Friday, March 4, 2011

The Great Kapok Tree

This week, Mrs. Ranney's 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 alone.

Because the setting of the story is the rain forest,
we have been reading and researching about plants and animals of that habitat.

We all looked our animals up in classroom dictionaries, animal atlases, or library books.

Our dictionaries had great facts and pictures.

We are working on illustrations as well!

Another great way to research rain forest animals is in the online encyclopedia that the PFC purchased.

For your comment on this post, 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!)
☂   ☼  ☂   ☼  ☂   ☼  ☂   ☼ ☂  ☼

It will be exciting to learn about an animal from that animal!
Be sure to read  the sample comments left  by 
Mrs. Ranney and Peggy, the Penguin!

(Be sure to use html code around your facts, so they will be in bold print!)


  1. Dear Mrs. Ranney’sssss 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. Since 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

    (Mrs. Yollis' class)

  2. Magic Monkey :) (Carly:)March 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Dear Everyone,

    Ooh ooh ah ah!

    I am the monkey. Two facts about me are that I am extremely active, and that I am really small in size.

    These are some more facts about what I am. There are about 200 different kinds of me. Most of us live in the warm wet forests by South America, Africa, and Asia. Some of us spend our entire lives in the tall trees that have leaves that look like a canopy.

    I am an animal that lives in troupes. The smallest monkeys like me are about 6 inches, that is 15 centimeters, not including our furry tails.
    Here is a fact I enjoy. It is that the largest grow up to about 32 inches which is 81 centimeters.

    We have very long arms and legs to help us jump, run, and leap among all of the tall trees. Another thing we like to do is use our hands and feet to grab on to things such as little crumbs of food.
    Most of us devour whatever we can get our hands on.

    Some of the food contains birds and birds' eggs, flowers, frogs, fruit, grass, insects, leaves, lizards, nuts, and lastly roots.

    Lots of people think that apes are monkeys like I am. Part of the ape family includes chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and finally gibbons.

    Except apes and me are different in many ways. For example, most monkeys like me have a tail, but none of the apes have long, beautiful tails like ours. Also most apes are larger and more smart than monkeys that are just like me.

    Those are some of the enthralling facts that I found out about.

    Ooh ooh ah ah!

    Warmest Regards,
    Magic Monkey:)


  3. 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 munch 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 of 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)

  4. Tammy Tree Frog (Ella)March 5, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    This is Tammy the tree frog commenting from my “laplog”. In the human world, you call it a laptop, but here in the rainforest, on my tree, it’s a log on a lap, so laplog.

    I usually put it on my lap under my slim waist and on top of my long legs. I use the sticky pads called adhesive disks on my toes to help me climb trees and leap between branches, but also to type comments on the blog.

    I am enjoying reading about all the other animals in your blog, although I am not too keen about the boa constrictor because snakes, birds, and mammals like to eat me!. I have to warn you that my skin may be repulsive to predators like you!, so you may want to consider eating someone else.

    I, on the other hand, enjoy munching on insects and other small animals.

    Tammy the tree frog

  5. Hello, I am a Spider Monkey. My name is Rafael.

    I have tan fur and I weigh 19 pounds. We weigh between ten and nineteen pounds. I can grow up to 2 feet! I am two feet tall, excluding my tail. We grow up to two feet tall when you when you only measure my body.

    I live in Brazil in the Brazil Rainforest.

    I'mindanger,because my species has been hunted to extinction in many areas of the Amazon basin.

    Rafael (Aidan)

  6. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I am a fierce piranha with very sharp teeth. I live in lakes and rivers in South America in the rain forest.

    The reason I commented was because I was caught by a fisherman by mistake and found the time to comment.

    Another fact about me is that I have many different colors, like blue or green and my belly can be red or orange.

    I am a very special fish because I am the only one with razor sharp teeth, I love to eat smaller fish, seeds, and even fruit from in the water.

    Your omnivores friend,

    Popi piranha

  7. Tara the Toucan [Leah]March 6, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Hi! My name is Tara the Toucan. I live in the Central and South American rainforest. I love to feast on small fruits, but if there’s if there is not enough for me, I will eat some insects. Today, I got lucky and I got to munch on some delicious fruits, so I thought I could comment while I am digesting.

    I make my home in the hole of a hollow tree. I will grow to be 33-65 centimeters tall. When I am an adult, and because I am a girl Toucan, I will lay 2-4 eggs ever year.

    Your Friend,
    Tara the Toucan :)

  8. Tara the Toucan [Leah]March 7, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Hello again! It is Tara the Toucan! I have some free time so I choose to comment! I have some more great facts about me! There are 40 different kinds of me. The largest of me, the toco toucan, is about 25 inches [64 centimeters] long. The smallest of me are called aracaris and toucanets and they grow 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 centimeters) long. My bill is brilliantly colored. It can be black, blue, green, red, white, yellow, or a combination of colors. My bill looks very heavy, but it is actually very light because it is mostly hollow. I have a bristly, narrow tongue that looks like a feather.

    Do you want to know something really cool about me? When I sleep, I turn my head around and put my bill down on the center of back! Then I fold my tail over my head! I think this is the most interesting thing about me.

    When it's time to have baby toucans, we build our nests in our hollow tree, and then the girls [like me] lay from one from one to five white eggs. The mom and dad take turns sitting on the eggs. The eggs hatch after about 15 days, and the parents take care of the babies in the nest for about 8 weeks.

    I hope you enjoyed these facts about me!

    Yours Truly,

    Tara the Toucan ☀

  9. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,
    Mrs. Watson is going to read us The Great Kapok Tree this after noon. I wonder why the tree is so great?

    From your quad buddy,

  10. Dear Mrs Ranney and class,

    Mrs Watson is going to read the Great Kapok Tree.I am very happy about it because I have never read it before and it looks very good :)I am in Mrs Watson's 23 Class. You guys have a nice blog.Do you read it a lot and do you like it? I have never heard of the Great Kapok Tree.But it looks like a good book and I am so so happy about it :)

    Your New Friend Jordan :)

    P.S Your blog is awesome!

  11. Dear Mrs Ranney's class,
    Our taecher is going to read us The Great Kapok Tree!
    Do you like The Great Kapok Tree?

    from your friend
    from Mrs watson

  12. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,
    I am a macaw. I am a very colorful bird. I have a long tail with a thick, hooked bill,and little feet.

    I'm one of the largest birds in the world, besides the eagle and hawk.

    I eat seeds, fruit, and berries, but I do not like worms.

    In addition to living in the Amazon rain forest, I also live in the Australia.

    Many parrots learn to talk.

    I am a popular pet because I am friendly and clever.

    There are about 350 species, or kinds, of parrots.

    Milly the macaw :)
    (Ariel) :)

  13. Dear Mrs.Ranney,
    Hi I am Mark the spider monkey.I was having a banana until I realized that I could comment on the blog.Let me tell you a little
    about me.

    I grow to be at least 32 inches
    long.My long legs help me climb trees and jump from tree to tree.I
    hang from branches by using my long

    Mark the monkey

  14. Jessica Jaguar:) (Jamie:)March 8, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Grrrr! My name is Jessica Jaguar. I had time to comment because I have recently demolished three deer, four fish, and two wild pigs, which I love to munch on. Luckily, that was easy since I'm the biggest, most powerful wild cat that lives in the Northern and Southern rain forests.

    I love visiting forests and grasslands since I live in a shrubby area.

    Since I'm a female, soon I will give birth to either two, three, or four baby jaguars. I know it seems weird, but I'm hoping for two because I'm lazy, and I have to teach them how to hunt for the next two years.

    More facts about me are I'm 7 1/2 feet long, including my tail, but my best friend is 8 1/2 feet, which is the longest you can grow.(I'm kind of jealous)

    Many people like photos of me because they find my golden or brownish-yellow fur with many, many spots, extremely intriguing.

    Grrrreat Wishes,

    Jessica Jaguar:)

  15. Dear Mrs. Ranney's class,

    I am a tree porcupine. I am an animal that has strong, stiff quills on my back, sides, and tail. My quills are long sharp bristles of hairs that are bundled together. I protect myself by sticking attackers with my quill tail. My quills come out easily and stick into the attacker's skin. I grow new quills to replace the lost ones. Some people think I can shoot quills at my enemies, but thats not true.

    Your Friend,
    Tree Porcupine(Grace)

  16. Anastasia Ant (Mikayla)March 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    My name is Anastasia ant. I am not just any kind of ant, I am a leaf-cutter ant. Right now, I am building a huge nest, that is over 30 feet across and 20 feet deep. I just dropped my leaf in the nest, so I have 10 minutes to type a comment.

    As a leafcutter ant, I live in a colony. Every ant in a colony has a job. In my colony, there are three different groups: a queen, several drones and millions of workers. The workers are part of different castes. I am part of the forager caste. As a forager, I work very hard at moving leaves, scouting for new plants and helping protect the colony. My bigger friends are part of the major caste and they work hard at doing the bigger lifting jobs.

    We don't eat leaves. Instead, we use them to grow fungus, that doesn't grow anywhere else, but our nests. We then eat the fungus as our food.

    Did you know that all of us workers are females? We know how to follow each other because we leave a chemical scent behind. We are all less than one centimeter long and my jaws are so strong that I could even bite through human skin.

    Anastasia ant

  17. Cindy Boa Constrictor (Ariel) ♔March 9, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Dear Mrsssss. Ranney'ssss classss,
    My name is Cindy. I wasss lissstening to the ssssong Sssssecretsss and then my friend told my about your blog. Sssso I commented.

    Boa constrictors are large snakes. We are not poisonous.

    Us snakes are 10 to 14 feet (3 to 4.3 meters) long. Most boa constrictors live in South America

    When hunting, we lie still and attack animals that pass by us. We kill animals for food by squeezing them to death. We swallow our prey whole. Boa constrictors do not lay eggs. We give birth to live young. We may give birth to 50 young snakes at one time.

    Cindy Boa Constrictor

  18. Andy Anteater (Edo)March 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Dear Mrs.Ranney,
    Hi I'm Andy Anteater,I found a computer on an ant hill and I took my long sticky tongue and went to the blog to comment. I have no teeth, and my favorite foods are ants and termites.Many of my friends are over 6 feet long like I am .We play tag and this is how we tag. We shoot out our tongues like we do when we eat ants.
    Andy Anteater

  19. Dear Mrs. Ranney,
    I am a monkey. I am an animal that lives in troupes.I just ate ten bananas for breakfast, and I think I am going to eat ten more bananas for dinner.Two facts about me are that I am really small in size, and that I am extremely active. We have long arms and legs to help us jump, run, and leap among all of the tall trees.


  20. Sammy Sloth (Rachel)March 10, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney's class,

    Hi, I'm Sammy Sloth! I have almost no tail or ears, but I forgot that I barely had any tail and thought I had dropped it in the forest somewhere! It turns out that my friend, Lily Ladybug, told me about 5 times, but I just couldn't hear her.

    When I was in a tree, I fell down and luckily held on with my hook like claws! While I was at the trunk of the tree, I found my old laptop and started to type this comment.

    When I came back up the tree, I went home to my humongous branch and asked my mom what we were having for dinner. She said, "We will be having plenty of young twigs, leaves and buds". That of course excited me because these are all of my favorite things to eat!

    Your hanging friend,

    Sammy Sloth

  21. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    My name is Dart. I am a Poison Arrow Frog. I am known as the most handsome member of the herpatile family. That is because my body is very colorful. It is a vibrant color of blue with bright yellow around my sides. My bright colors tell my enemies that I am poisonous and to STAY AWAY!

    I live in both Central and South America in the rainforest. I am only as big as a paperclip. That's right, I am only 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. I have a long and sticky tongue that helps me to catch my favorite foods, like Carpenter Ants and termites. I may be small but I have poisonous skin. Indian tribes have used my poison to put on their darts when they are shooting enemies. My brother, the Golden Poison Arrow Frog, has enough poison to kill 10 grow men!

    I'm not all bad, scientists are trying to make an antidote for illnesses out of my poison. The only creature that is not afraid of me is a snake called
    Leimacdophis epinephelus. For some reason, they are resistant to my poison.

    Hope to see you in the rainforest,


  22. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    I am Ally the anteater!

    I do not have any teeth and I feast mostly on ants and termites. Huge anteaters live in rain forests and plains from Panama all the way through South America. I have long, narrow snouts and bushy gray hair that is on my tail and sides. I am a giant anteater, so I live on the ground and travel by foot on the flank of my feet. I tear open ant nests with my hands(claws) and lick the ants up with my extended tongue.

    I hope you enjoyed some of the facts I wrote about anteaters!

    Ally the anteater ☀

  23. Dear Mrs.Ranney's class
    I am a jaguar. I have just devoured a wild pig,so I can comment on the blog.Let me tell you some things about myself I eat dear fish and other rodents. I weigh 90 to 300 pounds.I had a great time on the blog,but I have to go.

    Jason the Jaguar,

  24. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I am a scarlet macaw, and I just was flying over some trees until I got tired and wanted to comment. I will tell you some facts about my diet. I eat seeds, nuts, fruits, and I even eat large and hard nuts, but I mostly like fruits and nuts.

    Jase The Scarlet Macaw


  25. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Hola' (hello) I am Ben, the Black Caiman. You may know me as a crocodile. I live in the Amazon Basin. I am the largest reptile of the Amazon Basin. I swim slowly down rivers. I was just being chased by some hunters, so I slipped in their boat. Then I floated away and decided to write a comment.

    I have bony scales that are black and brown eyes. I am about sixteen feet long.

    I am a carnivore. My teeth are designed grab animals not rip them. My favorite food includes catfish, turtles, anacondas, and deer. My relative Jack the juvenile crocodile eats humans and jaguars.

    Oh, there is a guy with a spear, so I guess I will be leaving now!

    Ben the Black Caiman (Justin)

  26. Nate, The Pintcher Plant (Philip)March 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney, and class,

    I am a Nate, a Pitcher Plant and I love to eat bugs. I cover the floor of the rain forest,
    and I look like clumps of mushrooms.

    You’re probably wondering how I trap the bugs I eat. Well here is how I do it. My bright colors and sweet, fragrant, smell attracts bugs to come climb inside of me. What they don’t know is that that they will get stuck and drown. Shhh, there’s one right there! Come down bug, come to papa. Mmm that was a good snack. Anyway, so where was I? My insides fill with rain water and when a bug climbs inside of me to get a drink, it will drown because it gets trapped because my sides are sticky so it can’t climb out. I love being a pitcher plant!

    Nate, the Pitcher Plant
    &#9733 (Philip)

  27. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    My name is Anthony the Anaconda. I am also know as a Water Boa. Did you know that I am the biggest snake in the world? I live in warm swampy areas and I hide in shallow water when predators are near, so they can't see me. I am a relative of the Boa Constrictor. My lovely sister Anna the Anaconda can give birth to 20-40 live snakes at once! That's a lot of snakes!

    Anthony the Anaconda
    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    My name is Anthony the Anaconda. I am also know as a Water Boa. Did you know that I am the biggest snake in the world? I live in warm swampy areas and I hide in shallow water when predators are near, so they can't see me. I am a relative of the Boa Constrictor. My lovely sister Anna the Anaconda can give birth to 20-40 live snakes at once! That's a lot of snakes!

    Anthony the Anaconda

  28. Taylor the Tamarin (Jamie:)March 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    Hi, my name is Taylor the Tamarin. I know you are wondering what I am, most people do, so I'll tell you. I am a small monkey, and I happen to live in Central America. Someone in my group of about 24 monkeys told me that there are tamarins that live in South America, too. My friend in my group of monkeys told me that there are some tribes with up to 40 monkeys! When she told me that, I felt lucky because in smaller groups you get to know the monkeys better. Everyone feels like family.

    I am a small monkey, but I am larger than the marmoset. Some tamarins say slightly, but I'm particularly small, so I like to think of it as just larger. I'm particularly tiny because I'm an adult and I'm only 8 inches long, not including my tail, while my friend is 12 inches long! I weigh 1 and 1/2 pounds, and my friend weighs 2 pounds.

    Another fact about tamarins is that there are about 20 species of us. We're usually multicolored with red, white, and brown because they're the most common color pattern. I see some other groups of tamarins and they have long hair on the top of their heads and showy mustaches that are extremely hilarious!

    I personally feel bad for lion tamarins because they are and endangered species with a long, silky mane on their heads and a very bright golden- orange coloring. They're endangered because the growth of human urban areas have taken up much of their territory. Can you people stop making urban areas? Shame on you!

    By the way, I had time to comment because I was tired from climbing really tall trees for the best fruits and I had been chasing and catching insects, frogs, and tree gums, which I love to devour. Right now, I happen to be munching on a frog. I should probably get going because I hear my friend calling me in one of her many high-pitched calls.

    Taylor the Tamarin

  29. Warren Woolly Monkey (Carly:)March 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Ooh ooh ah ah ah ha!

    It is so funny because I just decided to go on this intriguing post that is about the rain forest, but my friend Magic Monkey, or as I call her Megan Magical Hyper Monkey already beat me to this post.

    Well, I am going to tell some facts about me, and I am a woolly monkey. A woolly monkey is a monkey that is one of the larger monkeys. Only five species of woolly exist!

    Woolly monkeys like me have thick, soft, and really dark fur. We live in groups of about 5 to 40 individuals. I live in a group with about 15 individuals.

    All of us dash through the colossal trees, devouring mostly fruit. Most of us spend most of our time sleeping, but when we are awake we are really playful and hyper. We are known to greet each other by "kissing".

    Adult woolly monkeys, like my mom and dad weight from 10 to 25 pounds or 4.5 to 11 kilograms. My mom weighs about 11 pounds, and my dad weighs about 18 pounds.

    We measure from roughly 20 to more than 30 inches long, not including our 23 to 27 inch tail, which can be used to grasp objects.

    The underside of the tail has no fur near the end. The area has ridges similar to human fingerprints and rough skin.

    We are threatened by the destruction of our rain forest home and by hunters who kill us for their meat.
    Why can't the hunters just find something else to kill and devour?

    Also, the yellow-tailed woolly monkey is extremely rare. I am a yellow-tailed woolly monkey, so I am so happy that I am rare!

    @Megan Magical Hyper Monkey, I will get on another one of these enthralling posts before you can. Ha!

    Yours Truly,
    Warren Woolly Monkey


  30. Lucy (aka Justin's mom)April 4, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    My name is Lucy, the lemur. I am so sorry that this comment is late (I know you studied rain forest animals last month), but I live on the island of Madagascar and things move slowly here off the coast of Africa. Even our internet is slow!

    I know you are asking, "How can a lemur type?" Well, I have 5 digits (similar to your fingers) on each hand so I can type just like you do! But I am luckier than you because I can type from the branch of a tall tree! I just hold on with my tail! My digits on my hands and feet also help me climb trees and eat the plants and insects I love. You should try our incredible island insects! Yum!

    If you ever travel to Madagascar, please don't forget to come say, "Hello." And maybe then I will tell you another question you are dying to know, "How do lemurs know how to spell?"

    Until then,
    Your Lucky Lemur,

  31. Taylor the Tamarin (Jamie:)April 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Dear Lucy,

    Hi, it’s Taylor the Tamarin again. I’m very delighted to see that a lot of animals are commenting for all around the world.

    Since you mentioned to that the internet is extremely slow, I’ll tell you that you’re not the only animal with terrible internet. Here in Central America, whenever I go on anything that’s on the internet, it takes forever.

    Anyway, I was really glad to see that I’m not the only animal who uses their hands to climb trees and type comments.

    By the way, I’d love to come to visit you in Madagascar for some of those delicious insects. By any chance do you make insect stew? Or perhaps some soggy insect salad?

    The only question I have is how do lemurs spell words correctly? The only reason every word in my comments aren’t spelled wrong is because thankfully, even though the internet is slow, we still have Word, so it helps me spell words right. Do you have Word too?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Taylor the Tamarin


  32. Tatiana the Tiger (Carly:)May 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Meeeeeeooooowww!! Sorry about that, I just woke up from a long nap. Let me introduce myself to you. Hello, I am Tatiana the tiger. Maybe I should tell you a little bit about me and my life.

    First, you should know that the tiger is the largest member of the humongous cat family. Second, people admire us tigers for our strength and beauty, but lots of people also fear us because we sometimes are a bit hungry, so we choose to eat some people. We only like to eat people when we are usually really sick of hurt. The reason why we only eat people when we are sick or hurt is because we can no longer run fast enough to hunt the animals we usually eat. You can’t really blame us because people are just so tasty!

    However, we would rather not be around humans. The wild tigers live only in Asia. Until that 1800’s, we started to be found across much of the southern half of Asia. Today there are only a few wild tigers left in left in most countries. Sadly, rude people have killed many of us, and the forests some of us lived in have been cut down.

    Tigers usually like to be in the shade (those tigers are just like me). We live in rainforests in Thailand. Some of us can also be found in the hot and dry woods of India. There are some us in the cold and snowy forests of Siberia too.

    Tigers have large, powerful bodies. An adult male tiger is about 9 feet long. An adult female is about 8 feet long. Adult tigers prefer to live alone. A tiger's coat ranges from brownish-yellow to orange-red, with black stripes. We can see, hear, and smell extremely well.
    We tigers hunt mostly deer, antelope, wild cattle, and wild pigs. We also hunt at night. When a one of us finds an animal, we creep up on it quietly. Then the tiger makes a rush for the animal and pulls it down.

    Your Friend From The Rainforest,
    Tatiana the Tiger



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