Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Annotated Bib - Marsupials

Children are fascinated by animals which seem to have characteristics of animals from very different groups. Although the appearance of a particular animal in a school textbook may leave a student interested, often the the lifestyles and behaviors of these strange animals are worth noting as well. Some marsupials have characteristics similar to birds and mammals. In addition, they have some characteristics which make them very different from other mammals in general.

These books would work best with first graders. Some of the science terms are more suited for middle-elementary grades, so teachers may need to read a few of these books to some children. All of the pages of the books are filled with pictures, so even if students can't read all the words, they will be fascinated with the concepts and understand the SOL.


Finding Home By Sandra Markle. Illus. by Alan Marks. 2008. 29p. Charlesbridge, (9781580891226). Gr. 1-2.
This book tells the story of how a koala and her cub must find a home for themselves amidst a suburban community in Australia. It introduces children to real-life problems that koalas must face, such as human invasion of their habitat. It includes vocabulary specific to the habitat of koalas. This book should be read by the first grade teacher because each page contains a lot of words, including some big and unusual words. Advanced first graders would be able to read it, though.

A Koala is not a Bear By Hannelore Sotzek & Bobbie Kalman. (1997). 28p. Crabtree, ( 0865057397). Gr. 1-2.
This book can be thought of as more of a science resource for kids and teacher because it lists facts and traits of marsupials. It is appropriate for young kids because of the pictures and the explanations of the physical characteristics that make koalas different from bears. It also talks about the threats of endangerment to marsupials.

About Marsupials: A Guide for Children By Cathryn Sill. Illus. by John Sill. (2006). 40p. Peachtree. (6528853587). Gr 1.
This is a great book for first graders because every other page contains a big illustration of a different type of marsupial, and many of them I had never seen before. The book talks about one characteristic of marsupials(or of certain marsupials) per page. At the end, there is an index which repeats the illustrations of different species then provides a short description about the species. There is a glossary of science terms and resources children may be interested in.

Marsupials By Nic Bishop. (2009). 47p. Scholastic. (0000112745120). Gr. 1-2.
This book features a photograph of a different species of marsupial on every other page. With each photograph, there is a detailed description of the animal's behavior and habitat. A teacher should read this book aloud to a first grade class because each page contains many words and a few big words.

A Platypus, Probably
By Sneed B. Collard III. Illus. by Andrew Plant. (2005) 29p. Charlesbridge, (1570915830). Gr. 1.
This book provides detailed information about the behavior and habitat of the platypus, which could be one of the more fascinating marsupials to children. There are illustrations accompanying the information on each page. The book contains a few difficult words but each page does not contain a lot of words in general. This book would be easy enough so that some if not all first graders could read it with the assistance of an adult.

This website is a good resource for teachers if they would like more information about and pictures of wombats. There is detailed information about the behavior, habitat, and news relating to wombats. There is a picture and description of "the world's oldest wombat."

Australian Animals
This is an Australian website which contains separate pages for each species of animal unique to to the continent of Australia. Teachers could use this website in class because each page contains several pictures of each species of animal as well as a description and list of threats to the survival of each. Children who become interested in Australia would enjoy this website because it lists many interesting species of animal.

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Website
This website provides information about marsupial species and provides ideas for further science exploration for both teachers and kids. Links are suggested for lesson planning for teachers and there is a list of websites designed for children which teachers can use.

NatureWorks: Information about the Opossum
Teachers can bring this website up during class to give children more information about the only North American marsupial: the opossum. There are pictures as well as a detailed description.

San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo website allows teachers to obtain detailed information about marsupial species currently being kept at the zoo. Children would be interested in news stories about rehabilitation of animals as well as pictures of animals at the zoo.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning 1.5 The student will investigate and understand that animals, including humans, have basic needs and certain distinguishing characteristics. Key concepts include:
(c) animals can be classified according to a variety of characteristics.

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework

  • Animals, including people, have basic life needs, including air, food, water, shelter, and space (habitat). Students do not need to know the term habitat. The focus should be on the items that are necessary components of a habitat, not on the terminology.
  • Body coverings include hair, fur, feathers, scales, and shells.
  • Appendages are parts, such as arms, legs, wings, fins, and tails, which extend from the main body and have specific functions. Students do not need to know the term appendage. The focus should be on the concept, not the terminology.
  • Methods of movement may include walking, crawling, flying, and swimming.
  • Simple ways to classify animals are whether they are wild or domestic and whether they live on land or in water.

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