Monday, November 3, 2014

Sharks and Meerkats, Oh My!

Trying to catch up on my sharing of what I've been doing this year!  I previously posted about hosting our guest author, Ginjer Clarke.  I wanted to share with you some of the activities I did with K-2 before her arrival!

For PreK, K and first, we read the book, Sharks!  I started by showing a collage of different types of sharks and had students give me information that they already knew on sharks (an informal KWL, of sorts, but I've found with my limited time with my Kinders, I usually don't do the written version.  Same with first).  We then read the book Sharks!  The kids loved it!  We then did several themed centers, including Write the Room (I only did this with my Firsties, since it was the first time I'd done it in the library - they did a great job and LOVED IT!) and a coloring page.  I also had plenty of ocean animal books on hand, including sharks, on their level to check out!
With my second graders, we read the book, Baby Meerkats.  I have an actual "life size" meerkat I got years ago from Toys R Us in their Discovery Education line.  I have no idea if its still available today, but it was neat seeing the kids reaction on how small they really are!  They then had a few choices for centers:  Write the Room, a fraction based activity using meerkats, or a coloring page (because they still love to color and create at this age!). 
For my third graders, we didn't do any centers, but focused on the book, Gross Out!  The "Out!" series is wonderfully informative, but a little longer than the other two books I've mentioned.  However, we had a good time getting grossed out by dung beetles, possums, and more!  Fourth and fifth, we took to the Internet and to read an e-book "Maxed Out!" about gigantic (and now extinct) creatures.
This was a great way to get the kids excited about Mrs. Clarke's visit.  We also had some presales of her books, which she signed while she was here. 

If you'd like to check out my shark or meerkat packet, please click on the link below.  You don't have to use these books with the packets (although I highly recommend them).  I have to say, though, any author that writes about my favorite animal (meerkats), and I am definitely a fan!!!


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