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Investigate: Animal Defences (Overview)

by Lynette Evans (author)

Suitable for 5 - 7 years

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This item has 4 stars of a maximum 5

Rated 4/5 from 3 ratings

1 review

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Product description

Spark young children’s interest in reading independently with Investigate, a highly illustrated series of non-fiction readers based around exciting science themes. These high-interest, visually stunning photographic books help to support the transition from guided reading to confident solo reading. The fully book-banded series is organised into themed strands of six books, each of which consists of an overview book plus five companion titles. Combining easy-read text with dramatic visuals and attention-grabbing facts, Investigate supports and stimulates young readers while familiarising them with the conventions of non-fiction texts.

This overview book from the ‘Animal Defences’ strand is ideal for guided reading. It introduces the major ideas and themes of the strand, preparing children for the concepts and vocabulary they will find in the other five companion titles.

Book Band: Purple.

Product Details







Date published

February 1st, 2010

Other details
  • 28 pages





  1. Helen Bradford
    on 17 February 2010

    Investigate series

    ‘The ‘Investigate’ series by Scholastic is an exciting set of non-fiction texts that should prove an extremely useful addition to any Key Stage 1 classroom. The books are attractively designed and include clearly contextualised, close-up photographs of their subjects, for example a joey drinking milk from his mother’s belly in her pouch or an eagle ‘swooping’ to catch its prey from the water. The books include supportive step-by-step diagrams, fact files, and poster-style double page spreads to sustain children’s engagement with the content from start to finish. Labels, captions, playful fonts, and short bylines are key features that appear regularly throughout each book in addition to key portions of explanatory text. The final two pages of each book inlcude activites that relate to children’s real life experience and related knowledge and understanding, including opportunities for talk via thought provoking questions. Key questions are included as part of the blurb for each book, introducing children to key vocabulary to be found within the main textual content before they even turn the page. The books are roughly A5 size and would make fabulous guided reading material, as well as supporting longer non-fiction units from the primary framework within the classroom’.

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The series is a great introduction to guided reading. Packed with luscious photographs, children will be fascinated to find out more about these beautifully illustrated animals.

  • The series has a simple structure. Each strand has an overview book, with accompanying CD ROM, which teachers can use for guided reading. The overview books in each strand contain the key vocabulary and concepts for the whole strand. Once children are secure with the concepts, they can go on to use the remaining five books as independent readers.
  • CD ROMs follow the structure of the overview books, but are packed with extra features – games, animal videos and audio to get less confident readers started.
Let’s take a look:
  1. Choose the relevant strand for your class.
  2. Download the teachers’ notes for that strand, and pick the relevant notes for the book you have chosen.
  3. Use the CD-ROM for whole-class work, with children taking charge of the navigation.
  4. Support this work with the relevant overview book to get children interested in the concepts of LIfe cycles, Animal defences or Predators.
  5. The rest of the readers are all at the same level, so children can choose which books they are most interested in. Do they want to know more about Penguins, Octopus, Elephants, Deer or Otters?

Investigate CD-ROMs (Life cycles, Animal defences and Predators)

The CD ROM is NOT an ebook. It is much more than this. It is engaging and interactive and enables children to drill down even further, to learn about animals that haven’t been mentioned in the books, to test their understanding of the concepts, by playing matching games, or checking out information in a table. The CD brings the animals to life. Lions roar, and chase their supper. Birds swoop onto the interactive whiteboard. The activities provided on the CD-ROM are ideal for teaching literacy skills regularly and systematically. Above all, it is a fun way to learn.