Elephant Artist
Reading to Learn
Terri Evers

Rationale: The key to this lesson is to be able to read an article and recall information from the article. This is using literacy to enhance intelligence in young minds. This article introduces new terms to students, and it is informative as well. Students will be able to recall information from the article in this lesson. This lesson will also include reading silently, playing a game by asking each other questions, and finding out answers individually.

Materials: Ranger Rick magazine, November 2001 issue, pencil, paper, chalk, board, worksheet with Venn Diagram.

1. Tell student to pull out their Ranger Rick magazine, and turn to page 23. Have the class read the article, “Talented Trunks” silently. Tell the students that elephants are artist and to read the article to see how. Also tell students to look up when they finish reading the article.

2.  After entire class finishes reading, discuss the article by drawing a semantic map on the board that presents the elephants mentioned, and the type of art and music they performed.

3. The teacher asks a question to a student that is from the article.  For example, “What kind of instruments did the elephants play?” Then after the student answers the question, they are to ask another student another question pertaining to the article.  Continue to do this until all students have a chance to answer/question another student.  The last student to be asked a question, in turns ask you, the teacher, a question, and you answer it.

4. Now, pass out a sheet, to the student, which has a Venn diagram on it.  On the sheet, have the title, “Things Elephants and Humans have in common.” Then, have two circles, one-labeled “Humans” and the other circle labeled “Elephants”, drawn on the sheet.  Have the students reflect back on the article, and using it, to figure out what humans and elephants have in common. But first, to explain to students, the teacher needs to model this by doing one on the board, to demonstrate to students how to complete this sheet.

5. As students are working on their Venn Diagrams, (the teacher) draw a large Venn diagram on the board and list each characteristic in each category. For example, list music in the “Same” section, teeth in the “Human” section, and tusk in the “Elephant” section and so forth with the remaining characteristics. Then, when all the children are through with their Venn Diagrams, tell them to put their sheets under their desks. Now, point to each characteristic written on the board, and ask the children if they agree/disagree with what you have written. Then ask students, individually, why they think what they do.

6. For Assessment, have each student take out a sheet of paper and a pencil, to write a short summary of what they learned from reading the article.

7. For follow-up, the article could be re-read at a later date and the children can answer comprehension questions.

Reference: Ranger Rick. National Wildlife Federation, “Elephant Artists?” page 22-27 November 2001.
       Reading Genie website: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie

Click here to return to Challenges.