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Saving the Great White Monster

Shark populations have declined sharply in recent years, owing in large part to the rising demand for shark fin soup. In this gripping story, students will learn why sharks are vital to ocean ecosystems as well as how the conservation group WildAid is striving to protect this important marine animal.
Teaching Objectives:

to identify causes and effects in a nonfiction text; to examine the author’s craft

Featured Skills:

cause-effect; author’s craft
Other Key Skills: text features, inference, note-taking, synthesizing, text evidence


Quizzes and Activity Sheets

You may print and copy the activity or have students complete it on their computers or tablets. Click here for instructions for using writable and interactive PDFs.

Cause and Effect

This graphic organizer will guide students to find evidence of causes and effects in the article and prepare them to respond to the writing prompt on page 8.

Close Reading and Critical Thinking

For printing or projection. These questions also appear in
the lesson plan.


A list of tricky words that appear in the article. Includes definitions and example sentences as well as a practice activity to reinforce understanding. Click here to learn more about Scope Vocabulary.

Reading-Comprehension Quiz

A test-prep essential! We formed these multiple-choice and constructed-response questions based on state and PARCC assessments. Click here to visit our FAQ page.

Reading-Comprehension Quiz

A printable version of the quiz above.

Read, Think, Explain:
Identifying Nonfiction Elements

Use our teacher-vetted, scaffolded reading activity to develop your students’ nonfiction-reading skills and strategies and prepare them for higher-level-thinking questions and class discussion. Makes great homework, too. Don’t miss our nifty Glossary of Nonfiction Terms—an excellent resource that students can use all year. Note: This is a challenging activity, so we’ve provided two versions. These activities are print-only.

Contest Entry Form

Students write an essay relating a quote from John Muir to sharks. Click here to learn more about our contests.

Answer Keys

Answers to these activities as well as the other activities in the issue.


Download all activities
for this article.

The Video

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Behind the Scenes:
Saving the Great White Monster

Author Lauren Tarshis takes your students behind the scenes of her article, explaining her research process and how she chose to structure her article. It’s a great way to set a purpose for reading. Use these Video Discussion Questions to make connections between the video and the article.

Scope Audio

“Saving the Great White Monster”

Hear the article read aloud. Perfect for struggling readers or as listening-comprehension practice for your entire class. Find more audio articles here.


Core Skill Review

Tone and Mood

Use this activity as a midyear review of this key skill. Click here to learn more about our Core Skills Program.

Essential Questions

What should we consider when choosing what we eat?

Why is balance in ecosystems important?

How does fear affect behavior?

Complexity Factors


Literature Connection


Skills and Standards