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Salmon Stories

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Summary

Students will understand author’s purpose. Students will understand sequence of events. Students will understand audience and the writing process.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will understand author’s purpose.
  • Students will understand sequence of events.
  • Students will understand audience and the writing process.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Science

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Creative writing
  • Natural resources
  • Writing process
  • Narrative writing
  • Point of view
  • Life cycle

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Author’s purpose

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency of the “Washington Quarter Reverse” page
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Locate copies of texts that provide information about salmon, such as:
    • Salmon (Nature Watch) by Ron Hirschi
    • The Salmon (Life Cycles) by Sabrina Crewe
    • Discovering Salmon by Nancy Field
    • Salmon by Sylvia M. James
  • Copies of the “Salmon Stories Planning Sheet” worksheet
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper

Preparations

  • Make copies of the “Salmon Stories Planning Sheet” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make an overhead transparency of the “Washington Quarter Reverse” page.
  • Locate copies of texts that provide information about salmon and their life cycles (see examples under Materials”).
  • Bookmark Internet sites about salmon.
  • Arrange to use the computer lab for one session.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/313.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Display the “Washington Quarter Reverse” overhead transparency. Locate Washington on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the design on this coin’s reverse. Tell the students that the back of the coin is also called the reverse, and “obverse” is another name for the front of a coin. Have the students identify the words and images in this coin design, including Mount Rainier, salmon, evergreens and the words “The Evergreen State.”
  3. As a class, discuss the images on the coin. Tell the students they represent important symbols of the state of Washington. Ask the students why they think that the images might be important to Washington, and accept all responses.
  4. Explain to the students that Washington is called “The Evergreen State” because of its many forests. Show them the date at the top of the coin and tell them that is the year that Washington became a state and it is the only state to be named after a president.
  5. Tell the students the images represent important symbols of natural resources (things found in nature that are useful to people) in the state of Washington. Ask the students why they think the images might be important to Washington, and record responses on chart paper.
  6. Create a K-W-L chart and have the students share all the things they know about salmon. Record their answers in the “K” section of the chart. Ask the students what they want to learn and record answers in the “W” section of the chart. Discuss with the students the importance of knowing what the purpose of the writing is.
  7. Tell the students they will be reading to gather information about salmon. They will use the facts to create a narrative writing piece of their own, applying the facts about the salmon.
  8. Tell the students that they will also be focusing on the author’s purpose (the author’s reason for writing). The authors’ purpose can be to inform or explain something or to entertain. Many times the information read in a textbook is to inform the reader. Ask the students to think of other examples of writing whose purposes are to inform or to explain.
  9. Remind the students that writing can also be to entertain. Have the students give examples of writing that entertains a reader. The purpose of some writing can be to both inform and entertain.
  10. Tell the students that they will look first at writing whose purpose is to inform. Tell the students they will be gathering information.
  11. Distribute a piece of writing paper to each student. Tell the students they will be using the paper to record facts about salmon. Tell the students to be sure to include information about the species, ecosystems, natural resources, and life history.
  12. Allow the students to use resources available in the classroom to begin their fact gathering.
  13. Collect the students’ writing papers.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the information from the previous session.
  2. Distribute the students’ writing papers from the previous session and take the students to the computer lab.
  3. Allow the students sufficient time to do their research. As a class, discuss the information the students found. Add any new information to the “L” section of the K-W-L chart from the previous session.
  4. Return to the classroom and ask the students to arrange their information about the salmon in categories such as diet, habitat, and life cycle. If necessary, cut their strips of information apart to arrange them in a logical order for writing. Explain that they will glue them on construction paper for their writing in a later session. Have the students share and explain their salmon sentences to a partner.
  5. As a class, discuss the key pieces of information gathered about the salmon. On a piece of chart paper, create a chart and list headings for each section (“species,” “ecosystems” and “life history,” and “natural resource”) and record student responses. Complete the “L” section of the K-W-L chart from Session 2.
  6. Have the students think about the type of writing from which they’re gathering the factual information. Ask the students what the authors’ purpose was and the student responses should be “writing to inform.”
  7. Collect the students’ writing papers

Sessions 4 and 5

  1. Display the chart paper and review the material covered in the previous sessions. Distribute the writing papers from the previous session and a “Salmon Stories Planning Sheet” worksheet to the students.
  2. Tell the students that they will be using the information they gathered about the salmon and applying it to a writing piece of their own. They will be writing a creative piece (narrative) from the point of view of the salmon describing its life in the waters near the state of Washington.
  3. Ask the students what the author’s purpose of their salmon stories would be. The students should respond “writing to entertain.” Remind the students they are writing to entertain, but the information is applied from the research they completed in Session 2, so they also need to write to inform.
  4. Allow the students to work in pairs to generate possible ideas for their writing piece.
  5. Tell the students they will be writing a three- to five-paragraph essay describing the life of a salmon living in the state of Washington from the perspective of the salmon. Have the students complete their “Salmon Stories Planning Sheet” before writing their drafts.
  6. Have the students use the writing process to create their writing about the salmon.
  7. Direct the students to begin writing their outline and rough draft of their essay.
  8. Allow the students sufficient time to complete their essay using the writing and editing process.
  9. Have the students share their writing in small groups.
  10. Collect the students’ worksheets and writing.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work with partners to complete their research outlines.
  • Allow students to dictate their essay to a scribe.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Add other theme-related books about the salmon to the class library.
  • Have students research another animal important to the state of Washington and create a brochure telling others about it.
  • Have students create a poem or a song to tell about the natural resources found in the state of Washington.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate students’ worksheets and writing for integration of information.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.4.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.4.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4.)
  • W.4.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.5.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3.)
  • W.5.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 5 here.)
  • W.5.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.6.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.6.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 6.)
  • W.6.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • Form and use prepositional phrases.
    • Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
  • L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use correct capitalization.
    • Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • RI.4.5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
  • RI.4.6. Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
  • RI.4.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
  • RI.4.9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.4.2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.4.3. Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • RI.5.5. Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
  • RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • RI.5.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.5.2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • RI.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.6.7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RI.6.8. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • RI.6.9. Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.6.2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • RI.6.3. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.4.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.4.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).
    • Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.5.7. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.5.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.5.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • W.6.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
  • W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”).
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Reproduction and heredity
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

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