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Reading and Writing Connections for this selection:

The Twilight Zone:
Darkness, Light and What Lies Between

Reading Strategies:

  • Identifying Author’s Purpose/Viewpoint
  • Summarizing Details
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Exploring Cause and Effect Relationships
  • Making Predictions; Asking Questions
  • Building Vocabulary; Synonyms; Context Clues
  • (About Reading Strategies)

    twilight, latitudes, regions, astronomical, phenomenon, derived, constituents, refraction, diameter, subdivisions, interval, magnitude, discernible, winter solstice, civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight


To introduce the selection, tap into students’ background knowledge about the following concepts: twilight, horizon, solstice, and phenomenon. Ask students to share what they know about each of these terms.

Divide the class into small groups. Ask students to create a map of ideas that describe what it might be like to live in Arctic regions. Encourage each group to creatively present their ideas with words, phrases, and quick sketches. As each group shares their ideas, assess their level of understanding about life in this polar region. If necessary, build their background knowledge by reading nonfiction selections about Arctic Life, view presentations that depict this polar paradise, and/or ask questions that encourage students to use facts about weather, seasons, landforms, and lifestyles to make specific predictions about life up north.

Read the nonfiction article, “The Twilight Zone: Darkness, Light, and What Lies Between” aloud to the class.

Revisit the selection to highlight facts described in the selection.

Using the facts from the selection, create a chart that summarizes the information.
Ask students to identify author’s purpose. “Why do you think the author wrote this article?” (to inform? to entertain? to express? to describe? to persuade?) Encourage students to use excerpts from the text to support their responses.

Build students’ vocabulary by circling unfamiliar words in the selection. Have students rewrite the sentences using synonyms. They may also add more context clues in surrounding sentences to give readers details that reveal the meanings for each word.

Journaling Questions
1. Find Barrow, Alaska on a map. If the sun ‘s upper rim is 4 degrees below the horizon at noon on the winter solstice in Barrow, AK, how much light would there be?

2. Barrow’s latitude is 71 N. On the winter solstice, December 22, would it be completely dark in Barrow during some time of the day?

3. What kinds of outside activities could you do in Barrow between November and January?

4.Would you like to experience a winter in Barrow? Why or why not?

Making Connections
Researching Twilight Zones and Weather Phenomenon Invite students to study “Life at the Poles” by reading other nonfiction selections, collecting facts from the Internet, writing letters to students who live in Arctic regions, and viewing documentaries. Encourage students to find facts that describe how people adapt to the amount of daylight hours throughout the year. They may include other factors such as weather facts that impact life in polar places.

Evaluation (Examine Author’s Strategies)
How did the author help readers learn the meanings of new words? What context clues did the author give readers to introduce scientific terms? How did the author help readers visualize life in the “Twilight Zone?” What sensory details did the article include?

Writer’s Workshop
  • Narrative
    Write a fictional story that features a young character that lives in an Arctic region. Use facts collected from research in your story. Brainstorm questions that you think a reader would have about life in polar places to gather details for your story.
  • Expository
    Write a Cause and Effect paragraph that summarizes the science of Twilight Zones. The event (effect) three hour sunsets of gold, red, and violet. The causes?
  • Expressive
    How do writers and artists capture life in Arctic regions? Collect poems and expressive writings of authors who have described polar places. View artwork that depicts the “Twilight Zones” of polar places. Invite students to create illustrated poems that describe the beauty of the Arctic.