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This is a complete unit for The Secret of the Seal, a chapter book about an Inuit boy who makes friends with a seal. He is conflicted between his love for the seal, his culture’s custom of killing seals for food, and his beloved uncle’s desire to catch a seal for a zoo.
This complete unit includes these documents:
1. Reading Workbook
2. Fun Book (I wanted to call it “interactive notebook” but my students dubbed it “fun book.”)
3. Answer Key to Reading Workbook (includes a few teaching suggestions and explanations)
4. Teaching Notes
I recommend putting a sticker over the summary on the back cover—it gives away the whole story!!
The reading workbook has an academic focus which teaches skills and utilizes close reading of the text to promote comprehension. Every unit has pre-reading skill exercises and post-reading content questions. The workbook is divided into 11 units, some of which include more than one chapter. The number of questions for each unit varies, depending on the wealth of material to cover in those chapters.
The skills covered in the pre-reading exercises include phonics and decoding skills. The questions themselves include enough text from the chapter so that even struggling readers will be able to read the chapters independently after doing the pre-reading exercises. Depending on how you organize your lessons and homework, you might choose to do the pre-reading in class, send home the reading as homework, then do the post-reading the next day. The other option is to do the reading together as a whole-class activity.
**short and long vowels
**regular and irregular sounds of vowels and vowel combinations
**variations in sounds of consonants (i.e. [c] sounds like /k, s/)
**consonant sounds with irregular spellings (i.e. /f/ can be [ph] or [ough])
**words with silent [ e ]
**identify silent letters
**sounds of [+ed] affix
**spelling of [+ing] affix
**meaning of [un+] affix on new words
**reading a “key” to understand an illustration
**dictionary skills—choose best definition from several
**vocabulary in context—guess meaning of new words from surrounding text
**use correct pronouns
**add commas to items in a series
**identify and characterize main characters
**identify protagonist and antagonist
**content questions—recall of facts
**why? questions, when the answer is not explicitly stated
**connect story to own life
**draw an illustration based on the text
**cause & effect—write “because” or “so” in the sentence
**literal and figurative language
The Fun Book.
The Fun Book is a write-color-cut-fold-glue activity book that covers the following skills:
**contrast two characters
**using a key to expand vocabulary beyond the text and identify items in an illustration
**parts of a sledge
**identify who said what
**examine why Kyo sometimes avoided telling the truth
**sequence events in a chapter
**sequence events in the whole book
**retell conversations, using quotation marks
**compare types of transportation (snowmobile and dogsled)
**compare feelings toward hunting—for food or for zoo animals
This is a PDF of the whole workbook with the answers written in. You might decide to not actually print it out, but use it as a reference on your computer.
The answers provided for the comprehension questions are, in many cases, suggested answers. The students’ answers may vary. I always look for complete sentences with capital letters and periods.
In some places I have added context or more explanations for the teacher. For example, one exercise asks the students to identify the sound of [+ed] on verbs. One of the verbs is [peered]. I penciled in “peered around the bock of ice” for you to have when students ask for help with that word.