To hook my students on this awesome story, I will start with a video that retells Sir Ernest Shackelton's story. This is a little trailer from a National Geographic special that uses actual video. I think that students need to see how amazing this adventure actually is before they see the other view, which is less exciting, but tells the story.
Before viewing the next videos, students will create a tree map to help them remember what they've seen. The branches will be: People, Key Words, Events, Feelings, Important Ideas. They can fill it out during the video, but I will allow time immediately afterwards for them to collaborate with their table groups and make sure they have everything that they need.
This 3rd video is 41 minutes long, so I didn't show all of it to my students. I sort of fast forwarded through and hit some of the highlights of the expedition.
After viewing the videos, I'll introduce the text Trapped by the Ice by Michael McCurdy to the students as a piece of narrative nonfiction. It is an account of the story based on Shakleton's diary entries, but details are added to make it more vivid. I happen to have a copy of the this story in our old Harcourt basal reader, but it printed as a sort of picture book. I've also found multiple accounts of Shakleton's journey online as well.
I will have students partner up with a buddy of his or her choice and read together.
As they read, students will fill out a tree map with identical branches: People, Events, Key Words, Feeling, Important Ideas. I will ask that students stop after each diary entry and see if there is anything that they need to add to the tree map. I love using this tree map when reading for a couple of reasons. First, it aids in comprehension because students are tracking these items as they read. Second, by looking for feelings and important ideas, students begin focus on the overall meaning/themes of the text and look at it in a deeper way. It is really important that students fill out the tree map as they go. If they wait until they finish the story, they will have forgotten many of the details.
Since this text written as journal entries, and I am asking that students stop after each entry and add to their tree map.
In the next lesson, students will be comparing the experience of viewing the videos and reading the text. They will be using these two tree maps as resources and evidence.