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Children's books by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Children's books by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Activities for Mud City: A Flamingo Story

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Mud City

  • Flamingos live in very salty water. Make some of your own. Heat water and pour it into a cake pan or other shallow pan. Stir in salt until no more salt can be dissolved into the solution. Add just a bit more water. Now place the pan in a sunny place. Salt crystals will form as the water evaporates. This may take several days. For larger crystals, leave a string dangling in the solution.

  • Mangrove seeds sprout on the tree for a head start. Then the seedlings drop into the water. The water carries them away ready to grow quickly in the salty mud. Wind and animals also carry seeds. How do dandelion seeds travel? How do berry seeds travel?

  • The pigs on the flamingo island are descendants of those left behind by pirates, buccaneers or early explorers. Why did these travelers leave pigs, and donkeys too, on islands when they visited?

  • The cysts of brine shrimp (Artemia) are very small. Fifty could fit on the head of a pin. See if you can find out how big the shrimp are when they hatch. Flamingos eat brine shrimp, but what do the brine shrimp eat? What does "brine" mean? Could brine shrimp survive in water that was not super-salty?

  • Flamingos build nests with salty mud. Look up spoonbills to see how they build a nest. Now research emperor penguins. In their frozen environment, they have no mud or trees. What do they use to protect their eggs and chicks?

  • Get some pink paint and have fun painting flamingos. The eyes of the adults are yellow and they also have black wing feathers. To paint the chicks, what colors will you need?

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