Teaching Process Skills With Children’s Literature: Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks


Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks, written by Kenneth Mallory, is part of the Scientists in the Field Series.  As part of the New England Aquarium and NOVA’s IMAX movie project, the author describes his experiences with the documentary and interviews a marine biologist, Pete Klimley, about his investigations around hammerhead behavior and connections to their migration around seamounts.

Divided into nine informative sections, the book is full of large colored photographs, and inserts on the types of hammerhead sharks, on SCUBA gear, maps, El Nino, and the Cocos Islands.  Closely follow along as Peter Klimley and the author describe their adventures diving with sharks.

“When Pete realized these schooling scalloped hammerheads had little interest in him as a potential meal, he began to wonder why they were swimming in a school and why they had gathered at this particular undersea mountain.”

“Pete told me once he squeezed his six-foot-one-inch body into a scuba diving suit painted black and white with a fin on the back to resemble a killer whale.”

Curriculum Connections
This book is a great example of how one scientist through his observations of shark behavior and knowledge of the local area was able to answer his own questions with predictions and research.   Also, it demonstrates how he investigated, recorded data on the sharks and their environment which led to his conclusions about their behavior. Themes in this book correlate with Virginia SOLs 4.1, 4.5, 5.1, and 5.6.

Additional Resources

Book: Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks
Author: Kenneth Mallory
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 48 pages
Grade Range: 4-8
ISBN: 0-618-05543-6

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