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Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies)

Last updated Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Author: Ernest Drake and Dugald Steer
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0763623296
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2015

Synopsis: From Booklist: "Purportedly a facsimile of an original book published in 1896, this is a handsome, dryly tongue-in-cheek volume about "the proper study of the dragonologist or student of dragon lore." Replete with large foldout pages, small inset foldouts, and maps showing dragons as indigenous to most parts of the world, the book covers everything from dragon habitats, physiology, and behavior to finding, tracking, taming, and flying them. The pages are sturdy and have an antique look about them, as do the plentiful, mostly full-color illustrations, some of which were contributed by Helen Ward. Appendixes provide advice on setting up a dragonology lab, useful spells and charms, and a history of dragonologists and dragon slayers. There are also ads for equipment, such as the "famous" Draco dragon-whistle, and some practical advice: to wit, wearing special, heat-protective clothing when approaching dragons. All in all, a delightful treatment for readers fascinated by dragons."

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you think dragons are real?
•  Have you ever seen a dragon?
•  What do you know about dragons?
•  Paradoxically-a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true
•  Species-a group of animals or plants that are similar
•  Intrigued- to make (someone) want to know more about something
•  Enviable-very desirable
•  Appendages-a body part
•  Fortuitous-happening by chance
•  Combustible-able to be burned easily
•  Benevolent-kind and generous
•  Steepes-a large, flat area of land with grass and very few trees
•  Palaeontology-the science that deals with the fossils of animals and plants
•  Discernible-to see, hear, or notice (something) with difficulty or effort
•  Imperative-very important
•  Imminent-happening very soon

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where do dragons live?
•  Who are the dragons of the seas? What are their differences compared to a dragon?
•  How many classifications of dragons are there?
•  How many species of western dragons are there?
•  How many species of eastern dragons are there?
•  How many other species of dragon are there?
•  Which is your favorite species? Why?
•  What is your favorite characteristic of a dragon?
•  What is the lifespan of a dragon?
•  What are different dragon behaviors?
•  What are the telltale signs of dragon activity?
•  Can you ride a dragon? Would you ride a dragon?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw your own species of dragon.
•  Make a dragon puppet using the template provided. Use a strip of construction paper folded like an accordion to connect the head and tail.
•  Make a Mother's Day card.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!