Monday, September 18, 2017
The Great Panda Rescue Chapter 1 - Fiction STEM Interactive Reader
Claire put on her purple skirt and her new white T-shirt with a small panda on the tiny front pocket. She checked herself out in the mirror and smiled. She liked what she saw – in her room anyway. She smiled at herself again.
Today is the day you will not be so shy, she repeated what she said to herself everyday. Hoping one day it would stick.
Claire was twelve, tall and thin. She liked her dark honey blonde hair. She liked her eyes and most everything about her and for the life of her she could not figure out why she was so shy – only she was. Everyday she worked on overcoming it and everyday she made a little bit of progress.
This very minute she was excited for the day’s field trip. Today her class was going to the largest animal rescue shelter and observation center in the eastern United States.
Claire wanted to be a vet when she grew up. She wanted to specialize in large animals, but not domestic large animals – no horses and cows for her – Claire wanted to concentrate on species like lions and tigers and bears: “Oh yes!” bears! – giant panda bears in to be exact.
“Come on!” Claire yelled across the hall to her twin sister who was still lingering in bed. “We haveta be at school early this morning or we’ll miss the bus.”
Julia pulled her pillow over her head and rolled towards the window.
“Sunshine,” Julia thought as she sighed and got out of bed. “Why doesn’t it ever rain when I need it to!” she said to herself as she ripped a brush through her shiny milk chocolate hair.
Claire appeared at her sister’s side. “Oh just let me do it,” she said as she grabbed the brush from Julia. “You won’t have any hair left if you brush like that. You have to hold the top and comb the bottom.”
Julia pulled away and went to her closet.
“Or just leave it messy,” Claire mumbled as she headed down the hall for breakfast.
Julia and Claire were not identical twins, but they had that twin bond enabling them to think each other’s thoughts and feel each other’s feelings. Claire was younger, by only a few minutes - Julia was smaller and Claire was very competent at helping Julia do everything. Sometimes Julia liked it and sometimes she didn’t.
Julia grabbed a pair of jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt.
“You’re going to be hot,” Claire stated matter-of-factly.
Julia jumped – startled.
“I thought you went to the kitchen,” she said tugging on her jeans.
“You’re going to be hot.”
Julia pulled on her shirt. “Maybe I think you are going to be cold.” Julia whisked past her sister and went into the bathroom. “Will you do a ponytail?” Julia smiled.
Without another word, Claire patiently brushed Julia’s hair into a flowy ponytail.
“Thanks,” Julia said as she brushed her teeth. “Now I’ll be cool.”
“Do that after you eat,” Claire was not trying to be bossy, only helpful.
“Big field trip today,” Mom said as she poured juice and placed cereal and milk on the table.
“I don’t believe in zoos,” Julia said slowly. “I wouldn’t want to live in a cage.”
“We aren’t going to a zoo,” Claire corrected. “We’re going to a place where they rescue animals from circuses, hunters and even people and keep them safe. The goal is to try to help the animals get them ready to live back in the wild again.”
“That doesn’t actually happen,” Julia said slowly, remembering what their teacher told them about circus animals, and such, ever getting back to the wild.
“It does sometimes,” Claire said. “Besides, the place we are going is like the wild for them and we get to see the giant pandas.”
“You’re obsessed,” Julia said.
“I read that there are just about 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild,” Dad said as he poured his coffee and joined the girls at the table.
“I believe 1,864 to be exact,” answered mom.
“Less- about 1,600. And you know what?” Claire added remorsefully. Claire loved giant pandas. “The main sanctuary in China is having problems. Since ancient times – like 1970 – the panda population has only gone up from like 1000. That is not very much. So, I’ve decided I’m going to save the giant pandas.”
“I was born in 1970,” Dad said.
“Not really ancient,” Mom said.
“Welllllll,” Julia smiled. “Sort of is.”
“Annyywayyy, the ones we’re seeing today are cuddly little ones bred for China – they’ll be released into the wild after they go back home.”
“Careful with the cuddly stuffy Claire. They have the DNA of a bear and the teeth of a dog and one can rip your head off,” Julia swiped her hand and roared for affect. “Besides the cubs aren’t going back only the mom,” Julia said matter-of-factly.
“I’m just glad we get to see them,” Claire said, referring to the giant pandas at the Randolph Reserve they were visiting on their field trip today. “I just wish they could all go back to the wild together.”
“The director said the cubs wouldn’t make it if they went back,” Mom said. “They just wouldn’t survive the wild.”
“I am going to save them all,” Claire retorted.
“And I am going to be a ballerina,” laughed Julia and the whole family joined her. Julia did not like to dance – that was also her sister Claire’s thing – dancing, art and pandas – and well school. Claire liked school too.
This is Chapter 1 of “The Great Panda Rescue” Interactive Reader. This is a perfect STEM story with ELA, SPaG and other cross-curricular activates and lessons for each chapter. Lessons include: fluency, comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, science, math and more. This particular chapter is aligned with 3, 4 and 5 CCSS for ELA.
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