Ursula K. LeGuin

                                  Literature Ladder by Michaela Gardner


    This literature ladder is a supplemental unit to the book, Catwings. Catwings is the story of 4 city kittens born with wings. Their mother fears for their safety in the big city so she sends them off to find a safer place to live. The 4 siblings have much to learn about being on their own. They no longer have dumpsites available to eat from, they must find their own food. Owls and other dangers await them in their search for a new home.

    In this web quest the students will design a map showing the route the kittens traveled in their search for a home, compile a list of how cats and birds are alike and different, use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the life of a city cat and a country cat, and create an explanatory writing piece on why the kittens were born with wings.

    1. Student will use complete sentences to answer questions.
      2. Student will use correct punctuation and capital letters where  needed.
      3. Student will use descriptive language to describe feelings, situations, etc.
      4. Student will link factual answers to new knowledge they have gained.
      5. All answers will be at least 2 paragraphs in length.

     Writing       E2b, E2c, E41, E4b
         Literature   E5a
         Reading      E1c, E1a, E1b

Activity #1    Writing
    In the story four kittens are born with wings. Their mother can not give them a scientific reason for why this happened.
     Write a 2-3 paragraph essay on how/ why you think the kittens were born with wings. Use correct spelling and punctuation.

Activity #2        Mapping

    When life in the big city becomes too dangerous for Thelma, Roger, James, and Harriet, their mother tells them that they must leave. The kittens do not want to say goodbye to their mother but they know that she wants them to be safe,
    Design a map and select a route for the 4 kittens to follow on their search for a new home. Begin your map in the city and end at a place for them in the country. Give directions on how to get to their new home and provide travel times for their journey. Include geographical features such as mountains, forests, rivers, etc.


Activity #3       Diagramming

    The kittens were used to finding their dinners in trash dumpsters. When they arrived in the country they discovered that dinner was not waiting for them in a trashcan! They had to hunt for their food.
     Draw a Venn diagram. Using this diagram, compare and contrast the life of a city cat to a country cat. Discuss housing, food, dangers, etc.

Activity #4    Making a List

    Cats and birds are two different types of animals. We can see ways in which they are different. Can you also see a way that they are  alike?
    Make a list of  3 characteristics of  a cat and  3 characteristics of a bird. Find one way that they are alike and one way that they differ. Are their food or housing needs similar or different?


    Activity #5      Survival Skills

    The four kittens had alot to learn about living in the country! Poor James found out how dangerous owls can be. Catching fish requires patience and cunning. Life in the country is sure different from city life!
    Generate a list of survival skills a city cat would need to learn to survive in the country. Be SPECIFIC in your answers.

                                       Sites To Visit

    Here are some interesting and fun sites to visit.
        * The History of Cats

        * The Story Behind Cats & Catnip

                 *   Cat Years; how old is your cat?

          * Catwings Word Search