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Desert Drama

What's happening in deserts? Find out about plant and animal life in the world's arid regions. Write and design desert scenes that are filled with drama!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Areas having annual rainfalls of 10 inches (25 cm) or less are considered to be deserts. Students identify deserts on a world map. Which continents and islands are largely desert? Which have few desert areas? Why? Read a variety of books about deserts. Find out what animals and vegetation have adapted to survive in arid desert regions. Enjoy folklore about deserts and desert animals.
    2. Students write a report or dramatic story about the desert with Crayola® Colored Pencils on lined paper. Include details from books they read. Review sections to recall information. Revise and edit the writing. Write the final report or story, changing colors to emphasize details.
    3. Fold a large piece of construction paper in half. Attach the writing to one half of the paper with a Crayola Glue Stick. Design a desert scene on the other half. Use Crayola Washable Markers to draw large areas of sand and sky. Add objects such as cacti and the sun. Fill in large areas with marker color.
    4. Add details to the drawings with colored pencils. Include animals, people, and plants mentioned in the writing. Add rays to the sun, needles to a cactus, and shade in sand areas. Draw desert-theme borders around the writing.
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built world.

    SCI: Construct original explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde: A Close Look at the Anasazi by Caroline Arnold; Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro by Barbara Bash; The Desert Is Theirs by Byrd Baylor; Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley; I'm in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor

    Ask students to draw a classroom map of the world using Crayola Markers. Outline individual countries on the map. Students investigate the location of major deserts in the world and document their locations on the map. Information to include in the documentation could include formal name of the desert, size in acres, yearly temperature ranges, human and other animal inhabitants, etc.

    In small groups, students research specific animals of the desert such as bats, rabbits, snakes, birds, spiders, scorpions, beetles, etc. Students draw animals in their desert habitats. In their drawings, students should include pictures of food and water sources as well as other animals that prey on them.

    In small groups, students research specific plants indigenous to desert habitats. Students draw these plant species in desert scenes. In their drawings, students should include size ranges for identified plant species, scientific names of the plants, etc.\

    Students write an original folktale about the desert. Encourage students to explore ways to explain the mysteries of desert life. The group can present the folktale to classmates as a play or read it to younger students.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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