Narrative Nonfiction - Scholastic Common Core

Narrative Nonfiction - Scholastic Common Core

Narrative Nonfiction Into the DARK Author’s Craft You are about to read two stories about UP CLOSE the same famous historical event. The first is ...

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Narrative Nonfiction

Into

the

DARK

Author’s Craft You are about to read two stories about UP CLOSE the same famous historical event. The first is nonfiction. The second is a poem. As you read, pay attention to how the author of each gives you information about the event.

I Jack Thayer (above) was thrilled to be aboard the most luxurious ship in the world.

4

S T O R Y W O R K S

n just a few hours, the Titanic would be at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Some 1,500 people—men, women, and children— would be dead. Yet at 11:00 that evening, April 14, 1912, there was not the slightest hint of doom in the air. Jack Thayer, 17, had come outside to admire the brilliant sky before going to bed. The stars were shining so brightly that they reminded Jack of diamonds. The ocean was perfectly calm. All was quiet except for the steady hum of the ship’s engines and the whistle of a gentle breeze. “It was the kind of night,” Jack would later recall, “that made one glad to be alive.” Indeed, this bright and curious boy from Philadelphia had much to feel glad about. He and his parents were returning from a twomonth trip to Europe. Everywhere Jack looked, he saw signs of a fast-changing world—a world made brighter by new electric lights, made faster by motorcars and powerful steam engines, made safer by breakthroughs in science.

ISTOCKPHOTO.COM (BACKGROUND); THE GRANGER COLLECTION (POSTER); BETTMANN/CORBIS (SHIP)

LOOK FOR WORD NERD’S 9 WORDS IN BOLD

Jack Thayer, 17, was on the voyage of a lifetime. But then disaster struck. As the Titanic began to sink, he was separated from his parents and lost almost all hope for survival.

WATER BY LAUREN TARSHIS

The Titanic was a symbol of all of these changes—the biggest, most elegant, most technologically advanced ship ever built. How lucky Jack felt to be on its first transatlantic voyage. Even the Thayers, a family of great wealth, were dazzled by the ship’s grandeur. Their large first-class cabins were as fancy as rooms in the finest hotels. There was a swimming pool with heated ocean water and an exercise room staffed with a professional trainer. Delicious meals were served on dishes etched with gold. Jack, with his dapper wool suits and worldly confidence, mingled easily with the tycoons he met in the first-class lounge and dining rooms. He especially enjoyed his conversations with Thomas Andrews, the designer of the Titanic. Andrews was modest. But he couldn’t deny that the Titanic’s maiden voyage was a magnificent success. In three days, the ship was due to arrive in New York to great fanfare.

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W W W. S C H O L A S T I C . C O M / S T O RY W O R K S • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 3

5

“Unsinkable”

6

S T O R Y W O R K S

While Jack Thayer and the 353 other first-class passengers dined in fancy restaurants (above), nearly a thousand second- and thirdclass passengers ate in cafeterias like the one below.

Many third-class passengers were on their way to America to start new lives. Their rooms, though cramped and much less fancy than those in first class, were far more comfortable than on other liners.

standing with several of the ship’s officers. Andrews’s grave expression sent a stab of fear through Jack’s heart. If anyone understood the Titanic’s true condition, it was the man who knew the ship inside and out. And the truth was terrifying. The iceberg’s jagged fingers had clawed through the steel hull. Water was gushing into the ship’s lower levels. “The Titanic will sink,” Andrews said. “We have one hour.” That, though, was only half of the horrifying story. As Jack would soon learn, the Titanic had only 20 lifeboats, enough for about

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: SSPL VIA GETTY IMAGES; PA PHOTOS/ABACAPRESS.COM/NEWSCOM; SSPL VIA GETTY IMAGES; UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP/GETTY IMAGES

It was almost 11:30 when Jack went back to his cabin, which was next to his parents’ suite. He called good night to his mother and father. Just as he was about to get into bed, he swayed slightly. He realized the ship had veered to the left— “as though she had been gently pushed,” he would later say. The engines stopped, and for a moment, there was a quiet that was “startling and disturbing.” Then Jack heard muffled voices and running footsteps. He First-class tickets cost threw on his overcoat and $4,000 slippers, told his parents he (about was going to see what was $90,000 today). happening, and rushed outside. Soon he was joined by a crowd of first-class passengers, including his father. Jack wasn’t worried. Indeed, there was a mood of adventure, especially after news spread that the ship had struck an iceberg. The men in the crowd joked and puffed on cigars as they craned their necks and squinted into the dark night. They all wanted to see the object that had dared interrupt the voyage of the great Titanic. “Nobody yet thought of any serious trouble,” Jack would recall. “The ship was unsinkable.” That’s certainly what most people believed: that the Titanic’s state-of-the-art safety features—16 watertight compartments to contain flooding—would keep the ship afloat no matter what. So it was with no sense of urgency that Jack and his father roamed the ship, trying to find out when they would again be under way. But then Jack and his father saw Andrews

COURTESY OF EXPEDITION TITANIC

half of the passengers and crew members. The Titanic was 800 miles from New York. The temperature of the ocean was 28° Fahrenheit. Immersed in water that cold, a human body goes into shock almost immediately. The heart slows. The skin begins to freeze. Death comes within 80 minutes. For those who couldn’t escape by lifeboat, there was almost no hope of survival.

the ship, hoping to find a lifeboat. Suddenly, they were in the middle of a surging crowd of panicked passengers. To Jack’s horror, he and Milton were separated from his parents and Margaret. He searched desperately but could not find them. He became convinced that they had all boarded a lifeboat, leaving him behind. And there were no lifeboats left. Jack and Milton were on their own. Amid the noise and panic, the screams Lost in the Crowd and shouts and explosions, Jack and Milton Jack put on a warm wool suit and a sweater. tried to bolster each other’s courage as the ship He tied on his life preserver and slipped continued to sink. “I sincerely pitied myself,” into his overcoat, then he rushed back up to Jack said, “but we did not give up hope.” the deck with his parents. What they found They determined that their best chance was confusion and deafening noise—people for survival was to wait until the ship was low shouting, distress rockets being fired into the enough in the water that they could jump in air. Jack was with his parents and his mother’s without injuring themselves. maid, Margaret Fleming. They were soon That moment came at about 2:15 a.m. joined by a young man named Milton Long, The ship lurched forward, its bow plunging whom Jack had befriended at dinner earlier deeper into the black waters of the Atlantic. that night. The group made their way through Jack and Milton shook hands and wished each other luck. Milton went first, climbing The Titanic leaves over the railing and sliding down Southampton, the side of the ship. Jack would England, on its Look maiden voyage. never see him again. for these funnels ship words as Jack threw off his overcoat you read the and, he later said, “with a push of article. my arms and hands, jumped into the water as far out from the ship as I could. . . . Down, down I went, spinning in all directions.” He struggled to the surface, gasping from the cold, his lungs near to bursting. He had been floating for only a few minutes when one of the ship’s enormous funnels broke free. In a shower of stern sparks and black smoke, it crashed hull into the water just 20 feet from bow Jack. The suction pulled him under the water once again. This time he barely made it back up. W W W. S C H O L A S T I C . C O M / S T O RY W O R K S • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 3

7

8

S T O R Y W O R K S

PAGE 8: COURTESY OF EXPEDITION TITANIC. PAGE 9: MARCIE CHEATHAM/E+/GETTY IMAGES (BACKGROUND); BETTMANN/CORBIS (NEWSPAPER)

Little by little, the terrible wailing faded. Floating in the silent blackness, numb with cold and fear, Jack waited for death. But then came a light—at 4:30 a.m., a ship called the Carpathia broke through the darkness. Its captain had received the Titanic’s distress call and rushed his ship Titanic survivors wait for rescue. through the icy waters. Among the But as he surfaced, his hand hit first faces Jack saw when he boarded Only about 30 percent of the something—an overturned lifeboat. Four the rescue ship was his mother’s. people on the men were balancing on its flat bottom. Margaret was also aboard. Titanic survived. One of them helped Jack up. From there, The joy of their reunion was they watched the Titanic in its final agonizing overwhelming—but so was the shock when moments—the stern rising high into the sky, Jack’s mother asked a simple question. hundreds of people dropping into the sea, the “Where is your father?” lights finally going out. As it turned out, Mr. Thayer had not Then, in a moment of eerie quiet, the ship boarded a lifeboat. disappeared into the sea. “Of course, I should have known that he would never have left without me,” Jack “A Wailing Chant” later said. The silence was broken by the first frantic The Carpathia, carrying the Titanic’s 705 cries for help. People—hundreds of them— grief-stricken survivors, docked in New York were scattered everywhere in the water, kept City on April 18 and was greeted by a crowd afloat by their life vests. The individual cries of 30,000 people. Jack and his mother then became “a continuous wailing chant” of terror returned to Philadelphia. and pain and desperation, Jack said. Jack went on to marry, have two sons, and Over the next few minutes, he and the attain a powerful position at the University others on the lifeboat managed to pull 24 men of Pennsylvania. Years later, he wrote his own out of the water alive. The group was “packed account of the sinking of the Titanic, dedicated like sardines” on the boat, their arms and legs to his father’s memory. tangled together. Freezing waves washed over Today, more than 100 years after the ship’s them. Nobody moved for fear of slipping into sinking, stories of its survivors still fascinate and the water. inspire. In this way, the mighty ship sails on.

HISTORY POEM CONTEST! Poet Irene Latham turned the story of the Titanic into a beautiful poem. Let her poem inspire you to write your own poem and enter our contest!

Titanic Remembers, April 16, 1912 By Irene Latham

My maiden voyage interrupted by an iceberg clawing at my hull.

Oh, my passengers and crew, how I failed you! Not enough lifeboats,

And still my engines chugged, unsinkable unsinkable unsinkable.

not enough time for rescue. In the end, what could I do but sink and hide?

Alas, my armor could not hold: I tipped like a top and dipped ever so slowly

It’s true a ship cannot cry, but every day I mourn the many lives lost

lower and lower into the icy Atlantic.

that bleakest blackest night.

ENTER OUR POETRY CONTEST! Pick an exciting event from history and turn the story into a poem. Your poem must include at least five factual details about the event. Send entries to “Storyworks History Poem Contest” by November 15, 2013. Five winners will receive a Storyworks prize. See page 2 for details.

TIPS ON WRITING YOUR HISTORY POEM AVAILABLE ONLINE!

W W W. S C H O L A S T I C . C O M / S T O RY W O R K S • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 3

9

Lesson

1 Into the Dark Water Narrative Nonfiction pgs. 4-9

Seventeen-year-old Jack Thayer’s voyage aboard the Titanic turns from dream to nightmare Summary: This true account of a teen’s experience aboard

the doomed luxury liner is paired with a poem narrated from the ship’s point of view. We hope the package will inspire your students to enter our history poem contest!

Teaching Objective: This lesson will help your students examine author’s craft and make connections between a narrative-nonfiction article and a poem.

Featured Skills: analyzing author’s craft, making connections across genres

Other Key Skills: vocabulary, close reading, key details, text evidence, inferences, point of view, narrative writing

Content-Area Connection: 20th-century history

STEP-BY-STEP LESSON PLAN

1

Watch a video (10 minutes, activity sheet available online)

Distribute our video questions and quickly preview them with the class. Show our “Storyworks Behind the Scenes” video, in which Lauren Tarshis discusses researching and writing this article. Have students pair up to answer the video questions.

2

Preview vocabulary (5 minutes, activity sheet available online)

3

Set a purpose for reading: Author’s craft (5 minutes)

Project or distribute our vocabulary activity sheet, which includes a glossary of the article’s highlighted words. Preview words and definitions with students. After they have read the article, they should complete part 2 of the activity, which will reinforce vocabulary. Highlighted words: grandeur, etched, dapper, veered, urgency, immersed, desperately, bolster, agonizing

Invite a student to read aloud the Up Close box for the class. Have students peruse the photos and captions that accompany the article and poem. Ask them what historical event the pieces are about. What do they already know about it?

4

Reading the Article

Have students read the article in small groups, pausing at the end of each section to share comments or questions. Then instruct groups to reread sections and discuss the closereading questions. Afterward, they should answer the criticalthinking question in class or as homework. T4

S T O R Y W O R K S

QUESTIONS (activity sheet available online) Close Reading (during second read, 15 minutes) •W  hat do you learn from the opening line of the article? Why do you think the author starts this way? (author’s craft) You learn that the Titanic is going to sink and that this article will deal with the ship’s last few hours. The author opens this way to create suspense and grab the reader’s interest.

•W  hich details in the third paragraph help you understand what the evening of April 14, 1912, was like? (text evidence) Details about what Jack Thayer saw, felt, and heard show that the evening was calm and bright, giving no cause for worry. He saw the “brilliant sky” and stars like “diamonds.” The ocean was “perfectly calm” and there was a “gentle breeze.” The only noise was “the steady hum of the ship’s engines.” •W  hat was Jack like? How do you know? (text evidence) Jack was a wealthy, confident, and sociable 17-year-old. He was returning from a two-month trip to Europe; his family had “great wealth”; he wore stylish suits and spoke confidently with wealthy adults and the ship’s designer in first-class areas. •W  hat was Jack’s first reaction to the trouble aboard the Titanic? What made him change his mind? (key detail) At first he thought the trouble was a fun adventure. He changed his mind when he saw the ship’s designer, who knew that the boat would sink. • I n the section “Lost in the Crowd,” what made Jack decide to jump into the water? What happened to Milton? (inference) Having been separated from his parents, Jack assumed that they had already boarded a lifeboat and that

COURTESY OF EXPEDITION TITANIC

Preparing to Read

COMPLEXITY FACTORS

See how this story will challenge your students. Purpose: The article has an explicit purpose to relate a teen’s experience during the sinking of the Titanic and an implicit purpose to provide general information about that event.

Structure: The structure is mainly chronological but includes some instances of foreshadowing. Language: The story contains some figurative language and some academic vocabulary, such as grandeur and urgency.

Knowledge Demands: Comprehension will be aided by some prior knowledge of early-20th-century culture.

Lexile Level: 870L Guided Reading Level: S jumping when the ship sank close to the water was his best chance for survival. You can infer that Milton died. • I n “A Wailing Chant,” what can you infer from the sentence “Little by little, the terrible wailing faded”? (inference) People were gradually dying in the freezing water. •W  hy was Jack’s reunion with his mother both joyful and shocking? (key detail) Jack was joyful to find his mother alive but shocked to learn that his father had died. •W  ho narrates the poem “Titanic Remembers”? What emotions does the narrator show? (point of view) The Titanic narrates the poem. It shows grief and guilt that it failed its passengers and many died.

Critical Thinking (after reading, 10 minutes)

• Quotes from Jack Thayer, looking back on the tragedy, are woven throughout the article. Find and reread these quotes. Why do you think the author included them? (author’s craft) The author probably included them to help readers understand what Jack was thinking and experiencing minute by minute as the tragedy unfolded. The quotes also make the story more personal.

Skill Focus: Author’s Craft

(20 minutes, activity sheet available online)

(TOP) MINH UONG; (BOTTOM) LANCE LEKANDER

5

The article “Into the Dark Water” uses suspense, figurative language, and descriptive words to tell the story of a teen’s experience aboard the Titanic. Download our activity sheet to help students identify and analyze these elements of author’s craft.

Skill Focus: Poet’s Craft

(20 minutes, activity sheet available online)

6

Help students explore personification and other elements of Irene Latham’s poem “Titanic Remembers, April 16, 1912” with our activity sheet on poet’s craft. The activity will also provide tips and help students start writing a

poem for our Storyworks History Poem Contest!

Vocabulary & Core Skills Workout

(activity sheets available online; time will vary)

7

Direct students to return to the vocabulary activity you distributed before reading, and ask them to complete the second part. You will also find our Core Skills Workout online; this includes activities on nonfiction text features, text evidence, summarizing, and making inferences. Morescaffolded and less-scaffolded versions are available for some activities.

Common Core State Standards This article and lesson support the following CCR anchor standards: R.1, R.3, R.4, R.9, R.10, W.2, W.3, W.4, W.9, SL.1, L.4, L.5, L.6 Go online to find specific grade-level correlations for grades 3 through 6.

ONLINE RESOURCES Video: Behind the Scenes: Author’s Craft— Author Lauren Tarshis discusses her article. Differentiation: Lower-Lexile version of this article; audio recordings of on-level and lower-Lexile articles Activities to print or project: • Video Questions • Vocabulary in Context • Close-Reading and Critical-Thinking Questions • Author’s Craft • Poet’s Craft • Core Skills Workout (4 activities) • Comprehension Quiz—Interactive or Printable www.scholastic.com/storyworks O C T O B E R

2 0 1 3

T5

activity “Into the Dark Water” October 2013

C o r e S k i l l s Wo r k o u t : Te x t E v i d e n c e Name:____________________________________ Date:_____________

Find the Evidence This month’s nonfiction article “Into the Dark Water” tells the story of how one boy survived the sinking of the Titanic. In this activity, you’ll explore how details in the article help you understand the big picture of what happened during this terrible event. Directions: Read each question below carefully. Some will ask you to select text evidence—or specific details in the story—to support a statement. Others will ask you to respond in your own words, supporting your ideas with text evidence. 1. When the Titanic first encountered trouble, Jack and the other passengers felt certain they were safe. Circle the letter of the piece of text evidence that best demonstrates that they were not worried: a. “The Titanic’s maiden voyage was a magnificent success.” b. “There was a quiet that was ‘startling and disturbing.’ ” c. “Indeed, there was a mood of adventure.” d. “Jack heard muffled voices and running footsteps.” 2. In your own words, describe why the Titanic was said to be “unsinkable.” Use specific evidence from pages 4–6 of the text. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. C  ircle the letter for the two pieces of evidence that best explain the terrible situation all of the passengers were in once the ship began to sink:  a. “Andrews’s grave expression sent a stab of fear through Jack’s heart” and “Water was gushing into the ship’s lower levels.” b. “Nobody yet thought of any serious trouble” and “The ship was unsinkable.” c. “Jack put on a warm wool suit and a sweater” and “Jack and Milton were on their own.” d. “The Titanic had only 20 lifeboats” and “The temperature of the ocean was 28° Fahrenheit.” Continued on next page >

© 2013 Scholastic Inc. Teachers may make copies of this page to distribute to their students.

activity “Into the Dark Water” October 2013

C o r e S k i l l s Wo r k o u t : Te x t E v i d e n c e Name:____________________________________ Date:_____________

Find the Evidence, cont’d. 4. What does Jack’s quote “I sincerely pitied myself, but we did not give up hope” demonstrate about him? a. Jack had the will to survive. b. Jack was certain that he would die that night. c. Jack wished that his parents had stayed with him. d. Jack was ready to give up. 5. How does the author describe the final “agonizing” moments of the Titanic? a. “ Nobody moved for fear of slipping into the water.” b. “The stern rising high into the sky, hundreds of people dropping into the sea, the lights finally going out.” c. “Of course, I should have known that he would never have left without me.” d. “Over the next few minutes, he and the others on the lifeboat managed to pull 24 men out of the water alive.” 6. Identify three pieces of evidence from the section “A Wailing Chant” that describe what passengers experienced from the time the Titanic sank to the moment the Carpathia arrived. 1. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 7. What conclusion could you draw from the article? a. Only people who could swim were able to survive the night. b. Mrs. Thayer was angry with Jack for leaving his father. c. Ships are unsafe methods of travel and transportation. d. The tragedy might not have been as bad if the ship had had enough lifeboats. 8. The author explains that “more than 100 years after the ship’s sinking, stories of survivors still fascinate and inspire.” Explain why this story is still interesting. Use examples from the article. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ © 2013 Scholastic Inc. Teachers may make copies of this page to distribute to their students.

A u t h o r ’s C r a f t

activity “Into the Dark Water” October 2013

Name:____________________________________ Date:_____________

Exciting Writing What makes “Into the Dark Water” so thrilling to read? How does it grip your attention? The author, Lauren Tarshis, uses many writing techniques to make the article exciting. In this activity, you’ll take a close look at what they are. We put some sentences from the article through our Drastically Dullifying Machine. Look what happened:

Before

After

“The stars were shining so brightly that they reminded Jack of diamonds.” (p. 4)

Jack thought the stars were very bright.

“Their large first-class cabins were as fancy as rooms in the finest hotels.” (p. 5)

Their large cabins were really fancy.

“Andrews’s grave expression sent a stab of fear through Jack’s heart.” (p. 6)

Jack became scared when he saw the look on Andrews’s face.

1. How do the sentences on the left help you imagine what it was like to be on the Titanic? How do they differ from the sentences on the right? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Here are more parts of the article that went through the machine:

Before

After

“Everywhere Jack looked, he saw signs of a fast-changing world—a world made brighter by new electric lights, made faster by motorcars and powerful steam engines, made safer by breakthroughs in science.” (p. 4)

Jack saw progress all around him.

“The Titanic was 800 miles from New York. The temperature of the ocean was 28° Fahrenheit. Immersed in water that cold, a human body goes into shock almost immediately. The heart slows. The skin begins to freeze. Death comes within 80 minutes.” “For those who couldn’t escape by lifeboat, there was almost no hope of survival.” (p. 7)

When the Titanic began to sink, people faced great danger. If they couldn’t escape by lifeboat, they had almost no hope of survival.

2. What do the passages on the left include that the passages on the right do not? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. How does this make the passages on the left more interesting? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ © 2013 Scholastic Inc. Teachers may make copies of this page to distribute to their students.

Continued on next page >

A u t h o r ’s C r a f t

activity “Into the Dark Water” October 2013

Name:____________________________________ Date:_____________

Exciting Writing, p. 2 Personification is a tool authors sometimes use to enhance their writing. Personification is when an author describes or talks about a nonhuman object or animal as if it were human. We put the article through the Personification Identification Machine. This is what it found: “They all wanted to see the object that had dared interrupt the voyage of the great Titanic.” (p. 6) “The iceberg’s jagged fingers had clawed through the steel hull.” (p. 6)

4. What object is being personified, or given human qualities, in these sentences? How does this object seem human in each sentence? _______________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Suspense is an anxious or uncertain feeling caused by not knowing what will happen. We know what will happen to the Titanic from the very first sentence—and from history. But as the tragedy unfolds, Jack doesn’t know what will happen to the ship, his family, or himself. Lauren tells the story in a way that makes us feel Jack’s uncertainty. Look at these sentences that our Suspense Detection Machine found: “The engines stopped, and for a moment, there was a quiet that was ‘startling and disturbing.’ ” (p. 6) “ ‘The Titanic will sink,’ Andrews said. ‘We have one hour.’ ” (p. 6) “Jack and Milton were on their own.” (p. 7)

5. Find two more sentences that create suspense. Write them below, along with their page numbers. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Your turn! Use at least two of the writing techniques you examined here to write an exciting paragraph about one of these topics: • • • •

the most unusual or scariest thing that ever happened to you during recess a time you were lost someplace an encounter with an animal an exciting topic of your choice

© 2013 Scholastic Inc. Teachers may make copies of this page to distribute to their students.