Reading and Writing Connections for the Lesson
The Story Behind a Stamp

Reading Writing Selection
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Reading Strategies:

  • Identify Main Idea and Details
  • Identify Author?s Purpose
  • Ask Questions and Make Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading
  • Connect to Prior Knowledge/Build Background Knowledge
  • (About Reading Strategies)

Commemorative, engravings, conservation, endangered, species




Prior to reading the selection, ask students to bring in stamps from letters their families have received. Have students work in small groups to look at and talk about the designs represented on the stamps. Invite students to sort the stamps into a variety of categories. (Building Background Knowledge)

Generate anticipatory questions about stamps. Ask students questions about how stamps are made: Who decides on the designs for stamps? How are they designed? How many different kinds of stamps are there? Where do stamps come from? How do stamps reveal information? What information do stamps reveal? (Building Background Knowledge)

Read aloud the title of the article. Show the commemorate stamp that features the whooping crane. Invite students to ask questions and make predictions based on the title and the details illustrated on the stamp. Encourage students to generate questions using a 5 W?s and H Chart: Who? Where? What? When? Why? How? Questions that may elicit students? responses: "What do you think the "story behind the whooping crane stamp" will be?" "Who do you think initiated the idea of a whooping crane stamp?" "Why do you think this stamp was created?" "How did the designer of the stamp decide which details to include on the stamp?" "When was the stamp created?" "Where do you think the stamp was available?" After students generate questions, encourage them to predict the possible answers. (Asking Questions/Making Predictions to Set Purpose for Reading)

Read "The Story Behind A Stamp." Invite students to "mark up the text" by circling unfamiliar words, highlighting key details, and writing notes in the margins.

Revisit the selection to collect main ideas and details. Invite students to create a Concept Map for the facts revealed in the article.

This article provides an introduction to Wildlife Conservation stamps. It does not reveal a significant number of details. What other details could the author have included in the article? With a group of students, list questions that could be answered in a longer, more detailed article. Have students generate a list of research questions for the topic, "Wildlife Conservation Commemorative Stamps."

Collect words and phrases that describe the reasons why the stamp was created.

Journaling Question
1. How can the postal stamp help whooping cranes?

Making Connections: Stamp of Approval
1. Why do we make commemorate stamps?
2. What do you think Bob Hines considered when he designed the stamp?

Evaluation (Examine Author' s Strategies)
1. What do you think of the lead sentence in this short article? Why do you think the author chose to start the paragraph with a statement of historic fact?

2. What was the author?s purpose in writing this article?

3. What words or phrases did the authors use to describe the stamp? Did the author provide enough details for readers to visualize the whooping crane stamp?

Writer's Workshop

  • Narrative
    Write a fictional story using the following story elements: Main Character: An Artist; Setting: Your Hometown; Problem: Wants to Help Save Whooping Cranes; Solution: Artist Uses His/Her Talents to Create Commemorative Stamps.
  • Expressive
    Write a commemorative poem for whooping cranes.
  • Descriptive
    Writers paint pictures with words. Sentences that make a picture are called Snapshot Sentences. Write snapshot sentences to describe the commemorative stamp which features the whooping crane.