Journey North Home Page Journey North Home Page Journey North Maps Explore Caribou Resources Report Your Sightings! FAQ's About Caribou About "On Vacation" Species

Reading and Writing Connections for this selection:

Arctic Adaptations
These Feet are Made for Walking

Reading Strategies:
  • Activate Prior Knowledge
  • Ask Questions and Make Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading
  • Identify Main Ideas and Supporting Details
  • Make Inferences and Draw Conclusions
  • Identify and Make Generalizations
  • Compare and Contrast Ideas
  • Distinguish Facts from Opinions
  • Visualizing Images
  • (About Reading Strategies)

    hooves, concave, calves, tendons, castanets, metronomes, attic, adaptations, Porcupine Caribou, herd, cadence

Introduce the selection by reading aloud the title. Model how readers ask questions and make predictions based on details in the title and subtitle of an article. Invite students to use what they know about caribou and life in the Arctic (or other wintry places) to predict what information the author may reveal in the text. Have students complete the statement, "In order to live in subzero temperatures of the snow-blanketed Arctic, caribou need...." Record students responses on a class chart. (Activating Prior Knowledge, Asking Questions, and Making Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading)

Invite students to generate more questions and predictions by using the Clue Collector activity. Write the following clue words on the board or chart paper: snowshoes, castanets, scoops, paddles, shovels, click-clack, metronomes. Ask students to predict how these words will be used in the nonfiction article. (Activating Prior Knowledge, Asking Questions, and Making Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading)

Read "Arctic Adaptations: These Feet are Made for Walking" aloud with the class. Encourage students to "mark up the text" by circling unfamiliar words, underlining key words and phrases, and writing notes in the margins.

Revisit the selection to highlight similes and metaphors. What words and phrases does the author use to describe caribou feet? What objects are compared to caribou feet? (snowshoes, castanets, scoops, paddles, shovels, click-clack noisemakers, metronomes) Why does the author compare caribou hooves to each of these items? How are they similar? What facts about caribou feet are revealed with each of these comparisons?

Revisit the selection to identify generalization statements: "Caribou are generally silent animals. No one can say what age the clicking starts." Ask students to share their thoughts about each statement. Questions to facilitate the discussion: What examples does the author include to support these generalization statements? What evidence could the writer include in the article to provide more information about these generalizations? What questions could be raised to verify these statements?

Reread the lead sentence in the selection: "Although not elegant, the caribous feet are beautifully designed." Ask students to decide if the statement is a fact that can be proven or if it reveals the authors opinion. Have students to work in small groups to chart facts and opinions described in the selection.

Journaling Questions:
1.The caribous clicking sound can be heard when they move. What might some of the disadvantages of this be?
2.In what ways would it be helpful for the caribou to make the clicking sound?
3.The babies dont have the noise-making capabilities. List some ways this could be an advantage, or a disadvantage.

Making Connections: Human Adaptations:

How do you adapt to conditions in your environment? For example, what do people do to survive in severe weather conditions? Create a Venn diagram to compare caribou adaptations to human adaptations.
At what age do you think caribou begin to make clicking noises? Use facts about their feet and their phases of growth to help you develop your hypothesis.

(Readers examine authors strategies.)
How did the author help readers picture a caribous feet? What writing strategies did the author use to describe caribou hooves? How does the author engage readers' interest to persuade them to read the selection? Give examples from the text to support your ideas. Why do you think the author included the subtitle, "These Feet are Made for Walking?"

Writer’s Workshop
  • Narrative
    Write a fictional story in which a caribou character must use his hooves to solve a problem.
  • Expository
    Write a summary paragraph that describes the main ideas from the selection.
  • Expressive
    Write a list of ideas for how scientists can study caribou to unravel the mystery about the age at which these arctic animals begin to make their unique clicking sound.
  • Descriptive
    Writers paint pictures with words. Sentences that make a picture are called Snapshot Sentences. Write snapshot sentences to describe caribou hooves. Use the snapshot sentences to create a poem about caribou adaptations. Do Sketch-to-sketch to sketch out a visual image.
  • Creative/Persuasive
    Imagine a group of people living in the Arctic organizing against the caribou. Their complaint is that the caribou herds make too much noise. They are convincing others that caribou are contributing to noise pollution. Write a persuasive letter or speech to this group of complaining campaigners. Convince them to drop their dispute.