Undercover Ostrich by Joe Kulka

Summary

If you were an ostrich, how would you disguise yourself? It can’t be easy. But the narrator of Undercover Ostrich believes that these large birds are experts at camouflage. The illustrations, however, tell a different story. When the narrator challenges readers to find the ostrich, it’s not hard to do. The world’s largest bird stands out on every page.

Readers will laugh when they see the ostrich “hiding” on a telephone wire and on the subway train. They’ll enjoy the befuddled looks the ostrich gives while “undercover.” More giggles will ensue when the narrator makes an appearance at the end of the story.

Author/illustrator Joe Kulka delivers a humorous story by juxtaposing the narrator’s words with the illustrations. This interesting method of storytelling will engage readers to appreciate the outrageous scenarios of an ostrich hiding in plain sight. The cartoon illustrations add to the fun.

Response to Literature

AASL Standards Framework for Learners I.B.3 Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.

The ostrich in this story clearly needs help hiding. Invite learners to consider why the ostrich stood out in each setting. Then, watch “Can You Find the Camouflaged Animals” by Earth Rangers to see what it takes to hide in plain sight.

Next, show learners pictures of ostriches in nature. Ask what they notice about the features and colors of the ostriches. Encourage learners to consider what kind of natural scenery an ostrich would need in order to hide. Explain that they will illustrate a picture of an ostrich that blends in with the background.

If you are wondering how to draw an ostrich, this video from the Art for Kids Hub YouTube channel will show you how.

Have fun!

If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

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