To begin the lesson, I ask students to review their work on the salmon life cycle graphic organizer. I ask them to focus specifically on the first three stages of the salmon's life cycle; egg, alevin, and fry. I note to students that during these stages of the life cycle, the salmon live their lives in the stream.
I provide time for the students to share their experiences, if any, with salmon in the stream. Many of my students have observed salmon fry in the stream on our monthly walking field trips to the stream site. I ask students to share when and where they observed salmon fry and to discuss the salmon fry's behavior in the stream.
I guide the students as they read the sections on the early life of the salmon in the salmon coloring book. Specifically, we read pages 5 and 6 which address the salmon alevin's growth and development and the life of the salmon fry in the stream ecosystem. As we read, I ask students to mark important details, unknown words, and questions based on our close read annotation symbols. We use these text-marking symbols in our reading class daily, so the students are familiar with their use. The use of text-marking symbols allows students to highlight important details and to ask for clarification on unknown vocabulary words or phrases. This is especially important since the students are reading dense, subject-specific, non-fiction text.
Next, I ask students to use details from the text to help them craft a scientifically accurate, narrative writing piece about the life of a young salmon in the stream. I inform students that their stories should be about the life of a salmon alevin or fry and should include details about the body changes, predators and prey, and habitat of the salmon. I review the salmon narrative rubric with students by displaying the rubric on the document camera. I do this to ensure that students know how their work will be evaluated and what is expected of them. I then provide each student with the life in the stream narrative worksheet. I give students between 20 and 30 minutes to complete their narratives. Examples of completed student narratives can be found here and here.