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Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot


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Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot



By: Sy Montgomery
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Copyright: 2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Summary:
The Kakapo is an endangered parrot species living on islands off the coast of New Zealand. Due to the dangers that humans introduced, this interesting bird had all but disappeared by the 1950s. Rare breeding habits and nutritional needs have challenged the efforts of scientists and volunteers. Through continued monitoring and keeping a careful watch over their fragile existence, the number of Kakapo has continued to increase.
BOOKTALK:
*Holding up book, covering up title* Can anybody guess what type of animal this is? (Take several guesses.) This is a bird and it's called a kakapo. It is a type of parrot, and here in the title it's called the "world's strangest parrot." The kakapo lives all the way on the other side of the world on a tiny island off the coast of New Zealand, which is a country near Australia. Even though the kakapo is a bird, it does not fly. The species has been around for many, many years, but now they are in trouble. Can you believe that at the time this book was written, there were only 87 kakapo left in the world?! Just 87! This book is the story of how people are working together to save the kakapo and help their population go back up. In this book, you will travel to the little island where they live -- Codfish Island -- you will meet some of the kakapo up close and personal, and you will meet the folks who are helping them to stay healthy and alive. It's a really wonderful thing they are trying to do. You will experience a tiny kakapo being born, and learn all about kakapo habits and personalities. I definitely recommend this book for a very unique look at a very unique bird!
AUTHOR’S BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:
Sy Montgomery: http://authorwire.com/s/s_bio.html

Other books written by the author:

http://authorwire.com/s/s_biblio.html


CHALLENGING WORDS (pronunciation, spelling, defining):
Parakeet p. 1

Perverse p. 1

Kakapo p. 1

Nest-minders p. 1

Forages p. 2

Downy p. 2

Topsy-turvy p. 3

Noblest p. 3

Incubators p. 3

Strigops p. 3 (Fast Facts)

Habroptilus p. 3 (Fast Facts)

Maori language p. 3

Sapling p. 5

Curator p. 5

Superlative p. 5

Koire rats p. 6

Stoats p. 6

Feral p. 8

Conservationists p. 9

Kauri trees p. 9

Invertebrates p. 9

Isolation p. 9

Moa p. 9

Fronds p. 9

Eons p. 9

Armadillos p. 9

Voles p. 11

Carnivorous p. 11

Oblivion p. 11

Felled p. 11

Amends p. 11

Indigenous p. 12

Quarantine p. 13

Logistics p. 13

Dodgy p. 13

Stoats p. 13

Trigene p. 13

Fungi p. 13

Gale-force p. 15

Hoppers p. 18

Supplemental p. 18

Snarks p. 18

Telemetry p. 18

Taj Mahal p. 19

Podocarps p. 21

Rimu p. 21

Tussocks p. 25

Petrels p. 26

Forage p 26

Tui p. 27

Infertile p. 30

Latrines p. 31

Treacherous p. 32

Hypothermia p. 32

Mutton p. 33

Quarry p. 35

Triangulation p. 40

Booming p. 43

Hopper p. 43

Persevere p. 46

Taxidermist p. 46

Tempestuous p. 46

Curator p. 46

Stoat p. 47

Punctured p. 49

Slog p. 51

Placid p. 51

Lunges p. 51

Fettle p. 52

Calluses p. 52

Ecstasy p. 52
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:


  1. Do all birds have the ability to fly? (No, the Kakapo, Moa, & Kiwi birds do not fly. The Moa/Kiwi don't even have wings. The Campbell Island Teal is also flightless.)

  2. Explain why the Kakapo almost became extinct.

  3. Explain some of the dangers the Kakapo eggs face? (cracking/mother leaving nest/cold rain)

  4. Why do you think the Kakapo bird Sirocco seem so comfortable around humans?

  5. Look at the photographs in Chap 5 (p. 29-37). Which one do you think describes the Kakapo best & why?

  6. How do you think the volunteers felt after the deaths of Lisa's chick & Bill? Do you think they did everything they could to save them? Explain why or why not?

  7. The choices we make & our actions can greatly affect other people, animals & nature. How did humans affect the Kakapo birds in the past & how are they affecting them now?

  8. On pg. 63 the author discusses Celsius & Fahrenheit. Calculate different degrees in Celsius & Fahrenheit.

  9. On pg. 52 Flossie is measured on kilograms. To convert to pounds multiply by 2.2.

10. Why do the scientists take such great care to avoid contact with the birds?

11. If you were a scientist studying this bird, what would you do to try and protect it? Why?



12. List 3 new things you learned about the Kakapo.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES:
Language Arts:
1.) Go to the Kakapo Recovery website (http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz/) and read the information there. Write about 3 "updates" that have happened since the book was written. Also, what new information have you learned from the website?

4.W.2, 5.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

6.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

4.L.1, 5.L.1, 6.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

4.L.2, 5.L.2, 6.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
2. Research another currently endangered animal. Include in your report whether or not there are any efforts being made to get this animal off the endangered list.

4.W.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

5.W.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

6.W.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

4.W.2, 5.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

6.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

4.L.1, 5.L.1, 6.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

4.L.2, 5.L.2, 6.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
3. Write a newspaper article in which you educate the general public about the kakapo plight and ask for donations.
4.W.2, 5.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

6.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas,concepts, and information through selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

4.L.1, 5.L.1, 6.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

4.L.2, 5.L.2, 6.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
4. Give a book talk to summarize the book
5.RL.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

5.SL.4 Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
5. Compare and contrast human interaction with the Kakapo in the past and now. (Venn Diagram, etc.)
5.RI.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
6. Discuss book within a small group or Guided Reading setting. Discuss how humans lead to the near extinction of this bird and how now humans are the main reason why they aren’t extinct.
5.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
7. After reading Kakapo Rescue students can choose one living creature to describe in an informational piece of writing.
5.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
8. After reading Kakapo Rescue students can choose one living creature to describe in an informational piece of writing.
5.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
9. Create questions about the Kakapo within this book. Allow students to use the book to find the answers.
5.RI.7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
5.RI.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Science:
1. Describe a Kakapo’s environment. Discuss how its environment has changed and who/what threatened the environment.
5.4.4 Explain that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some do not survive as well, and some cannot survive at all.
2. Describe/discuss how other species relied on the Kakapo, almost pushing this bird to extinction.

4.4.3 Observe and describe that organisms interact with one another in various ways, such as providing food, pollination, and seed dispersal.



3. While reading take notes on the Kakapo. Students may also draw the Kakapo bird and label its special characteristics

3.2.3 Keep a notebook that describes observations and is understandable weeks or months


3.2.6 Make sketches and write descriptions to aid in explaining procedures or ideas.

Lifeskills:
Caring, Responsibility, Problem Solving

RELATED INTERNET SITES:
Autor’s website: http://authorwire.com/index.html

Photographer’s website: http://nicbishop.com/

Kakapo Rescue Website: http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz/ (Great site, has kid section)




Revised 03/07/08


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