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Several people have asked for details on the Animalia contest that we run.
It's very simple to set up and doesn't require many supplies. And the kids
really stretch their vocabularies.

The winner is the person who correctly identifies the most items from the
illustration. We chose to use the "C" and the "P" illustrations because
they are the double-page spreads and thus the largest illustrations. It
doesn't take long for the kids to catch on to the idea that everything in
the picture begins with the letter being illustrated.

We got the illustrations from 6 copies of the Animalia calendar that I
purchased several years ago. I cut up the calendars and laminated the C &
P pages to separate pieces of poster board. (You could also use copies of
the book - we keep 2 for just this purpose.) The lamination keeps the
pictures clean and untorn and can be shared by several students at a time.
I also recommend a large magnifing sheet because some of the pieces are
rather small, almost hidden.

We developed an "entry form" which is basically a single page of 3 columns
of numbered blanks that the kids fill in. I think there are 99 on a page.
If they identify more items than that, they simply write them on the back
of the page. (I think the P page has something like 121 that we've
identified.) You have to use the British term for some of the items (ie,
baby carriage=pram) which makes the kids use the thesaurus. Last year's
winner got a lot of his terms from a crossword-puzzle dictionary!

We run the contest for 2 weeks. Students can enter either individually or
as a group. Kids really get into this puzzle - and teachers do too.
Classes don't schedule library time just to participate, but it is an
excellent time-filler for class members who have already picked a book to
check-out and encourages them to not waste time. And some of our teachers,
especially language arts, borrow the laminated pictures to use in the
classroom. We've even put copies in the teacher's workroom (we run a
separate contest for adults at the same time as the students').

If you have further questions, contact me at:

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