Maggie the seal and Janey the orangutan have become accomplished artists.
Before reading, ask students for a show of hands. Do they agree or disagree with this statement?
Animals can be trained to do anything that humans can do.Invite students to share stories they know about animals that do very human-like things. They might share stories of animals that do truly helpful things, such as a dog that serves as the eyes of a blind person or a dolphin that has been trained to locate underwater explosives, or silly things, such as a cat that has been trained to swim underwater or a dog that can ride a skateboard.
Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: canvas, challenge, easel, orangutan, orphaned, and reward. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:
Read the News
Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Animal Artists Paint for Fun, Food.
More Facts to Share
You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.
You might follow-up that activity by asking some of these questions:
Think About the News
Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson; ask students to respond again to the statement Animals can be trained to do anything that humans can do. Did the article change their opinions in any way?
Dictionary skills. Ask students to identify the number of syllables in each of the words that appears below. The number of syllables for each word appears in parentheses. If you teach older students, you might provide them with 10 of the words and have them list the two guide words on the dictionary page where they find each word. If you want to turn the activity into a game, arrange students into teams, call out a word, and have all students look it up. Who finds the word first and correctly identifies the guide words on the page? Give that students team a point. Once a student has found a word and earned a point for his/her team, you might remove that student from the competition so others will have a chance to earn a point for their team.
reward (2), fish (1), artist (2), perfect (2), habitat (3), Pittsburgh (2), taught (1), stroke (1), challenge (2), paintbrush (2), easel (2), animal (3), smooth (2), canvas (2), create (2), orangutan (4), weave (1), earned (1), orphaned (2),
Geography. Janey the orangutan is a native of Borneo. Locate the island country of Borneo on a world map. Share information about the country, such as:
Creative thinking. On the David Letterman Show, a regular feature called "Stupid Pet Tricks spotlights people and their pets. The pets that appear on that segment have quite unusual talents. Among the pet tricks were a dog named "Muggsy" that would sneeze on command, and another dog that would answer the phone. In order to qualify to appear on the Letterman show, the trick must be "fun, unique, and safe. Animals must perform voluntarily and be treated humanely. All types of animals are welcome. Share those ground rules with students, then challenge them to come up with a trick they would like to teach a pet to do. Students might work on their own or in pairs to complete this activity in creativity. (To get students juices flowing, you might share a few short video clips of "stupid pet tricks. Type stupid pet tricks into the Google.com search window, then click Video/B> to locate video of stupid tricks on the Web. Be sure to fully screen any video you might share with students.)
Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.
Lesson Plan SourceEducation World
National StandardsNational Standards
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.
Article by Ellen Delisio and Gary Hopkins
Copyright © 2006 Education World