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Snake Savvy Program Resources

Recommended Reading

Image result for we can't all be rattlesnakesWe Can't All Be Rattlesnakes by Patrick Jennings
Grades: 4-6th
Lexile Level: 560L

Selected because
Chapter book told from the perspective of a captured wild snake, empathy for and between characters develops throughout the story. Needs of organisms woven throughout the story. Engaging and relatable, addresses issues that arise when capturing wild creature. One curse word.

Suggested activities:
Research the pros, cons, and legality of capturing wild animals to keep as pets. Include considerations about the animal’s life needs and its role in the ecosystem. Possible expert sources: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator, or contact a local vet or pet store.

Using Guide to the Snakes and Lizards of Virginia or the Virginia Herpetological Society’s website, learn about a snake of Virginia, turn it into a character, and write from its perspective. 

Additional literacy-based activities are available from Island Readers and Writers (opens PDF)

Image result for Verdi bookVerdi by Janell Cannon
Grades: Preschool-3rd
Lexile Level: AD620L

Selected because
Approachable, friendly story about a snake growing up. Addresses life changes, hints at shedding skin, and provides an opportunity to talk about camouflage and juvenile v/s adult coloration. 

Suggested activities:
Guided reading lesson from Achieve the Core with a companion text set and lesson suggestions for those alternative texts. 

Investigate, diagram, and compare the life cycles of snakes (and other reptiles), insects (and other arthropods/invertebrates), amphibians, mammals, fish, and birds. Discuss and/or write about growing up from the point of view of another animal.

Image result for i don't like snakesI (Don't) Like Snakes by Nicola Davies illustrations by Luciano Lozano
Grades: Kindergarten - 4th
Lexile Level: AD710L

Selected because
This non-fiction text addresses many misconceptions and assumptions about snakes in a lighthearted and informative way while demonstrating how knowledge can change perceptions. Excellent information about snake structure and function supports the development of the character. 

Suggested activities:
Discuss and use non-fiction text structures like the index and bibliography.

Create a table of assumptions and the corresponding facts (slimy v/s dry and scaly). Identify which are characteristics of snakes or reptiles in general and label adaptations.

Pair with Guide to the Snakes and Lizards of Virginia or the Virginia Herpetological Society’s website. Students select a snake and design a new page for I (Don’t) Like Snakes that describes their snake.