Weekly Reader Connections

Teacher Guide: Lesson 21.3

The Weekly Reader Connections feature provides children with additional information about the topics that appear in the Curriculum Connection feature in their student books.

The article “Follow the Leader” tells how humans taught sandhill cranes to migrate, in the interest of saving the endangered whooping crane population. The project began by training birds born in captivity to survive in the wild and to migrate annually. Sandhill cranes were chosen for the experiment because of their large numbers in the United States. The sandhill cranes were used to test the route and the training process for the many fewer whooping cranes that exist in this country. Once the sandhill cranes were successfully taught to migrate successfully, the same process was used with the whooping cranes.

The Word Wise activity points out that “sandhill” is a compound word beginning with the prefix “sand-.” The activity challenges children to complete other words beginning with “sand-.”

  • The baby is digging in the sandbox or sandpile.
  • Rub sandpaper on wood to make it smooth.
  • I will eat a sandwich for lunch.

You may wish to extend this activity by challenging children to find the meanings of “sandpiper” and “sandbar.”

Hot-air ballooning serves as motivation for the Data Hunt activity. Hot-air balloons cruise at approximately 2,000 feet above the ground. Before the balloon canopy can rise into the air, it must be filled with air. Once the canopy is erect, the pilot and the passengers climb into the attached basket. The pilot increases the heat below the canopy, making the balloon rise to the height at which the winds are blowing. The balloon is then pushed along by the wind. A pilot who wants to change direction can increase or decrease the heat below the canopy to bring the balloon to the level at which the wind is blowing from the desired direction.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 2