Discover More: See Me Grow Teaching Guide
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
What animal babies hatch out of eggs? What animal babies grow inside their mother’s tummies? How do animals grow and change after they’re born? See Me Grow answers these questions and many more for inquiring young readers.
The book’s simple text and detailed photographs present all kinds of animals growing up from baby to adult. Every animal group is covered—both mammals and egg-layers. Readers learn about recognizable animals, such as puppies and horses, as well as more unusual animals, like baby alligators and baby bees. Unconventional life cycles such as tadpole to frog and caterpillar to butterfly are also featured.
The book’s bright photographs and different levels of text make it accessible to beginning readers of different ages and skills and will prompt curious questions about the world of animal babies and life cycles.
Teaching the Book
See Me Grow is a bright and engaging first information book about life cycles, specially designed for students learning to read. The book is packed with fascinating facts and photos that provide an opportunity to teach students how to connect the steps in a baby animal’s growth. Activities engage students in graphing baby animal births, comparing a video with text, and writing about their favorite animal in the book.
Theme Focus: Animal Growth
Comprehension Focus: Connecting Information
Language Focus: Science Concept Words
Get Ready to Read
Which is Which?
Engage students’ interest and build background knowledge by asking them the following quiz questions. Write each question on the whiteboard or chart paper, and include the answer choices. After discussing the answer with students, circle the correct choice.
- Which is a bird? Which is a robin or a butterfly?
- Which is an insect? Which is a frog or a bee?
- Which is a fish? Which is a whale or a shark?
- Which lays eggs? Which is a human or an alligator?
- Which lives in its mother’s pouch? Which is a kangaroo or a horse?
Ask students which of these animals hatch from eggs (robin, butterfly, frog, bee, shark, alligator). Ask them which animals grow inside their mother’s tummies and are born live (whale, human, kangaroo, horse).
Preview and Predict
Show students the cover of See Me Grow. Ask them to read the title and to name the animals on the cover. Then spend time with students on page 2, going over the explanation of how the book works. Point out the different types of text and photographs in the book and the kinds of information they provide.
Science Concept Words
Introduce students to the words below that describe important animal groups. Project pages 4–5 of See Me Grow for them to see examples of each kind of animal. Then project the glossary on pages 30–31 that defines the words.
Distribute copies of Resource #1: Vocabulary Cards and ask students to watch for the words as they read and write down examples of each.
Words to Know
Share with students the vocabulary words from Resource #1 and explain that each one is a category word to help us classify animals. Create a concept web with your students by asking a volunteer to write one of the vocabulary words on the whiteboard or chart paper and then circle it. Read aloud the definition of the word from the glossary on pages 30–31. Then ask students to name animals from the book that fit into that category. Ask students to write down correct answers around the word; for example, insects: bees, butterflies, ant, ladybug. Continue creating concept webs for all the vocabulary words.
As You Read
Reading the Book
Read the book aloud with students following along with their eyes on the text. If possible, project the book onto a whiteboard or screen. Direct students’ attention to the photographs or illustrations. Help them make connections between the text and the pictures that relate to it.
Reread the book, taking more time to focus on photo captions, picture sequences, and other illustrations. Ask students to read their copies of the book silently with you; or, if they are able, encourage them to read the text aloud with you.
Big Question: Critical Thinking
Ask students to think about this question as they read and to be ready to answer it when they have finished the book. Write the question on chart paper or have students write it in their reading journals. How are animal babies alike and different from one another?
Remind students that the book is organized into two-page spreads about different kinds of baby animals. On each spread there is a step-by-step description of how the baby animal grows. Each step is important and connected to the one before or after it. Tell students that you are going to take a closer look at the connections between this information.
Begin by projecting pages 10–11, “A Frog’s Life,” on a whiteboard or screen. Read the text on both pages aloud. Then model how to connect the key details on the pages, pointing to the steps of the frog life cycle.
Model: On page 11, there are arrows and circles that show how baby frogs grow up. I’ll start with the photo of the frog eggs in the water. What happens next? The eggs hatch into tadpoles in the water. I can see the tadpoles in the picture—they have little tails and look like funny fish. What happens next? The tadpoles grow legs and lose their tails. In the bottom picture, I can see that they don’t look so much like fish anymore. What’s next? The tadpoles turn into frogs that can live both on land and in water. That’s amazing!
Use Resource #2: Connecting Information to help students practice connecting key details in the text. Pass out copies of the page and guide students to reread pages 18–19, “Bee grubs,” and fill in the organizer.
After You Read
Questions to Discuss
Lead students in a discussion of these focus story elements.
1. Animal Growth
Compare how a baby horse, or foal, is different from a human baby. How long does it take a foal to walk? How long does it take a human baby? (Sample answers: A foal can walk minutes after it is born; a human baby doesn’t walk for about a year.)
2. Connecting Information
Describe the steps that a butterfly baby goes through to become an adult. What hatches out of the egg? What does the caterpillar cover itself with? What comes out of the caterpillar’s cocoon? (Sample answers: A caterpillar hatches out of the egg. It covers itself with a cocoon. A butterfly comes out of the cocoon.)
3. Science Concept Words
What kind of birds do you see in your neighborhood? Where do they build their nests and raise their young? (Answers will vary.)
Questions to Share
Encourage students to share their responses with a partner or small group.
What is the most amazing or surprising fact that you learned about how animal babies grow and change?
When have you seen an animal baby grow? Was it a human baby? Was it a pet? How did the baby change as it grew?
What other books have you read about animal babies? Were they information books like this one? Or were they make-believe stories? Which kinds of books do you like best?
Content Area Connections
Ranking Number of Babies
Ask students to make a graph showing the number of babies that various animals have at one time. Show them how to make a graph with the animal names on the vertical axis and the number of babies on the horizontal axis. In addition to the information in the book, show students websites that list mammals by number of babies per birth, such as the Classora website.
Tadpole to Frog
Show students the short video of the life cycle of a frog from the National Geographic website. Ask students what the video shows about how an egg turns into a tadpole and then turns into a frog. How was the video different from the pictures in the book?
On a map or on Google Earth, show students the continent of Australia. Explain that many animals live on Australia and nowhere else. The red kangaroo and koala bear are two of them. Show students a film of kangaroos in their natural habitat such as this one from Britannica Kids on You Tube.
The book features a bulldog and its puppies to show how baby dogs grow. On pages 30–31, the photo shows a line-up of other puppies. Challenge students to identify each kind of puppy in the row. They may recognize the dogs or they can do Internet research to find pictures and names for the puppies. Encourage students to find images of other puppies, especially for dogs that are their pets.
My Favorite Animal Baby
Ask students to choose the baby animal in the book that they think is the cutest or most interesting. Then help them write a short opinion piece about why that animal is their favorite. Provide students with the following story frame to name their favorite animal, give reasons why it is their favorite, and write a concluding sentence.
My favorite baby animal in the book is __________.
One reason it is my favorite is _________________.
Another reason is ___________________________.
I wish I could see a real baby__________________
_____________________________ where it lives.
Don't Forget the Big Question
Give each student an opportunity to answer the big question. Encourage students to support their answers with details and evidence from the text. Tell students there is more than one right answer. How are animal babies alike and different from one another?
See Me Grow
Make copies of the printable Big Activity: See Me Grow and distribute to students. Explain that the page lists growth milestones for human babies. Have them take the printable home to fill out with their parents or caregivers. Students will learn more about themselves and also about how human babies grow and change.
To assess and enhance students’ comprehension, this Storia e-book contains a Reading Challenge Quiz, as well as the following enrichments:
- Picture Starter
- Video (3)
- Touch the Page
- Scratch & See
- Jigsaw Puzzle
- Memory Match
- Multiple Choice With Pictures
About the Author
Penny Arlon is an author who writes children’s non-fiction, taking inspiration from her own children. Her books range from pre-school to family reference, and include the Art Attack books, based on the award-winning CITV children’s television program, and all 14 titles in Dorling Kindersley’s Eye Know series. She has also written other books in the Scholastic Discover More series including Bugs, Penguins, Planets, and Dinosaurs.
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