Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What If You Had Animal Teeth!?

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: What If You Had Animal Teeth!?  
Author: Sandra Markle
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam 
Publisher: Scholastic 
Publication Date: January 2013 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction-Expository/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: If you could have any animal's front teeth, whose would you choose? If you chose an elephant's, you could dig holes and pull up tree roots. If you had a beaver's, you'd have orange teeth! And if you had a naked mole rat's set of teeth, you could move each one separately, like chopsticks! The animal kingdom has lots of cool teeth, but yours are pretty awesome, too!  
What I Think: We picked this book up at the Scholastic Book Fair last week. The kiddo on the front cover with animal teeth really caught our attention. All of the illustrations and pictures are very appealing. We couldn't get home fast enough to read this book. We had fun imagining what it might be like to have different teeth but also reading the facts about how each animal uses their teeth.
     Reading this book was very timely in our house because Peanut just lost his first baby tooth a little less than two weeks ago. Losing teeth is exciting but scary at the same time. It was nice for him to read a book that acknowledged what he might be feeling about losing teeth but that really focused on how we use our teeth and how animals use their teeth.
     I can see how using this text with lower elementary students would be great because it would be engaging for them. Losing teeth is something that will or has happened to them so they can relate to it. The text is short and each two-page layout is devoted to a different animal. This book could be a great starting point for talking to kids about research. They can read about the different kinds of animals and then follow their interests into doing more research and learning more about one of the animals that interests them.
Read Together: Grades K - 4  
Read Alone: Grades K - 4 
Read With: Snakes and other non-fiction by Nic Bishop, Sharks and Snakes and other non-fiction by Seymour Simon 
Snatch of Text:  
"A great white shark's front teeth are like all its others - two inches long with an edge like a steak knife. They're great for biting through superthick things, like an elephant seal's skin." (p.6)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions, Using Non-Fiction Text Features 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Narrative, Compare and Contrast
Writing Prompts: Imagine that you did have animal teeth - as if they were a super power. What could you do with animal teeth that would help you in your daily life? Write a story where you show how you would put your animal teeth to use. Choose two animals from the book to compare and contrast. How do they use their teeth in similar or different ways?
Topics Covered: Integration - Science - Animals, Teeth
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