A Note To Teachers
In this extension activity you will be provided with a synopsis of each chapter in Shark Beneath the Reef along with suggested activities. Of course, these activities are not meant to be assigned to all students. Rather, a variety of suggestions are made so that you can pick and choose appropriate activities to meet the needs of your students and to achieve your educational goals.
Activities include the following:
for each chapter is introduced with a list of new words that
will be encountered and suggested activities. These words
are introduced in context. The sentences have been written to
allow students to determine the meaning of the targeted word
based upon the context of the sentence. In this way it is hoped
that students will not only learn new words, but also will learn
the important skill of using context to determine meaning. Word
searches, games, and writing activities are presented to reinforce
comprehension questions that serve as pre-reading guides are
included for each chapter. These questions can also be assigned
as discussion questions for groups or cooperative learning partners.
It is helpful to ask students to note the page number where
the question is answered by the author. This helps readers learn
to use the text to prove their answers (a skill that is helpful
when taking standardized tests and a study skill that can be
applied in subject area classes). The exercise gives you a quick
check as to students understanding of the book without
having to read written answers to literal type questions. Your
valuable time can be spent helping students refine critical
reading and writing skills.
each chapter is read, there are critical reading questions,
writing ideas, and activities for students to complete.
These may be done by individuals, partners, or groups of students.
Any number of these thinking and writing questions/activities
may be assigned or chosen by the students depending upon your
classroom situation, the level of the students, and goals to
be achieved. Suggested activities include understanding character
traits, developing cause and effect relationships, understanding
author's purpose, relating situations to students' life experiences,
and map reading skills.
skills are developed by using Word Study activities. A list
of words is harvested from each chapter that relates to a specific
goal in the Syllables and Affixes Stage as described in Words
Their Way, Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton, and Johnston. The lists
follow the sequence described in the book. Spelling sorts are
suggested and game ideas are provided.
A Few Notes For the Teacher About Jean Craighead George
sure this isn't your first introduction to this Newbery award
winning author. Many of us have enjoyed reading her books
to our classes or using them as instructional books in literature
groups. I began reading Julie of the Wolves with my classes
when I first started teaching twenty years ago. It seems there
has always been something in every book to capture a student's
imagination. Many of my children have been fascinated with the
way she weaves animal behavior into the story line. Specific
details about robins come to life in Who Really Killed Cock
Robin? Crows, ducks, and owls take on human behavior in the
autobiographical, The Tarantula In My Purse. Animals, always
a favorite of children, open the door to a higher level of reading
for many. Other students have been able to see their own struggles
in the characters even though the cultural settings may be different.
Students are able to visit unique areas when they read the many
books Jean Craighead George has to offer.
prolific author of over one hundred books, Jean graduated from
Penn State University with a degree in Science and Literature.
She was a reporter for The Washington Post and a member of the
White House Press Corps during the 1940's. Coming from a family
of naturalists, it is not surprising that she turned to writing
about the natural world she grew to love as a child. Her father
was an entomologist but looked to an entire ecosystem to help
explain behaviors of various insects. Perhaps this is the background
for her eco-mystery, The Fire Bug Connection, which integrates
information about insects, birds, mammals, and plants to shed
light on an environmental question. It was her father who taught
Jean and her twin brothers to hunt, fish, and live in harmony
with nature. The family would often spend weekends camping in
the woods around their Washington D.C. home. Jean's first pet
was a baby turkey vulture who grew into a wing span of almost
six feet. Finally, after too many trips around the kitchen,
the bird had to be shipped to a zoo in Scotland. At the time
this was devastating to the young Jean. She came to appreciate
the laws, passed in the 1970's, which would protect nature by
requiring licenses to keep migratory birds and certain mammals.
She and her family were "foster parents" to many wild
creatures that came to their home for a time, taught them their
ways, and then moved back to the wild when the time was right.
and her three children, Luke, Craig, and Twig enjoyed the company
of nature in their brown-shingled home in Chappaqua, New York.
They carried on the tradition of caring for and learning about
the many creatures that made their way to the George home. Her
children have not forgotten their upbringing and all now enjoy
careers in the environmental field. Craig is a biologist in
Barrow, Alaska. Luke has a Ph.D. in conservation biology, and
Twig is an accomplished writer of children's books. You may
enjoy reading her latest book about sharks, Swimming With Sharks.
Set in the Florida Keys, it details a young girl's understanding
of her grandfather and their battle against the distressing
practice of finning.
Craighead George remains an active traveler, researcher, and
animal lover. She returns to the family home in Chappaqua
to write and enjoy her current pets. You and your students may
contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.