Materials List: teacher-created chart of questions (see suggested questions below), literature resource book
This activity may take two days to complete.
Share the book, A House is a House For Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, or other literature focusing on animal habitats. Facilitate a discussion using the Questioning the Author (view literacy strategy descriptions) technique that encourages students to ask questions about the different types of houses the animals had and why each home was best suited for each animal. Review what was learned in the previous unit about habitats. Encourage students to discuss how animals that share a habitat depend on each other. This technique assists the students in constructing meaning from text and going beyond the words on the page. Using a teacher-created chart of questions, the teacher prompts the students to discuss the authorís writing and/or message, link information, and question the way in which an author presents information or ideas and encourages students to find evidence within the text to support their thinking. The goal of this chart is to model for the students the types of questions they can ask when reading independently or with a group. The type of activity allows students to develop an understanding of how to be critical readers and thinkers.
Sample Questions for the Chart:
What is the author trying to say?
Thatís what the author says, but what does it mean?
How does that connect with what the author already told us?
Does that make sense?
How do you know?
Can you find the evidence in the text?
Investigation Task: Prompt a discussion using the question, ďDo you think we are sharing our classroom environment with other animals?Ē Have students prove or disprove their choice by exploring the classroom for signs of wildlife. They may locate a spider web or bugs near a window or light fixture. Help students to understand that sometimes people do not even realize they are sharing the environment with other living things.
Students should come to understand that all animals need a home that meets their specific needs. If needed, review the essential components (food, water, shelter) of a habitat with students. The following questions can be used to guide the discussion: