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Drawing of Owl

Story Investigations

Adults can lead discussions with young readers to help them further comprehend the stories.

Questions for readers for Who Will Save the Desert?

1. Many animals living in the desert are considered nocturnal. This means they are

more active at night, usually due to the very hot temperatures in the day time.

  • Which animals in the story are mostly nocturnal?

  • Why were some of these animals awake during the hot part of the day?

  • What other animals that commonly live in the desert are also nocturnal?

  • Do you know of other animals in the world that are nocturnal?

2. A wild animal must sometimes exhibit a defense to protect itself. A “defense” is a trait special to each kind of  animal. It uses this defense when threatened or frightened.

  • What are the defenses various animals say they can use in this story?

  • Can you name other animals and the defenses they may use?

  • Which animals found in the desert are considered endangered? Do you know why?

  • Discuss the use of appropriate defenses and strategies people can use when angry, afraid or in danger. 


3. Vance, the turkey vulture saw vast piles of trash at certain places in the desert.

  • Why do you think there were huge piles of trash in some areas of the desert?

  • How did some trash get into the desert other than the trash people left?

  • What other parts of the world see large piles or gobs of trash?

  • Discuss what you could do if you visit the desert and see trash.


4. To discuss or write about: 

  • If you were an animal who lived in the desert: Where would you live? What would you eat? What would your defenses be? 

  • If you have ever traveled to the desert tell about your trip. What did you see? What is different about a desert and a forest? How did you feel when you visited the desert?  What sounds did you hear?

  • What are some ways to help clean up trash and recycle at home, at school or in other places around town?


5. To promote the main concept and help others understand this issue of trash/recycling. 

  • Draw a picture of the animals and plants in a desert setting. Add an important message about protecting the desert or recycling. Hang the picture in a prominent location at your school, at work, or in the community.   

  • Create a picture or short story about another part of the world that suffers from trash issues.  Share it with family and friends.

Questions for readers of Marshall's BIG Discovery

The following ideas/questions are discussion starters and be used to reinforce concepts related to diversity. Children can discuss or write their own observations and opinions.

1. Marshall left home at one point in the story.

  • Why do you think he decided to do that?

  • How do you think he felt?

  • Why did he return?

  • How did he feel once he was back home with his brother, Randall?

  • Discuss what you could do to help someone in a tough situation.


2. To discuss or write about: 

  • If you are or became a person with a disability, what would you want other people to know?  Write your message in one sentence and make a poster to share with class or family.

  • What are some ways to help others learn more about interacting appropriately at home, at school or in other places around town with those that appear or act differently?

  • If you have ever been teased for looking or acting differently, find an adult to talk to about how you felt and what you could do next time it might happen.


3. To promote the main concept of acceptance or acknowledgement of differences:

  • What did the other mice learn about Marshall?  and about themselves?

  • What lesson did you learn about Marshall and his journey?

  • How will you apply this lesson to your life?

  • If there is someone at school, in the family or in another setting you are in that seems to be different and alone, how could you help? 

  • Draw a picture that shares an important message about helping someone else. Hang the picture in a prominent location at your school, at work, or in the community.   

  • Create a poem or story about a time that you felt different from others. Perhaps it was in a school group, or in a neighborhood activity or during sports.  Share it with a family member.

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