Written and Illustrated by Jason Chin
Rivers wind through the earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and more a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon. Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past. Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die-cuts show you that a fossil today was a creature much long ago, perhaps in a completely different environment. Complete with a spectacular double gatefold, an intricate map, and extensive back matter.
Primary Source Pairing:
Jason Chin has done it again with this incredible work of art in informational text form. The illustrations have detail and depth and show the vastness of the Grand Canyon. Invite students to study how the die-cuts on the pages contribute to the journey through the Canyon. There are many options for primary source pairing with this title. Share travel photos of staff or students who have visited the Grand Canyon. Analyze a variety of images of the Grand Canyon available on the Library of Congress website, some of which date back to the late 1800’s. Investigate maps of the Grand Canyon available on the Library of Congress website or on websites about the Grand Canyon. Use an Arizona map to incorporate a math map activity about scaling and size. For an experiential analysis activity, invite students to study rocks and fossils. Use the back matter in the book as a jumping-off point for more research and resources.
I have included an image of me at the Grand Canyon in 2017, although, all that being said, pictures and maps cannot adequately portray the greatness and immense wonder of the Grand Canyon.
Questions for Discussion:
- What feelings do you have when you study images or maps of the Grand Canyon?
- What do you wonder about?
- What questions do you have?
- What do you notice about the images or maps?
- Find a connection in Jason Chin’s artwork and a photograph of the Grand Canyon.
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Grand Canyon Photograph: JMarek