• To introduce the selection, activate students’ prior
knowledge using the following questions: “What kind of feet
do eagles have?” “How do eagles use their feet?”
“Why are eagles’ feet called talons rather than claws?”
(Use photographs and illustrations of eagles for visual aids.)
• Read aloud the title of the selection, Eagle
Talons: Get a Grip! Invite students to generate more
questions they predict will be addressed in the article. Organize
ideas in a “5 W’s and an H” Chart using the following
words to sort the questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
• Use the Clue Collector
strategy to focus students’ attention on the upcoming reading
selection: Write the following verbs on a handout: catches, slice,
use, carries, holds, grab, bite, rotate, thrash, and jerk. Ask students
to predict how an author writing an article about eagle talons will
use these words. Encourage students to pair or group clues together.
Ask them to share how the clue words could be connected or related.
Invite students to write statements that use the clues. Assist students
through demonstrations and think alouds to understand the process
of looking for relationships.
• Read “Eagle
Talons: Get a Grip!” and other nonfiction selections that
describe how an eagle uses its talons to capture its prey.
• Revisit the selection by reviewing the questions discussed
prior to reading. Invite students to summarize details from the
article that answer each question.
• Encourage students to write hypotheses for questions that
were not answered in the selection.
• Have students work with a partner to create a Web-0-Facts
using details from the selection. Encourage students’ creative
thinking for ways to graphically represent the facts revealed in
• Revisit the selection to confirm and revise predictions
generated prior to reading. Highlight the verbs from the Clue Collector.
Ask: “How did the author use each of these verbs to reveal
facts about eagle talons?” “What synonyms could be used
in place of these verbs?”
Journaling Question: Can you think of some reasons
why eagles always carry items in their talons rather than their
Making Connections: Survival Attributes
The eagle’s talons are designed for survival. What attributes
help the eagle meet its survival needs? What special attributes
do humans have that help us meet our needs?
Evaluate: (Readers examine author’s strategies.)
1. Collect poems, stories, and nonfiction articles about eagles.
How do authors describe these majestic birds?
2. How did the author help you focus on the main ideas and details
described in this selection? (Questions focused the reader’s
attention on the main ideas described in the article.)
3. Have students underline or highlight the questions written within
4. Authors help readers learn new facts by making comparisons. Identify
parts of the selection that try to help readers connect facts by