About the Book
This book takes you deep into the Okefenokee Swamp to see the animals and plants that live there. Count along with the animals and their babies. Follow a mother river otter as she plays with her pup and see a mother alligator bask in the sun with her many little ones. The beautiful illustrations depicted in Deep in the Swamp will leave children eager to learn more about the Okenfenokee's lush flora and fauna and the many rich elements of this amazing ecosystem.
Set the Stage
Use some of the following discussion points to prepare the students for the story.
- Discuss the title and cover of the book.
- What kinds of animals do you think live in a swamp?
- What kinds of plants might grow in a swamp?
- Is it hot or cold in a swamp? Is it dry or wet?
- Have you ever been to a swamp? Would you like to live in a swamp?
After reading the book, discuss the following:
- What kind of animals did you learn about in the book? Were they the same ones that you discussed before reading?
- Explain the term fauna with the students. Then review the different animals in the book such as rat snake, snapping turtle, river otter, marsh rabbit, damselfly, flame bird, bull frog, crayfish, alligator, and blue heron.
- Explain the term flora. Review with students the different plants in the book such as cattails, cypress trees, bamboo vines, neverwet, and water lilies.
- Guide students to analyze fauna and flora by generating a chart or diagram that compares and contrasts the two concepts.
- Discuss the concept of a swamp and list unique characteristics of a swamp.
- Show students a map of the United States. Point out where they live and then point out where Okefenokee Swamp is located. About how far away is the swamp? What other swamps do they know about? Where are they located? What would these swamps have in common? What would be different?
- Discuss the terms ecosystem, community, and habitat. Have students draw an example of each term (i.e. students might draw a fish swimming in water or a squirrel in a tree).
- Discuss the concept of prairie. How is this swamp prairie different from a dry prairie out west?