Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Swimming With Sharks 11.23.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

Picture this.... you're in an aquarium.... you're next to the glass tank, when all of a sudden, a shark's face swims right up to the glass... and looks you.... right into the eye.

What are you thinking?  How are you feeling?

I'm guessing most of us have feelings of fear.  Thoughts are about blood, sharp teeth, attack.

But not everyone sees a shark and has those thoughts.  Other people see a graceful animal, an animal that is mysterious and makes you think of questions.

Eugenie Clark asked questions.  And studied.  And wanted to know more.

Even though she was told no.  She found her way.

Swimming with Sharks by Heather  Lang
Swimming With Sharks:
The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark
written by Heather Lang
illustrated by Jordi Solano
published by Albert Whitman & Company
December 1st, 2016

Heather Lang has written another fantastic and informative biography about a strong American woman.  Someone who followed her passion and beliefs and worked towards understanding.  Eugenie Clark is sure to inspire young readers and young scientists!

How you may want to use this spectacular text in your classroom:

Teaching points:
  • note how Genie used observation to learn so much about her subject.  How do you use this in class?
  • What other ways did she learn about her subject?  By listening, sketching, taking notes.  How does this fit in with the scientific method?
  • Debate - use the page that talks about humans killing sharks.  What are the pros/cons of people killing sharks?  Is it right?  Make your argument using evidence from the book.
  • Lang states that Eugenie Clark had become one of the most respected fish scientists in the world.  What did Eugenie do to be given this distinction?
  • Be sure to read the Author's Note because there is additional information in there that will give further evidence to some of the above statements/arguments.
Be sure to check out Heather Lang's other biographies:
Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine
Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion
The Original Cowgirl: The Wild Aventures of Lucille Mulhall

Click here to go to Mr. Schu's site where he has the book trailer!

Goodreads summary:
Before Eugenie Clark's groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname "The Shark Lady."

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