Read aloud How Many Baby Pandas? (Markle, 2009) to the second graders I described in the last post – when I read aloud STAY: The True Story of Ten Dogs. How Many Baby Pandas? was an easier text for the students – than STAY, but I still relied on that call and respond-like approach to keep them engaged during the read aloud. Each page has a question like “How many baby pandas are taking a nap?” in big red print with a number following. I would read the question, the students would respond as a group with the number and then I would read the running text on that page. Similar to the first lesson – I engaged the students in shared writing of a theme and then we explored evidence of the theme.
I suggest projecting the text with the document camera if you have one. The details of the photographs are amazing – a baby giant panda is about the size of a hot dog when it’s born! Just a caution, though – students want to remember these kinds of “cool” facts when they hear you read aloud the book and that’s okay. I would also remind the students that sometimes we read for cool facts, but for this lesson (or maybe a lesson after a “cool facts” lesson 🙂 ), we are thinking about the author’s central idea – that it takes a lot of care for a baby panda to survive, that it takes mother pandas and humans and even governments to make sure these little ones survive – and that we are looking for facts that support this central idea.