Desert Animals (Introduction to Reptiles)
Science, Language Arts
Teacher of Lesson: Stacey Perri
Grade Level: Third - April
Approximate Time: Thirty Five Minutes
- The students will listen to a story that will introduce them to reptiles, a desert animal.
- The students will participate in a discussion concerning these desert animals.
- The students will take the viewpoint of the rattlesnake, and write in their journals from this viewpoint.
- "How Poison Came Into the World", and "In the Eyes of a Rattlesnake", taken from the book entitled Keepers of the Animals by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchoc, one copy.
- Student journals.
- Read the story, "How Poison Came Into the World", to the students.
- Begin a discussion based on reptiles and this story by asking the students what they think this story means.
- Discuss the fact that people often do not understand these animals. Who suffers because of this? How? (Both animal and people. When people do understand these animals, they aren't always aware of how to act wisely around them. It is not fair to blame the animal because of this)
- Ask the students why they think that some animals have painful bites or stings. Discuss how our lack of knowledge concerning these animals leads to our fear.
- Ask the students to lay down on their stomachs on the floor. (In this position, they can take the viewpoint of the rattlesnake). Tell them that you are going to read them a story, and you want them to focus on how the rattlesnake feels.
- Read, "In the Eyes of a Rattlesnake".
- Ask the students to write how they felt in their journals (from the viewpoint of the rattlesnake).
- Did the students remain attentive during the story? Did they close their eyes to visualize themselves as rattlesnakes?
- Did students contribute to the discussion of the story, or engage themselves by agreeing or disagreeing to any viewpoints? Were students able to identify how people and animals suffer because of these misconceptions?
- In the journals, did the students assume the viewpoint of the rattlesnake?
Reteaching Strategies or Follow-Up:
- Students may be asked to remain in their seats and close their eyes during the story. Then, later, assume the position on the floor to discuss the differences in viewpoints.
- If a student fails to see the viewpoint a reptile might have, check a book out from the library depicting reptiles. Ask the student to write his or her own story from a reptile point of view.
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