Mrs. Singer's Second Grade Class
Terryville Elementary School
Port Jefferson Station, New York

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).

Several 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 used the ReadWriteThink Letter Generator to write their letters.

‘Seahouse: Shark!’ was enjoyed by the students through the United Streaming website. Students were able to further understand the importance of sharks in the ocean ecosystem.

Our Second 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 them.

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:

Dear Sharks,

Our 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:

Some sharks are not dangerous.

Hammerhead swims near the surface of the water.

A dwarf dogfish shark is about the size of your hand.

Reef sharks swim at the bottom of the ocean.

Keep out of the ocean when you see a shark.

Sharks 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 appropriate technologies.  



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