Read, Think, Explain
Identifying Nonfiction Elements
Use this activity sheet with The Shattered Sky.” See Scope’s “Glossary of Nonfiction Terms” and “Glossary of
Literary Terms” for definitions of the words that appear in bold.
Before Reading
Text Features, Mood, and Inference
1. Read the headline and study the image on pages 4-5. What mood do these features create?
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2. What can you tell about Halifax Harbor from the map on page 6?
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3. Study the photographs and caption at the top of pages 6-7. What do these features tell you about what
happened in Halifax?
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4. Read the subheadings in the article. Based on your preview of the article, write one sentence predicting what
the article will be mainly about.
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Name: ________________________________________________________ Date: ______________
Nonfiction Elements–LL
NONFICTION: “The Shattered Sky,pages 4-10
November 2017
©2017 BY SCHOLASTIC INC. TEACHERS MAY PROJECT OR MAKE COPIES OF THIS PAGE TO DISTRIBUTE TO STUDENTS.
PAGE 2 OF 3
During Reading
Mood, Text Structure, Inference, Tone
5. In the first section of the article, author Kristin Lewis describes Halifax as a peaceful and prosperous place
where Noble likely would have felt safe. She then writes, “In a few minutes, this would change” (6).
Mood is the feeling the reader gets from a piece of writing. The sentence above changes the mood of the
section from
A frightening to pleasant.
B pleasant to uneasy.
C hopeful to hopeless.
6. On page 7, Lewis writes, “As the two ships came into each other’s view, they blared their whistles. But the
signals must have been misunderstood, because neither ship changed course.” What can you infer about the
collision from this information? (To infer is to draw a conclusion from evidence.)
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7. Text structure is the term for how an author organizes information. Information in the section “Shock Wave”
uses description. Which words and phrases in the section help you identify this text structure?
A Yet there was more horror to come; Fortunately for Noble; 250 miles away
B more than four times hotter than lava; windows shattered; trees snapped in two
C In a fraction of a second; In seconds; For about 10 minutes
8. A. Tone is the author’s attitude toward the subject matter or toward the reader or audience. Circle the word
that best describes the author’s tone in the section “Rushed to Help.”
friendly admiring joyful
B. Briefly explain how you know: _____________________________________________________________________
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©2017 BY SCHOLASTIC INC. TEACHERS MAY PROJECT OR MAKE COPIES OF THIS PAGE TO DISTRIBUTE TO STUDENTS.
Nonfiction Elements–LL
NONFICTION: “The Shattered Sky,pages 4-10
November 2017
PAGE 3 OF 3©2017 BY SCHOLASTIC INC. TEACHERS MAY PROJECT OR MAKE COPIES OF THIS PAGE TO DISTRIBUTE TO STUDENTS.
Nonfiction Elements–LL
NONFICTION: “The Shattered Sky,pages 4-10
November 2017
After Reading
Central Idea/Details and Objective Summary
9. A. Below is a central idea of The Shattered Sky” and three supporting details. Two details DO support the
central idea. Cross out the detail that DOES NOT.
B. Briefly explain why the detail that you crossed out does NOT support the central idea above.
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10. An objective summary is a short statement or paragraph that tells what an article is about. Draw a line
through the three sentences below that should definitely NOT be included in an objective summary of
“The Shattered Sky.”
1a. Noble and his family lived in Halifax, a town in Nova Scotia, Canada.
1b. Noble had an amazing view of the Narrows from his backyard.
1c. The Mont-Blanc was packed full of munitions for World War I.
1d. Thousands of people were killed in the 1917 Explosion in Halifax Harbor.
1e. It must have been terrifying to live through the explosion in Halifax.
1f. Today, there are many seafood restaurants along the harbor in Halifax.
Central Idea
After the Imo and the Mont-Blanc collided, few people had any idea
that the Mont-Blanc was going to explode.
Detail #1
“Fortunately for Noble, the wave
did not reach him.” (p. 9)
Detail #2
“In a fraction of a second, the
Mont-Blanc was ripped to pieces.
(p. 8)
Detail #3
“Doors flew off hinges, trees
snapped in two, windows
shattered, and shards of glass
shot through the air like
missiles.” (p. 9)
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