I See a Kookaburra!
By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Learn how these animals and many others grow and thrive in very different environments.
A big shout out to my colleagues at Winchelsea Primary School, Victoria.
This term we have been collaborating to plan and implement a Steve Jenkins Author Study. Steve writes and illustrates the most amazing, informative, and engaging non-fiction texts that are so rich you can plan learning experiences across the curriculum.
A HUGE thanks to Simone Wallace for providing the teaching ideas for this edition.
View the book HERE.
Implement hooks to engage:
- Sketch a habitat you know about around you (e.g. Barwon River)
- Camouflage – show a page of habitat and see if the kids can find the animals who are hiding (there is an ant hidden on each page).
- View and listen to a kookaburra laugh HERE.
Investigate letters and words by:
- Finding the verbs in one of the habitats (sipping, leaving, bounding, creeping, sniffing)
- Acting out the verbs – using a double page (g. in the desert, I see…a long-nosed bat sipping nectar from a flower) – take a video of you acting out this verb.
- Finding other words for the verbs – synonyms – (‘g. a secretary bird, who kills snakes by stomping on them with its feet…) – what other words can we use for ‘stomping’?
- Exploring -Why did Steve use a cassowary with a “helmet” with apostrophes? What does this make us think as a reader?
Deepen comprehension strategies by:
- Predicting: Show an image of the habitat and get students to predict who might live there?
- Activating Prior Knowledge: Predict the animals you might see in each habitat – desert, tide pool (rock pool), jungle, savanna, forest, pond – what do we already know?
- Gathering Up the Facts: As the students read, view or listen to the text they stop and record facts. They can write down and add to a paper bag or record themselves saying the facts. The students can revisit their paper bag of facts to inform their factual writing.
- Questioning: Use ‘Question Key’. Provide the students with an answer and they formulate questions.
The answer is pond. The question could be – Where does the snapping turtle bury itself?
Motivate writers by:
- Writing like an expert – Steve uses precise language to inform. Make a list words as you plan your writing.
- Mining Your Own Environment – What kind of habitat is near you? Identify an animal to research and inform your audience.
- Researching the technique of collage. Robin Page uses this technique to create the illustrations. Can you use this technique to publish your own writing?
Engage mathematicians by:
- Looking at the jungle habitat. Count legs/arms (that have them) on the animals and create a table to show the difference between animals. E.g. A spider monkey has 4 legs and a harpy eagle has 2 legs
- Adding the eyes (that you can see) together in each of the habits. Which habitat has the most eyes? How can you present your findings?
- Choosing two animals and create a model to show the difference in size.
- Selecting a habitat and survey your friends about their favourite animal from that habitat.
Explore beyond the book by:
- Finding out more! Pick an animal from the text and research a little more about them. What did you find out? There is also lots of information at the back of the text for each animal.
- Exploring a habitat near you Choose a habitat near you (Barwon River, Bushland, beach) and draw/sketch what it might look like. Could you even be inspired by the illustrator (Robin) and use different materials to make this?
- Viewing images and videos of different habitats. Create a habitat 3D
- Investigating the globe to find the locations in the book.
Interested in exploring another Steve Jenkins book with your students?
I have created a teaching resource that includes:
Two videos to support your planning
30+ teaching ideas
Links to online resources
Many photos as examples for you and your students!
Enjoy and take care,