Before introducing this book, it’s important to get your students to activate their schema as it relates to the ocean. What experiences have they had? What have they seen? You can bring in sand and shells, pictures of sandcastles, or audio recordings of ocean waves, but most importantly, get your students talking with each other to share their discoveries and ideas. These pages are intended for use prior to reading. I recommend you preteach important vocabulary too.
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Once your students are warmed up and ready to explore, this is the perfect opportunity to explain reading strategies or skills needed to best comprehend the text content. This is a heavy book with challenging vocabulary. Yet, the text features make it much less challenging. Using text features in nonfiction is very important, and by using them. students will learn how animals have adapted to survive in different depths of the ocean as well as land features that relate to the ocean floor. I’ve included an anchor chart for group discussion and a column notes form for students to record their understandings during reading.
Putting It All Together:
Often, with complicated text in particular, a second reading is needed. This organizer can be used to help your students record what they learn about each zone of the ocean (Sunlight Zone, Twilight Zone, The Dark Zone, The Abyss, and Trenches). They will be fascinated by the types of animals found in each.
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