Option 1: Take students on a hike through the woods, a park, or a vacant lot, so they can have a closer look at some of the habitats Jackie saw on her adventures—a dead log, tree bark, leaf litter, and so on. Distribute magnifiers for students to take a closer look. Can the students find any of the same (or similar) creatures that Jackie saw? Can they find anything else?
Option 2: Challenge students to make up a math question or puzzle using characters from the story. You may have them choose how to present their equations, using pictures or words. For example:
- Millie has two dozen body segments, with two pairs of legs on each. How many legs does she have in total?
- Sitta found 15 caterpillars on a tree. After she eats a third of them, how many are left?
- If it takes 1 black beetle one month to eat a piece of dead lizard, how long will it take 4 beetles to eat the same amount?
Option 3: Have students write the story of Jackie’s next adventure in which she shrinks in size again and explores a different habitat. Discuss different habitats with students, have each student pick one, and research its plant and animal life. Then, imagine a way for Jackie to shrink and meet new animal friends who will guide her. Have students present their research using digital presentation software such as PowerPoint or Glogster.
Option 4: Have students make a model of a forest habitat using a shoe box or other small box. You might allow students to select a habitat of their choice to research and model. Students may use plastic animals and plants, or pictures of animals and plants drawn and cut out of paper to depict the habitat elements. Make sure habitat models include the four things habitats provide: food, water, shelter, and space.
Option 5: Read aloud Redwoods by Jason Chin, described in the Additional Resources. Draw a large redwood tree on poster paper, and have each student write on the redwood trunk one specific adventure that the young boy had on his journey.
Option 6: Have students read or listen to one of the following books in the Additional Resources. Direct students to identify the main ideas of the text, and discuss or write about how it is connected to the theme of ecosystems. If possible, you might also invite a photographer to the class to share photos of insects or other wild animals in your area. Suggested titles include:
- Animals Up Close by Igor Siwanowicz
- Micro Monsters: Extreme Encounters with Invisible Armies by Nam Nguyen
- Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas: Earth’s Astonishing Animals and Where They Live
- The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins
See Additional Resources for more ideas to enrich this activity.