September 2022

She Helps Sloths

Academic Standards

Reading Objective:

Children will identify steps that scientists use to conduct an investigation.

Next Generation Science Standards:

Practice 3: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

K-LS1 Animals’ Survival Needs

1-LS1 How Animals Use External Parts to Survive



question, observe, record, conclusion

Check comprehension and inspire discussion.


1. What did Becky need to find out?
(what kind of leaves a sloth eats.)

2. How did Becky find out what kind of leaves sloths eat?
(She observed sloths in the jungle.)

3. How did she use her notebook?
(She used it to record what she observed.)

4. What conclusion did Becky make about the kind of leaves sloths eat?
(Sloths eat cecropia leaves.)

 Go online to print or project the Reading Checkpoint.

  • Sloths are the slowest mammals on Earth.
  • Moving slowly in the treetops helps sloths stay safe. Hungry eagles find them hard to spot.
  • Sloth moms teach their babies how to move slowly in the treetops, and how to eat leaves that are safe for them.  

Materials: clipboards, pencils, copies of the skill sheet (optional: hand lenses)

Overview: Like Becky the sloth scientist, students will go outside, find an animal to observe, and record what it does. (Alternate: Observe a tree or other item in nature, or use animal photos/videos indoors.)


  1. Before you leave the classroom, tell students they will go outside to practice being animal scientists like Becky. Remind kids that Becky observes animals to learn about them. It’s not always easy! It can take her
    a long time to spot a sloth in a tree.
  2. Give each student a clipboard, a pencil, and a copy of the skill sheet. Head outside.
  3. Ask kids what animals they might see. Birds and insects are animals. Do they see or hear any? First, just let kids explore.
  4. When students spot an animal, remind them to watch quietly. Then have them record what they observe on the skill sheet. If there’s time, they can share what they found—scientists do that too!