Grade 3: Literacy – Investigating Sharks  


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To access the Unit Materials, scroll down to page 27.


Reading Informational Text

RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
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).
RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons
W.3.1(a) Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
W.3.1(b) Provide reasons that support the opinion.
W.3.1(c) Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
W.3.1(d) Provide a concluding statement or section.
W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
W.3.2(a) Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
W.3.2(b) Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
W.3.2(c) Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
W.3.2(d) Provide a concluding statement or section.
W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

Speaking and Listening

SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


L.3.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.3.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


This Grade 3 unit titled “Literacy—Investigating Sharks” cited on is intended to be completed in approximately 2-3 weeks of ELA/Literacy sessions.  The instruction extends students’ understanding of informational texts as the basis of their writing; they read the text for comprehension, discuss, and then write to convey information as well as an opinion.  Classroom activities focus on the development and practice of these understandings and skills in various classroom groupings. The culminating performance task asks students to independently use reasons and facts to support their written opinions based on information provided in an informational text.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity for be used effectively.  Teachers will also need to consider the variability of learners in their class prior to instruction and make adaptations in both pacing and instruction as needed.


This unit is an exemplary example of how to integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills.  It targets a set of grade-level standards and includes a clear and explicit purpose for instruction.  Instructional activities incorporate extensive supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade-level text band. Annotated sample student responses and a Common Core-aligned rubric provide clear guidance for interpreting student performance.