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.
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.
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.
Writing a rough draft on paper
Using Kid Pix to design the final copy of the book.
Here are some final copies of our Shark ABC
book using Kid Pix.
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
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:
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