Below you will find a sample assignment, given by a real teacher, in a real classroom. The assignment is presented free of comment to allow you to take it in as if you were a student seeing it for the first time. Once you’ve had a chance to review the assignment, use the interactive icon menu at the top of your screen to toggle comments on or off. Lastly, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see additional comments based on the four domains of our Literacy Analysis Framework.


These assignments – and others that were similar in nature – were given over four weeks as students read Shipwreck from beginning to end. Comprehension questions were typically assigned for each chapter coupled with many vocabulary activities. Students were assigned to complete short multiple choice “comprehension checks” (quizzes) and to write sentences using the text’s vocabulary. Short answer questions were also assigned. Other text-related activities included crossword puzzles, matching exercises, making their own sextant, writing a diary entry, summarizing the story. Additionally, students worked in teams on a survival skills simulation.

Assignment A: First Read

Work with your partner to closely read the Introduction (Just Imagine) and Chapter 1 (The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition). As you read, complete the chapter questions using complete sentences in your reading journal. Due tomorrow. We will use these answers for tomorrow’s discussion.

Introduction Questions

  1. Where is the Arctic located? Where is the Antarctic located?
  2. Describe the Antarctic weather.
  3. What important fact about Shackleton does the author reveal in this introduction?

Chapter 1 Questions

  1. What important information do you learn about Shackleton on page 2?
  2. Who was the first explorer to reach the South Pole?
  3. Describe Antarctica.
  4. Why was Shackleton a good choice to lead the expedition?
  5. How did Shackleton raise money for the trip?
  6. Why was the ship named Endurance?
  7. What were the Bovril sledging rations?
  8. Why was Shackleton concerned about scurvy?
  9. What was the original plan for the expedition?

Assignment B: Second Read/Vocabulary Work

Reread the Introduction and Chapter 1 with an eye for new vocabulary. For each word:

  • Locate the word in the text and try to determine the meaning using text clues. Jot down what it means in your own words.
  • If needed, use your dictionary to define the word. Write a definition in your own words.

Introduction & Chapter 1

  • hostile
  • mammoth
  • treacherous
  • expedition
  • perilous
  • circumnavigation
  • improvisation
  • stores
  • ambled
  • predicament
  • impractical
  • incessant
  • impenetrable
  • floe
  • lead
  • obstinate
  • stoked
  • mirage