Over on a Mountain

You can easily integrate science into different subject areas using cross-curricular activities. The following lesson connects language arts and life science, with some geography added through illustrations.

Animal Actions

Over on a Mountain, Somewhere in the World introduces children to various mountain animals and the continent where they live. In this activity, students match mountain animals with their behaviors.

[This lesson is also available as pdf download.]

Suggested Grade Level: K-3

Materials Needed


  1. Give a bookmark to each student. Read aloud Over on a Mountain, Somewhere in the World, ending after you read the page about the penguin.
  2. Ask children, “What actions to do remember the animals doing?” Tell them they can use their bookmarks as clues. Listen to responses, but don’t comment on accuracy.
  3. Tell students you’re going to reread the part of each verse that describes the animal actions. These actions describe their behavior. Invite them to listen carefully to the words that describe what the animal is doing. When they hear the behavior of “their” animal, they should hold up their bookmark. (Action words/verbs: roll, eat, climb, sleep, forage, leap, soar, pounce, huddle, and waddle.)
  4. Then reread the book from the beginning, but this time only read the second verses and don’t show the illustrations. For example, on the first page you would read, “Roll said the mother. I roll, said the one. So they rolled in the dirt, grazing in the morning sun.”
  5. Ask students why the animals behaved as they did. Find out by reading the additional information about each animal in the back pages of the book.

Optional extension activities

  • Younger children can sing the song “Over in a Mountain” to the tune of “Over in the Meadow,” acting out the animals’ behaviors.
  • Older children can list one or more synonyms for each of the action words. For example, soar=fly, sleep=nap, leap=jump. This would be a good opportunity to introduce an age-appropriate dictionary or thesaurus. Ask students, “What reasons do you think the author had for choosing the words she did?”

Common Core Standards (ELA K-3)
Reading: Informational Text
~Key Ideas and Details (K.1, 2.1, 3.1)
~Integration and Knowledge of Ideas (K.7, 1.7, 2.7, 3.7)

Next Generation Science Standards (DCI K-3)
~LS1: From Molecules to Organisms:
   A. Structures and Processes
   B. Growth and Development of Organisms
   D. Information Processing
~LS3: Heredity:
   A. Inheritance of Traits


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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