and use
them as we learn about
animals and
their habitats.

WHILE WE READ
MONITORING
COMPREHENSION
For each page, ask

what animal is
featured.

What new facts does this page tell you about the

animal?
Which text features is the author using on this

page?
Does the photograph help you learn about

the animal?

LETS THINK ABOUT


Our Purpose: How did the text features in the book help you understand what we read today?
Extending Our Thinking: Ask these open-ended questions: How are non-ction and ction books alike? How are
they different? Which kind of book do you like better? Were there any animals in the book
youd never seen before? Why do you think the author included them?

NOTE TO EDUCATORS
Extension Activities for Educators also available.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Little Kids First Big Book of Animals


A RIF GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES
Themes: Animals, Habitats
Grade Level: K to 2nd grade
Book Brief: A fun, informative book with colorful
pictures and interesting facts about a
variety of animals.

Author:
Catherine D.
Hughes

TIME TO READ!
Before reading, make
predictions: What animals
do you think will be in this
book? What animal is on
the cover?
While reading, make connections: Have you seen
this animal before? Where?

After reading, ask questions:


Could any of the animals in the book make a

good pet?
Would it be able to live in the same habitat

you live in?


Could you feed it?

RELATED ACTIVITIES
ON THE HUNT
Materials: cotton balls, perfume or
scented oil
Many animals, like the lion, use their
sense of smell to nd prey. Spray perfume
on several cotton balls. Hide them around the room
within your childs reach. Have your child pretend to
be a lion and use smell to nd the prey. Is this easier
or harder than the ways humans nd food?

EDIBLE OCEANS
Ingredients: blue gelatin, water, fruit snacks or canned
fruit, clear cups, whipped topping
Help your child mix gelatin according to package
directions. Fill each cup 1/2 full of mixture. Place fruit
snacks in the cup. Fill the rest of the way with

mixture. Let set in refrigerator. Top with whipped


topping and enjoy! While you eat, explain that real
sea foam (the whipped topping) is made of
dissolved organic matter, like algae and plankton.

HABITATS AT HOME
What animal habitats can you nd
near your home? Perhaps a
spider has built its home
where you can see its
web, or a bird has nested
in a nearby tree. Go on a
habitat hunt and list the
animals or animal homes
you nd. Be careful to
only observe and not
disturb any homes!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
OTHER BOOKS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space,
Catherine D. Hughes (2012), National Geographic Little Kids First Big
Book of Why, Amy Shields (2011), Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas: Earths
Astonishing Animals and Where They Live (2002).

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Little Kids First Big Book of Animals


RIF EXTENSION ACTIVITIES FOR EDUCATORS
STEAM-THEMED: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART, MATH

SCIENCE, COMMUNICATION
FRIENDS OF THE FOREST
Materials: pictures of forest animals, tape
Let students nd out which friend of the forest
they represent! Tape a picture of a different
forest animal on each students back (without
letting that student see). Each student must ask
yes or no questions to gure out the type of
animal. Encourage students to take notes if
needed to help organize the information they
gather. (This can be performed as a whole group,
small group, or partner activity.)

TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE
OCEANS OF SIMILARITIES
AND DIFFERENCES
Compare the marine
animals from the text
with animals from
popular kids movies,
like Finding Nemo,
Dolphin Tales, etc. How
are the animals in the
movies like those in the book? How are they
different? Make a comparison chart on the board.

ART, SCIENCE
POLAR
PAINTING
Materials: small
paper cups, water,
craft stick, foil, powered
tempera paint, paper plates
Pre-activity preparation: Fill cups with about 1.5
of water. Cover with foil; poke a craft stick through
the foil like a popsicle stick. Freeze overnight.
Activity: Give each student a plate with 2 different
colors of powdered paint. Have students peel their
cups from around their ice bergs. Have them
paint by moving the ice berg around the paper
plate with the craft stick. Observe whats happening to the ice. What colors are being made? How
long does it take for the ice to melt?

MATH, TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE


AFRICAN GRASSLAND ATHLETES

Expand student background knowledge about


octopuses by watching: video.nationalgeographic.
com/video/kids/animals-pets-kids/wild-detectives
-kids/wd-ep1-octopus

The grasslands in Africa are home to


many speedy animals. Pick 3 and
put them in an imaginary race!
Use the text and other resources
to nd their average speeds to
see who would win. Who would
come in 2nd and 3rd? Show your
ndings with a poster, model,
short story, or comic strip.

ENGINEERING, SCIENCE, MATH


DESERT ANIMAL DESIGN CHALLENGE

WRITING, VOCABULARY
NON-FICTION THINK-TAC-TOE

Materials: scrap materials (paper, bits of cloth,


paper towel tubes, brads, paper clips, etc.),
scissors, glue

(For older or advanced students.) Give the kids a


little challenge and choice with the attached
think-tac-toe activity sheet. Each column of
activities includes tiered choices for student
differentiation. You decide how many
squares students complete!

Put students in small groups. Have each group


choose a desert animal.
Challenge: Build a model of the animal. Make sure
that your animal can be identied by distinguishing
characteristics. Make sure a part of it can move.
Draw or make a desert habitat for your animal.

NON-FICTION THINK-TAC-TOE
ACTIVITY OPTIONS
Individual students can choose an activity to complete.
Student pairs or cooperative groups can work together on a choice of their own.
Educator can assign an activity for an individual, pairs, or groups.

WHO KNEW?

NO MORE CAPTIONS

INDEX IT!

From the book, choose 4 words


that are new to you. Divide
your paper into 4 squares.
In each square, write the word,
its denition, how you would
dene it, and a sentence
using it. You may also want
to draw a picture to help you
remember.

Publishers have decided that


it costs too much to print
captions! Write a persuasive
letter to book publishers
telling them why captions are
important. Be sure to give
reasons or examples to support
your argument!

Create an index page for a topic


that interests you. If you wrote
a book on that topic, what main
ideas would you include? (If I
picked ice cream as my topic,
my index might include: cones,
avors, history, toppings.) Think
of at least 15 words for your
indexremember to put them
in alphabetical order!

FIND IT AND FOLD IT!

PERSUADE A PEER

IF YOU KNOW IT,


BE A POET!

Choose 4 words from the book.


Fold your paper in half hot
dog style. Use scissors to cut 3
slits on one side so you have 4
aps. Write each word on the
outside of a ap. Under the ap,
write the words denition and
a sentence. Draw a picture of
each word on the back of the
paper.

CUBE TOSS
Choose 6 words from the
glossary to write on a blank
cube. (Cube pattern: www.
mathisfun.com/geometry/cubemodel.html.) With a partner,
take turns rolling the cube. For
each word you roll: say it, dene
it, and use it in a sentence.

We have a new student who is


having trouble picking out
non-ction books to read.
Write a letter to that student
explaining how to use the title,
cover, and table of contents to
tell what a book will be about.

ORGANIZE YOUR
FINDINGS
Make 3 columns on your paper.
Fill in each with the following
information from the book:
Column 1: 3 subjects you want
to learn more about.
Column 2: The page #s where
you can nd the information.
Column 3: Something you
learned about each subject.

Pick a text feature from the


book. Write an acrostic poem
to describe that feature and
how it helps you understand
what you read.
Example: Make sense
Arrange things
Put things in context
Show me where I am

COMPARE IT!
Use a Venn Diagram to
compare the table of contents
to the index of a non-ction
text. Which topics are in the
index only, which are in the
table of contents, and which
are in both?

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Little Kids First Big Book of Animals


A RIF GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY COORDINATORS
Themes: Animals, Habitats
Grade Level: K to 2nd grade
Book Brief: A fun, informative book with colorful
pictures and interesting facts about a
variety of animals.

Author:
Catherine D.
Hughes

TIME TO READ!
Before reading: This is a great book for children to explore different animals and their
habitats. You may want to choose one habitat at a time and read only about the
animals in that section.

RELATED ACTIVITIES
GRASSLAND GROWTH (AGES 5-9)
Materials: plastic cups, soil, grass seed, paint, brush,
paper, scissors
Plant some grass seed in a clear cup of soil and water
lightly. Once the grass sprouts, cut it to about 1 tall.
Using a paint brush, gently brush the blade tips with
paint. Observehow the grass grows. Does it grow
from the top or the bottom? Why would this be
helpful for the animals in the grasslands habitat?
Make some small animal drawings, cut them out, and
hide them in your grass.

OCEAN MURALS (AGES 5-9)


Materials: bulletin board paper, crayons, blue paint,
water, paint brushes
Let children show their creative sides by drawing
their favorite ocean animals in crayon on the large

paper. Dilute blue paint with water and use paint


brushes to paint the entire paper. The paint wont
stick to the wax in the crayons, so the ocean animals
will pop!

DEADLY IN THE
DESERT (AGES 5-9)
Materials: construction
paper strips (red, black,
yellow), glue sticks
The desert coral snake is a venomous snake often
confused with the harmless king snake. Teach children
this rhyme to remember which snake is dangerous:
red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, venom
it lacks. Have children use paper strips to make a
paper chain coral snake. Begin with black and
alternate with a yellow, red, yellow, black pattern.
Once completed, add eyes and mouth to one end.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
OTHER BOOKS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space, Catherine D. Hughes (2012),
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why, Amy Shields (2011),
Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas: Earths Astonishing Animals and Where They Live (2002).

TECHNOLOGY LINK FOR KIDS


www.rif.org.kids