These pages will offer advise and resources on running a Guided reading lesson or series of lessons with books i have used and found to be great for students.
Written by Joanna Cole as part of the Step into Reading series i have used this book for over 6 years with young learners of English ages from 7 to 9 years old.
It is well written and engaging and has a host of opportunities to add value to the reading lesson, which will be highlighted here, but also downloadable as part of the lesson pack.
This book covers the evolution of sharks from the days of dinosaurs, to how they can interact with people today. The language is accessible to children, and as I am an ESL teacher can be used with medium to higher level students. Some concepts and vocabulary will need explaining in a different way but this will be address in the lesson plans available for free download. It introduces different types of sharks, how they live and give birth and biological facts such as teeth number and sleep habits, or lack there of.
I try to take three 40 minute lessons to cover the content and the additional tasks in the book. For information i will list some of the tasks that can be used within the lessons, but again there are further details in the free download. Where these tasks require or would benefit other resources i will link into them.
Hungry Hungry sharks (Step into reading) Level 18+
Overview: A fact based children’s book, on sharks and their life-cycle, diet and habits. It has a lot of information and can be made into a really really interesting journey for the children to learn about. Good steady language progression with words that should be easily decodable. A lot of activities and
Resources that can be used. Worksheets, multitude of sharks teeth, measuring tool, large Megalodon teeth, video of sharks attacking and recognition sheet to match the teeth
Page run down / difficult words
4-5: millions, strange, grew, swamps, reptiles and flew. This introduces the fact that sharks are as old and in some cases older than dinosaurs.
6-9: fin, sharp. This page shows four pictures of old animals and then mentioned fish, dragons, and you can mention turtles. See if they can match the animals with their older versions.
10-11: plenty, kinds and all the shark names. The shark names can be used as perfect phonic exercises. For the first lesson we can try to ask them to identify them and the second week, (which allows the children to pick one they are comfortable with) they can say the name they can get a book, if they can’t remember then you can hand them the book and they can read it instead.
Examples of the sharks and phonics.
Sk, sh, ng, ar
Black tipped Reef shark
Bl, ck, ed, sh
Th, sh, er
Oceanic white tipped shark
Ea, c(as s) wh,
Port Jackson Shark
Or, ck, sh
12-13:Dwarf, carpet, ocean, leopard. This page shows that all sharks are not large and scary we have small ones as well. It introduces the measurement of a foot (12 inches) we can use this with the sharks in the book, as an example we can use the whale shark, great white, tiger, black tipped reef shark. I will highlight the sizes for these below.
14-15:thousand, tiny, shrimp, gentle, hitch, and ride. These pages introduce the whale shark, which there are YouTube videos of. I also have ones I took on holiday which I use. I discuss what this shark eats and if we should be worried if we see one.
16-21:suddenly, torpedoes, dead, chunks, bones, packs, wolves, garbage. Discusses blue sharks and how sharks help to clean the ocean, you can ask the students if they would like to have to do that job!
22 – 29:dangerous, belly, sharp, seal, speedboat, pup, spines, stab, poison. This is the great white shark chapter. It discusses the size, eats eating habits and what kind of mothers they make.
30-35: sink, dolphins: introduces the hammerhead shark and how dolphins can interact with sharks. Also introduces mammals and fish you can give examples of this
36-37: brain, breaks, thousands. Talks about how sharks teeth work and how they grow back, and then we can show the teeth that sharks have. I have a guide to the ones I have (tiger, blacktip, sand shark, tiger, megalodon (very big one), great white (not many). So see if the students can match the teeth with the sharks name. These can be used as we discuss each shark in the book.
38-39: wallet, fur coat, drum, wine, jewels, nails, armour. What do sharks eat ( anything!) this page lists the things that have been found inside a shark, it has pictures so the student scan match the pictures to the words. (or try at least)
40-45:attack, stings, bite, scientists, tank, bumping, free. The shark and how it relates with people. It does say that some sharks attack people but it is very unlikely, it also highlights what danger we (people) pose to sharks. It mentions we try to study them but it is very difficult as they don’t like living in captivity. (Mention dolphins as well)
46 -47 Last two pages talk about further studies and that sharks will be part of our future.
Additional activities for pre, during and post reading
These options could be altered or added to to cover differentiated learning, different levels or stem lesson s
Worksheet ( of course) how big is that shark a pictorial representation of sharks with their size in feet. Students take the paper and either a tape measure or foot long ruler and go outside into the playground or corridor to measure how big they actually are.
Sharks teeth: It is unlikely that most students will have had a chance to see and touch real sharks teeth and to give them the chance to do a hands on activity will definitely make their day. I have a identification sheet with different teeth images and spend a few moments explaining why sharks have different
shaped teeth, and then ask them to see what sharks teeth we have with us (I do have a massive Megalodon tooth to show them as well) they try to match the tooth with the picture. ( full disclosure i don’t have all the teeth on the picture, i have great white, tiger, sand tiger, Meg, lemon and nurse.) this is a reading lesson though so practicing the shark names is the aim! There are of course many other activities you can do once you have these items. However i would definitely advise picking some up. It is really a great motivator for all ages of students ( and teachers!)
Plastic or toy sharks. i have a selection of these and annoying paid way to much in my hurry. However they are obtainable with a better selection for less money. It is not important to buy the best ones as they will be used in c
12 in here.
lass. So pick up something cheap and cheerful. I use it as an index activity similar to the shark teeth exercise. You can either have them identify the sharks from the book ( page 8 ) or from pictures and ask them to read or say their names. I do have a power point with the sharks i have but its literally just the names so it should only take you 5 minutes to make one and print it out, then the students can put the toy on the correct name.
Youtube / NetFlix: I will spare you linking videos here ( i have a surprise at the end) but if you have the means in your classroom or home to use a tablet, TV or other means to access these then there are thousands of great videos showing shark interactions that will wow the class and add value. Although its hard to get past the shark attack videos i would do so and find some of the shoaling hammerheads or tiger shark videos. One tip for you is make sure you check the video for suitability first, some can be heavy on the drama or blood if you have younger learners.
AR and VR apps: There are a few decent ones out there i use Zookazam and ocean monsters from Carlton books for AR animals in general but to buy all the books can start to add up to a lot of money, so if that’s an issue and you just want to show them the animals swimming then try ZooKazam or the app stores for something similar. It is also to include colouring pages with sharks on from Quiver AR Colouring so they can take home an AR shark to play with. It means learning is taken from the classroom and into the home. With VR i have used Ocean rift for android, and get the students to experience with either reef sharks swimming or if they are a little braver the Great white experience in a shark cage. These both work really well and although a little gimmicky they sense of wonder students get is really worth it. I will link both here but if you want to check them out search for Ocean Rift on YouTube as well. Ocean rift also has many other sea animals so is well worth using for those as well. ( i am a fan)
Baby Shark. I have to slip this in as it just works ( mainly for jokes when they get to the baby shark page where you can say do do do dooo every time they say it) however the success of the song shows the interest by children in the subject. ( and catchy repetitive songs of course!) I’m sorry ( not really 😛 )