Around One Log

Years after a great oak tree tumbled to the ground, a whole community of animals made it their home. Roly-polies and daddy longlegs prowled here and there, while chipmunks and salamanders dashed everywhere. Is the old tree alive? Or is it now dead?

Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders introduces readers to the wonderful world of small creatures that inhabit the niche of a rotting log. In this activity, children describe a day in the life of one of the creatures.

Suggested Grade level: K-4



  1. Read aloud Around One Log and invite each student to select one of the creatures.
  2. Have them review  the “Field Notes” for that animal in the back of the book, and use the resources to learn more fascinating facts about their chosen animal.
  3. Invite each student to create a diary of events that occurred during one day (or night) as told from the perspective of that animal.
  4. Following are some prompts, which may help students focus their diary entries. When complete, have students share their writing with a partner.
  • What does your animal eat and how does it find its food?
  • How large is your animals family? Do they live together or alone?
  • What is the most fascinating fact about your chosen animal? How does this help them to survive?

Comparing two similar stories meets a Common Core standard. Around One Cactus: Owls, Bats and Leaping Rats, about the nocturnal creatures that live around a saguaro cactus, is a similar to Around One Log.  Have students find the similarities and differences between these two stories. They may also write a diary entry for one of the desert creatures.

Common Core Standards (ELA K-4)

  • ELA Writing: Research to Build and Support Knowledge K.7, 1.7, 2.7 3.7, 4.7
  • ELA Reading and Literature: Key Ideas and Details (K.3, 1.3, 2.1, 3.1); Integration and Knowledge of Ideas (K.9, 1.9, 2.9, 3.9, 4.9)

Next Generation Science Standards (K-3)

  • LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.
subscribe     Blog by Carol Malnor I love making connections: kids and nature, science and reading, fun and learning. I discovered the joy of connecting Dawn Publications' books with kids when I was a classroom teacher. Dawn's books were easy to incorporate into my lessons and the kids loved them. I used picture books with students of all ages, from primary school all the way up through 9th grade. Over the years, my relationship with Dawn changed and developed, and I authored Dawn’s Teacher’s Guides as well as writing books for children 4-14 years old. ARTICLE How to Use Creative Nonfiction Picture Books in Support of Common Core and Science ACTIVITIES Dawn Publications STANDARDS Common Core State Standards Next Generation Science Standards National Science Teachers Association Picture Perfect Science   OTHER FAVORITES Dawn Publications Children and Nature Network
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