Rationale: This text set is intended for third grade and is about oceans and things that live in the ocean. With this text set, students will learn about oceans and explore a variety of ocean life through different forms of materials. Oceans and the living species in it are important to study because oceans make up about 70% of Earth. It is important for students to understand there are many different creatures living in the ocean just like on the surface of the Earth. Students need to understand that humans living on any part of the Earth affect the ocean and ocean life on a daily basis. With this understanding and the knowledge of what lives in the ocean, they can help protect the Earth's oceans.


  • Title: Finding Dory: The Essential Guide
  • Author: Glenn Dakin
  • Illustrator: Disney Pixar Animations
  • Publisher: DK Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-4654-4878-8
  • Pages: 63
  • Category: Picture Book
  • Summary: Finding Dory: The Essential Guide is a picture book that takes you on a journey through the ocean. Dory, a forgetful, blue tang fish, is looking for her new family members Nemo and Marlin. Dory cannot find her family members due to her forgetful memory. While helping her find Nemo and Marlin, you will meet many of Dory's friends that live in the sea. When meeting her friends, you will learn fun facts about each of them.
  • Reading First Component: Comprehension
  • Area of Language Arts: Viewing
  • Standard: 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 character or setting).
  • Objective: Students will be able to analyze the characters' moods and setting of the story by observing the illustrations in assisting them to comprehend the story.
  • Rationale: This picture book gives visuals of the characters throughout the entire story. The characters' facial expressions describe the mood of the character. The backgrounds of each page shows you where that page is taking place. This matches the standard and objective perfectly because the pictures are conveying what the story is about. This book is great for students who are visual learners and helps them comprehend the story better.
  • Additional Resource: The IMBd link, takes you to a site that provides an entire page about the movie, Finding Dory. The picture book Finding Dory: The Essential Guide was inspired by this movie. It immediately starts playing the trailer for the movie when you visit the page. As you scroll down, you are able to find awards the movie has received, interviews about the movie, photos from the movie, and other movies that are similar to this one. On the side of the page, there are links that take you to pages that have trivia questions about the movie, a plot summary, and a parents guide.
  • Title: "World Continents & Oceans" Map
  • Edited by: Elizabeth Stegall
  • Located: Continents and Oceans for Kids
  • Publisher: Pacific Oregon University
  • Genre: Map, Visual
  • Summary: This map gives students a visual of where the oceans are located on the Earth. The continents have arrows pointing to them so students can locate which continent the ocean is near.
  • Area of Language Arts: Visually Representing
  • Standard: 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).
  • Objective: Students will be able to describe where oceans are located in reference to the location of continents.
  • Rationale: This map will allow students to visually see where the oceans they are learning about are located. Students will get to see which oceans are closest to the continent they live on as well as notice where the other oceans are in reference to the nearest continent. They will be able to better understand the climate of the area the ocean is in which can help validate why certain species live in that ocean.
  • Additional Resource: The Continents and Oceans for Kids site provides another page called "Ocean Fun Facts." On this page, it gives plenty of facts about each ocean. This is a great follow-up tool to go along with the map. This will expand students' knowledge about each ocean.
  • Title: Ocean and Sea
  • Author: Steve Parker
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
  • ISBN: 978-0-545-33022-0
  • Pages: 112
  • Genre: Picture Book, Informational Text
  • Summary: This incredible book provides multiple, real life photographed pictures of the ocean on every page. Along with these incredible pictures, the book gives facts about the ocean waters, life in the ocean, how people are affecting the ocean, and more. By providing guided questions at the beginning of each section and activities throughout, this book will teach you almost everything you want to know about oceans all around the world.
  • Reading First Component: Fluency
  • Area of Language Arts: Viewing
  • Standard: RF.3.2c- Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
  • Objective: Students will be able to look at the pictures to help them say and define an unfamiliar word.
  • Rationale: This book will give students multiple facts and photos of oceans and ocean life. This book may challenge students reading because it is an upper level text. With that being said, students will be able to use the photos to help them recognize what a word might be. The photos support the facts entirely so by looking at the pictures it will help students to understand the text better.
  • Additional Resource: The Magic School Bus E52- Takes a Dive gives similar information as the book provided. Scholastic Inc. is the publisher of this book along with The Magic School Bus, which explains the similarity in information. This video is entertaining for students and will take them into the ocean. The characters in the show become different creatures that live in the ocean and every time they turn into a new creature the teacher, Ms. Frizzle, explains what they are and gives facts about them. This provides students a new way of learning about ocean life.


  • Title: Fly Guy Presents Sharks
  • Author: Tedd Arnold
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
  • ISBN: 978-0-545-50771-4
  • Pages: 32
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Summary: Fly Guy Presents: Sharks is about a boy, Buzz, who takes his pet fly, Fly Guy, to the shark aquarium. Fly Guy is a little timid at first due to his fear of sharks. On the other hand, Buzz is quite excited to begin his journey at the shark aquarium. While at the aquarium, Buzz and Fly Guy learned about many different sharks. They learn plenty of interesting facts about sharks.
  • Reading First Components: Phonics
  • Area of Language Arts: Reading
  • Standard: RF.3.1- Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • Objective: Students will be able to pronounce unknown words by using their phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • Rationale: Fly Guy Presents: Sharks is exactly at a third grade reading level, although it may appeal to younger readers as well. This book supports the standard and objective because it includes words that are unfamiliar to third graders, but are simple enough for them to decode. If the word in the book is above the intended third grade level, it is broken down in parenthesis directly after. This gives the child the demonstration of how to break down the word allowing them to sound out each portion of the word. This book is great for third graders to practice phonics skills.
  • Additional Resource: The Murray Library provides a read aloud YouTube video of this book. If students are struggling reading the book, they could look up this video and read along. This video also gives students the chance to hear from someone using expression with their reading. This can help them to better comprehend the story.
  • Title: Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Author: Scott O'Dell
  • Publisher: Sandpiper
  • ISBN: 978-0-395-06962-2
  • Pages: 194
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Summary: This story takes place on a small island located off the coast of California called Island of the Blue Dolphins in the mid-1800s. It is told by a young Ghalas-at, Native American girl, Karana. Karana and her younger brother, Ramo, get left behind on this island and have to survive on their own. When Ramo gets attacked by wild dogs, Karana is left all alone on the island. At first she tries to get revenge on these wild dogs that killed her brother, but realizes this is not the answer to solve her problems. Karana ends up connecting with these wild dogs and other creatures on the island. She is particularly intrigued by the sea otters and dolphins that play around the island. This powerful story takes you through Karana's discovery of herself and demonstrates the young girl's courage, forgiveness, and loyalty.
  • Reading First Component: Comprehension
  • Area of Language Arts: Reading
  • Standard: RL.3.2- Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • Objective: Students will be able to identify and comprehend the central message of the story told by a young Native American girl through key details in the text.
  • Rationale: This book will challenge third grade readers to think deeper about their reading. It will put students in the shoes of a young Native American trying to survive on her own. They will learn the central message of the story which is the importance of courage, forgiveness, and loyalty. This book will also expand their knowledge about island life and living things in the ocean because the entire book takes place on an island. The main character interacts with creatures around and in the ocean daily. This book is intended for third grade readers who are reading at a higher level and want to challenge themselves.
  • Additional Resource: Provided is an audio book for Island of the Blue Dolphins.This will give students the chance to listen to the story while following along in the book. This is a great tool for third grade readers considering this book is above grade level. They will be able to hear words they do not recognize while visually seeing the words. This will improve third graders reading fluency as well as their comprehension of the story tremendously.
  • Title: The Kingdom of Wrenly: The Secret Life of Mermaids
  • Author: Jordan Quinn
  • Illustrator: Robert McPhillips
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster Inc.
  • ISBN: 978-1-4814-3122-4
  • Pages: 128
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Summary: The story begins with a boy Lucas on a raft with his friend Clara. A big wave comes and knocks Lucas into the sea. Lucas ends up meeting mermaids that live in a kingdom underwater. Lucas is anxious to learn more about these sea creatures. Through this story, children get to experience life under water with Lucas.
  • Reading First Components: Fluency, Reading Comprehension
  • Area of Language Arts: Reading
  • Standard: RF.3.2- Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • Objective: Students will be able to read this book fluently and comprehend the main points of the story.
  • Rationale: This book is a third grade reading level chapter book. It provides an entertaining story that includes words third graders are familiar with. By providing familiar words to the reader, it will allow them to read fluently which will help them to better comprehend the story. This book takes place entirely under the sea and because of this students will also get to experience life underwater through the shoes of the main character. Although it is fiction, they will still learn new facts about the ocean.
  • Additional Resource: Third Grade Mermaid is a video blog found on YouTube. It provides "Episode 1: How do fish breath underwater?" and "Episode 2: Glowing Fish." A mermaid gives students facts about fish in these videos. This is a great tool to use after reading the book because it is told by a mermaid (which are the main characters in the book) and it gives facts on fish in the ocean.


  • Title: Ocean
  • Author: Dr. Miranda MacQuitty
  • Photographer: Frank Greenaway
  • Publisher: DK Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-4654-2054-1
  • Pages: 72
  • Genre: Informational Text
  • Summary: This book takes you through all the different oceans through visuals and facts. This book includes information about the ocean in general such as where they are located, how many square miles they cover, the climates of the area where the oceans are located, and more interesting facts. This book also gives information about a variety of living species in the different oceans. This factual book is great for students who want to take a peak into the ocean.
  • Reading First Component: Vocabulary
  • Area of Language Arts: Critical Thinking
  • Standard: RI.3.1- Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • Objective: Students will be able to research answers to questions they have about the ocean and ocean life,
  • Rationale: This book will allow students to gain insight about the ocean and ocean life. This book will give students information on how oceans move, how they are identified, how they are changing, what lives in them, and more. Students will be able to form questions they have about the ocean and search for the answers in the text. This is an informational text and it includes vocabulary terms that will be new to third grade students.
  • Additional Resource: This YouTube video, "Stunning Aquarium and The Best Relax Music" would be a terrific video to play in the background while students looked through the book. This video plays relaxing music while taking you through the ocean. The video would help students get a better visual of how the creatures look and move around in the ocean. They will be able to see creatures from the book come to life in the video.
  • Title: Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival
  • Author: Janet Wyman Coleman
  • Illustrator: Yan Nascimbene
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN: 978-0-547-71923-8
  • Pages: 40
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Summary: Hurricane Katrina hit Marine Life Oceanarium on August 29, 2005. The hurricane swept away eight dolphins, along with many other mammals into the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these dolphins were born into captivity and would not be able to survive in the wild on their own. This emotional book shares the story of these eight dolphins after being swept away. It provides beautiful illustrations and real life pictures that were taken from the events.
  • Reading First Component: Reading Comprehension
  • Area of Language Arts:
  • Standard: RI.3.3- Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
  • Objective: Students will be able to analyze the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the impact it had on marine life (particularly dolphins).
  • Rationale: This nonfiction book will provide students information along with an interesting story about the traumatizing effects of Hurricane Katrina. Students will get to see how hurricanes not only harm humans but marine life as well. This book is geared for grades 2-5 so the context may challenge the lower reading level students in the classroom. This book will help these lower level readers become familiar with rich context. The upper level readers in the classroom should be able to fluently read the book which will help them to comprehend the cause and effect of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Additional Resource: The untold story of the Katrina Dolphins- from Gulfport to Atlantis is about a nine minute video that further discusses the dolphins that were swept away in Hurricane Katrina. This video will deepen students understanding of how the Hurricane effected these dolphins. It will help answer any more questions students may have about this horrific natural disaster. .
  • Title: World Book Encyclopedia Presents: Oceans
  • Authors: Andrew Haslam and Barbara Taylor
  • Publisher: Two-Can Publishing
  • ISBN: 0-7166-5123-8
  • Pages: 48
  • Genre: Informational Text
  • Summary: This book provides multiple experiments, geography projects, and factual information about oceans and ocean life. While reading this book you will learn many new ocean terms. You will also get instructions on how to do many activities that will further your understanding of the ocean and life in the ocean.
  • Reading First Component: Vocabulary
  • Area of Language Arts: Critical thinking
  • Standard: RI.3.8- Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence.
  • Objective: Students will be able to follow directions to complete a task.
  • Rationale: This book provides multiple activities for students to do to further their understanding of the ocean. To complete these activities, they will have to follow steps in order to complete these activities properly. These activities will allow students to think deeper about oceans and the life in them. They will also learn new vocabulary words which they will apply their understanding while doing the activity provided.
  • Additional Resource: There are many videos that show similar experiments to the ones provided in the book. One in particular is the "Mad Science of West New Jersey- Salt Water Experiment." It is similar to the "Magma Experiment" in the book provided found on page 9. This would be a good resource in case the there are not enough materials to do the experiment in the classroom. Students are able to visually see these experiments in videos like this which allows them to see someone else follow steps as well as get a better understanding of oceans and ocean life.


  • Title of the Movie: Dolphin Tale
  • Written by: Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi
  • Produced by: Richard Ingber, Broderick Johnson, and Andrew A. Kosove
  • Directed by: Charles Martin Smith
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Genre: Drama (based on a true story)
  • Summary: This movie is inspired by a true story about a dolphin named, Winter. Winter was found by a boy named Sawyer. When Sawyer found Winter, she was washed up on the beach stuck in a crap trap. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium team took Winter in and rehabilitated the dolphin the best to their ability. Unfortunately they had to remove Winter's tail. With the help of Sawyer, the team was able to create a prosthetic tale for Winter. This movie is a truly inspiring one that takes you through Winter's journey of learning to swim again.
  • Reading First Component: Comprehension
  • Area of Language Arts: Viewing, Listening
  • Standard: SL.3.2- Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • Objective: Students will be able to summarize the main idea of the movie and describe important events that took place.
  • Rationale: This movie strongly supports students learning about the ocean and ocean life. It takes place mainly at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and is based on a true story. With this movie, students will gain more insight about ocean life through a boy who is around the same age as them. They will also be able to pick out the main idea of the movie and describe important events that took place that helped save the dolphin and shape the boy into who he is today.
  • Additional Resources: The Clearwater Marine Aquarium provides a "Winter and Hope" page where you can view Winter live at the aquarium. There are cameras that are constantly recording Winter and Hope, who you meet in Dolphin Tale 2, and these cameras stream live on this site. This is a great follow up after the movie for students to see Winter and how she is doing now. Students can also find more information about Winter on this page.
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