Ms. Bonserio's Second Grade Class
Terryville Elementary School
Port Jefferson Station, New York

Our class had a great time learning about sharks. We started the school year studying oceans, so this project fit in perfectly. We began our study of sharks with a K-W-L chart. The students knew a lot about sharks already and we then participated in many ‘read alouds’ to fill in the “L” section of our chart. The students were eager to learn more about sharks after listening to the many books we read. To allow for all modalities of learning we used a variety of things to learn about sharks. We viewed videos, read books and did web quests. In order to learn as much as we can about sharks we participated in many shark activities. We compared and contrasted the Great White Shark and the Bottle Nosed Dolphin. We used National Geographic Kids to help us find out information on the Great White Shark. We watched videos, read articles and looked at maps. We also compared the heights of different sharks with our own heights. Each student laid on a ten-foot sheet of paper and we marked off their height. We then compared the heights of the students in the class to various sharks. Following the format of UDL, the students were given the opportunity to participate in various activities as culminating projects. The students chose between a Shark ABC Book” or Shark 5W Poems. These projects used books and the computer to help gather information. In order to create our ABC book we needed to find shark vocabulary for every letter of the alphabet. As a class we participated in a ‘Shared Writing’ experience in which the students told me words for the letters and I wrote them on our chart. When it started to become difficult to find vocabulary for certain letters, various shark books were passed out for the students to look through. Some of the letters had more than one word, so when it came time to create our book the best word was chosen.

shark alphabet chart

The students chose the letter that they wanted to author and then used shark books and worksheets to create their page in the book. When the rough drafts were completed and edited, the students used Kid Pix to create their final copies.

student writing on paper
Writing a rough draft on paper

student working on the computer
Using Kid Pix to design the final copy of the book.

Here are some final copies of our Shark ABC book using Kid Pix.

student's computer shark drawing

student's computer shark scene picture

student's computer shark scene drawing

Some students decided to create a 5W poem about sharks. They answered who, what, when, where and why to create a poem. The students chose one of the many sharks we studied to write their poem about. Kid Pix was used again to create a final copy of the poem.

Here is Sean’s 5W Shark Poem:

Great White Shark

Looking for fish

In the morning

In the ocean

Because he is hungry.

Here is Ariel’s 5W Shark Poem:

Angel Shark

Swimming At night

In the ocean

Because it’s having fun.

New York State Standards:

English Language Arts #1 Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.

English Language Arts #2 Students will read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression.

Mathematics, Science, and Technology #2 Students will access, generate, process and transfer information using appropriate technologies.



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