Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: Five Creatures

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Five Creatures: written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Tomeck Bogacki.

“Five creatures live in our house.  Three humans, and two cats.  Three short, and two tall…Four who like to eat fish…Three who don’t like taking baths…Four who can open cupboards…”

Five Creatures is a book that encourages students to classify members of their families.  The little girl in Five Creatures tells the reader about her family that consists of three people and two cats.  She classifies the members according to their likes and dislikes, their appearances, skills, and habits.  The book does a nice job of discussing ways in which family members are different and sweetly concludes with, “And five who sit together in the evening by the fire”.

Curriculum Connections:

This book can be used in the classroom to discuss classification.  It seems that this book may be best suited for a first or second grade classroom but discussion could be easily adjusted in order to use it in a kindergarten or even third grade classroom.  This book correlates well with Virginia Science Standards of Learning K.1, 1.1, 2.1, and 3.1 which all discuss classification of objects.  Additionally, Five Creatures could be useful when studying graphs.  The classifications discussed in the book easily lend themselves to picture graphs, Venn diagrams, and simple bar graphs.  Graphing is also a requirement in the Science Standards of Learning in Virginia K.1-3.1.

Additional Resources:

Kindergarten Classification Lesson Plan: This page includes easy sorting/classifying activity ideas for younger students.

Fingerprint Lesson Plan:  A lesson plan for older students that involves classification of fingerprints.

Scavenger Hunt Lesson Plan: An outside scavenger hung idea that concludes with students classifying their findings.

Magazine Classification Activity:  An activity idea that has students classify magazine cutouts.

Earth Day Game:  A quick online game that encourages students to classify trash to clean up for Earth Day.

General Information:

  •  Book: Five Creatures
  • Author: Emily Jenkins
  • Illustrator: Tomeck Bogacki
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publication Date: April 2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Grade Range: K-3
  • ISBN-10:  0374323410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374323417