Reading and Writing Connections
for this selection:
- Ask Questions
and Make Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading
for Text Details
Main Ideas and Supporting Details
- Make Text-to-Self
Author?s Craft: Using Powerful Verbs to Create Pictures for Readers
home territory, mating, acre, feeding grounds, neighboring squabbles,
incubating, nestlings, veered off, charged, disputes, territorial
boundaries, water rights
the selection by inviting students to make predictions based on the
following clue words: territory, boundaries, neighboring, disputes,
and acre. Encourage students to use their prior knowledge
about each of the words by asking the following questions: What
do you know about each of these words? How do you think these words
will be used in a reading selection about American robins? What are
possible connections that can be made? (Activating
Prior Knowledge, Making Predictions to Set a Purpose for Reading,
Building Vocabulary Skills)
Read aloud two of the lead sentences from the selection: "Somewhere
out there, a robin "calls" your backyard its home territory.
A robin's territory — the place where mating and nesting occurs
— is usually less than half an acre." Invite students
to think about the topic: American Robins: Territory Study. Post the
following words: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
In small groups, have students write questions about the topic
under each category. For example: Who else lives in a robin?s
home territory? What do robins look for when they select a territory?
How big is half an acre? (Asking Questions to Set a Purpose
Robins: Territory Study." 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 confirm and/or refine predictions made prior
to reading the selection. Ask questions to facilitate students? work:
How were the clue words used in the reading selection? What
information from the text confirms predictions we made before reading
the article? How did making predictions help you read and understand
the text? Encourage students to practice these strategies,
such as reading lead sentences, making predictions, and asking questions
when they read independently. (Confirming/Refining Predictions)
Revisit the text to answer questions listed prior to reading. Ask
questions to facilitate students? work: What facts did the article
reveal about American robins and their territory? Which questions
were answered by details in the text? Which questions are left unanswered?
Invite students to research questions not answered in this
article. (Rereading for Text Details)
Have students reread the selection with a partner. Invite them to
circle the following verbs in the text: mate, nest, share, feed,
chase, incubate, hatch, search, explore, charge, fly, veer, and owned.
Have students summarize (orally or in writing) key ideas from the
text using each of the verbs. (Building Vocabulary through Word Study,
Summarizing Key Ideas in the Text)
1. The reading selection described how a Minnesota woman learned about
robins by observing their behavior. What are some questions you have
about birds and other wildlife that lives in your neighborhood? What
questions would you like to research by observing wildlife from your
2. How can we make our neighborhood/backyard an ideal place for robins?
3. How would a robin describe your backyard (or neighborhood)? Is
your neighborhood "robin-ready"? Why or why not? Related
Link: Unpave the Way for Robins
Making Connections: Home Sweet Home
1. Invite students to make connections by talking about ways they
"share territory" at home. Do they share a bedroom with
siblings? What strategies do they use to avoid squabbles and disputes
when asked to share spaces and resources? (Making Text-to-Self Connections)
2. Take a nature walk. Watch birds and other wildlife. Carry a notebook
to write notes about what you see and hear. Make quick sketches to
capture events you witness. (Making Text-to-Self Connections)
Evaluation (Readers Examine Author' s Strategies)
1. Authors use specific words to help readers create pictures in their
minds. What verbs did the author use to help you visualize the behavior
of robins? (Analyzing Author?s Craft)
2. Why do you think the author wrote this article? To entertain? To
inform? To describe? To inspire? To persuade? Or a combination of
these purposes? (Identifying Author?s Purpose)
this article as a personal narrative by the Minnesota woman in
which she describes the events she witnessed in her backyard.
"From my kitchen window I witnessed the wonders of robins?"
Make your own observations of birds/wildlife. Write a personal
narrative that describes the wonders of nature you witnessed.
paint pictures with words. Sentences that make pictures are called
Snapshot Sentences. Write snapshot sentences to describe the behavior
of robins. Use information from this text and other sources to
collect details for your sentences. Use the snapshot sentences
to create a poem about robins.
article revealed information about which backyards provide an
environment that meet a robin?s needs. Collect more information
about this topic from other resources. Create a brochure, pamphlet,
or letter for your neighborhood to inform your community about
ways they can help robins and other wildlife. Related Link: Unpave
the Way for Robins
authors express their thoughts and feelings through poetry. Visit
your local library or bookstore to read poems authors wrote to
express their thoughts about the wonders of wildlife. After observing
nature around your home, express your thoughts in poems.