We’ve been able to pick up some fantastic non-fiction titles through Scholastic Books this year. Published through the National Geographic Society, these books include all the non-fiction features necessary to make navigating through the pages a wonderful experience. Hundreds of full colour photos, maps, labelled diagrams, comparisons, an interactive glossary and more! Recently, we used Everything Big Cats to practice asking questions before we read and to answer questions about the text by interacting successfully with the features.
This past week our Reading group learned about the differences between the big cats, what the big cats eat and how they hunt and how the bodies of big cats are built to survive.
Some of our pre-reading questions:
- Do big cats hunt together in a pack? (Jena)
- Do they have super smell for food? (Jenifer)
- Why do cheetahs have dots? (Hajhare)
- Do they eat human beings? (Truman)
- Why do tigers need whiskers? (Sergio)
- Do they eat in groups? (Lisa)
- Does their fur keep them warm? (Eddy)
- How big is their brain? (Jeremiah)
- How strong is the force of a big cat’s bite? (Ricky)
Students answered questions about what the big cats eat using a chart called What’s For Lunch? Some surprising discoveries? Jaguars eat small crocodiles (large crocodiles would be too dangerous). Leopards hunt (very carefully) porcupines! We also discovered that tigers can eat the equivalent of 80 pounds (36 kg) of meat in one sitting. Wow!
Students also found it interesting to compare the bodies and fur patterns of the four big cats by reading Who’s Who? The largest of the big cats? The tiger who can weigh up to 660 pounds (300 kg)! We also learned that the stripes on a tiger are like fingerprints. No two stripe patterns are the same. And what about black panthers? They are actually either jaguars or leopards with dark fur. Who knew?