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Smart About Sharks

Last updated Monday, November 4, 2019

Author: Owen Davey
Date of Publication: 2016
ISBN: 1909263915
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2019

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: Tongue-in-cheek headings, descriptive text, and art with a retro color palette make this an alternative take on the typical shark book. As fun to read as it is informative, this title covers the diet, hunting techniques, social life, size, and biology of eight orders of sharks. Consider this amusing and edifying work for displays and artsy kids who also happen to like sharks.

Note to readers:
•  Please be sure to review pages 10 and 11 and pages 24 and 25. Please read page 35!

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animals do you know live in the ocean?
•  Have you ever heard of sharks? What do you know about sharks?
•  How does the media generally depict sharks?
•  What do you think about sharks?


•  carnivores - an animal that eats meat
•  prey- an animal that is hunted for food
•  ecosystem - a community of interacting organisms and their physical environment
•  don -- put on (an item of clothing)
•  roaming -- moving about aimlessly or unsystematically
•  apex -- the top or highest part of something, especially one forming a point
•  ancestor -- a person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended
•  camouflage -- hide or disguise the presence of (a person, animal, or object)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What did you learn about sharks today?
•  What are some characteristics of sharks? i.e. what do they eat?
•  What are some ways we can help sharks keep their oceans healthy?
•  How many species of sharks are alive today?
•  Which shark is the fastest?

Craft ideas:
•  Shark Bingo: Create bingo cards depicting the variety of different sharks i.e. sand tiger shark, common sawshark, and basking shark.
•  Create shark memory cards with a picture of a specific shark species and information related to the shark.
•  Ocean snapshot: draw a snapshot of the deep ocean with your favorite shark species.
•  Make a shark hat
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  A reader or child imagines what it would it be like to be a shark in the ocean, and acts it out with the classroom being the "ocean." Each child can also pretend to be a different kind of shark.

*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!