Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fleece, Feathers, and Fur

Ann Espersen
Orange County Schools


The slide-show presentation and colorful website pictures in this lesson will captivate students' attention. This is a great way to expand interests and vocabulary while teaching prediction and categorizing using the book [Is Your Mama a LLama]?


The student uses titles and illustrations to make oral predictions.

The student follows two-step oral directions.

The student understands simple nonverbal cues (for example, smiling, gesturing).

The student identifies objects that do not belong to a particular group (for example, blue lid in set of red lids).


-Book [Is Your Mama a Llama]?, Guarino, 1989, Scholastic Inc.
-Photograph of yourself and family member(s)
-Three pictures of baby farm animals (piglet, chick, and calf in attached file)
-Three pictures of adult farm animals to match the baby pictures
-Light colored construction paper folded in half width-wise (1 for each student)
-Crayons or markers
-Chart paper
-Comparison chart (See sample in attached file)
-PowerPoint presentation (See associated file attachment)
-Unit Assessment Chart (See sample in associated file attachment)
-Check-off list (See sample in associated file attachment)


1. Locate a photograph of you and family members.
2. Obtain a copy of the book [Is Your Mama a Llama]?
3. Preview the PowerPoint slide show presentation. (See associated file.)
4. Preview the weblinks. (See Weblinks.)
5. Make copies of PowerPoint slides 11-18 for student use.
6. Fold construction paper for book.
7. Write text format on construction paper.
8. Write and illustrate the back page of the book.
9. Download the funsheet from .
10. Make class copies of the funsheet. (See number 9.)


Prior to this lesson, view the PowerPoint presentation about llamas and alpacas to provide background knowledge. (See associated file.)

1. Show a picture of yourself with at least one other family member. Discuss how the people resemble each other.

2. Talk about how things go together because they look alike, they do the same things, (kangaroos and rabbits both hop), or they are used in the same way. (Example: Buses and cars both transport people.)

3. Ask the students to recall the slide presentation. Remind students that a llama and an alpaca are part of the same family and look alike. Compare the animals with each other. Compare how the family members resemble one another. (Review the slide presentation, if needed). Give examples of how the animals are alike. (Example: Both have long necks, both have the same kind of noses, both have the same kind of fleece, both come from the Andes Mountains, etc.)

4. Display three pictures of baby farm animals. (Example: piglet, chick, and calf.) Visually compare each animal with a picture of a llama.

5. Ask the children to use a quiet answer signal for yes and no. (For instance, cross your arms for yes and raise one finger to your lips for no).

6. Use questions to find out if the students believe that the llama could be the pigletís mother having students gesture their replies.

7. Note the majority of responses and continue questioning for two other baby animal pictures.

8. Question to find out if any of the students believe that a llama is the mother for any one of the three baby animals.

9. Discuss how the animals are different and could not belong to the same family.

10. Display the pictures of adult animals.

11. Explain the word predict, if needed.

12. Have students predict if any of these animals could be the mother for the baby animals shown earlier.

13. Have at least six students choose the matching mother/baby sets.

14. Display the book cover for [Is Your Mama a Llama]? Ask students if they can name the kind of animal that is on the cover, a llama or an alpaca? (There are also owls on the cover.)

15. Open the book and preview the pictures modeling self-talk. Ask yourself simple, short questions so the students' focus is on the characters, the settings, and the actions. Following the preview, encourage students to predict the story line.

16. Write a list of predictions on a chart or the board dictated by students. Praise the students for their contributions and excellent predictions.

18. Read the title and the authorís name explaining that the words and ideas came from the author. Encourage the students who feel that they gave an incorrect prediction to be an author and use their own ideas to write a story.

19. After reading the story and viewing the artwork on the weblink, let students draw and color a llama and its baby or an alpaca and its baby called crias (pronounced cree-ahs).

20. Share and display student work.

This ends session one.

In session two, review the story and concepts covered during the first session.

21. Review the pictures of mother and baby animals.

22. Reread the descriptions contained in the answers that the other characters gave Lloyd. (For example: She has a long neck and white feathers and wings.) Point out that Lloyd has a long neck but no white feathers and no wings. Lloyd does not belong to the swan family. Continue with at least two of the other animals of the book.

23. Give some other animal examples and non-examples for practice. (For example: It lives in the woods, has fur, and long ears (rabbit). Explain that it could not be a bear because although a bear lives in the woods and has fur, bears do not have long ears.

24. Discuss the descriptions suggested in the book. (For example: hangs by her feet, lives in a cave, grazes on grass, etc.)

25. Display three pieces of chart paper. Write at the top of each sheet a category title heading. (Examples: all have fur, all have long necks, all fly, etc.)

26. Model the directions by showing your finished sample. Draw some animals that fit the headings. Point to each illustration and use simple questions to check to see if the students understand the directions.

27. Restate the directions for the project including what you expect to see from a cooperative group: sharing materials, contributing ideas, and taking turns drawing. Also set a time frame for completion.

28. Divide the students into three groups having them work to draw pictures of animals that belong in the category.

29. Walk around to monitor how students are cooperating: sharing materials, contributing ideas, and taking turns while they are developing their plans to complete the project.

30. Regroup into one group and discuss the illustrations to see if all the animals fit the description of their heading.

31. Write their ideas on the chart (maybe even illustrate). Decide what two animals the class will present in a class book they are going to produce. (Take a vote, assign two animals to fit in with letters being covered, such as Bb, Bears and Bats, etc.)

32. Write student suggestions, comparing the similarities and differences of the two animals on the COMPARISON CHART. (See Sample in the associated file.)

33. Tell students they are each going to draw one page for a class book. Let them know that you will write and illustrate the end page.

34. Inform the students that you will bind their drawings together for a class book that will be put in the media center for other students to read.

35. Display a blank page from the book. (See attached file.)

36. Give simple directions: students draw one picture on the left and another on the right to compare the two animals. (Teacher has labeled each side to be filled in with the names and comparisons as the student suggests.)
(See attached file for example.)

37. Pass out the labeled and prefolded piece of contruction paper and have students draw their two pictures. Monitor the picture drawing to check that they are following directions.

38. Write the dictated ideas in the blanks to complete the sentences.

39. Display the assembled and bound book in the media center for the authors and other students to read.


In this formative assessment, student check-off sheets are used in observation of student participation in group discussion. (See attached file.) A Unit Assessment Chart is used to assess each student's knowledge of standards taught. (See attached file.) A weblink download contains a crossing-out worksheet to assess what object does not belong. (See Weblinks.)


Depending on the time of year and the studentsí writing level, you may extend the book making to have the students write their own words or copy the words from a sticky note you have written for them.

Web Links

Use pictures and information to compare llamas with other animals.
Kids' Farm

Picture and information about llamas
Llama Q and A Page

Pictures and information about alpacas

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