Saturday, November 23, 2013

Balarama-a Royal Elephant

Picture Book Month Day 23 theme: Elephants
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Balarama  A Royal Elephant
by Ted and Betsy Lewin
elephant_eye.jpgElephants, the largest land animals on Earth, have long been a part of life throughout India. Some of these huge creatures are trained to do heavy work. Others perform in public festivals. When Ted and Betsy Lewin arrive in southern India to see the elephants, they are introduced to Drona, the Royal Elephant that leads the glorious procession on the last day of Dasara, a centuries-old festival celebrated each fall.

The Lewins are so enthralled with Drona that they decide to return the following year for Dasara. They arrive to find out that Drona has been in an accident and a new lead elephant, the majestic Balarama, has been chosen. This will be his first time carrying the golden howdah—a beautifully carved ceremonial carriage—in the grand finale parade of the Dasara festivities. All eyes will be on Balarama as he makes his debut. (description by: Lee & Low Books, Inc)

Visit the authors/illustrators' websites: Ted Lewin and Betsy Lewin

Watch a Balarama Book Trailer

Betsy Lewin Bio and Video Interview
When Betsy Lewin was a little girl, she wanted to be a pirate.
Watch a video interview and learn more about her life, career, and books.

Ted Lewin Bio
Learn more about the life and career of Ted Lewin.

Balarama: A Royal Elephant Lee & Low publisher website

elephant_eye.jpg Explore the wonderful and very useful Elephant resources in the back of the book Balarama. You will find Elephant Facts, An explanation of the Royal Elephants of the Mysore Dasara, and a Glossary and Pronunciation Guide.

Balarama Book Activities

Learn more about Asian, also known as, Indian elephants

Learn about the Asian or Indian Elephant

BBC Nature-Asian elephant-photos, videos, and Asian elephant information

What is the difference between Asian and African Elephants?
Visit Eleaid-to see learn more about the differences between Asian and African elephants.
Learn how dedicated people are working hard to save elephants for future generations to appreciate.
(Eleaid is a British Charity working for the conservation and welfare of the Asian Elephant).

Compare and Contrast the Asian elephant to the African elephant using this Elephant Differences Chart
Observe the physical characteristics of each type of elephant and mark your observations on this Venn Diagram chart.
Print out and distribute to students, or student groups may open the slide in PowerPoint and edit the chart by adding text boxes to label similarities and differences.

Printables: Asian Elephant Information coloring sheet African Elephant Information coloring sheet
Elephant Family Information and Coloring Page

Literature Connections

Check your non-fiction shelves for great books like this one I found.
Working Elephants makes for a good pair/share activity with Balarama.

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