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ABC’s of the Intertidal Zone – High Tide

School: King Middle School

City/State: Portland, ME

Grade(s): 7

Format(s): Children's book: Alphabet

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview: 

This guide to the intertidal zone was created by 7th grade students from the King Middle School in Portland, Maine, as part of a Learning Expedition called, “In the Zone.” Shown here is the high-tide volume for Kettle Cove, part of Casco Bay; students also produced a mid and low-tide volume. The purpose for three volumes was to allow each student in a large middle school grade level team to have an individual page to create.

Students did fieldwork at the cove to gain first-hand knowledge of the intertidal zones. Each student was responsible for studying and researching a particular species within the intertidal zone. As much as possible, research was done by collecting and observing the species first-hand at the bay, rather than through books or internet sources.

This is an alphabet book for younger students, with each letter representing a plant, animal or geographical feature of the intertidal zone. Illustrations were meant to be appealing to younger students and therefore were done in a cartoon-like fashion. Writing is whimsical and yet informative – personifying and animating the species represented.

At the end of the book, students also included basic factual information about each entry, which nicely complements the alphabetical entries. Finally, students included a bibliography of references they used.

During their expedition, students were involved in water quality testing, and learned about pollution and the impact of the cruise ship industry on the intertidal zones in their area.

A different student product from this same expedition – a traditional field guide - produced in a different year by a different group of 7th graders from the school, can be found in this archive as project #211.

How This Project Can Be Useful: 

  • Engaging writing, clearly written for a younger audience. For example see text for the “Ever Present Great Cormorant”
  • Exemplifies drawings that capture scientific detail and yet are appealing to a young audience because of their cartoon-like qualities
  • Illustrations show care while also demonstrating students’ understanding of content
  • Highlights a product with an authentic audience
  • Shows a highly appealing format
  • Addition of factual information at the end nicely complements the earlier entries

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
W.7.4
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
L.7.3
  • I can express ideas with precision.
L.7.6
  • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
WHST.6-8.4
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
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