If Sharks Disappeared


If Sharks Disappeared
Written and Illustrated by Lily Williams

Publisher’s Summary:
A nonfiction picture book tracing the repercussions of what would happen if sharks disappeared from our planet.

Primary Source Pairing: 
Dive down deep and learn about sharks in this beautifully illustrated book. The simple yet scientific text explains the importance of sharks in our earth’s ecosystem. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an ocean floor map hand painted by map maker Heinrich C. Berann which shows the depth and the landforms under the water. Print this map on tabloid paper (11×17) to give students a chance to look closely at the intricate paintings of the landforms. If students are on devices, share the link of the map from the Library of Congress website and model using the zoom in and zoom out tools. The tools let viewers zoom in very close to the map. The details are incredible. 

Discussion Questions

  • Describe what you see?
  • What do you notice first?
  • What size and shape is the map?
  • What graphical elements do you see?
  • What on the map looks strange or unfamiliar?
  • What questions do you have about this map?
  • Make a connection to the book If Sharks Disappeared.
  • Consider the shark’s role in the earth’s ecosystem and imagine the habitats on this map showing sharks and other sea animals.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Manuscript painting of Heezen-Tharp “World ocean floor” map by Berann: Library of Congress.
The map is available here in JPG format.