As a class we
developed a KWL chart as a springboard for this topic. Students
in a cooperative pairs visited predetermined web sites to
enhance their shark knowledge. They were responsible to write
two new facts that they discovered from their research. During
‘read alouds’, students became more excited about these amazing
fish and added to their shark facts. We also discovered that
sharks come in all different sizes and we made an actual
measurement chart comparing themselves with various shark
heights (see photos below).
language arts tasks were initiated within the classroom.
Students collaboratively wrote a letter to a shark expressing
their concern for their safety in the oceans. They tried to
empathize how sharks must feel with all the misconceptions that
humans have. All the students participated in measuring
themselves on a chart with their partners and compared
themselves to lengths of sharks. Our shark study incorporated
UDL by giving students choices
in activities. A few students wrote original acrostics, a few
students chose to write their own letters to sharks and several
ReadWriteThink Letter Generator to write their letters.
Shark!’ was enjoyed by the students through the
website. Students were able to further understand the importance
of sharks in the ocean ecosystem.
Graders really became shark experts!
Am I As Big
as a Shark?
A 10 foot
measurement chart was made for the students to see an actual
visual of how big 10 feet really is!
Students worked in cooperative pairs placing pre-made
name stickers by their heights.
Students took turns lying on the chart.
Students worked in pairs researching different shark
lengths. They recorded their findings. Shark pictures
were printed out.
Students placed various shark photos according to their
lengths based on their research.
Looking at the completed ‘Average Shark Length’ chart
students found sharks that were smaller and bigger than
Students were led in a discussion comparing their
heights to various shark lengths. They were surprised
that they were bigger than some sharks.
Here is our
collaborative letter from my class:
learned different information about the shark species. We are
not afraid of you any more. We learned that most sharks are not
dangerous. Our class likes all the different types of sharks. If
our moms and dads would let us, we would want a dwarf dogfish
shark as a pet. We are going to tell all our friends not to be
afraid of you. Our class learned not to throw litter in the
ocean because it is harmful to your home. Don’t worry, we will
try our best to keep you safe. We love you Sharks!
Mrs. Singer’s Second Grade Class
Here is our
collaborative poem from my class:
sharks are not dangerous.
swims near the surface of the water.
dwarf dogfish shark is about the size of your hand.
sharks swim at the bottom of the ocean.
out of the ocean when you see a shark.
are all different sizes.
New York State Learning Standards:
English Language Arts Standard 2: As speakers and writers,
students will use oral and written language that follows the
accepted conventions of the English language for self-expression
and artistic creation.
Mathematics, Science, and Technology Standard 2: Students
will access, generate, process and transfer information using