Our target for the day's reading was:
I can ask questions before, during and after reading.
I knew if I just handed them a text, they would comply, but they would most likely not be engaged in our task.
I began by showing them the short film about the crab migration. They were hooked. It is such an amazing and fun video, we watched it twice.
After watching, we talked about what questions we had that had been answered.
Then, students worked together (or alone) to generate additional questions they had about the crabs. One amazing question a student came up with was, "Are the people on Christmas Island scared of the crabs?" The class was able to talk about this question and come to a decision that not only were the people probably not scared, they probably had a great deal of respect and care for the crabs because they shut down roads when the crabs were migrating.
The following day, we used the book Great Migrations from National Geographic Kids to identify text features that helped us generate more questions and/or answer the questions we had previously named. There is a 4-page section on the migrating crabs and the students were very interested in reading the facts about these unusual animals.
I found that pairing a short (3 minutes or less) video with a book/text helped to launch a topic and create a lot of interest.
Great Migrations by National Geographic Kids