To begin this lesson, I ask students to review the salmon life cycle graphic organizer. Together we review the stages of the salmon life cycle that they have learned about in previous lessons (egg, alevin, fry, smolt, and adult). We discuss that spawners are salmon who will complete their life cycle and undergo dramatic changes. I also ask students to sing the anadromous fish song that they learned about in a previous lesson. This helps students to remember that salmon are anadromous. I ask students to make a prediction about what will happen to the spawners based on the song and the life cycle review. My goal is to have students predict that the spawners will return to fresh water.
We continue this lesson by reading pages 3-4 of the salmon coloring book. In this section, students read about a salmon's migration, the changes in the salmon's body, and the spawning process. We continue to use the close read annotation symbols as we read to help highlight key text details. I provide students with time to share their key understandings with peers and record student responses on the board to help scaffold their work in today's lesson.
Using text marking symbols is a strategy that helps all learners interact with complex texts. ELL students and struggling learners can utilize these symbols to provide purpose and structure to their reading. Advanced learners can utilize the symbols to help them organize their thinking for future written responses.
To reinforce the learning that the students have engaged in during their guided practice, I ask students to complete the spawner graphic organizer. The graphic organizer allows each student to summarize their new understandings about spawning salmon and serves as a quick assessment tool for me.
To complete the graphic organizer, students must draw an adult and spawning salmon, list their similarities, and list their differences. I want my students to see that despite their outward appearance, salmon retain many similarities. I also want my students to be able to list differences side-by-side on the graphic organizer. An example of a students' completed organizer can be found here. A video of a student explaining the differences between adults and spawners can be found here.