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Reading and Writing Connections for this selection:

Meet the Eastern Flock: Hatch Year 2002
Banding Codes and Personality Characteristics

Reading Strategies:

  • Build Vocabulary
  • Identify Main Ideas and Details
  • Make Inferences and Draw Conclusions
  • Ask Questions and Make Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading
  • Classify Information
  • Connect to Prior Knowledge and Build Background Knowledge
  • (About Reading Strategies)

    banding, dominant, bonded, intruder, aggressive, cohort, humanely euthanized




Read nonfiction books and magazine articles about whooping cranes. View photographs and videos of whooping cranes. Encourage students to collect descriptive details about whooping cranes from the books, photographs, and videos. Use questions that help students focus on unique physical and behavioral characteristics of whooping cranes: How are whooping cranes similar to or different from birds from your neighborhood? What details would you use to describe what whooping cranes look like? What unique characteristics do you notice about whooping cranes? Why do you think these cranes are endangered? (Building Background Knowledge/Connecting to Prior Knowledge)

Read aloud the title of the selection. Invite students to generate predictions and questions about the article: If you were every lucky enough to see any wild whooping cranes, what information would you want to know? Imagine that you were a wildlife researcher observing a flock of young whooping cranes. What physical and behavioral characteristics would distinguish one crane from another? What would you expect to see the cranes doing as you observe them in their natural habitat? (Asking Questions/Making Predictions to Set Purpose for Reading)

Introduce the vocabulary words. Have students predict the meaning of each word. Encourage students to predict how the words will be used in the upcoming reading selection. Remind students to listen for clues from the text to decipher meanings. (Building Vocabulary/Connecting to Students? Prior Knowledge about Word Meanings)

Read "Meet the Eastern Flock: Hatch Year 2002." Invite students to take notes as you read the article. Related Reading: Meet the Team (Information about the field scientists)

Library Lookout:
McNulty, Faith, Peeping in the Shell: A Whooping Crane Is Hatched. New York: Harper & Row, 1986.
Owens, M.B.. Counting Cranes. Boston: Little, Brown. 1993. In this book, a natural history of whooping cranes is presented. Counting is used as an organizational device.

Revisit the selection to highlight details that describe each crane. Invite students to mark physical characteristics with a yellow highlighter marker and behavioral characteristics with an orange marker. (Identifying Main Ideas and Details)

Use the highlighted text to create charts that describe each crane. Ask students to sort the details into categories. Challenge them to work in small groups to create a chart that organizes the characteristics of the cranes described in the article. Have each group use their chart to introduce the flock to other classes. (Classifying Information)

Encourage students to review the selection for new words. Invite them to use context clues and dictionaries to find definitions, synonyms, and antonyms for vocabulary words. Create Word Webs for selected vocabulary. On the webs include definitions, synonyms (related words), antonyms (words with opposite meanings), usage or parts of speech, pronunciations, context-rich sentences, and related topics. (Building Vocabulary)

Revisit the selection to help students learn about making inferences and drawing conclusions. Ask questions that help students think "between and beyond the lines" of the text: How did the researchers conclude that a crane was dominant or submissive? What behaviors did researchers observe that led to their conclusions? Do you think whooping cranes? physical characteristics, such as size or strength, contribute to their personality? How do you think the flock treats an injured crane? Why do you think a crane sometimes responds more positively with a specific handler? (Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions)

Journaling Question
Why do you think the crane handlers and biologists keep careful notes of what the cranes do and how they act? How is the information helpful to them?

Making Connections
Personality Characteristics: How would your parents describe your personality? How would your teachers describe you? What words and phrases would your friends use to describe your personality? If a wildlife scientist observed how you interact with other kids at school, would your behavior be described as dominant, subservient, submissive, or aggressive? Give examples to support your answer.

Evaluation (Examine Author's Strategies)
1. How did the author organize the text to help readers collect information?

2. How did the author help you understand the words: dominant, subservient, submissive, and aggressive? Context Clues? Synonyms? Comparisons? Definitions?

3. What words/phrases describe what the researchers observed as they studied the flock?

4. Does the selection introduce the researchers who are observing the physical and behavioral characteristics of the whooping cranes? What details would you include in the selection to introduce readers to the wildlife scientists?

Writers Workshop

  • Descriptive
    Write paragraphs that introduce the cranes from the Eastern flock. What do the whooping cranes look like? What details will describe their physical characteristics? What details will you use to describe their behavioral characteristics? Refer to the reading selection for specific details to include in your paragraph.
  • Expository
    Write an introductory paragraph for the reading selection. What kind of lead would hook readers? interest? Would it be questions? Snapshot Sentences? Surprising Facts? Or an Anecdote (Short Personal Story) from a Wildlife Researcher?
  • Expository
    Write a concluding paragraph for the selection. What details from the text could be used to summarize the information in a conclusion? What do you want readers to think about after they read the article? How do you want readers to feel? What actions do you want readers to take after reading the selection? For example, if you want readers to continue learning about whooping cranes, how will your concluding paragraph achieve this purpose?

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