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Reading and Writing Connections for this selection:

Caribou Range Cookie Map: An Edible Lesson in Geography

Reading Strategies:

  • Identifying Main Idea and Details
  • Reading Visual Presentations (Maps, Atlases, Photographs) to Collect Data
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Asking Questions to Set a Purpose for Reading
  • Connecting to Prior Knowledge/Building Background Knowledge
  • (About Reading Strategies)

    tundra, landscape, coastal plain, disperse, landmarks, geographic features


Connect with prior knowledge by asking students to imagine the school and its grounds as their “range.” Have them map or describe their route of travel on a typical school day. Encourage them to include the indoor and outdoor spaces they visit throughout the day. Have students include the reasons that they travel to each space, timelines of their “trips,” and the conditions they encounter in each place.

To introduce the selection, have students imagine herds of caribou roaming on their range and making migratory journeys. Have them list questions and predictions about the landscapes explored by caribou, conditions that may impact its migratory journey, and timelines of their trips.

  • What are the landmarks and landscapes of the caribou range?
  • What are the possible dangers that make the journey treacherous for caribou?
  • How do you think caribou adapt to potential risks?
  • Encourage students to brainstorm anticipatory questions using Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?

Read the nonfiction selection "Caribou Range Cookie Map: An Edible Lesson in Geography"aloud to the class.

Revisit the selection to collect facts that answer these questions: “What determines the range of the caribou?” “How do caribou decide where to migrate?”

Use details from the selection to identify cause and effect relationships. “How would caribou migration change if.....?” Possible ideas to generate discussion: “...the landscape of the caribou range changed?” or “ patterns altered the conditions along the caribou’s route?”

Invite students to illustrate caribou landscapes and landmarks using details revealed in the text and visual presentations in the selection.

Journaling Questions:
1. Caribou migration groups can include thousands of animals. Why do the caribou choose these pathways for migration?
2. Most years the caribou migrate right through the area that includes the town of Old Crow. What would it be like to live in Old Crow or Arctic Village?
3. What came first, the migration path or the town? What makes this route good for caribou? What makes this route good for a town?

Making Connections: Construction Detours
How does construction impact the “migratory routes” of drivers? What possible dangers do drivers and pedestrians prepare for in construction zones? When humans create construction zones in caribou country, what detour options do caribou have? What possible dangers would detours have for caribou herds?

Evaluate: (Readers examine author’s strategies.)
What kind of lead did the author use to introduce the selection? (a question)
What other leads would be effective for this selection? Give examples.
How would you categorize this selection: descriptive? persuasive? expository? narrative? expressive? or a combination? State your opinion and use examples from the text to support your reasoning.
How effective was this piece? Did you as a reader connect with the author’s message? Use samples from the text to support your opinion.

Writer’s Workshop
  • Narrative
    Write a story about a herd of caribou roaming on the range. Use the details you learned from the article to describe settings for your story.
  • Pursuasive
    Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to convince companies and influential groups to help protect the land regions of caribou.
  • Expressive
    Create a song that expresses your thoughts and feelings about the roaming herds of caribou. Fill the song with ideas you learned from your research.
  • Descriptive
    Write an essay that describes the Arctic lands of the Porcupine Caribou.