With the Common Core's push for balancing nonfiction texts with fiction texts, interactive readers like Journey into the Deep are a great resource for engaging kids in nonfiction text. Each of the eight chapters is brief -- four to eight pages long with lots of images. Teachers could divide the chapters among the class for a jigsaw activity with each group presenting to the rest of the class about its chapter. Encourage kids to use other multimedia creation apps, like Animoto or Explain Everything, for their presentations to further engage students and deepen their learning. Teachers could also offer the app as an independent reading activity. The app includes an Accelerated Reader quiz as well.Continue reading Show less
Journey into the Deep is an eight-chapter e-book by Rebecca L. Johnson that takes students on a first-person journey into the depths of the sea for an ocean creature census. Each page includes vivid photographs that really come to life on the iPad screen, as well as some videos of marine life in action. Each chapter goes a bit deeper into the ocean -- from Shallow Edges into the Open Water, on to the mountains of the seas, Ridges and Vents, and The Unfathomable Deep. Students will read about DNA, scientific classification, biodiversity, and chemosynthesis. They'll learn how shifting plates formed the ridges and vents in the ocean, explore what a career in marine biology is like, and read about conservation efforts to protect the sea and its creatures. A glossary, discussion questions, and links to additional resources are included.
In her introductory video, author Rebecca L. Johnson shares her goal: to inspire young readers with a sense of wonder about the oceans. This book app certainly accomplishes that task. The beautiful photography enriched by clear and compelling language conveys a sense of adventure and excitement, and the quotations and photos of scientists working on the project make the research feel real and immediate. Discussion questions at the end extend learning, but might be more engaging if they were interactive. It would be great to have hyperlinked vocabulary, too, but overall this is an enjoyable and interesting read.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.