Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Great Kapok Tree

This week, Mrs. Yollis' class is reading The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.

The story takes place in the rain forest of the Amazon. Throughout the story, rain forest animals try to persuade a logger to leave the kapok tree.

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For language study, we searched the book looking for past tense verbs. We sorted the verbs according  to the spelling pattern: 

  • add -ed
  • double the consonant and add -ed
  • drop the silent e and add -ed
  • change the y to an i and add -ed

First, we set up the 4 categories.
Next, we searched for past tense verbs from the story.

Finally, we shared the list as a class.

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The class also researched rain forest animals in the online encyclopedia that the PFC purchased.

In the comment section, research a rain forest animal or plant using the World Book Encyclopedia. Write a comment as if you are that animal or plant! Be sure to include facts you learned from the online encyclopedia. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE! (Use your own words!)

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It will be exciting to learn about an animal from that animal!


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollisssss’ classsssss,

    I am a boa constrictor who livesss in Brazil. I am just lazing around here because I recently devoured a guinea pig. Now I am inactive, ssssso I have time to comment on your blog. Now that I have eaten, I won’t need to eat again for many monthssss.

    I was very hungry because last week I gave birth to 50 live boa constrictorsss! Growing up to 14 feet in length, I am gigantic!

    boa constrictor


  2. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    G'day this is Candy the koala bear.
    I am just wasting my time sitting high, higher the better in an eucalyptus tree.

    As you all know I am rather cute. My fur is pretty thick. I enjoy meeting other koalas. Another favourite thing I enjoy doing is when I am approaching a new eucalyptus tree I make sure no other koala owns it. Once I am sure it's free of I go climbing to the top to start my meal for the day.

    Eating is a big part of my life and spending lazy days high up, so high that sometimes I really do feel like I am touching the sky.

    Oh am getting rather sleepy so will sign off now.

    From Candy the Koala.

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis’ class,

    I am a woolly monkey that lives in the Amazon rainforest in South America. Right now I am with a group of 40 monkeys. Also, I am soaring through trees to find fruit. We monkeys greet each other by kissing when we meet. My tail is 23 inches long, but my friend’s tail is 27 inches long.

    I am starting to get drowsy right now, so I should probably go to bed.

    Your Friend,

    Wacky Woolly

  4. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I decided not to write my comment upside down, because I move in that manner through tree to tree, and I sleep in that position as well. Other animals tease me because I am very slow, and I almost don't have a tail or ears. My nose is blunt which means it is not pointed.

    I hardly come down out of my habitat. I live in a Kapok tree located in the Amazon, in South America. Devouring young twigs, buds, and leaves is how I spend my day.

    Even though I eat all day, I am fairly light, weighing a mere 11 pounds. On the other hand, my older brother weighs almost 17 pounds! That's heavy for us sloths!

    Your friend,
    The sloth

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollisssssss,

    I am an anaconda ssssnake. My friendsssss call me water boa because I spend most of my time in the water. My friends also say I'm lucky because I am 30 feet long! I one broke a tree since I am up to 450 pounds! My favorite dishes are birds and fish. My friends eat by picking plants and seeds. However, when I find a prey, I squeeze them, so they can not breath. Then I swallow them whole!

    anaconda snake
    (Ryan and Amitai)

    P.s. You are lucky I am not poisonous because I would have bitten the computer.

  6. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,
    Greetings from the understory of the rain forest! I am Faith, the flying fox. I've been swooping through the lush trees here in the Amazon rain forest looking for delectable bananas and succulent papayas to much on. When I fly, I am quite a sight with my 6 1/2 foot wingspan!

    Because I favor fruit, I am actually a fruit bat. However, I am also called a flying fox because I have a foxy face!

    After finishing a tasty meal or fruit or even flower parts, I just love to hang around upside down in the trees with all my fruit-loving fox-faced friends! (Not bad alliteration for a fruit bat, right?!)

    I'm really looking forward to hearing from other rain forest friends here on the blog!

    Friendly regards from,
    Faith, the flying fox/fruit bat
    (AKA Peggy, the Penguin)

  7. Dearrrrrr Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am a cat but definitely not the kind you want to cuddle with at home. I am the third largest cat of the Eastern Hemisphere, only the lion and tiger are largerrrrr.

    My coat is a beautiful light tan color with many dense black spots. Evil people are starting to kill me because they like my coat so much. I hide away in the tall trees so they won't see me.

    I am a strong carnivore that hunts for prey. I eat monkeys, antelope, jackals, peacocks, snakes, sheep, goats, and dogs, and can even attack people. Since I like your blog so much, I won't eat you.

    Your ferocious bloggerrrr,

  8. @ Mrs Yollis and class,

    I am a Green Python and live in at top of the east coast of Australia.

    I'm only young but when I grow up to be an adult I could get up to 3.9 - 6.6 ft. When I get hunger I eat rodent, small mammals and other reptiles.

    Baby Green Pythons are yellow with spots and stripes but when they get older their colour changes.

    I'm going to go find another tree to curl up in and go to ssssleep.

    Green Python
    Jarr☀d (2KM)

  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    What an incredible blog you have!

    I am a librarian in Santa Barbara, California and I'm going to be doing a lesson for my 5th and 6th grade students on how to make good blog comments. Mrs. Lofton from Manhattan Beach emailed me about your great blog posts about how to make a quality blog comment. I'm going to show the videos to my students on Monday.

    So if you think about it, you are going to be my teaching assistants!

    Don't you think blogs are a wonderful way to make new friends and learn new things?

    Mrs. Reid
    Cold Spring Elementary School
    Santa Barbara, California

  10. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    I am an animal who creeps along with eight legs and can nest in Rainforest trees. But please leave me alone! I do not travel in a group. I live alone and hunt alone, pouncing on my prey. If you get too close to me, I will flick a hair off my leg as a warning.

    Sometimes, I visit Mrs. Kistler.

    Do you know who I am?

    Ara K. Nid

  11. Tucker the tamarinMarch 6, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am a tamarin that lives in the Amazon Rainforest. A tamarin is a small monkey that is 12 inches long with a huge tail. I weigh 1 pound, while my mom weighs two pounds. Tamarins have long, silky hair that is soft and cuddly. Young tamarins, like me, hang from their parents' backs while traveling.

    I usually eat fruit and insects, but my favorite is tree gum. I have 40 pals that I swing from vine to vine and tree to tree with. We talk to each other in high-pitched voices.

    There are 20 different kinds of tamarins in the Amazon, and I am called the golden lion tamarin because of my big, yellow mane. We tamarins are endangered because cities are moving into our habitat. People are cutting down trees, and the heavy rains wash away all the soil. Tamarins are a cool species!

    Tucker the tamarin

  12. Dear Tucker the Tamarin,
    Your life in the Amazon seems like an adventure.Swinging with your pals from tree to tree on vines has to be so awesome.
    Trees need to be protected, boundaries have to be set.I hope your generation will use your high pitched voices to finally protect the rain forest.
    tree hugging Grandma

  13. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am a very large and strong wild cat. My body is covered with golden, brownish-yellow fur, and I have beautiful spots all over me – just like my buddy, the leopard. You can find me roaming around in the forests, grasslands, and shrubby areas of the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. However, there are not many of my kind around these days, so look carefully for us.

    If you see me, you may want to take my lovely spotted skin, but you must not, because it is illegal to take a jaguar’s skin in the United States.

    When I get hungry, I hunt for deer, fish, turtles, and wild pigs for my dinner. I am huge! I grow up to 8 1/2 feet ! Ha Ha, I’m even including the tail.
    Female jaguars breed two-to-four baby jaguars, and each baby weighs about two pounds at birth! They spend their first two years hunting with their mothers .
    Do you know the difference between me and my buddy, the leopard? Have you ever seen my type of cat? If you have seen my kind, did you want to take my skin?

    If you see me in the rain forest, shout hello from a distance, otherwise I might want to eat you. :)

    Alexa the Jaguar

  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Squawk! Squawk! Excuse me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Tilly the talented toucan. My toucan buddies and I live in the tropical and subtropical rain forests of Central and South America. I am a super colorful and very ordinary bird with a GIGANTIC (maybe I'm exaggerating too much) bill.

    Right now I am hanging out with my toucan friends, and we are having a delicious feast of frogs, lizards, baby birds, and much more.

    Currently, my mom is giving birth to baby toucans that eggs are going to hatch in fifteen weeks. When she was giving birth to my younger brother two years ago, four other of my siblings were born at the exact same time! My mom usually gives birth to five eggs at a time! I'm lucky to have so many siblings!

    My younger brother, Tommy, is 12 inches while I am 25 inches long! I am pretty tall for my age. Tommy is very petite.

    There are 40 species of us toucans. I can't believe it myself! 40 species!

    I am starting to get sleepy talking so much about myself and others, so I should probably go to my bed in the trees. There will be some.... YAWN... nice pillows up there to sleep in.

    Your pal,
    Tilly (yawn) the talented toucan

  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am a kapok tree, located in the Amazon Rain Forest.

    After my ripe fruit has been picked the seeds and fibers are taken out, and dried out in the sun. My seeds make an oil that is used to make soap, and cattle feed! I am so proud that I can produce these products!

    Saving lives through the medicine I'm told can be made using the gum inside of me makes me feel like a hero!

    I have many worries. One time, a man with an ax came to chop me down probably to make a canoe! I never did anything to him. Luckily, my animal friends talked him out of it! In fact, his ax is leaning on one of my many buttresses.

    Mr. Kapok
    (Iman & friends)

  16. Ant the Amazon AntMarch 8, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    This is Ant the Amazon Ant. I am usually black,brown, red, and yellow. I can also be orange, blue, green, and purple too. I live in colonies. My Dad is 1 inch long, but I am 1/25 inches long. A colony has up to one thousand ants at a time. A colony has up to one or more queen ants. My dad has wings , and my mom does not have wings. There is more than 10,000 types of ants in the world.


    Ant the Amazon Ant


  17. Mighty the Malice Male MosquitoMarch 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am a Mosquito that lives in the Amazon Rain forest.
    My name means little fly in Spanish, but my friends call me the little fly of the rain forest.

    I feast on blood, so if you find me be sure to run or else my cousins and I will suck your blood for our dinner. Also, when I bite I infect the person.

    I can also spread some of the worst diseases known to man kind like malaria, and yellow fever. You might think I get my diseases by sitting on manure and waste, but I get it from people who are sick!

    I am 1/4 inch, but my dad is 1 inch long!

    My wings flap 1,000 times a second. The girls I know make a louder noise when they flap their wings 1,000 times per second.

    My mother's friend gave birth to 50 eggs, but my mom gave birth to 200 eggs. Also my mom's friend who died laid 1,000 eggs in her lifetime!

    My grandpa died in 7 days, but his friend died 10 days. My grandma and her friends lived for 30 days.

    Mighty the Malice Male Mosquito

  18. Dear Sloth,

    It is good to see that one of my friends is commenting on one of my favorite blogs! I think that you are pretty talented to comment while hanging up side down!

    I knew that you eat young twigs, buds, and leaves, but on the other side of the Kapok tree I did not know that your nose is blunt!

    I have to admit that you are kind of... slow. Anyway, I think that you are a great sloth!

    Your rainforest friend,

    Wacky Woolly

  19. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Squawk! Squawk! My name is Patricia the Parrot, and I live in the Amazon rain forest. I am in parrot third grade, and my homework assignment was to comment on your blog!

    I am very lucky that I can comment because my home was destroyed by some careless humans a couple weeks ago, and some of my friends were illegally captured by some mean people who will sell them at very high prices! Please tell people to only buy parrots that were bred in captivity.

    I am very smart, so you better watch what you say in front of me because I may repeat it! Actually, humans award me for my amazing ability to do that! I am very proud of myself. Another amazing ability I have is that I can do complicated tricks!

    I am 1 foot tall, but my mom and my dad are both 3 feet tall. My friend who is a different type of parrot species is only 3 inches tall!

    I have short legs. On my feet I have two toes facing backward and two facing forward. My strong feet allow me to climb and hang from tree branches.

    I love to munch on fruits, nuts, buds, and seeds. Some of my friends like to eat nectar and pollen. Talking about food I'd better get to dinner!

    Patricia the Parrot

  20. Toto the tree frogMarch 9, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am a tree frog located in the rain forest. Right now I am in a group, or hylid. My name is tree frog, but many of us live in trees, land or water. I decided to live in a Kapok Tree, like my friend Slippy lives. I have sticky pads to help me climb, but my little brother is just learning to use his sticky pads. I like to teach him how, but it can be difficult. My dad, Hoppy, is 5 inches, and my little brother, Slimy is only one inch. I want to grow taller. Unfortunately, I have to wait until I'm older. Some of my bigger relatives, feed on bigger prey, like other frogs, but I prefer insects. My favorite dish is Grasshopper burrito. My nightmares are a problem. I dream that snakes and birds are eating me, and my dad says it's all true! I was born in a weird way. My mom laid me in an egg, under a tree over water. Eventually, the egg plopped into the water and I hatched and became a tadpole. By the way, my dad just told me a story. Once, he got chased by a bird, and he needed to find protection. He camouflaged himself, and became the color of a leaf.
    I am glad he got away.

    Toto the tree frog

    P.s. Mrs. Yollis, can you stop the anaconda form eating me?

  21. the spider monkeyMarch 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Let me introuduce myself. I am a spider monkey from the Amazon rain forest. I swung from tree to tree with my long tail just to find a computer to comment. I am only 2 feet tall, and that is all I'll ever grow. Of course, that's not including my long beautiful tail! I'm called a spider monkey because when I use my long limbs and tail, I look like a spider! Life is not easy for me because hunters are after my kind of monkey and that is why I am up high in the branches, so they don't see me while I am commenting. I'm glad I have Wi-Fi here!

    Your friend,
    the spider monkey

  22. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am an anaconda that was just caught in the water in the Amazon rain forest. Now I am ready to comment.

    When I am hungry, I hunt for fish, small mammals, and birds. I kill my food by squeezing the animal until it suffocates and dies. My favorite food is fish...yummy! I don't eat very often, because it takes me a long time to digest my food.

    You are lucky, because I am not poisonous. I can not bite the keyboard. I use my teeth to hold my prey while I am suffocating it.

    The colors of my skin are yellow, brown and green. I can blend into my surroundings.

    My little brother is 300 pounds and I am 450 pounds. I am 30 feet long.


    Anaconda (Andrew)

    p.s. I will not eat the tree frog.

  23. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am a beautiful Monarch Butterfly and my wings are Bright orange with black wing veins on them. I have Four cycles in my life. I start off as an egg, then a Caterpillar, then the Pupa and lastly a Butterfly.

    I am a poisonous butterfly and I get my poison by eating milkweed leaves constantly and this is how I ward off predators.

    Well I need to fly all over the rain forest now...... I hope to see you soon.

    From Alie the Beautiful Butterfly

  24. Super Swinging Spider MonkeyMarch 10, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am Super Swinging Spider Monkey, but you can call me Swingy. It is sad in some parts of the Rain Forest my kind is being extict ! I hang from high branches. Earlier I dropped the computer, but right as it was going to smash I picked it up by my tail. (feu) Then I did drop it.

    My mom is 2 feet tall and red. Friends I have are black, golden, red, or tan. The fur I have is golden like my BFF Todo.
    We just finished lunch we had fruit, seeds, and other plant matter. I live in a group of 35. Spider Monkeys have four long fingers and one very small tumb


  25. Mighty the Malice Male MosquitoMarch 10, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Dear Toto The Tree Frog,

    I will also tell the anaconda and it's family to stop eating your family. I will try a Grasshopper burrito with some tasty, juicy, and sick persons blood. Did you ever try blood margarita with some juicy sick blood cake and human blood on the side?

    If so how did you like it?

    Mighty the Malice Male Mosquito

  26. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am a jaguar that lives in the rainforest.

    I am just laying on the tree typing my comment and daydreaming about a snake trying to eat me but before he can eat me I ate him first!

    I'm a carnivore that eats mammals, like turtles and

    My beautiful coat has deep yellow or tawny, with black spots.

    I got to go another snake is trying to eat me again!


    Jumpy Jaguar

  27. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am pink and swim in the Amazon River. I have a hump on my back instead of dorsal fin. I just ate fish for dinner. Did you know when I was born I was grey and then white and now that I am older I am pink!
    Dottie the Dolphin

  28. Aaron the giant anteaterMarch 10, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am Aaron the giant anteater.I have a lack of teeth.I eat termite and ant juice.I cant really eat because I have a lack of teeth!I also have a slender snout and a pipe shaped head.

    I use my second and third claw to rip open the ant nest and flit my toungue.

    Aaron the giant anteater

  29. Dilly The River DolphinMarch 11, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    Dea Mrs Yollis,

    I am Dilly the River Dolphin. I live in a warm river in the Amazon Rainforest.

    I can not see very well as my eyes are not that big. Because I live in the dark and dirty waters.

    I am a pink dolphin and my little brother, Dee, is grey. And my dad is over 8 feet long!

    My mom is calling me for our fish casarole dinner. I gotta swim away now. Bye bye

    FROM, Dilly The River Dolphin

  30. Dear Ara K. Nid,

    This is Adia and Hannah from Mrs. Yollis' class.

    Thank you for your comment!

    Don't worry, we'll leave you alone. We sure wouldn't like to be bitten by you.

    Are you the wonderful Mrs. Kistler? That is our best guess!

    We have a question for you:

    What is your prey?

    Your blogging buddies,
    Hannah and Adia

    (P.S. Both of us have an earned blog. If you would like to visit it, go to the Student Blog List. Hannah's blog is Hannah's Hacienda and Adia's blog is Adia's Babble Blog. Hope you like our blogs!)

    (P.P.S. We think that you are very creative with the Ara K. Nid. Did you mean arachnid?)

    (P.P.P.S You are a very interesting writer! We are having a blast reading all your comments that you write on Mrs. Yollis' blog!) We have to go now! BYE!

  31. Aaron the giant anteaterMarch 11, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am Aaron the giant anteater.I have a lack of teeth.I eat termite and ant juice.I cant really eat because I have a lack of teeth!I also enjoy a lollipop with termits and ants.I also have a slender snout and a pipe shaped head.

    I use my second and third claw to rip open the ant nest and flit my tongue.To bad I have a lack of teeth because I would have had some cake.

    Aaron the giant anteater

  32. Dear Hannah and Adia,

    My prey are usually small insects, although I've been known to eat a mouse or two if they get too close.

    You guessed's Mrs. Kistler and I love language play! Arachnid is the scientific name for spider.

    Thank you for complimenting my writing. I work very hard with my craft. I am writing a children's picture book series which I'm hoping to one day publish. Blogging helps me polish my skills!

    I will visit your student blogs. I am proud of you for earning your very own blog. What an accomplishment!

    Mrs. Kistler


* * *
Getting feedback is important to our writers. Let us know what you liked or what you learned.

Steps to Comment:

1. Write your comment in the box below. Be sure that you have proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students should have a parent check it!

2. Choose an identity. (If you have a gmail account, use it. If not, choose name/url. You can leave the url blank if you do not have a blog.)

3. Click "Publish your Comment". You may preview your comment before publishing if you'd like.

Important: All comments MUST be approved by me.
:-) Mrs. Yollis