Sea/Ocean Creatures 3rd Grade Literacy Text Set

Rationale of Text Set

  • Grade Level: 3rd
  • Main Topic: Sea/Ocean Creatures
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1 - Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • Intended For: Parents and Other Teachers
  • Importance: Learning about the different creatures that live in the ocean is always an exciting topic for students. Sea creatures are not things that we get to see everyday, so it's important to learn about them. This text set can also be cross curricular. Students can improve their reading skills through the books, along with learning life science and the history of where each creature came from.
  • Rationale: Our life here on Earth is very dependent on the oceans. Our Earth is also nearly three quarters ocean water, so students need to learn the basics of what kinds of creatures live there. Learning about the ocean life is very fascinating and insightful. The ocean and the creatures living inside play a big role in our food chain and water cycle.

Nonfiction Books

Identification Information
  • Title: Sharks
  • Author & Illustrator: Kevin J. Holmes & Jammie Willey (content consultant)
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • ISBN: 9781560656005
  • Number of Pages & Genre: 24 & Nonfiction
Summary of Text

The book "Sharks" has all of the basic information that you need to know about sharks. It discusses where they live, what they eat, their appearances, and so much more. Throughout this book, it also covers some of the myths that people have of sharks. This book is full of interesting facts and pictures of real life sharks!

Teaching Points
  • Reading First Component: Reading Comprehension
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1.C - Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
  • Area of Language Arts: Listening
  • Objective & Rationale: Throughout the reading of this book, students will be able to answer questions about the different information presented to them from this book. This book has a bunch of great facts about sharks, but it can be a lot to comprehend at once. To ensure that my students are gathering the most information possible, I will ask questions throughout the reading to check for understanding. As an assessment for this book, I will have students fill out an Exit Ticket that includes three new facts they learned about sharks.
Additional Resources - This is a booklet that students can fill out with information about sharks while they are reading "Sharks". - This is a fact filled video that students will love! The video lists a variety of different sharks and fun facts to go along with them!

Sea Stars
Identification Information
  • Title: Prickly Sea Stars
  • Author & Illustrator: Natalie Lunis & Bill Murphy (content consultant)
  • Publisher: Bearport Publishing
  • ISBN: 1597165085
  • Number of Pages & Genre: 24 & Nonfiction
Summary of Text

This book discusses many different facts about Sea Stars; which are better known as Starfish. Throughout this book you will learn about the different kinds of Sea Stars, what they eat, how they grow, and much more! One interesting fact that I found in this book is that Sea Stars don't have brains, but can still interact with the world around them. This book also goes into depth about other kinds of invertebrates.

Teaching Points
  • Reading First Component: Vocabulary Development
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.3.4.A - Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
  • Area of Language Arts: Reading
  • Objective & Rationale: While reading this book, students with gather information about Sea Stars and understand the basic facts. This book is filled with surprising facts about Sea Stars (ex/ they don't have brains). It is very important that students understand the content in this book and see the purpose behind things that Sea Stars do. There is also a variety of new vocabulary in this book, along with a glossary at the end of the book. The new vocabulary in the glossary have pictures of each word.
Additional Resources - This website has a lot of beautiful pictures of Sea Stars. These Sea Stars are different color, shapes, and sizes.

Identification Information
  • Title: I Am a Dolphin-The Life of a Bottlenose Dolphin
  • Author & Illustrator: Darlene R. Stille & Todd Ouren
  • Publishing: Picture Window Books
  • ISBN: 1-4048-0596-6
  • Number of Pages & Genre: 24 & Nonfiction
Summary of Text

In this book, you follow a dolphin around as she tells you about her life as a dolphin. On each page, there is a small box with facts about the Bottlenose Dolphin. Some of the facts include how dolphins communicate with one another, how they learn tricks, how they get food, and so much more! This book is laid out like a story book, but is full of valuable facts and information.

Teaching Points
  • Reading First Component: Reading Fluency
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4 - Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • Area of Language Arts: Speaking
  • Objective & Rationale: Students will make a small presentation over dolphins. This presentation can be over either their own experiences with dolphins or something that they researched and liked about dolphins. The students will need to be descriptive when reporting on dolphins, especially if it is their own experiences. Dolphin are very fascinating to learn about since they are mammals like us and live in the ocean!
Additional Resources - This is a website that has a list of things human children can do and what dolphin's can do. There is also a video over dolphin intelligence.

Fiction Books

Identification Information
  • Title: Dear Mr. Blueberry
  • Author & Illustrator: Simon James
  • Publisher: Walker Books & Aladdin Paperbacks
  • ISBN: 0-689-50529-9
  • Number of Pages & Genre: 32 Pages & Comedy
Summary of Text

Dear Mr. Blueberry is a book about a little girl named Emily, who thinks that there is a whale living in her pond outside. Emily is writing letters to her teacher, Mr. Blueberry asking him about what her whale needs to in order to survive. Throughout the book, Emily and Mr. Blueberry write letters back and forth deciding whether or not Emily actually has a whale living in her pond.

Teaching Points
  • Reading First Component: Reading Fluency
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.3 - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • Area of Language Arts: Writing
  • Objective & Rationale: Students will be creating their own "Dear Mr. Blueberry" story, but writing to me instead. Once we have read this book as a class, the students will choose a imagined experience to write to me about. The letter can be similar to the one that Emily wrote to Mr. Blueberry or something totally different! The students will be using descriptive details in their letters to me, along with the events in sequential order. At the end of this activity, the class with all share their "Dear Ms. Duryea" letters.
Additional Resources - I Wanna Iguana book would be another great book to read to third graders before they write their letters to the teacher. This is another fun and exciting book where letters are being exchanged back and forth.

Identification Information
  • Title: The Pout-Pout Fish
  • Author & Illustrator: Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • ISBN: 978-0-374-36096-2
  • Number of Pages & Genre: 32 & Fiction
Summary of Text

This book is about a fish who has a "pout-pout" face all of the time, causing the other sea creatures to think he is always sad. The Pout-Pout Fish's friends tried telling him to cheer up, but he thought it was impossible. This fish continued to pout around the ocean all day long, until a mysterious fish came along and gave him a smooch, which changed everything.

Teaching Points
  • Reading First Component: Phonics
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.7 - Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
  • Area of Language Arts: Reading/Visual Representation
  • Objective & Rationale: Throughout this book, students will be able to visually see the Pout-Pout Fish's sad face, before he gets his smooch. This book has wonderful illustrations that could tell the story alone! Students will have a better understanding of this book after taking a few seconds on each page to look in-depth at the illustrations. As a class, we will stop and discuss the actions of the Pout-Pout Fish and his friends by looking at the illustrations.
Identification Information
  • Title: Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monsters' Cave
  • Author & Illustrator: Marcus Pfister
  • Publisher: North-South Books
  • ISBN: 9783314017339
  • Number of Pages & Genre: 25 & Fiction
Summary of Text

In this book, the bumpy-backed fish is very ill and needs red algae. The red algae only grows on the other side of the sea monsters' cave though. This is where Rainbow fish and little blue fish are brave and declare that they will go to the other side of the sea monsters' cave and get the red algae to save the bumpy-back fish. Throughout their journey, rainbow and little blue fish start to realize that the sea monsters' aren't as scary as everyone thinks.

Teaching Points
  • First Reading Components: Reading Comprehension
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.9 - Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series)
  • Area of Language Arts: Reading
  • Objective & Rationale: After reading this book and another "Rainbow Fish" book in the series, the students will be comparing and contrasting the two books in a Venn Diagram. There are many excellent books in the "Rainbow Fish" series that will be great to compare with one another. Each book revolves around Rainbow Fish and the many journeys that she goes on. There is always a great theme behind each story as well that the students will be looking for.
Additional Resources - This worksheet would be great for the students to feel out after each book. After filling this out, they will be able to use these sheets when filling out their Venn Diagrams.


Chart of Different Sea Creatures

  • This chart has all of the basic sea creatures that students are familiar with. The chart has great pictures and each image is labeled.
  • Reading First Component: Reading Comprehension
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2.B - Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details
  • Area of Language Arts: Writing
  • Objective & Rationale: Students will be choosing a sea creature on this chart, or one of their own approved by the teacher to research and write a story over. The students will be learning about a variety of different creatures that live in the sea and have the opportunity to create their own story about a sea creature of their choosing. The story can be realistic or fictional! This is a great way for students to learn more about sea creatures, along with having fun creating their stories.

Map of oceans and continents

  • This map is a great visual aid for students to look at when learning about the different sea creatures around the world. The students will be able to see exactly where these creatures are located at on this Earth.
  • Reading First Component: Comprehension
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7 - Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • Area of Language Arts: Visual
  • Objective & Rationale: Students will gain knowledge and understanding of where a variety of sea creatures live at by looking at the visual map. It is easier for students to picture where a dolphin lives if they can visually see the dolphins "home" on a map. By showing this map, you can also activate the students prior knowledge of places that they may have traveled to.
  • The Ocean Encyclopedia is filled with stunning photographs of the ocean and creatures that live in it. There is also an abundant of facts on different sea creatures and their ocean lives!
  • Reading First Component: Vocabulary
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1 - Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
  • Area of Language Arts: Writing
  • Objective & Rationale: Students will choose their favorite sea creature from the Ocean Encyclopedia and write a short paragraph stating why that particular creature is their favorite or the best. The students will present to the class their opinion of why they chose the sea creature they did.
  • This video discusses five different sea creatures that are very uncommon, but very real. There are photographs of each of these creatures, along with facts about them.
  • Reading First Component: Comprehension
  • Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9 - Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
  • Area of Language Arts: Viewing
  • Objective & Rationale: Students will compare and contrast the sea creatures in this video, with common sea creatures that live in the ocean. The creatures in this video are quite a bit different than the creatures that students are familiar with. This is a great opportunity for students to see the variety of different creatures located all throughout different parts of the ocean!

Book Citations

  • Sharks: Holmes, K. J. (1998). Sharks. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.
  • Prickly Sea Stars: Lunis, N. (2008). Prickly Sea Stars. New York, NY: Bearport.
  • I am a Dolphin: The Life of a Bottlenose Dolphin: Stille, D. R., & Ouren, T. (2005). I am a Dolphin: The Life of a Bottlenose Dolphin. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books.
  • Dear Mr. Blueberry: James, S. (1996). Dear Mr. Blueberry. New York, NY: Aladdin Picture Books.
  • The Pout-Pout Fish: Diesen, D., & Hanna, D. (2008). The Pout-Pout fish. New York, NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
  • Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monster's Cave: Pfister, M. (2009). Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monster's Cave. New York, NY: North-South Books.


Created with images by lpittman - "divers underwater ocean" • Elias Levy - "Great White Shark" • Theo Crazzolara - "sea star" • joakant - "dolphins marine mammals diving" • Drew And Merissa - "Ocean views" • galaman03 - "nose doctor fish fish aquarium" • Machado - "humpback tail abrolhos humpback whales" • Unsplash - "jellyfish colorful sea"

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