Monday, October 30, 2017

Lesson Idea: Over and Under the Pond

In a few weeks, I will be celebrating ten years of reviewing at Devour Books. To keep the site fresh for me, I'll occasionally be sharing some lesson plan ideas that I have about books I've read. The first is about Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal's Over and Under the Pond.

Ecosystems are studied at many grade levels. I know we study them in the sixth grade, but I'm pretty sure the third and eighth graders learn about them, too. This book could be used at any of those grade levels. Messner and Neal explore the ecosystem of a pond through the eyes of a mother and son on a canoe trip, as well as many of the inhabitants of the area.

Students could use Over and Under the Pond as a mentor text and work in groups to create a similar text about a different ecosystem. This would involve researching the various animals in the food chain, as well as the land. In her author's note, Messner writes about pollution and loss of habitat threatening ecosystems. Students could be sure to incorporate in their text. To make it interdisciplinary, the illustrations for their book could be done in art class. Students should be sure to explain about the animals in their ecosystem in the back of their book, similar to how Messner did it. The final product could be shared with a younger grade that also studies ecosystems.

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