Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Snakes

Bishop, Nic (Author)
Scholastic 2012. 48 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780545206389 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 597.96
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this non-fiction picture book, gripping language uses rich vocabulary (“powerful venom or crushing strength to overwhelm their victims”) and evocative simile (“Flying snakes … glide like ribbons from rainforest trees.”) Topics such as snakes’ hunting techniques, defense, functional anatomy and reproduction are all beautifully illustrated with photographs taken by the author.

Spacious and colourful text layouts include enlarged phrases, for a pull-quote effect that draws readers into the main material: “The world looks different to a snake.” Captions provide further information, (“This king cobra is a young snake, and if it survives, it may live for twenty years”), including photographic scale (“shown at actual size”).

Close-up photographs brilliantly capture colour, texture and unforgettable moments. One spread shows a coiled emerald tree boa, tongue flicking; in the opposite corner, an opossum gazes—seemingly enraptured by its predator. In another photo, a red striped king snake basks in the rosy light of dawn, or sunset. An author’s note discusses the challenges of photographing snakes. Even those who dislike snakes may be unable to resist the allure of this book.

  •  

    Use a RAN chart (Reading and Analyzing Non-fiction texts) and brainstorm what you know about snakes. Fill in the “Wondering” column.

  •  

    As you read the book, adjust your RAN chart to recognize new learning and adjust misconceptions. Continue to fill in the “Wondering” column.

  •  

    Take note of facts that particularly interest you. Write up a quiz to test friends and family members.

  •  

    Choose a snake that interests you and research its habitat on a student-friendly site. Make a poster that highlights your learning.

  •  

    As a group, brainstorm what you know about snakes. In small groups, use a RAN chart (Reading and Analyzing Non-fiction texts) to fill in what you know and what you are wondering.

  •  

    As you read, adjust your RAN chart to recognize new learning and adjust misconceptions. Continue to fill in the “Wondering” column.

  •  

    Create a Snakes and Ladders game. Replace some of the numbers with questions about snake facts.

  •  

    Read the author’s note at the end of the book. Identify the qualities needed to become a snake photographer.

  •  

    Fill the first two columns (Know, Want to know) of your KWL graphic organizer about snakes. Discuss your column entries as a class.

  •  

    Take notes as you peruse the text. With a partner, decide how you could structure this book by organizing the snakes into three categories. Would what these categories be? Which snakes would fit each category? Present and explain your categories to other pairs of students.

  •  

    Complete the Learned column of your KWL chart.

  •  

    Read more of the author’s snake stories on his website. Choose a favourite and summarize it, then embellish it. Make small changes to create your own version of the story.

  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology