Welcome to a week's worth of lessons based on the chapter book Dark Day in the Deep Sea, by Mary Pope Osborne. We read a chapter book within each of our six week units to compliment our shorter texts. This is suggested within the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Model Content Frameworks for third grade ELA. I'll be focusing on having students read closely through rereading and questioning, analyze characters through textual evidence, and work on their speaking and listening skills to share ideas.
Please watch this short video to hear more about this series of lessons. Thank you!
To start, we assemble our flip books that we'll be using every day this week to ask and answer questions, and identify character traits and emotions.
Ahead of time, I took 12 X 18 construction paper, and folded it into fourths, to make four sections that are 12 X 4.5 inches. Next, I folded it on the center fold, and then cut five cuts, halfway up, on the open side to make twelve tabs. Take a peek at the picture of my students with their flip books to get a better idea of what I'm trying to explain :). (See Resource File: Flip book Sample)
The students cut out the squares with the prompts on them and glued them to each tab on the front of their flip book. I used two different colors of copy paper to represent the sand and ocean. (See Resource File: Dark Day in the Deep Sea Flip book Template)
Lastly, the students glued a copy of the rubric to the back of their flip book.
Background Knowledge: Before we begin reading Dark Day in the Deep Sea, I need to give my crew some schema, or background information on special events and characters in the book. This book is a fictional story, however there are some characters and events that are based on history. I guide them through the Powerpoint presentation I've created to give them the information they need to understand the true parts of the story. This was also a good time to see how many of my crew had read a Magic Tree House book, too. Those who have read this series before, shared background information that would be helpful to someone who hasn't read one of these books before. (See Resource File: Dark Day in the Deep Sea Intro)
Next, I pass out books and vocabulary bookmarks.
Vocabulary: To support my lads and lassies with new vocabulary in this literature selection, I've created vocabulary bookmarks. These have been copied onto green and blue cardstock for a "watery" effect. I cut them down the middle, punched a hole in each corner, and attached them together with a metal ring. We'll use these throughout the week to introduce new vocabulary, as well as use them as bookmarks! We begin by looking at the first bookmark that identifies strategies for understanding new, or unknown words. We read through the vocabulary for chapter one, which is the chapter we'll be reading today! It's important to me that my students don't just memorize vocabulary words, but rather use context clues and word parts to understand new vocabulary words. Therefore, I've included the vocabulary word in the context of the passage that it appears in the book, and the definition follows. (See Resource File: Dark Day in the Deep Sea Vocab Bookmarks)
Predictions: Throughout the year, I teach my students that you don't have to be reading a picture book to complete predicting activities. I lead them to see that previewing the titles of chapters in chapter books, book introductions on the back cover, and any illustrations can also lead to some great discoveries! Today, we make predictions based on chapter one's title, "Back to the Sea". We'll also read the book introduction located on the back cover to get a preview of this novel.
My crew is focusing on two Common Core State Standards this week while voyaging through Dark Day in the Deep Sea. They are asking and answering questions by reading closely, and examining characters. I support my students with these standards by creating anchor charts, supplying posters on the wall, and giving them handouts for their reading binders. We have worked on these standards in previous lessons, so my students are familiar with the posters and handouts. I reinforce students using their resources by rewarding them with praise and other items when I see them. Student handouts located in reading binders are nice, because students write additional character traits and emotions on these as they come up with new ones. (See Resource Files: Read Closely Poster; Character Poster; Character Traits Handout; Character Emotions Handout)
Introduce Skills: I begin by asking the students for words to describe themselves. I tell them to turn to a neighbor and give evidence to support their choices. I ask the students to tell me how they feel when they hear that there is an extra recess, when they get stung by a bee, and when they get an "A" on a test. I tell them these are emotions, or feelings. We read and discuss the character traits and character emotions handouts the students have in their reading binders, and our poster about character. I reinforce the difference between a trait, which is seen over time, and an emotion, which is a feeling at a given moment in a story. I use the example that if you get stung by a bee, you're not sad for a year! Giving students real life examples that they have experience with makes the skill applicable to their lives.
Model: I read the "Prologue" and pages 3-4 aloud from chapter one, "Back to the Sea". I model rereading as needed to closely read, and understand deeply. While reading, I ask and answer relevant questions to check my comprehension. We discuss whether or not the questions are relevant. I want to make sure my students are asking deep, meaningful questions about the text for understanding. I add an ask and answer sample to the SMART Notebook file where we are keeping all of our samples this week. We also begin talking about the characters Jack and Annie. The students help in identifying character traits and emotions. They say that Annie is caring, because on page 4 she says, "I hope Merlin's feeling better!". We add a sample to the SMART Notebook files where we are keeping all of our modeled samples this week. (See Resource Files: Ask and Answer SMART Notebook File or PDF; Character Traits and Emotions SMART Notebook File or PDF) I've included both a SMART Notebook file, and a PDF if you don't have a SMART Board.
Revisit Objectives: We read through the rubric on the back of the students' flip books to make sure they understand the job they are accomplishing.
My crew is excited to dive in and finish reading chapter one. The Common Core Standards encourage as much reading to be completed by the students as possible. We begin by reading the first two pages together while I'm modeling, but then I have the class finish chapter one on their own. I'll move around the room and support students as needed.
Independent Practice: As students finish, they complete chapter one's flip book tab, "Ask and answer two questions from the text in chapter one. Write your questions, then flip open the flap to write the answers". Being that this is the first day, I've asked students to raise their hands when they finish, so that I can do a quick check to see that they're on the right track. Some things that I noticed to address for tomorrow are the lack of capitals at the beginning of sentences, and ending punctuation. I also need to make sure the students are not using pronouns without first identifying the person by their proper name.
Here are some additional ideas and materials to support the objectives of this lesson, Dark Day in the Deep Sea, and an ocean unit!
ADDITIONAL OCEAN ACTIVITIES:
Non-fiction pair: Ask students to read the non-fiction companion, Sea Monsters, by Mary Pope Osborne. I had my students do this as a literacy center, and complete a simple ask and answer book flip book. (See Resource File: Sea Monsters Literacy Center)
Ocean Animal Research: Have your crew complete an ocean animal research project. Use the giant octopus from Dark Day in the Deep Sea as your sample creature. During language arts, my crew and I completed a full research project on an ocean animal. I've included a finished sample for you to view. (Ocean Animal Research Sample)
Ocean Poetry: Practice speaking, listening, text structure, and foundational skills by reading poems with an ocean theme. This is a file created by myself, and teaching partner, Sara Hesemann. We used ocean themed poems found for free on the internet. (See Resource File: My Book of Poems Inspired by the Sea Hesemann)
Test Prep Practice: We are working hard on the standards and skills that will be assessed on the third grade PARCC assessment. This is a document I created to help support students with practice of A and B question types. (Sea Creature Ask & Answer #1)
PRACTICING CHARACTER SKILLS:
You've Got Character! Practice Page: To offer additional practice at individual levels, I use this practice page for students to analyze characters, and infer traits and emotions. Having them read a book at their own level provides a good picture of whether or not they're mastering the skill. The graphics on the page are a reminder of the handouts they have in their reader's binders on character traits and emotions. (See Resource File: You've Got Character Practice Page)
Character Traits and Emotions Bingo: Play bingo with your students to help identify character traits and emotions. Use the six different bingo cards in many ways! One way to use them is to create one of the bingo cards as a "class card". Mark off spaces that represent characters in all of your shared reading and read-aloud books. Another idea is to give each student a bingo card to keep in their reader's binder. As students read they cross off spaces when they identify a character who represents that trait or emotion. Ask them to write the character's name, and evidence in the box they mark off. (See Resource File: Character Traits and Emotions Bingo)