They know where to go
With no GPS.
Definition: MIGRATE means to move from one region or habitat to another.
Derivation: MIGRATE comes from the Latin word migrāre,
which means to move from place to place.
Other words with this root: Immigrant a person who comes to live permanently in a new country Migrant a person or animal who migrates OR a person who moves from place to place for work, especially a farm laborer
Examples: Gray Whales
Each fall they travel 5,000 miles from Arctic feeding grounds to warm Mexican breeding lagoons. In the spring they head back. African Elephant
At the start of the dry season they migrate to find water holes. Monarch Butterflies
In autumn, they fly 2,500 miles to warmer regions in Mexico or southern California.
Did You Know? Many European song birds migrate to Africa in the winter. Some scientists believe they use this time to practice their singing–“like a bird band camp”–in preparation for the mating season when they return.
Some are pretty. Some are not.
Some are huge. Some . . . a dot.
They outnumber us, 200 to one.
You can’t escape them; there’s no place to run.
They live high and low, in Earth’s every nook . . .
Even in your room. Go look.
Definition: An ARTHROPOD is an animal with jointed legs, an external skeleton, and a segmented body.
Derivation: ARTHROPOD comes from two Greek words. Arthro means joint and podos means foot.
Other words with these roots: Arthritis, a painful inflammation of the joints Podiatrist, adoctor who treats foot problems Tripod, a three-legged stand
Insects, such as butterflies and ants
Did You Know? A scientific survey found that an average of 100 arthropod species live in every American home. Some roam in search of food crumbs. Others hunt for hair or nail clippings.
In the news:
Learn more about the arthropod home survey: New Scientist
The Galapagos Islands are home to such bizarre beasts that they seem to have escaped from a Pixar movie. On a recent trip to this volcanic archipelago, my husband and I walked and snorkeled among its quirky creatures, who were unfazed and unflustered by our curiosity . . . and our cameras.
Here’s a selection of some of the dazzling characters we encountered.
When it comes to the Galapagos inhabitants, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction!
See how YOU do in detecting the truth on the quiz below.
1. Select the letter of each true statement below.
2. Put the letters (in order) into the blanks.
3. The completed word is the animal whom the islands are named after.
(This animal’s Spanish name is “galapagos.”)
4. Click on the link at the bottom to check your answer.
______ O _____ T ______ I ______ ______
1. RED-FOOTED BOOBY
I catch fish by plunging head-first into the water. For protection I
Always wear a helmet. <S>
Have air sacs in my skull to soften the blow. <T>
2. MARINE IGUANA
When I build up too much salt in my body from snacking on seaweed, I
Switch to a salt-free diet. <Q>
Snort clouds of salt spray from my nostrils. <R>
3. GIANT TORTOISE
I live a long life. So I may have been plodding along when
As blue hydrangea blooms are making way for golden oak leaves, I wanted to share another “look-alike” plant post with you. Previous Post.
As before, six “look-alike” plants are pictured below. After studying their shapes and colors, try to guess their names. Then click on the photos for the answers–and for information about these intriguing plants.
Here are two other fun activities:
Write a fairy tale that explains one interesting fact about a “look-alike” plant.
Perhaps the trumpet creeper was once a small girl who annoyed a wicked witch. Every morning she would wake the witch up by blowing her horn, so the witch turned her into a trumpet creeper flower. The spell can be reversed if a hummingbird comes and drinks from her blossom. (Hummingbirds are attracted to trumpet creepers because of their red color.)
Make up your own “look-alike” flower.
Name it after one of the following:
favorite dessert, favorite pet, or favorite sport
Draw a picture.
Label the different plant parts: roots, stems, leaves, flowers.
If you had a silver sword and a fairy slipper, what would you do with them? They sound like magical objects in a fairy tale. But you could plant them in your garden . . . because they are both flowers.
Six of these “look-alike” plants are pictured below. After studying their shapes and colors, try to guess their names. Then click on the photos for the answers–and for information about these interesting plants.
Shrimp PlantRattlesnake Grass
Silver SwordBleeding Heart
Here are two other fun activities:
1. Chose one or two of the plants above and write a fairy tale about magical “look-alikes.”
2. Make up your own “look-alike” flower. Draw it and name it. Then tell where it lives and give three interesting facts about it.
Here’s an innovative way to delve into nonfiction writing. Have your students create their own websites. After my visit to a third grade class, the inventive teacher, Mrs. Braham did just that.
Her students drew on their own experiences, choosing topics from sewing to soccer to computers to cats. Then, with the technical support of their media specialist, Mr. Pirollo, the children got going on their websites. Their results are showcased on http://weebly.com .
I was amazed at the great work of Mrs. Braham’s students! They honed their nonfiction writing techniques, exercised their creativity, and as Mrs. Braham says, learned how to integrate technology into the curriculum.
Congratulations, children! Thank you for sharing your work! Below is a brief note for each of you. Hope you have lots of reading and writing time this summer.
Zachary: Thank you for teaching me about Chromebooks. Vincent: Hope you and your Dad have fun wrestling this summer. Katie: I love your video about the homeless dog who was rescued. Maeve: Excellent advice about not overfeeding and not tapping the fish tank–common mistakes.
Nadia: Great job: narrative opening, lots of cat information, fun captions, and adorable videos. Caroline: Hope you and your “gaga” have fun “sewing with compassion” this summer. Richard: What an exciting opening to your homepage. I see you’re a soccer whiz. Lauren: I loved the section about emotions and the picture of the retrievers hugging.
Maeve: Great simile for explaining how to hold the violin bow. Have fun practicing this summer. Joseph: Thanks for teaching me about all those wrestling moves. But I will take your advice and not try them at home. Jonathan: I’m glad you didn’t give up after your first year playing basketball. Keep having fun.
Elizabeth: Great job with the Do’s and Don’ts of cat care.
Ismael: Now I know why dogs sniff so much. Have fun with your two pups this summer.
Hayden: You created an interesting introduction, with your narrative and steam train video.
Rebecca: I loved your photos of the snow monkeys hugging and the baby eating the banana.
Hawa: Wow! After reading about hero dogs I was “blown away.”
Morgan: I hope you keep “doing your best” practicing gymnastics and writing stories.
Paul: That was a hilarious video of the black lab chasing the bubbles.
Vanessa: Excellent job explaining about gymnastic clothing and equipment.
Christopher: Great simile–comparing the wrestler, Triple H, to a bulldozer.
Thanks again, children and Mrs. Braham. Maybe one day I will be reading your books!
You can view my school program/author visit video at:
National Poetry Month is a perfect time to highlight some of the lyrical and lively writing that Mrs. Cimini’s fourth grade students have created. After attending my “Exciting Writing” program, children practiced techniques provided in my follow-up materials to “make music” and “paint pictures.” These techniques apply not only to poetry, but also to prose. ( For related activities, see Teacher Pages: Making Music with Alliteration and Invigorating Vocabulary. )
Below are some the the wonderful writing samples that Mrs. Cimini sent me.
Students “made music” by generating phrases using alliteration:
Wreck it Ralph
Then they combined phrases to make sentences:
The Noisy nerd threw pumpkin pie at the Big Bad Wolf. My mom makes marvelous meals.
The Wicked Witch had a puny pig and some chocolate chips.
The Big Bad Wolf played Magnificent Minecraft and then went out for french fries.
Children “painted pictures” by using vivid verbs.
The loud, fat Chihuahua trudged over to me.
The wide horse trotted to his hay and gobbled it down.
The huge pet devoured dinner.
I crunched my food.
The plump Chihuahua nuzzled the other dog to get up.
Notice the descriptive adjectives they used too:
loud, fat, wide, huge, and plump
Another way students “painted pictures” was by creating clever similes:
The cat was as sneaky as a shadow.
The man’s belch was as loud as a BOMB!!!
The kitten is as cute as a toy.
Thank you to Mrs. Cimini and her students! To see more of the exciting things they are up to, visit their classroom blog.
You can view my school program/author visit video at: