Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Rare, Fat, Flabby, Big-Mouthed Sharks

Wilma Horton
Miami-Dade County Schools


The megamouth shark is an atypical shark that shatters all preconcieved knowledge of sharks. This one is unusual due to the fact that it cannot swim well, is flabby and is new to man.


The student writes text, notes, outlines, comments, and observations that demonstrate comprehension and synthesis of content, processes, and experiences from a variety of media.


-Computer lab with access to the Internet
-Designated Websites
-Paper and pencil for students
-Learning log notebook
-Overhead projector (optional)


1. Prior to class, print in large letters the words “Megamouth Shark.”
2. On board, or overhead projector, draw a K-W-L graphic organizer. (See Weblinks to review the K-W-L teaching strategy)
3. Draft a list of students to share computers (group a weak reader with one or two stronger readers).
4. Read the designated megamouth shark Website. (See Weblinks)
5. Draft questions for students to answer. When these questions are answered on the K-W-L, each student is successful.


1. Review the K-W-L graphic organizer and model it on the board. If this is new to students, perhaps practicing reading a short nonfiction article might help the inexperienced student.

2. Distribute, via handout, general questions for students to answer in their research. (Use of overhead transparency is optional.)

3. Assign students computer and partners. At this time review cooperative working rules and rules concerning computer/printer use.

4. Students decide, with their partner, what they know already about the megamouth shark and write it on their K-W-L charts under the “K” on the chart.

5. Students pose two questions to one another about what they want to learn about this shark and write it under the “W” on the chart.

6. Circulate among the researchers to keep them on task. Offer feedback to those who need help working cooperatively or to those who need help in reading, rereading or taking notes.

7. During the research on the Website, the partners cooperate with one another in getting the “L” part of the K-W-L chart filled out. The students should gather three or more newly learned facts about the megamouth shark. Instruct them to look at more than one source, to take notes, and document the source of the notes. This can be used for verification if a fact is questioned.

8. Individually, students write paragraphs in their learning logs about the megamouth shark and what they learned about it.


NOTE: This lesson only addresses notes and text.

1. The K-W-L graphic organizers, students' notes and learning logs will be used to formatively assess students noting facts about the megamouth shark. The student is successful when the “L” part of the K-W-L graphic organizer has three or more newly learned facts about the megamouth shark.

2. Formatively assess the students' paragraphs to make sure they have incorporated the information from their notes and charts into the text of the paragraph.

3. Satisfactory cooperative learning evaluation will be determined by teacher through on-task behaviors and positive student interactions predetermined in class mini-discussion and modeling of teacher prior to onset of this cooperative learning experience. Classroom computer usage rules/behaviors should be printed and posted on classroom wall and reviewed.

Web Links

This is an ideal site for a mountain of information on the fat, flabby, megamouth shark.
Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology

This site includes K-W-L information for teacher's review. Go to general modules, then teaching strategies.

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