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Classroom activities to accompany the books

A Pony Promise, and A Pony Named Patches



Szymanski's books A Pony Promise and A Pony Named Patches each take place on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.

Descriptions of the wetlands setting are a large part of each book.

The following supplemental classroom activities are meant to accompany the book and reinforce the presentation of wetlands information within each story.


1. Have students build a diorama with a wetlands scene.

Encourage them to show animals under the water, on top of the water, on land, and in the air.

Even though they are actually feral animals, kids love to include the ponies!


2. Ask students to draw a picture of Matt riding his bike over the bridge to

Assateague Island (A Pony Named Patches) and looking down at the people crabbing

and the wildlife below. Have them draw and color what Matt might have seen.


3. Have students pick one animal from the following list, research it

and write a paper to share with the class: Horseshoe Crab; Delmarva Fox Squirrel;

Piping Plover; Cattle Egret: Painted Turtle; Wood Duck; Great Horned Owl: Red Fox;

Raccoon; Sika Deer; White Tailed Deer; Mallard Duck; Golden Eyed Duck; Canada Goose;

Blue Heron; Oystercatcher; Red Bat; Muskrat; River Otter; Virginia Opossum; White footed Mouse


4. Discuss the cattle egret and his relationship with the ponies. Show students

a picture of a cattle egret eating insects from a pony and discuss

symbiotic relationships in the animal world.


5. Print and share one of the puzzles below for classroom fun and learning!

Answer Key

Across: 4.Delmarva Fox Squirrel 8.Beaver 9.Cattails

10.Painted Turtle 11.Snowy Goose 12.Great Horned Owl

Down: 1.Chincoteague Ponies 2.myrtle 3.marsh

5.Cattle Egret 6.Deciduous 7.Coniferous


Kindergarten through Grade 2

Box Turtle at Long Pond, William T. George

Come Out, Muskrats, Jim Arnosky

Common Frog, Oxford Scientific Films

Dragonflies, Cynthia Overbeck

Fish Eyes, Lois Ehleert

If You Were a Wild Duck Where Would You Go?, George Mendoza

Let's Find Out About Frogs, Corrine J. Naden

Lily Pad Pond, Bianca Lavies

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey

The Noisy Counting Book, Susan Schade and Jon Butler O

ld Mother West Wind, Thornton W. Burgess

Puddles and Ponds, Rose Wyler

Rain Drop Splash, Alvin Tresselt

A River Dream, Allen Say

River Parade, Alexandria Day

The Seminole, Emilie U . Lepthier

Spring Peepers, Judy Hawes

The Ugly Duckling, Hans Christian Anderson

Willa in Wetlands, Peyton Lewis and Rory Chalcraft

Grades 3 through 5

Animals and Plants That Trap, Philip Goldstein

Animals of the Ponds and Streams, Julie Becker

Beaver Valley, Walter D. Edmonds

Dragonflies, Hilda Simon

Explore a Spooky Swamp, Wendy W. Cortesi

Frogs, Toads, Lizards and Salamanders, Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright

From Pond to Prairie, Laurence Pringle

Green Darner, Robert M. McClung

In the Middle of the Puddle, Mike Thaler

Island of the Loons, Dayton 0. Hyde

Marshes and Swamps, Linda M. Stone

The Mystery of the Great Swamp, Marjorie A. Sapf

Pond and River, Steve Parker

The Pond Book, Albro Gaal

Scoots the Bag Turtle, Judy Cutchins and Ginny Johnston

The Seminole, Martin Lee

Small Water Mammals, Maxwell Knight

Snails of Land and Sea, Hilda Smith

Swan Lake, Mark Helprin

Water Insects, Sylvia A. Johnson

Wetlands, Linda M. Stone

Wetlands: Bogs, Marshes and Swamps, Lewis Buck

Wonders of the Fields and Ponds at Night, Jacquellyn Berrill

The World of Fishes, Thomas D. Fagely


For classroom presentations, please email Lois Szymanski at: