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activities center on research and learning through reading about the sightings, study, and science of the cryptid in the loch.  It comes in two different reading levels, identified by the issue number: 

  • Issue 34 is more appropriate for students in grades 3-4, while
  • Issue 56 has stronger vocabulary and longer sentences, making it more suitable for students in grades 5-6. 

You may want to print some of each issue if you have a wide range of reading abilities in your classroom.  Both versions look the same and present the same information, therefore they can be used within the same classroom. 

  • Primary source material is embedded in the newspaper articles, and used as much as possible. 
  • Internet research allows students to explore deeper through written articles, images and video. 
  • Vocabulary cards,
  • bookmarks, and
  • game cards

help students understand and practice new words learned during the unit.  Students will read and follow written directions to create a background scene to be used when they are presenting a news report they have written.

Writing activities center on the creation of a news article of a reported Nessie sighting.  Students will research actual sightings, using at least three sources to verify it, and then report the sighting to the rest of the class through a "live"news cast.

Math activities provide students with the opportunity to compare and convert standard units of measure with the metric system.  They will convert the British pound sterling to US dollars, compare sizes through the creation of scaled drawings, and create a graph showing average temperature or precipitation of Loch Ness.

Students will research the region of Loch Ness and make preparations for a scientific trip to the area.  Using Google Earth to fly over the lake, they will gain more information which will help them identify the area of the Great Glen Fault using maps.  The class will create a database of Nessie sightings, and then sort, analyze, and evaluate the information from the database, looking for similarities and differences among the hundreds of reported sightings over the last 1,450 years.


Every time I've ever asked a group of students, no matter what their age, what they would like to study about, if they could choose any subject, the Loch Ness monster has been high on the list. 

And every time I've used it as a theme for integrated instruction, no matter what the age, the response has been exuberant, and has never failed to spill into other classrooms.  Debates on the playground during recess always followed classroom activities!  A couple of classroom days in Scotland is just the thing to spice up a routine that has grown a little stale for 3-6 graders.

The materials in this thematic unit include:

  •     Substitute Teacher Lesson Plans
  •     Student newspapers and worksheets
  •     Photography in the Wildstudy cards
  •     Vocabulary flashcards and bookmarks
  •     Student worksheets, database cards
  •     Research Cards
  •     Tracking Nessie game board
  •     Vocabulary concentration cards
  •     Art project directions and tracers
  •     Drawing Lesson Directions

The unit will take 1-5 days to complete.

The unit is appropriate for grades 3-6.           

95 pages.          PDF 25 MB  


Thematic Teacher

Educational Materials for Literacy Through Art, Science, and Social Studies.

Loch Ness Monster

An Integrated Thematic Unit

If you're looking for something to fire up the troops, send your students on a scientific expedition to Loch Ness, virtually, of course!  I'm proud to offer this integrated, thematic unit about the mysterious Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.