Lesson 6: The Best Pet Award

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How do living things influence or change the environment?
  • How does the weather affect people, plants, and animals?

Facts and Definitions

  • Living things can change their environments to make themselves more comfortable.
  • Mood is a state of mind or a feeling.
  • Pleasure is a feeling of enjoyment.
  • Damage means harm or injury to a person or property.
  • Admit means to tell the truth about something.
  • Fond means you like someone.
  • Miserable means unhappy or uncomfortable.


  • Read and comprehend figurative language in text. (LA)
  • Recall main ideas, facts, and details from a text. (LA)
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions from a text. (LA)
  • Increase oral and written vocabulary by listening, discussing, and composing texts when responding to literature that is read and heard. (LA)
  • Read critically to interpret and evaluate. (LA)


  • Tornado by Betsy Byars, Doron Ben-Ami
  • construction paper
  • crayons or colored pencils
  • glue
  • journal
  • note cards
  • scissors
  • sentence strips


Tell your child that in this chapter Tornado has an encounter with a cat. Ask her what she knows about the relationship between cats and dogs.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Tornado by Betsy Byars, Doron Ben-Ami
Ask your child to read Chapter 5 aloud. Discuss how animals get on a schedule according to patterns that are set up in their environment. Many dogs will wait for their owner to come home at the same time each day or wait at the back door to go on a walk at the same time each day. Even though animals can't tell time, they know when things happen at the same time each day in their environment.
  1. How did Five-Thirty get his name?
    He showed up every day at 5:30 for food.
  2. Why does Tornado dig a hole under the trees?
    To keep cool.

    Discuss the fact that animals often change their environment to make it more comfortable. The earth is cooler beneath the surface, so a hole beneath two trees would be a very comfortable place in the heat of the day.
  3. Have you ever changed your environment in any way to make it more comfortable?
    Turn on a fan, start a fire in the winter, put a blanket or pillow on a hard floor to make it more comfortable, etc.
  4. Why do you think Five-Thirty gets in Tornado's hole?
    Answers will vary.
  5. What does Tornado say to Five-Thirty?
    Get out, please.
  6. When Five-Thirty goes out, why does Tornado dig more dirt out of the hole?
    He wants to get the feel and the smell of the cat out of his hole.
  7. What does Pete mean when he says, "Even if he dug all the way to China....when he got there it would still be Five-Thirty"?
    No matter how much Tornado dug, he would never be able to get the memory of Five-Thirty out of the hole.