Saturday, May 30, 2015

What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?  
by Steve Jenkins

Younger students will delight in this informational text by award winning author Steve Jenkins, that shows different ways that  different animals protect themselves.

Book Talk
This is an excellent informational book for grades K-2 centered on the topic of animal survival techniques. Simple and informative. 

Jenkins leads the reader into instant inquiry by presenting a question about the survival technique of an animal on one page…..and answering it on the next page. This causes the reader to have to turn the page to find the answer…I predict that readers will do this quickly while reading this book! 

This is a great for read aloud, stopping, discussing and predicting possibilities before turning the page.

Jenkins also chooses to introduce the reader to several unfamiliar, yet fascinating animals: the bombardier beetle, the glass snake, the pangolin, the basilisk lizard, and the Javanese leaf insect-to name a few.  This could lead to deeper inquiry and more research and learning by interested in students.

Graphic, clear illustrations give readers a good sense of what the animal looks like in its 'survival mode".

An example of the informational text writing:
“The glass snake is really a lizard without legs. When it is grabbed by the tail…..(1st page)

….it’s tail breaks into many small wiggling pieces.” (2nd page)

“The pangolin protects itself…. (1st page)

…by rolling into an armor-plated ball.” (2nd page)

The book ends with a fun twist: asking students what they would do if something wanted to eat them?  I’m sure that would make for an interesting class discussion—-or something to write about!

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Informational
Reading Workshop Strategies: Search for and Use Information, Questioning, Visualizing
Writing Workshop genre: Informational Writing
Curricular Themes: Science / animal survival

Steve Jenkins website:

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