LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARD INFORMATION BOOK CATEGORY
Information Book Title: Amazing Animal Journeys
Author: Chris Packham
Illustrator: Jason Cockcroft
Publishers: Egmont (Red Shed)
Did you know that Leatherback turtles migrate all over the world’s oceans but always return to the same beaches to breed? We live in an incredibly beautiful world amongst some truly amazing animals. This beautiful picture book shares the migratory journeys of those animals.
Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects all move around the planet to keep warm or to find a mate, a place to breed or have their young. Read about how blue whales migrate to warmer tropical waters to give birth to their young; how red crabs need ‘crab wardens’ to help them cross the road on Easter Island, and how millions of bats migrate to find their dinner. The book ends on a sombre note, reminding us of the responsibility we all have to look after our beautiful world and the effect climate change is having on migrating animals all over the world.
The simple themes, language and illustrations of this book make it accessible to a young audience, perfect as a nonfiction bedtime story or for use in the classroom. The ‘Discover More’ section at the end of the book is a fantastic way to investigate each of the animals discussed in the book in more detail. Chris Packham’s passionate concern for conservation and Jason Cockcroft’s artwork add additional gravitas to the message of this fabulous non fiction book. Readers will enjoy the fictional quality of this book, whilst being educated about the important message the text conveys.
The recent research findings from Newcastle University on behalf of Springwatch, a programme presented by Chris Packham, regarding the incredible migration of the Arctic Turn make this book a fascinating and very current topical read.
Teaching Ideas For Reading
Look at the descriptive language within the book. Make lists of synonyms for words such as ‘Big’, ‘Cold’, ‘Small’ etc.
Discuss the meanings of some of the more unusual words within the text- migration, breed, tropical etc and create a glossary for the book.
Teaching Ideas For Writing
Choose a migratory journey. Research the journey and write a chronological report with details of the journey.
Think about the journey from the perspective of the animals. Write a narrative about what it would be like to take such a long journey and the feelings the animal might have as they travel to their longed for destination.
Research and write a persuasive poster, leaflet or letter asking people about animal or environmental conservation.
Choose an animal from the book and write a poems about them and the environment in which they live in. Include a message about caring for the environment.
Cross Curricular Teaching Ideas
Recreate the map of animal migrations found at the front of the book.
Sequence the journey of the sea turtles and write about their incredible journey.
Label a diagram of one of the animals within the book using technical scientific language, such as the diagrams about the Jellyfish and Butterflies within the book.
Look at the findings of the Arctic Tern research from Newcastle University, which can be found here, map the journey, think about the distance and the qualities of such an incredibly resilient little bird.