Common Core Review: Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the WorldHave you ever thought much about the different kinds of eyes that exist in the animal world? What about the evolution of the eye? Did you know that some animals use their eyes for more than just vision? In his book Eye to Eye, author and illustrator Steve Jenkins takes a closer look at the eyes of a variety of animals. Beginning with an overview of the four basic kinds of eyes (eyespot, pinhole, compound and camera), Jenkins provides specific examples of different animal eyes and what makes them unique. For instance, the bullfrog uses its eyes to push food down its throat and the stalk-eyed fly relies on the length of its eye stalks to attract a mate. Some creatures, like the blue mountain swallowtail butterfly, can see high-frequency colors that are invisible to the human eye; while others, like the sea slug, have only eyespots which can detect the presence of light, but cannot perceive solid images or colors. Using his trademark cut paper illustrations, Jenkins has put together yet another concise, informative, and visually engaging exploration of the animal world. Full of interesting facts and bright, colorful illustrations, Eye to Eye is sure to entertain and inform readers of all ages.

Virtually any Steve Jenkins book lends itself nicely to fulfilling the informational text requirements of the Common Core Standards. His work is well researched, focused, and engaging and his artistic style provides the opportunity for cross-curricular collaboration with the arts. Here are some possible connections to make using Eye to Eye:

• Once students have a better idea of how various types of eyes work and look, they can choose an animal and recreate a cut or torn paper collage image of that animal’s eye along with a brief description of what kind of eye it is and any special functions or features.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

• Common Core Standards for writing can be met by asking students to compare and contrast the different features of two animals’ eyes and write up two scenarios – one in which each animal would thrive while the other might struggle.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

• Try pairing Eye to Eye with Beth Fielding’s Animal Eyes (2011) for some more information about other animal eyes and ask students to compare and contrast the information and authors’ styles.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

All standards are from the Common Core State Standards Initiative website

Posted by: Staci

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