If Sharks disappeared: Why sharks are important for our whole planet by Lily Williams

What would happen if sharks disappeared completely?

Do we really need them? Can we live without them?

All these questions will be answered in this cleverly written and illustrated book by Lily Williams – If Sharks disappeared: Why sharks are important for our whole planet.

A healthy ocean is home to many different creatures and if we get rid of any one of these creatures the ocean will be unbalanced and possibly have devastating effects on other animals, sea life and then life out of the ocean.

This book spells this devastation out in an easy to digest way for young children. They will not feel worried, fearful of the future or helpless – they will feel informed and powerful.

Lily Williams tells us the facts and tells us what will happen if we don’t do anything about overfishing, shark nets and ocean pollution but she doesn’t leave us hanging – she also tells us what we can do if we want to ensure the world stays balanced and healthy.

Excellent facts and suggestions to stop shark numbers falling are outlined in the final pages and are a great place to have further discussions with children.

The end pages of the book show the different types of sharks that inhabit our oceans – a great place to see the diversity of these scary looking creatures!

So perhaps if you are a little afraid of sharks, love swimming in the ocean and eat fish on a regular basis – this is a book for you and your family as after reading this you will hopefully look at the humble shark just with a little more empathy.

So what else can you do at home?

LIVE SUSTAINABLY

– Eat little fish. Many fish are caught in large nets so therefore sharks, dolphins and whales are also caught up in the mess. If you need to eat fish choose types that are sustainably and ethically sourced.

– Go down to your local beach and look out for any pollution that might effect the animals that live in the ocean. Pick it up and work out what you can do with it.

SCIENCE – LIFE CYCLES

– Draw up a food chain and work out who eats who in the ocean and what might happen if one of these creatures disappeared.

– Where do sharks live? Which sharks live near you? Work out how they live, what they eat and how long they live for.

Are any scientists researching sharks?   

See what this scientist is doing! 

GEOGRAPHY

– Where in the world do different sharks live? Is there anywhere where sharks cannot live?

LITERACY

– Choose another animals and work out what would happen if they disappeared. Write a text similar to this one or in story form to teach others about the problems that would arise.

– Look in the media for articles about sharks. Are they positive or negative? Collate and see how the media is making us think about sharks.

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 If Sharks Disappeared

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Don’t forget the numeracy skills

There is a lot of focus on Literacy skills – and so there should be BUT numeracy is equally important and the embedding of those basic skills in the early years is really important.

However, many parents may feel that numeracy doesn’t play a role in home readers and sight words BUT it can.

  •  Count the letters in each word in the selected group of sight words. Group them according the number of letters in each group.
  •  Clap out and talk about or write down the amount of syllables in each word.
  •  Stretch out each word and count how many sounds there are in the word as opposed to just letters. (e.g. shop has ‘sh’ ‘o’ ‘p’)

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When reading:

  •  Look at the page numbers – discuss odd and even numbers. Look at how many pages there are and count on from the last number.
  • How many illustrations are in the story?
  • How many full stops?
  • How long is the book? Use informal measurements such as fingerspaces before you measure in centimetres.
  • How heavy is the book? What might it weigh the same as?
  • What shape is the book? What else is shaped like this? Count sides and then think about why books are square and not triangle or circular!

 

And perhaps consider this article, a very good reason to help your child to love mathematics: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/a-dire-lack-of-interest-in-students-wanting-to-pursue-maths-careers-20170330-gv9pwa.html

 

Have a home reader? Read this:

We have just started bringing home ‘home readers’ and even as a teacher I have found it difficult to really understand the role these books play in my child’s education.

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I understand that it is great to expose children to books and texts they can possibly decode BUT I am starting to see it causing more worry in my child than joy.

We have been told to read the story first to our child – but I do not see the point as she can quickly memorise the words and then is she actually reading? Or just copying what I said?

These home readers are the only books we have access to for early reading and although there is are some great new readers out there, we do not have access to them.

If your child does not feel rewarded in an increased ability to read there can be feelings of anxiety developed towards reading.  Your child needs to feel confidence and enjoyment from the start. If you can, do these extra activities at home and tell your child it isn’t about the child who reads the most books but rather the child who can sound all the words out and know what it means. 

So what are we doing?

  • I ask my child to tell me the initial sound of each word. We break down the word into sound chunks and syllables before I tell her the whole word.

 

  • We talk about the letter name and the sound it makes (remember not all children have been exposed to all sounds in Term 1)

 

  • If there are any words which can rhyme easily I write them down and after we have finished the book we think about other words that rhyme and spell the same as the one in the story.

 

  •  Try to keep the book for two nights (if possible – I know my child is not keen to do this as she wants to read them all!). If you keep it for two nights you can try the sounds again.

 

  • Make up a new story with simple words in it. Make it repetitive but not as simple as the home reader. E.g. Is Bob in a mop? Is Bob in  pot? Is Bob in a hat? Is Bob in a kit? There is a company called Little Learners Love Literacy: http://littlelearnersloveliteracy.com.au/pipandtim-books#. That create books like this. You might be able to talk to your school about using these books?

 

  • Have fun with the home readers -even if it is only for ten minutes each night. Make the experience worth while. A child who can just parrot the home readers isn’t really getting the full benefit of what home readers are set out to be.