We are going to begin this term by looking at some more non-fiction writing. Your first task is a research task. Find out all you can about the likes of Sunny and his family. Here are some research questions to get you started: Where do Meerkats live? What do they eat? How many Meerkats might you find living together in one family? Do Meerkats have any know predators?
You must record your information neatly and write your facts out in full sentences. You might also like to include some pictures, maps and diagrams to accompany your meerkat information.
Yesterday you all made a great start at researching Meerkats, the main characters of our new story. Today your task is to become a features detective and explore the fascinating world of Non-Fiction.
Non-fiction books are quite different to stories and have a range of features which make them particularly good for finding out about things. Can you work out what features these books have in common? Can you spot a title, a sub-heading or maybe some labelled diagrams? How many can you find?
Make a list of all the features that you think make these books different from story books - keep this list safe in a notebook as you'll need to refer back to it!!
Now if you don't have any Non-Fiction (information) books at home, don't worry! Hop on over to Oxford Owl and take a peak at their collection. I'll attach some links below. There are lots to choose from and they are from a range of book band colours so you should be able to read them all by yourselves! Choose at least 4 and have a really good flick through.
**I would love to learn some new fascinating facts that you pick up along the way as you explore the books. You could bring these facts to tomorrow mornings meeting.
Great detective skills yesterday, spotting the features of some amazing information texts and identifying some fascinating facts. Now you should all have a list of the features of non-fiction texts tucked away somewhere. Don't lose it as we are going to be needing it! Your lists should look a little like this:
If I haven't already mentioned (I struggled to keep this one secret!) this gem of a story book is going to be the stimulus for our writing and I really wish I could pass it through the screen to you so that you can explore all the pictures, postcards, newspapers articles, labels and letters it contains.
We already know that the story is about a Meerkat named Sunny, but what other clues are there in the title? Is it mail that Sunny receives from someone? Perhaps it is mail that he sends? Does this mean that he is going to be going on a journey, and if so, where do you think he is going to travel to in the story and why?
There are few animals on Earth who work as well together as meerkats. These squirrel-size members of the mongoose family live in groups of different sizes, from as little as three to as big as 50 members. everyone in the mob participates in gathering food, keeping a look out for predators and taking care of the babies.
Sunny in our story also has a very large family. Here are the pictures of all his family members.
A FAMILY TREE is a diagram that shows the relationship between people in several generations of a family; a little bit like levels. Family Trees can be designed in many different ways and take up A LOT of paper if there are lots of family members!
TASK 2: Can you build your OWN family tree? You could use the template below, draw your own on plain paper or EVEN make a whole family tree MODEL!!
When you are finished, why not find someone in your family to share your work with (you could even invite Granny and Grandpa to a Zoom family meeting!). Can you explain the relationships between yourself and other family members in your tree? Are they your dad? Sister? Uncle? Great Aunt?
As we read through the story, we are going to encounter some more of Sunny's relatives. I've plotted them on to a family tree below.
From the start of the story and the research that you have already carried out this week, we have learnt that Sunny lives in the Kalahari Desert. The natural habitat for meerkats is the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa.
Today, I would like you to use your clarifying skills and don your research caps again to dig a little deeper. You can see that I written some words above in bold...and gold. I would like you to explore each of these to tell me what they are, where you can find them (Can you find Africa on a map of the World?), make some comparisons between these two habitats and record your information in full sentences under a subheading.
Here are some prompt questions to support your research?
* What is a desert?
* Where in the World might you find a desert?
* What is the largest, smallest, driest desert on earth?
* What is the weather and climate like here?
Sunny and his family have to watch out for pesky jackals. Their family motto is "A meerkat alone is on its own. STAY SAFE, STAY TOGETHER!"
Jackals are not the only dangerous predators that meerkats have to watch out for. When researching these two habitats today, choose an animal, it could be a predator or prey, to find out more about. Create a fact file about your chosen creature. Perhaps you could suggest some top tips for Sunny (specifically for meerkats) that he will find useful as he sets off on his journey.
Attached below is an example fact file all about meerkats for you to see how to present your information.