Resources for PreK-8 Activity 8 – The Forest of S.T. Shrew

Through a read aloud, students will take a “shrew’s-eye-view” of life in the woods to gain an appreciation for the variety of living things that make forests their homes, and for the variety of habitats within forests.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

The Forest of S.T. Shrew (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

En el Bosque de S. T. Musarana (PDF)

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:

FAMILY ACTIVITY

Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • A City in the Forest

    How is a forest like a city? This 4-minute video, A City in a Forest from PBS Plum Landing, explores a child’s perspective of a forest and what they see living and growing on trees—from the top of the canopy, to their roots in the ground, to dead trees lying on the forest floor. Aligned to several Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards, use this video to teach your students about ecosystems and engage them in conversations about their own community and urban forests. This video is one of many resources offered by PBS Kids through Plum Landing, a multi-platform, indoor-outdoor, science exploration adventure for kids.

  • Forest Diorama

    Engage your students in developing their ELA skills and storytelling with this resource Creating a Forest Diorama from Debra Wagner, a 4th grade teacher and PLT School Coordinator at St. Paul Lutheran School in Florida. You’ll reach students who would never “picture” themselves in a forest or other habitat! Wagner was named a National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2010.

  • Agents of Discovery

    Agents of Discovery gets students moving with an augmented reality, geo-triggered app. Students play the role of a top-secret Agent to help solve mysteries of science, culture, technology, and nature. Download the app and mission with WiFi or data and then use the app offline outdoors. Agents of Discovery includes missions all across North America. Find one near you to learn why bumblebees buzz, beavers build dams, and more about the natural world.

  • Dirt with Sid the Science Kid

    Dirt on Dirt, an episode of Sid the Science Kid produced by PBS Kids, explores what makes dirt, dirt! In this episode, Sid and his friends learn about the different types of soil. Paired with a Dirt on Dirt Activity, students ages PreK-2 can follow Sid’s adventure and investigate the dirt and soil on their school grounds.

  • Photo Stuff With Ruff

    Based on the PBS animated digital series The Ruff Ruffman Show, this app helps students discover the “stuff ” their world is made of. The Photo Stuff with Ruff app can be used in the classroom as part of lessons exploring materials science. In this camera-based experience, students will learn about science by exploring their surroundings and taking pictures of different materials to complete silly scenes. Play it together and record and share your observations in fun, creative ways!

  • Disneynature Explore

    The free Disneynature Explore application for iPads and iPhones combines an augmented reality experience with animal behavior gameplay to encourage young students (grades preK-3) and their families to get outside and connect with nature. In the app, 3D images of animals appear in the camera’s viewer, providing students with “wild adventures” in their own backyard. For example, students can see their surroundings through a butterfly’s eyes, follow tracks with a bear to find its cub, and crack a nut like a chimpanzee.

  • NatureWorks Video Series

    Discover the natural world and the connections that make nature work in this 16-part video series for students in grades 3-6. Developed and produced by New Hampshire Public Television and the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, each episode is fifteen minutes long and helps students explore the ways living things interact with the environment. NatureWorks is designed to align with state and national science frameworks and standards and is a great way to introduce young people to the natural sciences.

    Each video consists of five distinct segments: an instructional section, which covers basic concepts like habitat, adaptation and biomes; an interactive Q&A segment that explores the show topics in greater detail; a close-up segment focusing on a particular animal or plant; an Outdoor Trek featuring student reports; and a review which sums up material presented in the program.

  • Mighty Mole and Super Soil – for Grades 1-3

    What creatures live in the ground and how do they help make the soil healthy? A book from Dawn Publications, Mighty Mole and Super Soil introduces children to an underground ecosystem that is largely invisible to humans but vital to the health of the planet. In this short story, children follow a mole as she digs tunnels, finds food, escapes predators, and raises a family, all the while aerating and enriching the soil around her. With Mighty Mole and Super Soil, students learn about the importance of soil and the often unseen ecosystems underground. To take student learning even further, try pairing the story with these activities from Dawn Publications based on the book.

  • Color the World!

    Coloringnature.org offers more than 500 realistically illustrated coloring pages that can be downloaded and printed for use in preK-8 classrooms. Choose from categories such as amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, insects, animal homes, biomes and habitats, and trees. Consider pairing the pages with PLT activities as diagrams, models, or assessment tools.

  • NACD’s Soil Education Resources

    NACD had created multiple online resources to help learn and teach about the complexity of soil, and what it means to all of us. Check out their Dig Deeper Poster for a quick reference or dig into their 2012 Soil to Spoon Program or 2014 Mysteries in the Soil Programs.  

  • Nature Pictures

    Use these colorful pictures to tell the story of Jackie and S.T. Shrew.  You can use them with the Story of S.T. Shrew skit or traditional narrative.

  • Web Soil Survey from the USDA

    This is a website that contains the web soil survey from the USDA.

  • The Forest of S.T. Shrew Skit

    This is the word document of The Forest of S.T. Shrew Skit

  • Tree Flip-Up Diagram

    This is an enlarged version of the same diagram from Activity 21: Adopt a Tree

  • Soil Explorers

    The Soil Explorers website, sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, is designed just for kids. Learn about the importance of soil, soil food webs, soil facts, and more. A brief assessment is even included to test soil knowledge.

  • Reading and Writing Exercises

    Florida PLT has expanded reading and writing exercises for elementary students and teachers using PLT’s The Forest of S.T. Shrew. This document contains additional and expanded exercises for reading and writing, specifically targeted to third and fourth graders.

  • Ordinary Extraordinary Junco

    Introduce yourself to one of North America’s most common groups of songbirds, the Juncos. Readily observed in backyards, city parks, and forests alike, these little gray birds—sometimes called “Snowbirds”—can be easily overlooked. But for scientists who study animal behavior, ecology, and evolutionary biology, the Junco is a rockstar. Use these video shorts from The Junco Project and a pair of binoculars to get outside and make some Junco friends!

  • Unlock the Secrets in the Soil

    Check out the collection of infographics from the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service! These infographics colorfully illustrate soil health: what soil is made of, what’s underneath, and what it does. 

  • SoilWeb

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Andriod devices. A more technical application, SoilWeb allows users to access GPS based, real-time USDA-NRCS soil survey data. Using your geographic location, this app retrieves soil type summaries, including soil series names and image profiles.

  • Arkive’s Wildlife Images

    At this award-winning website from Wildscreen USA, teachers can access more than 40,000 digital wildlife images and 6,000 wildlife films. Images can be searched either by species or geography or by type of image. In addition, the site’s education pages include resources for teaching animal classification along with educational games.

  • ARKive’s “Survival” App

    Use your mobile device to race against the clock in a battle for survival! Tap, drag, scroll, swipe and pinch your way through a series of quick-fire mini-games to reveal the identity of some of the world’s most endangered animals. Full of real-life photographs, this fun and educational application tests speed, agility, endurance and intelligence, essential skills needed to become a Top Survivor.

  • Encounters: Wild Explorer

    The public radio program Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North explores the natural history of Alaska and the Far North. An accompanying website offers K-12 teachers links to the episodes as well as resources, such as slideshows, videos, and sound clips, introducing the animals and habitats of the regions: beavers, bears, caribou, humpback whales, boreal forests, moose, and others.

  • Tree Product Images

    Print-out pages containing many examples of everyday products that come from trees! 

  • WildLab Bird

    A free app that can be downloaded onto any Apple device (try iBird Lite for Android). Use WildLab Bird to learn the basics of bird identification. This application uses audio, photographs, maps, and the process of elimination to help identify over 200 bird species. Sightings can also be entered into a national bird watching database for comparison. 

  • Fairy Tale

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple devices. This story production tool can be used to create a personal story and enhance it by adding your own drawings, audio, and animation. The illustrations can be moved, expanded, reduced, or rotated with touch, and you can record your own voice as narrator.

  • NACD’s Soil Education Resources

    Have a look at NACD’s soil resources: Soil to Spoon, Dig Deeper: Mysteries in the Soil, and Dig It: The Secrets of Soils. Existing tools feature a poster contest, student booklets, educator guides, and ideas for hands-on activities.

  • Epic! For Educators

    Are you looking for new literature connections to support your favorite PLT lessons? This growing Epic! online library offers thousands of picture books, chapter books, early readers, and even nonfiction books (think Common Core Connections!) that elementary teachers can access free of cost. Registered users receive unlimited access to books and customized recommendations for readers’ age levels and interests. Epic! is available for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.

  • Paper Plate Habitat

    Florida PLT has created a Paper Plate Habitat template to be used in conjunction with the exploration of microhabitats. This document contains a list of materials, instructions, and images necessary for students to create their own Paper Plate Habitats and begin exploring the life and interrelationships found within.