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
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
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.
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
4.Would you like to experience a winter in Barrow? Why or why
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.
(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
How did the author help readers visualize life in the “Twilight
Zone?” What sensory details did the article include?