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!
We like to do a lot of sharing in our room, so I always have my students grouped in pods of three to six. This makes it easy for turning and sharing, and practicing speaking and listening skills.
Set Expectations: At the beginning of our reading class, the students take out their flip books and share the work they completed the day before with their table group. I remind students that everyone in the group should have a turn to talk, and they should look at the person who is speaking. I give them an additional reminder that when I'm walking around the room, I'm observing their speaking and listening skills on the rubric which include having their work prepared, speaking to the group, and listening to others. To keep students from saying, "We're done", I have a plan. I ask students to use their vocabulary bookmarks to create sentences using our new vocabulary words.
Sharing Time: My crew asks questions that they created in their flip book and/or identifies character traits, feelings, and evidence. This leads to nice conversation among the small groups of students. While students are discussing, I take note of the speaking and listening standards on a class log, so I can then transfer it to the rubric on the back of their flip books. I have students divided into five desk groups in my room at this time, so I try to make it to at least two groups a day, so I can listen-in on students multiple times this week. Students ask and answer questions of the group, or share their character traits or emotions with evidence. Our sharing time lasts approximately five minutes. (See Resource File: Dark Day in the Deep Sea Flip book Rubric)
*Flip books were assembled on day one in this series of lessons. See Dark Day in the Deep Sea: Day One of Five, Diving In! for materials and directions.
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 card stock 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! Today we'll preview the vocabulary for chapters two and three. I'll ask students to read the words in context on the bookmark, then we'll discuss the definition. I use other strategies too, such as asking students to use the word in a sentence, give a synonym or antonym, or identify the part of speech. (See Resource File: Dark Day in the Deep Sea Vocab Bookmarks)
Predictions: We revisit our predictions from yesterday, and make new ones for today. The students make predictions about chapter two, "Pirates Again?", and chapter three, "A Creature Named Henry". We practice speaking and listening in our table groups while we share predictions, then I ask each group to share one idea with the class.
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: To continue our learning from yesterday, I pull up our SMART Notebook files including our samples of asking and answering questions, and the character/trait/evidence. These files contain our examples from Dark Day in the Deep Sea, and I'll add one of each as I model every day this week. To further practice and reinforce our character skills, I ask the students for examples of a character trait and an emotion to describe our principal. They think this is fun! They come up with Mrs. Gravel is "cheerful" as a character trait, and their evidence is that she is always smiling. I asked them to give a time when they think Mrs. Gravel feels the emotion of excitement. They name many great examples of when she may feel this way. (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.
Model: I noticed yesterday, that the students needed support with beginning their sentences with capitals and ending with punctuation. They also need to name the character they are referring to before using a pronoun, such as he or she. Knowing this from my observations yesterday, I model and discuss this as I read pages 10-13 aloud to them. I model rereading as needed to closely read, and understand deeply. We add one ask and answer, and one character name/trait or emotion/evidence sample to the SMART Notebook files. I leave these visible for the students to see, however they know they cannot "borrow" mine, and have to come up with their own when they complete their flip books. (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.
The students are ready to finish reading chapters two and three. The Common Core Standards encourage as much reading to be completed by the students as possible. I move around the room and support as needed with reading and skills.
Independent Practice: Students read and work on their flip book assignments for chapters two and three today. I ask them to raise their hands again when they finish, but today when I come around and check I give them an okay, or a you need to check for something that's missing. Some of the students are not reading through their work and are missing capitals and punctuation. Others don't have a complete sentence. Many receive and "okay". I find it helpful for students to analyze their own work and identify areas that need fixing.
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)