Koala Lou

by Mem Fox. Illus, by Pamela Lofts. Harcourt, 1988
Activities ©2006 Nancy Polette

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1. Topic Focusing:
In small groups answer these questions. Guess if you do not know. Support or deny guesses by reading about koala bears.

A. A koala bear is about ______inches long.
B. A koala bear is about ______inches tall.
C. A koala bear carries its young in a pouch. Yes No
D. Koala bears live in blue gum trees. Yes No
E. Koala bears have long toes.
2. Take turns.
I groups of four list your two favorite olympic sports to watch. The group must then rank order the list from the sport the group most likes to watch to the least.
3. Problem Solving.
There was once a baby koala so soft and round that all who saw her loved her. One hundred times a day her mother would say, "Koala Lou, I do love you." Years passed and brothers and sisters were born. Soon mother was so busy she didn't have time to tell Koala Lou that she loved her. Koala Lou longed for her mother's attention once again. How could she get it?
IDEAS Fast Safe Possible Will work
_________ _________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________ _________

Score 1=no 2=maybe 3=yes

4. Story Sequencing.
Cut apart and put the sentence strips in order. Add capital letters and punctuation as needed.

A. mother was waiting to say i love you

B. koala klaws climbed 22 meters

C. koala lou was born

D. brothers and sisters were born

E. koala lou climbed 21 meters

F. mother said i love you 100 times a day

G. koala lou hid in the bush and cried

H. koala lou entered the olympic

5. Higher Order Questions:
How many ways might Koala Lou have gotten her mother's attention other than entering the Olympics?
What if Koala Lou had won? Would her mother have loved her more? Why or why not?
Suppose that Koala Lou had no brothers or sisters. How would the story change?
If you were Koala Lou's mother, how would you show her you loved her?
How is the story of Koala Lou like the story of Cinderella?
6. Inferring
After reading give out clue cards labeled: location, occupation, times, feelings, problems.
Students find and read aloud specific sentences that are examples of the word on their cards.
7.Mount words from the story on an ABC Word Wall.
Choose four words from the wall. Three are alike and students must identify the one that does not belong in the group.

Words from Koala Lou:
shake, say, path (path does not belong, others have long a)
passed, have, take (take does not belong, others have short a)
bravely, training, climbed ( climbed does not belong, has one syllable)
8. Finish the Story
Read the story up to the last paragraph. Show children the paragraph with missing words. Students add the words they think might fit. Then read the last paragraph. From Koala Lou:

When the first stars of the ____________ appeared in the _______________, Koala Lou crept home through the dark and up into the gum _____________.
Her ________________ was waiting for her. Before she could say a word, her mother had flung her ____________ around her neck and said, “Koala Lou, I ___________ _____________ ________. I always have and I always will. And she________ her for a very long time.

9. Summarizing in Song
Use simple tunes to review the story. List events:Koala Lou climbed a gum tree, went down the path, entered the Olympics, jogged and puffed, lifted weights, climbed up and up went off and hid, cried her heart out. Choose any two and sing to London Bridge. Here are two other examples that will work with any story:

Are You Sleeping

_________________ (adjective) bear

_________________ (adjective) bear

in _____________________________ (tell where)

on _____________________________ (tell where)

______________ (ing word) and ____________________ (ing word)

______________ (ing word) and ____________________ (ing word)

Read this story. Read this story.

Skip To My Lou

______________ (adjective) bear _________________(ing word, prepositional phrase)

______________ (adjective) emu _________________ (ing word, prepositional phrase)

______________ (adjective) platypus __________________ (ing word, prepositional phrase)

Read, little children read.

10. Data Bank:
Give students the headings you want them to use. Good headings for an animal data bank are Eats, Lives, Has, Does. Tell students to find at least three things to put under each heading. Use the data bank information with writing patterns.Example: Complete this data bank for koala bears.

Data Bank: Koala Bear

roots pouch to carry youngAustralia
vegetablesthick fura blue gum tree
climbs trees and runs fast
sleeps all day
11. Use the information in one of these patterns:
Attention, attention! Koala to save. It's the most wonderful creature you will ever want to protect since it can _____________________________________________________ and _________________________ _________________________________________and _________________________________________ but the greatest thing about it is ____________________________________________________________.

If I were a koala bear
______________________________________(Tell where it is found)
I would ______________________________________(Tell something it could do for you)
And I'd _______________________________________(Tell another thing it could do)
If I were a koala bear.