Fabulous Felines

Contributor: Suzanne Riordan. Lesson ID: 13985

Which animal is said to have nine lives, always lands on its feet, likes to sleep in cozy nooks, makes an amazingly soothing sound, and is not a friend of mice? Explore the world of cats!


Comprehension, Verbal Communication

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start
  • How much do you know about cats?

Watch the following video and see if any of these facts are new to you!

Image - Video

Cats are fascinating creatures that bring joy to many people. (It's okay, though, if you do not like cats.)

You may already know much about cats, but there's always more to learn.

In this lesson, you'll learn why cats stretch so much, why it's said that they have nine lives and always land on their feet, and why and how they make that mysterious purring sound.

Along the way, you'll learn to analyze the structure of paragraphs and determine whether a particular sentence has a role in explaining or developing a concept.

Every good text has a structure that can be understood and analyzed. Understanding how writers structure texts can help you become a better reader and writer.

Let's get started!

First, read a summary of an excerpt from Why Do Cats Stretch So Much?.

Why do cats stretch so frequently? There are several reasons behind this behavior. Firstly, stretching is a form of communication for cats, as they cannot verbally express themselves. Instead, they rely on body language to convey their feelings. For instance, if a cat's ears are up, he's feeling playful and happy, but if they're pinned down, he's anxious and upset. When a cat arches its back, it signifies fear, while rubbing its head against you indicates affection. Thus, when cats stretch, it means comfort and relaxation. If a cat stretches in your presence, it implies feeling content around you.

Have you ever heard of a catnap? It refers to a short nap, a term inspired by cats' propensity for taking numerous brief naps throughout the day instead of one prolonged sleep session like humans. On average, cats sleep between 12 to 16 hours a day. Despite frequent naps, cats don't sleepwalk as their brains prevent such behavior. During sleep, their brain inhibits most muscle movement, ensuring they don't act out their dreams. Although their paws and legs may twitch, they remain immobile.

Upon awakening, cats need to reinvigorate their muscles. Their blood pressure decreases after being inactive for some time, leading to muscle stiffness. Stretching helps counteract this by improving blood circulation and preparing the muscles for movement. This ensures cats are ready to pounce on their next prey or treat. Given cats' penchant for taking numerous short naps and stretching after each one, they spend significant time engaged in stretching activities.

Now, analyze what you read, beginning with the first paragraph.

Try to answer the questions below. You can click on the purple question mark to see the answers, but pause to think of your answer before you click!

Image - Video

Next, look at the second paragraph.

Image - Video

Continue to the last paragraph.

  • Are you ready to analyze on your own?

Use the space below. You can click on Check your work. if you need help.

Image - Video

Now you're on your way to analyzing text structures!

Move to the Got It? section to practice this skill some more.

Image - Button Next