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Snip-Snap-Crack Crocodile

Make an animated version of a realistic crocodile---with a mouth that snips and snaps and a tail that cracks.

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

    1. Share with students in a read aloud setting one or more of Bernard Waber’s stories about Lyle, the crocodile. Challenge students to find out more about these amazing animals. Provide the class with resources focused on crocodiles and alligators. Have children develop a set of focus questions prior to beginning their research. Encourage the study of the shape of their bodies, mouths, and eyes, as well as the textured skin patterns. At the close of their research time students should be able to respond to the question, "How is a crocodile different from an alligator?" knowledgably.
    2. Challenge students to draw a crocodile on oaktag or a recycled file folder with Crayola Washable Colored Pencils. Make a separate body with lower jaw, an upper jaw, and a tail.
    3. Students color their crocodiles with the colored pencils. Refer to pictures from research to create realistic colors and textures. Encourage students to try using one color over another to vary the hues of greens and blues.
    4. With a Crayola Fine Line Marker, students add details such as the eyes, nose, and scales.
    5. Attach the tail to the body by overlapping the two pieces. Poke a brass paper fastener through them. Bend the prongs. You should be able to swivel the tail up and down. Do the same with the upper jaw.
    6. Now the crocodile is ready to tell a story! Students can pretend he is Lyle or one of his friends. Let the story unfold! Students may want to present their writing to small groups of classmates animating their crocodiles during the presentations.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) 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 with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.

    SCI: Use data about the characteristics of organisms and habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can survive. The

    VA: Use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: But I Am an Alligator by Lauren Child; Incredible Alligators & Crocodiles: Fun Animal Books For Kids With Facts & Incredible Photos by Mark Smith; Alex Alligator and His Fearsome Jaws by Paul Fleming; I'd Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio; Crocodiles! Learn About Crocodiles And Learn To Read - The Learning Club! by Leah Lidos

    Encourage students to use the movable parts technique from this lesson plan to create other animal characters. Students can work in small groups to create an original story that incorporates their animal characters. Students should be prepared to present their original stories to classmates.

    Students work in small groups to investigate the similarities and differences between alligators and crocodiles. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Students use recycled materials to create a diorama the illustrates a healthy habitat for an alligator and one for a crocodile. Display these side-by-side in the classroom.


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