Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Extinct Files: My Science Project

Edwards, Wallace (Author/Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2009. 32 pages
First published: 2006
ISBN: 9781554533862 (paperback)
9781553379713 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, structures and features

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:

The dense, involved language of this book employs a number of styles, from pseudo-scientific observation to funny asides, exclamations and puns, and may bring some avid non-fiction fans over to the fiction side. Mimicking a non-fiction format, with sections, detailed illustrations, captions and pull-out comments, the book may be read as a story, cover to cover, or just browsed through for the pleasure of its humour.

Strong type and layout design, based on the model of a child’s science report, provide context for richly coloured, intricate “photo” illustrations. Modern day dinosaurs are caught in activities such as roller-blading, graduating from school and fine dining. One image depicts a bespectacled banker stegosaurus. Embedded in this illustration are clever visual puns: “Back-up files” are folders jammed among his dorsal plates, and an “Officially stamped document” is a loose paper under his broad, scaly foot. Great silliness such as this will appeal to readers of a wide range of skill and sophistication.

Incidentally, the book can also be a useful tool in introducing students to the structure of a well-written science report: it covers objective, hypothesis, apparatus, a slew of so-called observations and a conclusion. In any case, this brilliant, ridiculous book is an absolute must for dinosaur fans.

  •  

    Discuss the book, taking note of the visual puns and the plays on words with the dinosaur names.

  •  

    Make a comic strip to illustrate what happens when Wally hands his report in to his teacher.

  •  

    Research how dinosaurs became extinct. Share your findings with the class.

  •  

    Discuss why Wally did not do his science project on his pet iguana.

  •  What are the scientific names for the dinosaurs in the book?
  •  

    Describe Wally’s personality. What excuse does he have for not handing in his project? What excuses do you make for not doing things on time?

  •  

    Contrast the scientific elements and the funny elements in the book, using a graphic organizer.

  •  

    Write a sequel to the story: The Dinosaurs Bring Wally’s Project to His Science Class.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Science and Technology