To introduce the selection, assess students’ prior knowledge using
the following questions:
- If you were a population scientist studying caribou, what
kinds of information would you collect?
- How would you collect the data for a population study of caribou?
- What would you do with the data collected?
- Who would need this type of data?
- What is a trend?
students work in small groups to read “Population
Trends: Patterns and Predictions.” Have
students use the Journaling Questions to collect information
as they read and reread the text. Have the students create
a “scientific presentation” of the data collected
from the selection. As a whole class, discuss the article and
ask each group to present their findings as scientific researchers.
To help students set a purpose for reading the second article independently,
ask students to predict how a wildlife biologist who has worked in the
field for decades would answer the same questions.
- How would data from decades of research be useful to scientists?
- How do you think his experience affect his responses to the
students independently read “Population
Studies and Decline in Porcupine Caribou Herd.” Encourage
students to write responses and further questions as they read.
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 selection to compare students’ findings and responses
with Dr. Steven Arthur’s information. What information was the
same or similar? What information was different?
Ask students to share the responses and questions they noted in their
journals as they read through Dr. Steven Arthur’s information.
Ask students to share creative ideas for how the findings could be shared
with others in visual presentations. Web-0-Facts? Scientific Charts?
Cause and Effect Graphic Organizers? Place students back into the small
groups they were in for the first article. Have each group create a graphic
presentation of information they collected from their readings.
questions did the graph give you about population size?
- What was the largest and smallest herd sizes over the past
48 years (the range)?
- What was their mean?
- Do you see a pattern emerge? If so, can you describe it?
- Can you predict what the population might be in the next census?
- What factors could cause these changes in herd numbers? List
as many different factors as you can think of.
Making Connections: Stages of Development
Preparing for the Future: How do
you think a person prepares for a career in wildlife research?
What level of schooling do wildlife biologists need? What kinds
of classes help prepare them for the work they will be doing
on the field? What areas of expertise do you think they need?
Which subjects do you think are required courses of study at
the high school and college level? If an elementary student was
interested in this career, what could they do now to prepare
for the future?
(Examine Author’s Strategies):
- What strategies did the author use to help readers collect
- When you are writing an expository piece, what strategies will
you use to help readers?
Which reading strategies are most helpful to you as a reader?
- Text organization?
- Context clues and descriptive details for vocabulary and new
- Bold fonts and italicized phrases for key ideas?
- Visual presentations of data?
- Questions within the text that help you focus on the key information?
What decisions do authors make when they compose informational