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BLAST Elementary
Great Migrations: Elephants


Great Migrations: Elephants
by Laura Marsh

Introduces African elephants, including what they eat, how they travel in groups, their migration patterns, and how they care for their young.


Preview, Predict, Confirm

What is it? What are the benefits?
Preview, Predict, Confirm (PPC) is an activity that “supports children’s thinking about the language and content of a text as they draw on observations and background knowledge to generate and semantically sort words.” It is designed to build content-specific vocabulary by drawing on children’s own relevant vocabulary, exposing that vocabulary to peers, and paying close attention to the author’s language. PPC can lead to deeper comprehension of text and requires kids to explore and discuss relationships among concepts. It also increases social interaction about a book.

What to do:
• The teacher shows pictures from an informational text to students.

• The teacher asks the class for several word predictions and reasons for those predictions.
• The students work in groups to record additional predictions on blank cards.
• Each group sorts its words into meaningful categories and labels each category. Category labels are shared with the entire class.
• Each group selects from among its cards a word that the group members think every other group will have, a word the members think no other group will have, and a word the members find interesting. A representative from each group shares the three words.
• The teacher leads a discussion about the words that have been shared, including their possible context in the book.

• The students listen to or read the book, confirming predictions as the text is read.
• The students compare the author’s selection and use of words with their own and discuss.


Vocabulary Words

  • Migration
  • Instinct


National Geographic Teacher Resources

National Geographic Kids

Elephant Information


Journal Questions

  • What is 1 thing you already knew about elephants? What are 3 new things you learned today about elephants?
  • If I were an elephant for a day, I would...

Extending Books

Face to Face with Elephants
by Beverly and Dereck Joubert

A look at the intriguing world of elephants.




An Elephant Grows Up
Written by Anastasia Suen

Illustrated by Michael L. Denman and William J. Huiett

Explains the life cycle of the elephant.




Little Big Ears: The Story of Ely
Written by Cynthia Moss

Photographs by Martyn Colbeck

Follows a young elephant as he struggles to survive during his first year of life with the help of his family in Amboseli, a protected wildlife park in Kenya.