Have the children use what they observe by looking and listening to make a map of their surroundings . . . the school, the schoolyard, the neighborhood, maybe the entire city!
Before or after a study of mapping, or a study of human explorers/adventurers, you might want to have kids talk about great journeys. Read Home At Last to introduce journeys. Using information from books or the web, look at maps to see where animals migrate.
The Arctic tern in the book, a bird which travels from Antarctica to the Arctic, is also a great introduction to these regions and their differences. The bird spends summer in both places.
Sea Turtles are animals that make tremendous journeys
And then those are those smaller journeys, through time and small spaces. Listen to this story and find the journeys and pathways followed by bumblebees.
After reading the book, students can learn observation skills by going out and looking for shadows and experimenting as the kids do in the book. Why are shadows hard to see when the sky is cloudy?
After reading some of these books, students can listen carefully, and write down the sounds they hear in their environment. Have older students use stopwatches and write down what they hear at each 30 second mark. Cars? Planes? Pencils? Voices? Scientists use these kinds of observations, called data, in their studies. Are certain sounds heard more often than others?
These books are out of print but in lots of libraries. Pull them as a resource for follow up study, or, for the youngest students, perhaps just a look at the covers and interior photos.
What other animals live in the honey guide’s habitat? Crocodiles! Here’s how big one can be. (Lay 5 yardsticks, end-to-end, on the floor.) That’s one reason to stay away from hungry crocodiles! Now let’s read about crocodiles & their river habitat.
Biome: River in Savanna
Where do most rivers run? Into the ocean. What reptile depends on both a beach habitat and the ocean habitat to survive?
Make sea turtles out of paper plates, with construction paper heads, flippers, and tails. Write sea turtle facts on each plate and decorate the hall!
Use Sayre’s continent books or maps to introduce the continent of Africa.
Then introduce some African animals with the books below.
First, survey the kids about what they know about crocodiles and think about crocodiles: Do you like crocodiles? How would you describe a crocodile? Pay attention to the adjectives they use and write a few down on a chalkboard.
Now look back at the adjectives we used for crocodiles before we read the book. Did you learn anything new about crocodiles? How would you describe them now? Let’s learn about some more African animals.
If You Should Hear a Honey Guide contains a Swahili word: Kumbe! Check the web or other books for more Swahili words to introduce to the kids. Educators might also transition to more information on the people of Africa.
Some animals help other animals get clean. What do they get out of these relationships?
What animals depend on the army ant swarm? Have students draw pictures of the animals that depend on the swarm and make their own parade!
Speaking of following things, why would people follow a bird?