Lesson Plan - Journey to the Bottom of the World

Learning Objective

Students will learn details about the ocean’s deepest point and identify challenges in exploring this area.

Text Structure

Description, Comparison

Content-Area Connections

Science; Social Studies

Standards Correlations

CCSS: RI.4.1, RI.4.2, RI.4.3, RI.4.4, RI.4.5, RI.4.7, RI.4.8, RI.4.10, L.4.4, SL.4.1

NCSS: Science, Technology, and Society 

TEKS: Social Studies 4.20

1. Preparing to Read

Preview Words to Know
Project the online vocabulary slideshow and introduce the Words to Know. 

  • descended
  • extreme

Set a Purpose for Reading
Pair this article with the text about Henry Hudson on pages 1-3. As students read about Vanessa O’Brien and Victor Vescovo, have them think about ways the two underwater explorers are similar to and different from Hudson.  

2. Close-Reading Questions

1. Based on the text and pictures, what is a submersible? What do you know about the submersible O’Brien and Vescovo used?
The text and photos show that a submersible is a small vehicle used for exploring the deep sea. The submersible that O’Brien and Vescovo used is called Limiting Factor and is made from one of the strongest metals on Earth.
RI.4.4 Domain-Specific Vocabulary

2. What does the article say is an ocean explorer’s biggest enemy? Why?
An ocean explorer’s biggest enemy is water pressure, the force of the water pressing on an explorer’s body. At great depths, the pressure can crush a person.
RI.4.1 Text Evidence

3. What similarities does O’Brien note between Mount Everest and Challenger Deep?
The author notes that both Mount Everest and Challenger Deep are extreme locations. Both are cold and lack oxygen. They are not natural environments for humans to live in. 
RI.4.5 Comparison

3. Skill Building

FEATURED SKILL: Reading Closely
Use the Skill Builder “Deep Dive” to have students follow a close-reading checklist as they read the article three times. Download the Skill Builder as Google Slides or a PDF at scholastic.com/sn4. 
RI.4.1 Close Reading