As I watched the news this past August, my ears perked up when I heard the name Diana Nyad. Is this name familiar to you? If you have students in Level 4.5, it probably is! Diana is an endurance athlete and marathon swimmer. This summer, at the age of 61, she attempted to swim the more than 100 miles between Havana and Key West. This was a distance she had attempted when she was 28 and was determined to complete. She had hoped to be the first person to swim this distance without a shark cage.
Unfortunately, she was unable to swim the entire distance. According to one news report, her August attempt was thwarted by a severe asthma attack 29 hours into the swim. In September, she made another attempt. Feeling strong and healthy, Diana thought she was prepared for any possible obstacle. Unfortunately, this attempt was also cut short. After swimming through two severe jellyfish stings (likely from the highly poisonous Portuguese man o’war or box jellyfish), Diana was warned that another sting could be deadly. After considering this assessment and worrying about the danger to her support team, Diana decided to get out of the water. Even though she was unable to finish the trek, her story is incredibly inspirational. Diana’s blog has many interesting details about her attempts.
I often hear stories about students who, after reading about something in a Read Naturally story, are driven to read additional information about the topic. This excitement is just what we hope to generate when we write new material here at Read Naturally.
Which stories have driven your students to research and read further? Please share in the comments section!