Down, Down, Down



Last updated Monday, March 26, 2012

Author: Steve Jenkins
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0618966366
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2012

Synopsis: Caldecott Honor–winning Steve Jenkins provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze. Half the earth’s surface is covered by water more than a mile deep, but most of this watery world is a mystery to us. In fact, more people have stood on the surface of the moon than have visited the deepest spot in the ocean. Come along as we travel down, down, down, from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Along the way you can see jellyfish that flash like a neon sign, creatures with teeth so big, they can’t close their mouths, and even a squid as long as a bus, which battles to the death with a sperm whale, the largest predator on earth. It’ll be a journey you won’t soon forget!

Note to readers:
•  Highlight the depth scale on the right side of the page.
•  Take a break during the middle of the book and play squid, squid, whale-vs. duck, duck, goose.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What are some sea animals that you know?


Vocabulary

•  descend: to go down
•  extreme: furthest from the top
•  encounter: meet with
•  mountainous: like a mountain
•  vast: huge
•  bioluminescent: when a living animal produces light
•  prey: the animal that is hunted
•  surging: rise and fall of waves
•  sleek: smooth
•  uncountable: large amount
•  microscopic: so tiny that you cannot see
•  sediment: material at the bottom of the ocean
•  outcrops: something that emerges suddenly
•  habitat: place where a person or thing lives
•  unexpected: surprising

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where is the Pacific Ocean?
•  What is the author trying to do when he tells this story?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a collage of under sea animals
•  Create an undiscovered animal

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!