Dark Day in the Deep Sea: Day Three of Five Look Out for a Squall!

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SWBAT ask and answer relevant questions from the text to show their understanding. SWBAT identify character traits and emotions, giving evidence from the text to support their choice.

Big Idea

You're full speed ahead as your crew reads chapter four and five in Dark Day in the Deep Sea. They'll show and share what they know about asking and answering questions and character traits and emotions in their flip book.

Welcome to My Lesson!

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!

Flip Book Share!

5 minutes

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.


Prereading Activities to Navigate the Deep, Dark Sea

10 minutes

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!  Today we'll preview the vocabulary for chapters four and five.  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.  Another activity I like to do with my class is to have them argue if that is the best word for the context.  It gets them closely examining the author's word choice, and digging deeply into the meaning of the text.  (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!  We make predictions based on the chapter titles within this book.  Today, we make predictions based on the chapter titles, "Off the Ship!", and "Ooze".  Wow!  They've got some interesting predictions for these chapters!

Lesson on Reading Closely and Character Traits and Emotions

15 minutes

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 this week, 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 practice our character skills, I divide the class in half, calling one side "Character Traits" and the other side "Character Emotions".  I tell a short story and have students identify traits and emotions along with citing evidence from my story.  My students keep small white boards in their desks which come in handy for activities like this.  They write their responses on their boards and then flash them at me.  I tell a second story, having them switch their jobs. (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:  We continue with our novel, and I read pages 33-35 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.  I make sure to model copying dialogue with quotation marks to cite evidence of character today.  My students have only had a little practice with quotation marks, and can use the extra modeling.  (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.

Diving in to Chapters Four and Five

20 minutes

The students are ready finish reading chapters four and five on their own.  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 four and five today.  I ask them to have two neighbors check their work for complete sentences, capitals, and punctuation when they finish.  When they check, they are also checking to see that the character traits or emotions are accurate with evidence, and that the questions they've asked and answered are relevant.  Peer checking can be very powerful!  I find it most beneficial when there is more than one "checker" involved.  I additionally check in on students who have been struggling with reading or skills on days one and two.


At Home Practice

For homework tonight, I'm asking the crew to read chapter six to or with someone at home.  Students take home their books and vocabulary bookmarks.  I have families fill out an "Oral Reading Slip" which contains vocabulary, questions, and a spot for moms and dads to fill out how their child read.  There are two copies on one page.  Cut the sheet down the middle.  (See Resource File:  Dark Day Oral Reading Slip)

Lesson Extras!

Here are some additional ideas and materials to support the objectives of this lesson, Dark Day in the Deep Sea, and an ocean unit! 


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)


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)