Any Mr. Roger's fans out there? Check out our new 8th grade module: You Are My Friend!

Owen and Mzee (5th Grade: Series 1)
Owen and Mzee (5th Grade: Series 1)
Owen and Mzee (5th Grade: Series 1)
Owen and Mzee (5th Grade: Series 1)
Owen and Mzee (5th Grade: Series 1)

Owen and Mzee (5th Grade: Series 1)

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Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship celebrates the true tale of an orphaned baby hippopotamus and a 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise, brought together by a tsunami off the coast of East Africa. Students will study the culture of the area and create Kenya-inspired instruments in response to their new learning. Students will explore themes within text, seismic action, and cause and effect while discovering other unlikely friendships around the world.

Before you begin...

Each Artful Reading Module is flexibly designed for a 2-3 week duration. Lessons are marked for Before-, During-, or After-Reading to guide your planning. We have added a sample of a Before Reading lesson entitled Seismic Action for you to preview. Each lesson is designed in an easy to read format, with standards, materials needed, and step-by-step directions to ensure you are fully prepared when it’s time to deliver. 

This module contains the following lessons:


  • Vocabulary Graffiti
  • Seismic Action
  • A Little Bit More
  • Twiddle Your Thumbs
  • From Beginning to End, You’ll Always be my Friend
  • One Thing Leads to Another
  • Pick a Pic
  • Geometry is All Around Us
  • Dare to Compare
  • Double Bubble
  • Odd Couples

At the end of the module, you will find options for summative writing tasks and optional extensions that can stretch the module further.

Standards Matrix

For your reference, we have added images of the literacy standards matrix for this module. 

Key Vocabulary

Tsunami, Sanctuary, Wallow, Villager, Kenya, Ecologist, Elder

Note: This module is part of 5th Grade: Series 1. The four modules in Series 1 collectively address all National ELA and Core Arts Standards.