Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Log's Life

A Log’s Life
by Wendy Pfeffer
Illustrated by Robin Brickman

About this book:
One strong wind rages through the forest, causing an old oak tree to bend and sway. Lightening strikes; the tree crashes to the ground. Now it’s a giant log. In this fascinating book, author Wendy Pfeffer and illustrator Robin Brickman collaborate to introduce readers to the life cycle of a tree. The informative, lyrical text is complemented by stunning, three-dimensional paper sculptures that showcase the forest ecosystem, inspiring readers to take a closer look at the trees-and logs-in their own backyard.

Pre-reading questions:
Write down everything you know about trees. Think about how they grow, what they need to live, and what animals rely on them.

Discussion Questions:
  1. What types of animals live in the oak? Why?
  2. Describe how the tree falls.
  3. Compare what lives in the tree before it falls to what lives in it after. Do any animals and insects stay?
  4. How does the log change over time?
  5. Critters don’t just live in the log but under it and near it. Why? What does it offer?
  6. Why do millipedes like the log? Would you like a house you could eat?
  7. After a long time what does the log become on the forest floor? Why is it considered “rich?”
  8. How are the earthworms like garden tools? What important tasks do they have?
  9. This story could be considered circular. Why? What other things in nature move in a circle?
  10. Which illustration is your favorite? Why? Read the illustrator’s note. Does it change which illustration is your favorite?


Language Arts:
The following are terrific words from the book A Log’s Life. Have children draw pictures that help them remember what the words mean. Sort the words by noun, verb or adjective. Play a challenge game like a spelling bee but where children must use the word correctly in a sentence.
Wonderful words: colony, spears, devour, burrow, seep, sprout, gust, sizzle, topple, tremble, scramble, blustery, tangled, crevice, fungi, collapse, lush, mound

Try your hand at cut paper collage inspired by the gorgeous illustrations of Robin Brickman. Children can paint their own paper first and then cut it out. Start with a single leaf and get more complex.

Sing this song based on the book to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down” Can you create more verses based on the book?

Giant Oak is falling down
falling down, falling down
Gaint Oak is falling down
in the forest

Create a diagram that shows the life cycle of the tree described in the book. Add illustrations if you like.

Social Studies:
Create a list of products that are made from wood. Research one of those products and discover the process that happens to take it from tree to market. Create a poster to share about what you learned.