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A Teacher's Guide



Begin your study of Robots by Clive Gifford with a discussion with the children on what they know about robots. Questions can include the following:
  • What is a robot?
  • What does a robot look like?
  • How does a robot work?
  • What are some things a robot can do?
  • Who is smarter, people or robots?
As the children give their answers, start creating a KWL chart to keep track of the many things they know and would like to know about robots. As the class reads the book, refer back to the KWL chart and add new things they learn.

Sample KWL Chart:

What we know about robots
What we would like to learn about robots
What we learned about robots
Robots are machines that work on their own.

Can a robot think?

Deep Junior can think through three million chess moves each second.

    Language Arts:
    • Generates questions about topics of interest.
    • Uses a variety of sources to gather information.
    • Makes contributions in class and group discussions.
    • Relates new information to prior knowledge and experience.

Highlighted vocabulary words can be found at the bottom of the pages in the book. Here are additional words from the text that you should focus on:

devise (page 6)
controller (page 8)
interact (page 9)
pressure (page10)
mobile (page 16)
trekked (page 23)
images (page 27)
bomb disposal (page 32)
hover (page 36)
surgeons (page 39)

Our suggestions on how to use these words effectively are found on page 2 of the guide.

    Language Arts/Readings:
    • Uses word reference materials to determine the meaning and pronunciation of unknown words.
    • Uses a variety of context clues to decode unknown words.

Language Arts/Writing

As a prewriting exercise, brainstorm with the children about the qualities they would want for their own personal robot. Using the list, have each student write a selection about his or her personal robot. Each student should decide whether the robot is a friend or a servant. The stories should include the robot's name, how it was acquired, what it looks like, and what it can do.

Divide the class into writing partners. Have the students evaluate one another's work and make suggestions for revision. When the stories are revised, the students should present their stories to the whole class.

For a second activity, have the children rewrite their stories from the point of view of the robot.

    Language Arts/Writing:
    • Uses prewriting strategies to plan written work.
    • Evaluates own and others' writing.
    • Writes in a variety of forms or genres.
    • Understands elements of character development.

Theatre Arts

If each of the machines in the book Robots could talk, it could make an interesting story. With your class, create a theater of robots. Assign a different robot mentioned in the book to each child. Based on what he or she has learned about the robot, have each write a short monologue or dialogue for it, telling who it is and what it does. The children can imagine adventures each robot has had — for example, a daring rescue or a walk on Mars. The children can make robot costumes or draw large posters of their robots which they can wear as costumes. They can perform their scripts in a robot theater.

    Theatre Arts:
    • Writes dialogue.
    • Knows characters in dramatizations.
    • Uses variations of locomotor and nonlocomotor movement and vocal pitch.
    • Understands the visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements of dramatic presentations.

    Cooperative Learning:
    • Works with others to achieve a common goal.

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