Tracks of a Panda is intended for elementary readers. The text is written in verse and tells the story of the dangers a mother panda and her cub encounter as they look for food in the mountain forests.
Captions on pages give facts about pandas and the water color drawings make this a beautiful read aloud. We first purchased this book because we knew our young readers would enjoy the story and maybe learn a few facts along the way. As we reflected on the story we realized it provided an engaging resource to teach vocabulary, understand description and practice fluency. Readers are often overwhelmed by informational text because the vocabulary and language are unfamiliar to them. This unit provides two ways to allow the students to interact with the content before reading. Both activities require movement, one actually allows students to move about the room while practicing vocabulary within the context of the story. The other, a sort, not only asks the students to categorize the words and phrases, but with teacher scaffolding they can also practice the language required to explain how they are related.