Stripes of All Types

November 22, 2013

stripes of all types

Stripes of All Types

by Susan Stockdale

Peachtree Publishers, 2013

ISBN #978-1-56145-695-6

Grades PreK-3

Nonfiction Picture Book

Visit STEM Friday

Exciting news! Anastasia Suen and I co-wrote a new book. It’s based on my blog and is packed full of lesson plans, STEM, mentor texts, and the Common Core.

coverimage - Copy (2)

Stripes of All Types follows animal life with stripes as part of their coloration in their native habitats. The book reveals simple information in a rollicking rhyme and bright art.  It takes the reader from the ocean to land to a familiar striped animal at home.


Define the word “camouflage” in nature as protective coloring that helps animals hide in plain sight. Then show these images and together locate the animal. You may have to point out where it is in some pictures. Discuss why animals need to use camouflage and the ways it helps them.

Pair the book with the nonfiction book Toco Toucan Bright Enough to Disappear by Anastasia Suen.  Compare the ways the toucan uses colors to the stripes in the Stripes of All Types book.


Next Generation Science Standards


ESS3.A: Natural Resources

§ Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do. (K-ESS3-1)

ESS2.E: Biogeology

§ Plants and animals can change their environment. (K-ESS2-2)


LS1.A: Structure and Function

§ All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air. Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow. (1-LS1-1)

LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms

§ Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive. (1-LS1-2)

LS1.D: Information Processing

§ Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive. Plants also respond to some external inputs. (1-LS1-1)

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

§ Young animals are very much, but not exactly like, their parents. Plants also are very much, but not exactly, like their parents. (1-LS3-1)

LS3.B: Variation of Traits

§ Individuals of the same kind of plant or animal are recognizable as similar but can also vary in many ways. (1-LS3-1)


LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

§ There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. (2-LS4-1)

For a Common Core experience, discuss the main idea of the book. Use each spread and talk about how that animal’s stripes are located and positioned. Ask the listeners why animals have stripes. Then show the spread with the striped images. Identify each picture in turn to review the animals’ names and where they live.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.3 With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.5 Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.6 Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Look up the CCSS to see the remaining Literacy.RI.1-2 standards.

Toco Toucans Bright Enough to Disappear

February 11, 2010

Toco Toucans Bright Enough to Disappear

By Anastasia Suen

Bearport Publishing, 2010

Disappearing Acts Series

ISBN #978-1-936087-45-7

Nonfiction picture book

Grades K-3

Look Again

“In the lush tropical rain forest, brightly colored fruit can be seen growing in trees. Look closely, however. One of the pieces of fruit isn’t really fruit. It’s bird called a toco toucan!”

Among the many species of the toucan, the toco toucan is the most recognized, with its cartoon-like beak and coloring. But it’s exactly that coloration that provides its camouflage in the rain forest, and that’s the purpose of this series of books—to show examples of animals that hide within plain sight. This colorful bird has adaptations that allow it to eat, sleep, reproduce, and hop around in trees successfully.

Bright, colorful pictures illustrate the short text sections. New words are bolded within the narrative passages and colorful captions accompany the pictures. The book has a table of contents, a picture glossary, and an index. Further reading and Bearport online sections complete the final page.

The clear, sharp writing makes this book perfect for the lower grades and leads the way to a discussion of adaptations and camouflage for science classes.

Activity 1

Create a chart that shows the different ways a toco toucan uses camouflage to keep safe.

Activity 2

With the children, make a list of the events in a toco toucan’s life cycle. Then have them use the list to write a paragraph explaining the life cycle.

See more activities at the author’s page.

Examples of other toucans 

Here’s a printable crossword puzzle.

Work the online puzzle.

Bearport Books has more books about unusual animals and camouflage.

Anastasia Suen, the author of over 100 books, has more information at her website.

National Science Standards: life cycles of organisms; organisms and their environment

Book provided by publisher

Arctic Foxes

January 13, 2010

Arctic Foxes

By Carri Stuhr

Lerner, 2009

ISBN #978-0-8225-9432-1


Grades 2-5

One of the animal books in the Early Bird Nature Books, Arctic Foxes provides extensive information about the fox and its family. From relationships to food hunting to coloration, the habits and life of the fox are explained in an easy-to-understand manner with the definitions of the more difficult words embedded in the text.

Colorful, interesting photographs appear on each page, illustrating specifics from the narrative text. The back matter includes a section for the adults, suggested reading and websites, a glossary, and an index.

Activity 1

Look up camouflage coloration. Find other animals with protective coloring. Make a chart listing the animals you found and where they live. Discuss how their color camouflages them where they live. Read about the octopus. How do they use protective coloration?

See examples and interact with them on this site.

Here are more examples of protective coloring. 

Activity 2

Construct a food chain for the Arctic fox.

Activity 3 (for older readers)

Look up mimicry. Find examples in nature of mimicry.

See additional information here.

National Science Standard: organisms and environments

See more about the book.

Book provided by publisher.


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