```CCS 4th Grade
(First Nine Weeks)
Student:____________________________________
Teacher:___________________________________
School:____________________________________
Assessment Score:___________________________
North Carolina Standard Course of Study Goals
Language Arts:
Goal1) The learner will apply enabling strategies and skills to read and write.
Goal2) The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
Goal3) The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media
and technology.
Science:
Goal 1) The learner will make observations and conduct investigations to build an understanding of animal
Have you ever wondered about those long-neck animals that hang around trees? Read the selection to find out some
Giraffes
by: Kathy Keane
Giraffes are one of the world’s tallest mammals.
They definitely have a hard time hiding! In fact,
some types are mistaken for trees with their oak leaf
patterns.
Appearance
If you wanted to get leaves from the top of a
tree you would have to climb the tree or be lifted up
in a motorized seat. A giraffe does not have this
problem. The necks of giraffes are about 6 feet
long. They can reach leaves at the top of most
trees.
Their legs are also about 6 feet long. Wow!
That is as tall as some people.
Have you ever heard someone say that you
have a big heart when you are being kind to others?
weighs under a pound. The giraffe actually has a
very large heart! It is about 2 feet long and weighs
of air in their lungs.
Giraffes may all look alike to you, but this is
not true if you get up close. Their spot patterns are
as unique as human fingerprints. Some giraffes
have patterns that look like oak leaves. Other
giraffes have patterns that are square-shaped.
How much do you think an average man
weighs? In the United States today, an average man
weighs about 190 pounds. An average male giraffe
weighs between 2,400 to 3,000 pounds and an
average female giraffe weighs between 1,600 to
2,600 pounds. I don’t think I would want a giraffe
to sit on me!
If you have a pet cat or dog its tail is
probably about 3 to 14 inches long. A giraffe’s tail
measures about 36 inches long. You and your
friends could jump rope with about three of their
tails!
You have probably been told not to stick
your tongue out at others or you would get in
trouble. The giraffe does this all day and doesn’t
get in trouble. If fact, that is how the giraffe gets to
his favorite food, acacia leaves. There are thorns on
the acacia tree that prevents other animals from
Food
eating the leaves. The giraffe’s 18 inch tongue
reaches around the thorns to get to the leaves. If
you stuck your tongue out all day long it would
probably get sunburned. The giraffe’s tongue is
pink for about 12 inches and the remaining 6 inches
that gets the most sun is a purplish-black color. The
color protects its tongue from getting sunburned.
Protection
Have you ever noticed the small knobs on
the top of a giraffe’s head that looks like horns?
These small knobs grow to be about 5 inches long.
A giraffe can have up to three of these on their
heads. One is usually located in the front portion of
the head and two in the back. Giraffes can use these
knobs for protection in fights, but sometimes use
them when “play-fighting” with other giraffes.
Have you ever mistaken a giraffe for a tree
at the zoo? That is because their patterns help
camouflage them. They blend in to look like the
trees and leaves they are eating from.
Do you think you would ever see a giraffe
wearing glasses? Probably not, because they have
very good eyesight that helps them watch for
approaching predators. They have a good sense of
hearing as well. Their 8 inch ears really help when
listening for predators.
Have you ever heard someone say they were
so sleepy they could sleep standing up? Well, that
is exactly what giraffes do to sleep. It is too hard
for them to get up and down, so they just sleep
standing up. This is convenient when a predator
approaches. The giraffe is already in a standing
position and can take off running at approximately
30 miles per hour!
One thing you would not want to do is legwrestle a giraffe! They have extremely strong legs
that allow for a very powerful kick when they are
fighting.
Can you imagine how you would feel if your
mother told you that your breakfast, lunch and
dinner would be only leaves? A giraffe would be
very happy with that statement. In fact, a giraffe
eats an average of 75 pounds of leaves a day. They
only get a few leaves in each bite, so they eat all
day!
A giraffe’s favorite food is acacia leaves.
These leaves contain a lot of water, so the giraffe
can go for long periods without water. This is a
good thing since many giraffes are attacked by
predators when getting water from a stream or lake.
Giraffes go to the watering hole together and take
turns watching for predators.
Giraffes that live in zoos also eat hay and
carrots.
How much water do you think you could
drink in one day? A giraffe in a zoo can drink up to
10 gallons of water per day. In four days they could
drink enough to fill a bathtub!
Birth
Do you know how long your mother was
pregnant with you before giving birth? A human
pregnancy is about 9 months long. A mother giraffe
is pregnant for about 14 to 15 months.
You were probably about 18 to 22 inches
long when you were born. A giraffe calf is about 6
foot tall when born. Wow! That is the height of a
grown man.
An average human baby weighs between 6
to 8 pounds when born. An average giraffe calf
weighs between 87 and 107 pounds when born!
Can you imagine trying to find clothes for that
baby?
Your mother gave birth to you lying down in
a bed at the hospital. The mother giraffe stands up
to give birth. The baby is dropped 6 foot to the
ground at birth. Ouch!
You were probably about one year old when
you started walking. A giraffe calf starts walking in
Your body will still be growing as you enter
high school. A giraffe reaches full body size by the
age of 5 years.
Have you ever had a baby-sitter? Young
giraffes have baby-sitters too. The young giraffes
are kept in nursery groups for protection until they
get older. At least one giraffe mother stays with the
group.
If you ever visit a zoo, look for the giraffe.
He will be the one over by the tree!
Directions: Find facts in the selection to complete the graphic organizer. Include at
least five facts for each category.
Appearance
Food
Giraffe
Birth
Protection
The selection gave many comparisons between people and giraffes.
Pick at least 3 comparisons that were made in the selection and list
them below.
People
Giraffes
People
Giraffes
Need to climb trees or be lifted up in a motorized
seat to reach leaves at the top of trees.
Some people are 6 feet tall.
less than a pound.
We have unique fingerprints.
Average male weighs 190 pounds.
You have been told not to stick out your tongue.
Some people say they are so sleepy they could
sleep standing up.
Pregnancy is 9 months.
Average birth length 18 to 22 inches long.
Average birth weight 6 to 8 pounds.
Mother gives birth lying down in a hospital bed.
Walks at age one.
Still grow into high school.
Sometimes have a baby-sitter.
Can reach the tops of trees with neck.
Their legs are 6 feet long.
Heart is 2 feet long and weighs about 25
pounds.
They have unique spot patterns.
Average male weighs 2,400 to3,000 pounds.
A giraffe sticks out his/her tongue all day.
Giraffes actually sleep standing up.
Pregnancy is 14-15 months.
Average birth length 6 foot long.
Average birth weight 87-107 pounds.
Mother gives birth standing up.
Walks an hour after birth.
Reach full body size by age 5.
Sometimes have a baby-sitter.
Comprehension Question Rubric:
Student identified
at least 3
comparisons.
Student identified
at least 2
comparisons.
Student identified
at least 1
comparison.
4 points
3 points
2 point
Total Points:_________
Student
identified
facts, but did
not make
comparisons.
1 point
no response.
0 points
Appearance:
1. Giraffes are the tallest land animals.
2. Their necks are 6 foot long.
3. Their legs are 6 foot long.
4. A giraffe’s heart is 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds.
5. A giraffe’s lungs can hold 12 gallons of air.
6. Some giraffes have patterns that look like oak leaves.
7. Some giraffes have patterns that are square-shaped.
8. Their spot patterns are as unique as human fingerprints.
9. Giraffes have small “horns” or knobs on top of their heads that grow to be about 5 inches
long.
10. Male giraffes weigh between 2, 400 to 3,000 pounds.
11. Female giraffes weigh between 1,600 to 2,600 pounds.
12. The tail measures up to one yard with a terminal tuft of stiff, black hair.
13. They have long tongues that measure 18-21 inches long. The inner part of the tongue is pink
in color, and then changes to a purplish-black color for the last 6 inches that are commonly
visible.
Protection:
1. The small “horns” or knobs on top of their heads are used to protect their heads in fights.
2. Their patterns help camouflage them to blend in with the trees and leaves.
3. Their necks are long and tough.
4. They have good eyesight to watch for approaching predators.
5. They have good hearing with 8 inch ears.
6. They usually sleep standing up which allows them to be in a position to run when necessary.
7. They have strong legs that allow for powerful kicks.
8. Giraffes are fast and can run around 30 miles per hour.
9. Young giraffes are kept in nursery groups and always watched by at least one giraffe for
protection.
Food:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Birth:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Their favorite food is acacia tree leaves.
They only get a few leaves in each bite, so they eat all day.
The acacia leaves contain a lot of water, so the giraffe can go for long periods without water.
Giraffes may eat up to 75 pounds of food per day.
Giraffes in the zoo eat acacia leaves, hay, carrots and leaf eater biscuits.
Giraffes in the zoo can drink 10 gallons of water per day.
Giraffes give birth to one calf after a 14 to 15 month pregnancy.
The calf is about 6 foot tall at birth.
The calf weighs between 87 to 107 pounds at birth.
The calf does not reach full body size until age 5.
Young giraffes are kept in small nursery groups for protection until they get older.
A giraffe gives birth while standing, so the calf drops about 6 foot to the ground when it is
born.
7. The calf can stand up and walk after about an hour.
Graphic Organizer Rubric:
Appearance
Student
identified at
least 5 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
5 points
Student
identified at
least 4 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
4 points
Student
identified at
least 3 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
3 points
Student
identified at
least 2 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
2 points
Student
identified at
least 1 fact
appearance
of giraffes.
1 point
Student
Total
Points
response.
_____
Student
identified at
least 4 facts
birth of
giraffes.
4 points
Student
identified at
least 3 facts
birth of
giraffes.
3 points
Student
identified at
least 2 facts
birth of
giraffes.
2 points
Student
identified
at least 1
the birth of
giraffes.
1 point
Student
Total
Points
response.
_____
Student
identified at
least 4 facts
food of
giraffes.
4 points
Student
identified at
least 3 facts
food of
giraffes.
3 points
Student
identified at
least 2 facts
food of
giraffes.
2 points
Student
identified
at least 1
the food of
giraffes.
1 point
Student
Total
Points
response.
_____
Student
identified at
least 4 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
4 points
Student
identified at
least 3 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
3 points
Student
identified at
least 2 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
2 points
Student
identified at
least 1 fact
appearance
of giraffes.
1 point
Student
Total
Points
response.
_____
0 points
Birth
Student
identified at
least 5 facts
birth of
giraffes.
5 points
0 points
Food
Student
identified at
least 5 facts
food of
giraffes.
5 points
0 points
Protection
Student
identified at
least 5 facts
appearance
of giraffes.
5 points
0 points
Assessment Rubric:
A
20-24 points
B
15-19 points
C
11-14 points
D
6-10 points
F
0-5 points
Total Points=
Graphic Organizer
plus Comprehension
Question
Total Points=
Graphic Organizer
plus Comprehension
Question
Total Points=
Graphic Organizer
plus Comprehension
Question
Total Points=
Graphic Organizer
plus Comprehension
Question
Total Points=
Graphic Organizer
plus Comprehension
Question
Total Score: (Graphic Organizer
plus Comprehension Question)______________
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