Dark Day in the Deep Sea: Day Five of Five Bon Voyage!

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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

Sink or Swim? Find out the exciting conclusion as your crew reads chapter 9, 10, and 11 in Dark Day in the Deep Sea. They'll practice asking and answering questions, character traits and emotions, and reflect on the unit essential question.

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 nine, ten, and eleven.   Similar to yesterday, I have students turn to the Wordle on the last page of their vocabulary flip book.  I ask them to turn to a partner and give them clues about a word (synonyms, antonyms, context clues, number of syllables, word parts, etc.) to see if they can guess the word.   (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, and things that have already happened.  Today, we make predictions based on the titles, "Think!  Think!", "The Heart of the Ocean", and "Good-bye Mates".  As we near the end of the book, we also speculate about the ending.

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. We review the samples we've added together.  Getting close to the end of our book, I ask the students to identify one character trait that represents Jack, and one for Annie.  They write these on their small white boards from inside their desks, and flash them at me.  We talk about the different character traits identified and debate which ones we feel are most relevant.  We talk about how you can't represent characters like Jack and Annie with just one trait.  I also asked students which character, Jack or Annie, displayed more emotion.  Interestingly, more students chose Jack.  I had them list as many emotions as they could underneath the character name that they wrote on their white boards.  This was also a great conversation we had about understanding characters that authors create.  We've been working hard this week to differentiate between character traits and character emotions, so this was a good concluding activity to informally assess student skills.  (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 79-83 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/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.

Diving in to Chapters Nine, Ten, and Eleven

30 minutes

The students are excited to finish this novel!  They finish reading chapters nine, ten, and eleven.  The Common Core Standards encourage as much reading to be completed by the students as possible.  We begin by reading the first few pages together, but then I have the class finish the chapters on their own.  I move around the room and support as needed with reading and skills.

Independent Practice:  Students complete chapter nine, ten, and eleven's flip book tabs, about asking and answering questions, and character.  They also answer the unit essential question, which represents the last tab on their flip book.  I've asked students to once again have two peers check their work for accuracy and content after they finish.


Celebrate Book Conclusion and Share!

10 minutes

At the end of our literacy block, we take time to discuss the ending of the book and share some of our last flip book entries.  Our class also revisits our essential question for this unit, "Why does the sea inspire writers?".  This was the first story in our new unit, and my students came up with the following ideas to add to our essential question chart:

  • Historic events (like the HMS Challenger)
  • Sea creatures are cool
  • The sea should be cared for and respected


We look forward to adding to our essential question chart throughout our "Inspired by the Sea" unit.  (See Resource File:  Unit Two Essential Question Map)

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)