Monday, November 23, 2015

Actual Size {Animal Measurement Facts Book}- Must Read Mentor Text

Happy Monday and Happy Thanksgiving Week!
Today's Must Read Mentor Text is called Actual Size by Steve Jenkins. I love all of his books! They are fabulous! And the illustrations are amazing! The artwork portrays the animals at actual size. So cool!
Here is a description from
"Just how big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that is bigger than your head? Sometimes facts and figures don’t tell the whole story. In this visually stunning book, seeing is believing as Steve Jenkins illustrates animals both large and small at ACTUAL SIZE."

This book is a Must Read Mentor Text for Math, but it actually is great for Science too! One animal is depicted on each page, and there are a couple of facts to accompany it. The facts include measurements like the size of the animal's eyes or teeth, or the weight of the animal, or the height or length, etc. 
You can read the book as an introduction to your measurement unit or use it at the end to review and extend student learning. Students are fascinated by the illustrations, and they are always blown away by all of the facts! You can discuss vocabulary like height, length, weight, and units of measure. Depending on the grade level, you can even have the students do some conversions between units like feet to inches. Another math skill you can work on is comparing numbers and measurements. Since the illustrations depict the actual animal sizes, it is very easy to compare the animals as well. 
In Science, I like to use the book to discuss animal adaptations. It's a fun way to get students thinking critically. After you read the page, ask the students Why? For example, Why does a giant anteater have a two-foot long tongue? What does it use that for? and then ask why don't cats or dogs have tongues that long? It helps students to realize and understand the importance of each animal's unique adaptations. 

At the back of the book, there are short informational paragraphs about each animal. Additional facts are listed. These are great to extend your conversations about animal adaptations.
After reading the book, as an extension activity, you can have each student research an animal and share measurement facts as well as adaptation information. They love researching animals, and it's a great way to connect writing, math, and science!
I hope you and your students enjoy this cool text! Have a great week and a very Happy Thanksgiving!  :)

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