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The “Less Famous” Sharks

By Laura Sams, Robert Sams, 13th August 2011

Get ready for a quirky, wonderful look at the “less famous” sharks of the world, in a video made by the students in our Shark Week class at Portland Saturday Academy, Summer 2011.

We spent the entire week studying sharks, as well as looking at how the media portrays sharks in different films. We watched our own children’s film about sharks called The Shark Riddle, as well as the short clips from the Save Our Seas Foundation called Rethink the Shark, and a film from Living Ocean Productions called Requiem. We did lots of activities from The Shark Packet (available for free) of educational materials that I designed – from shark hats to shark scientific inquiry to shark bingo.

Then the students needed to come up with their own “public service announcement” about sharks. The “less famous” shark idea was suggested by a student who was reading the Collins Field Guide to Sharks of the World. Another student brought a shark costume from home, and the school already had a boat in its garden. The students spent a day making props – they were each responsible for drawing three different “lesser-known” sharks. The class divided other prop building needs, from making boat oars to the shark mural to the shark fins (as featured in Landshark Lawn Ornaments in The Shark Packet).

When we filmed this short little masterpiece, the students shared jobs on the film crew. We definitely had some challenges, since the boat was in the middle of a playground, with ambient kid sounds all around us. We had to wait for preschool classes to run by, a lacrosse practice to slow down, a basketball camp to take a break from bouncing balls . . . but eventually we were able to record a few good lines.

I am so, so very proud of all the students in our class this week! Their enthusiasm about sharks is certainly hard to ignore. I wholeheartedly agree that SHARKS ARE AWESOME.

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