“Seal Surfer”by Michael Foreman Theme 4
Awards • Alabama’s Emphasis on Reading Award Master List • SLJ Best Book
Genre: Realistic Fiction • A realistic story is about realistic (could happen in real life, but they aren’t real) people, things, and events. • The plot-including events, problem, solution-is made up (fictional).
Summary Although he is on crutches, Ben enjoys going to the beach with his grandfather. One day, they watch a seal being born. Over the next few seasons, Ben develops a special bond with this seal, a bond that Ben knows will last through all the summers to come.
Background Information • Seals are mammals that live in and near the water. This story takes place at the seashore, where the water meets the land. That is how the seal and Ben, the main character, meet. In this story, the sea shore is very rocky like the shore line in the author’s home country of England.
Key Concept the seashore
Key Vocabulary • basked • buffeted • horizon • quay • surf • swell • swooped
basked rested in pleasant warmth
buffeted struck against powerfully
horizon the line where the sky seems to meet the earth
quay A dock where ships are loaded and unloaded
surf to ride on the waves, often on a surfboard
swell a long wave that moves along without breaking
swooped moved with a sudden, sweeping motion
Summarize • You will use this strategy after reading to “wrap up” what you’ve read. • When you summarize, think about: • the characters • where and when the story takes place • the problem in the story • how the problem was solved • the beginning, middle, and end of the story
Strategy Focus: Summarize Let’s try it! Read pages 48-50. Tell a partner a summary of “Spring”. ~or~ Summarize the first half of the story (pages 48-55) for a friend.
Comprehension Skill Focus: Compare and Contrast • To compare two characters, places, or events is to find details that are the same about each. • Seals and dogs are both mammals. • To contrast two characters, places, or events is to find details that are different and/or unique about each. • Seals live in the ocean, but dogs live with their owner family.
Graphic Organizer Fill in the organizer with details from the story. You Ben Alike
Meet the Author and Illustrator Michael Foreman was born in an English fishing village. His mother ran the village shop. While he never had children's books, he did get to read the newspapers and magazines sold in the shop. At the age of fifteen, Michael Foreman began to study art. His first children's book was published while he was still a student. Since then he has written and/or illustrated many, many children's books. He has also worked on magazines, book jackets, animated films, and TV ads. He even worked for the police, sketching criminals described by witnesses. Many of Michael Foreman's own books are based on his real-life experiences. But he also likes the challenge of illustrating other writers' books. Their subjects are new to him, so he must do research to learn about those subjects. "This is another kind of journey and can be just as rewarding," he says. Michael Foreman's London house is 300 years old. Some of its beams were once ships' timbers. He has wondered about the stories those old beams could tell. On his trips around the world, Michael Foreman has traveled by plane, train, bus, snow scooter, and mule. He even rode a sled pulled by reindeer! (from www.eduplace.com)
Link to Houghton Mifflin If you enjoyed reading “Seal Surfer” and would like to check out some more information and activities, click below to go to www.eduplace.com, Houghton Mifflin’s web site. Click Here!