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Could Chadwick the Crab be real?

Teacher Information Page

Grade Level: 3 or 4

Subject Area: Reading, Science

Unit: Chesapeake Bay-Ecosystems

Reading for Literary Experience


Description: After reading or listening to Chadwick the Crab, by Priscilla Cummings, students will compare and contrast Chadwick, the fictitious crab, to a real crab. They will then decide, based on their findings, whether they believe Chadwick to be more like a real or fictitious crab.





Enduring Understanding

Reading for Literary Experience

Knowing the many different forms and their characteristics that authors use to tell stories can increase comprehension and reading enjoyment.


Essential Questions

How are fantasies different from other forms of stories?

How will knowing techniques used by authors help me understand the story better?


Performance Indicators: Know and use different focusing and monitoring strategies to comprehend text. Identify different forms of literature Identify reality and fantasy in stories




Enduring Understanding

Living organisms interact and are dependent on their environment.

Essential Questions

How are living organisms interdependent?

What are the indicators of a healthy ecosystem?


Performance Indicators

6.4.3  Identify the survival needs and interactions between organisms and the environment.

3.4.12 Cite evidence that individuals and groups of organisms interact with each other and their environment.


Time Frame: 2-3 45-minute class periods

Materials:     Copy of Chadwick the Crab by Priscilla Cummings

   Student worksheet (Venn Diagram)

                       Crab facts hotlist (access to Internet)

                       Chart paper (optional to list studentsí background knowledge)

Student skills: Students should be comfortable using the Internet and understand how to use a Venn Diagram.

Learning sequence:

    1. Activate prior knowledge by asking what students know about blue crabs. (Optional: List that information on a chart.)
    2. Set the purpose for listening to Chadwick the Crab as identifying ways that Chadwick is like a real crab and ways that he is not like a real crab.
    3. Read the story to the students.
    4. Discuss what students have learned about Chadwick.
    5. Allow students time to research crabs using the hotlist.
    6. Model making entries in the Venn Diagram.
    7. Have students continue independently to use the Venn Diagram to record their findings. Find at least 4 entries for each section.
    8. Compare the sections to answer the question, "Is Chadwick more like a real or fictional crab?"

Present this writing prompt to the students: Do you think that Chadwick is more like a real fictitious crab? Write a paragraph to explain your decision. In your paragraph, give your decision and explain it using at least three supports. Be sure to have a good topic sentence and a good concluding sentence.


Additional activities:

Students can repeat the activity for other animals in the book with new Internet resources.

Students can repeat the activity for other books of Priscilla Cummings.

Use the back button to return to the student page.

Created by Anne M. Baldini

Brooke Grove Elementary