To introduce the selection, create a three-column KWL chart (What I Know,
What I Want to Know, What I Learned). Ask students to share facts
they know about caribou and antlers. Ask students to write questions
they want to research. After reading nonfiction selections, ask students
to share facts they learned about caribou.
Prepare an “Anticipation Guide” with true/false
statements students will use in small group discussions to preview the
selection. On a handout or overhead transparency, write true and false
statements using details from the text. For example:
male caribou have antlers.” (False)
after year, caribou antlers are grown and shed, then regrown
and shed again.” (True)
students to make pre-reading predictions by labeling the statements
true or false.
Read the non-fiction selection, “Off
the Top of Your Head” and
other nonfiction selections that describe facts about caribou and their
antlers aloud to the class. Encourage students to “mark up the
text” as they read: circling unfamiliar words, highlighting key
words and phrases, and writing notes in the margins.
Revisit the Anticipation Guide to confirm or revise predictions made
prior to reading.
Have students reread the selection to answer the following questions: “Why
do caribou have antlers?” “Why do caribou shed their antlers?” “What
are the similarities and differences between male and female antlers?”
Create a month-by-month timeline that sequences and describes the “Growth,
Shed, and Regrowth” phases of antler development.
what reasons might female caribou keep their antlers during
the winter, while males drop theirs in the fall?
are the male caribou antlers generally much larger than the
female’s? Why might the females antlers begin to develop
Remember, WHEN something happens often helps explain WHY it happens,
so try to think of what kinds of energy that goes into growing antlers
and the different ways antlers can be used. Then guess the reasons
for the the differences Urquart describes.
Making Connections: Stages of Development
What changes/transformations do we experience as we grow? Create a personal
timeline that describes significant events from your life.
(Examine Author’s Strategies):
did the author help you understand the phases of antler development?
did the author help you understand what occurs at each phase
of the development?
words or phrases did the author use to describe each phase?