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Author: Roth, Susan L. & Trumbore, Cindy
Illustrator: Roth, Susan L.
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Year Published: 2016
ISBN: 9781620142455
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grades 7 to 9, Teacher Resource

Prairie Dog Song

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Readers will learn about the life of one of North America’s most recognizable residents, prairie dogs, from the time of the First Nations through to today.  The changes  and impact brought on the grassland ecosystem from Canada to Mexico by humans, both negative and positive is also part of the bigger story about the plants and animals of the grasslands.  In the latter pages, it focuses on the Janos grasslands, which once supported the largest prairie dog complex (549 square km) in northern Mexico.  Researchers have discovered that prairie dogs are a keystone species in the health of the grasslands. Conservation of the Janos prairie dog complex led to the reintroduction of other species, such as bison and returning a desert back to a healthy grassland ecosystem.
 This book is suitable for elementary and junior high students. Readers can sing the primary text, based on an old folk song, known as “The Green Grass Grows All Around”. Music (both lyrics and instrumental) can be downloaded from https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2925 The two-part echo of this catchy tune will be attractive to music teachers and for campfire sing-alongs.  Detailed informational text and brightly coloured mixed media collage illustrations make this book  a rich addition to any school library.  The extra prairie dog facts, a timeline of the Janos Grasslands, glossary and list of extensive sources, provides in-depth resources for researchers and conservationists.
It is particularly suited for the study of Grade Four Social Studies: Alberta Regions (Grasslands) and Grade Five Social Studies: Canadian Regions (Prairies).  This song would make a great demonstration of learning about the Alberta Social Studies curriculum in a unique format.

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