We read the story ‘A New Home for Beaver‘ byHenna Goudzand Nahar, illustrated by Jeska Verstegen. This is a wonderful story about 3 friends (Elephant, Pig and Beaver) who learn about the importance of kindness and inclusion.
After reading the text, the students were invited to pick out their favourite part of the book and explain why they chose it. This could be…
We gathered to think about ‘Technology’ and what we already know about it. The students used the thinking routine ‘I used to think… But now I think…’ to consolidate new learning as they identify new understandings, opinions, and beliefs.
First, they noted their ideas about ‘technology’ on their paper. Then, they went on to Epic to explore several books, to see what more they can learn about ‘technology’.
Then, they completed the next step of the task, to record their new understandings and opinions. They reflected on how their ideas have changed or developed as a result of their explorations into non-fiction texts.
Next, we documented these ideas on a chart paper. We noticed that the students made connections between the different ideas, sharing their experiences and knowledge with others. We identified common themes that would help us with our research.
Finally, we were ready to make a plan for research. The students decided on the type of technology/invention they wanted to learn more about. They followed the steps to document their initial ideas on chart paper. They helped each other out by listening to different perspectives and ideas presented by the group.
The students will be responsible for documenting their own learning journey as they plan, gather and record data, interpret and communicate their findings.
We know that readers of nonfiction books do an extra-brainy, intense kind of thinking. Readers pay attention to details and think, “How can I put together what I am seeing, to grow ‘knowledge’ about this topic?”
As readers, we don’t just grab on to one detail that we notice. We look at all the different parts of the page, and the text, as we try to put what we are learning together in our minds. Instead of ‘glancing’ at the diagrams, we need to look closely at the details. Then, put what we know together to build a deeper understanding.
We can go back to the text to find the facts that are most connected to the idea.
Reading Strategy: We can use Pictures, Illustrations, and Diagrams
Illustrations give clues about the meaning of words and text. Paying attention to the pictures may confirm the meaning of words. Picture books are not the only texts where pictures convey meaning. Readers are exposed to pictures in much of their nonfiction reading. Knowing how to figure out words by using background knowledge, looking at the picture, and inferring its meaning enhances vocabulary.
How might we know if a text is fiction or nonfiction? We discussed and the different Features of Fiction and Nonfiction Texts.
Then, we took a closer look at nonfiction texts to see if we can identify some of the terms related to nonfiction texts.
We read the non-fiction text ‘Kelp Forests, Exploring a Floating Habitat‘ by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris to help us explore how these texts share information and help us understand topics, concepts and big ideas.
Here are some ways to talk about our thinking:
Reading Strategy: Ask questions to engage with the text.
We can engage our minds by asking questions as we read. When reading fiction, we might ask, “What comes next? Why did the character do that?”
When reading nonfiction, we might ask questions about the topic, “How do I know?”
When we ask and answer questions while we read, we know our minds are turned on to a book, this means we are coming to the text with curiosity. It can feel like we are having a conversation with ourselves as we question and inquire, wondering what will come next. We can read on to answer our questions!
Reading Strategy: Use Word Parts to Determine the Meaning of Words
Looking at parts of words helps readers break the word’s meaning apart and supplies them with a strategy to understand new words they encounter. While looking at the distinguishable parts of a word, readers use their back- ground knowledge of the word parts along with their knowledge of the text to infer the meaning of the word.
Reading Strategy: Use Dictionaries, Thesauruses, and Glossaries as Tools
Readers use many strategies to increase their understanding of words and texts they are reading. Although there are many different strategies to use, one of the most widely known strategies is using a dictionary, thesaurus, or glossary as a word learning tool. Readers use this strategy when they need a precise definition of a word or a list of other words that mean the same thing. In order for readers to be successful at using these word learning tools, they must first understand how they work.
Two students create a poster to share the reading strategies they have been using during Guided Reading lessons.
As researchers, we have been reading books, watching videos and engaging in dialogue to learn more about living things. We have looked for ways to share our own understandings with others. As writers, we have been wondering what techniques we might use to teach our readers about the different things we are learning.
We are learning that writers can include introductions. They help readers know what they will learn about. Informational texts:
can start with an action
start with a little story to hook and pull the reader in
start with a big idea
start with questions to get the reader to think
Writers can include conclusions. They can also leave the reader with a big thought or idea.
Bringing all these ideas together, the students have been working on creating their own piece of informational text. This would accompany their 3-Dimensional model or audio book projects.
The students have been practicing how to retell or recount a text. In previous weeks, we used the ‘story mountain’/’story arc‘, to help us retell and discuss the characters, settings, main events, problem, solution (resolution) and end of a story.
The students have used the 5 finger retelling technique to retell a fictional story. We have also explored and practiced how to make connections with what we read.
As part of our inquiry into non-fiction resources, we have focused on finding the main idea and related facts in non-fiction texts. The students will continue to practice these skills by using graphic organises and responding to their reading.
The students were given ‘clues’ to help them think about a topic. How might clues help us learn more about the main topics?
How might we decide on the topics? What is the role of subtopics?
Ella “Maybe something like a little bit from the topic. We should put a little bit about the topic. You can have many, many subtopics.”
Seoyeon “Some part of the topic.”
The students decided that the first subtopic was about ‘Where spiders live’.
Next, the students made suggestions about the second clue. What could be a possible subtopic?
Hyun Seo “What spiders have’.
Amber “About their bodies.’
Yuchan “What spiders look like’.
Together, the students included information on the graphic organizer about ‘spiders’.
Next, they worked in small groups to practice identifying the topic, subtopics, and details.
How would we use this knowledge when exploring non-fiction books?
How can this information help us conduct our own research?
Gihyeon “When you can learn more about spiders then you can make spiders to pets. And you can be friends with a spiders.”
Diego “If we know the topic, we will know more about this and we can talk about the other things about spiders. Because we want to know more about spiders. You don’t know something about spiders then you can learn.”
Lawrence “Maybe you can know how to make a non-fiction book.”
Alejandra “If we didn’t know about spiders we don’t know if it is poison or not. If you get more information from books then you can know more about which ones you can touch.”
Sungbin “Why do spiders have poison?”
The students shared many different reasons:
to catch their prey
to protect themselves from other animals
We wonder what more we might learn about living things.
The students have been reading a variety of books over the last few weeks. They have been talking about books, sharing their favourite stories and making choices about the books they read. It was time to practice talking, and sharing opinions about books!
The students have used the attached information to help them talk about and recommend their favourite fiction and non fiction books.
Temporal words are transitional words that refer to time. They can add meaning and context to writing and can help a story move or flow. Together we decided on what words might describe or show the passing of time or sequence of events. We documented these words on chart paper.
Next, the students worked in groups to look for these words in picture books. They continued to add these words on the chart paper.
Then, they organised different temporal words, deciding when they might occur in a story, at the beginning, middle or end.
Finally, they reflected on their own writing.
– How can we show the passing of time or sequence of events in our own writing?
We observed students tuning into the different perspectives shared by others during the various experiences offered for the launch for the new Unit of Inquiry. The students commented on the way different groups acted with the projected images, sounds and Chinese character.
Next, 3 different black and white printed images were shared with the students. They gathered in small groups, turned the papers around in different directions and talked about what they noticed.
“I think it is a windy tree!”
“I can see just the duck!”
Seoyeon “Eyes, nose, mouth, people.”
Fedo “I didn’t know that!”
Yuchan “Maybe it is hair.”
Diego “It has 3 people.”
Ella “We didn’t saw the face but now I do! It is like old people.”
Alejandra “First the young people, then medium and then the old.”
Yuchan “A student, adult and a grandma.”
Ella “People that have different types of hair.”
Amber “I see these are all correct, because when you turn it, it is a 9 and when you turn it, it is a 6.”
Hyun Seo “I see it like a 6 because I usually don’t write a 9 like this, it’s like a ‘g’.”
Gihyeon “I think it is ‘e’ and ‘g’.”
Grace “I think the right one is 6 because the 6 speech bubble is bigger so that is a clue.”
Teacher “Why does the speech bubble matter?”
Grace ““Because when I do some task on the iPad, I always choose the bigger one.”
Ella agreed. “Both are correct. But maybe if he comes to here, he will agree with him and if he comes to here he will agree with him (people move to swap their position).”
Agata “If he is on that side he will see a 6 and if he goes to the other side he will see it.”
Fedo “If you put it all the way upside down he will say it is a 9 and he will say it is a 6.”
Alejandra “I think it is a 9 because when I see this picture I always see only a 9.”
Hayoon “If this is the mouth it’s a duck, if this is the ears, this is a rabbit.”
Ella “It might be a rabbit and a duck.”
Alejandra “If we turn the paper, no matter which way we look at it, it is always a duck and a rabbit.”
Yuchan “This picture has 2 mouths, one for rabbit and one for duck. I think it’s a duck.”
Amber “When you turn it you can see the duck’s body and when you turn it it’s a rabbit’s body.”
Yuki “Rabbit or duck.”
Yuchan “It’s a rabbit and a duck but the body is vanishing.”
Teacher “Why do we see things differently?”
Ella“I think I know what these things are called, its something that many people see the same picture but many people see it a different way. Which way you see it, it matters.”
Why do perspectives matter?
To explore this further, the students listened to the story ‘Hey, Little Ant’ by Philip and Hannah Hoose.
Teacher “Have you ever had an experience of squishing an ant under your feet?”
Lawrence “I like to squish mosquitos.”
As the story was read, the students made connections with the text.
Gihyeon “This is a fiction book because ants can’t really talk.”
Alejandra “Ants are very strong even though we are bigger. They can carry like 20 ants even. They are very strong.”
Lawrence “Ant grew bigger like us, then the ant will be able to lift himself.”
Diego “I see some ants carrying some little brown things in my home yesterday. Maybe it’s their food?”
Grace “The kid might not squish the ants. Under the shoes we have some lines and maybe they will not get squished.”
At the end of the story, the students were invited to reflect on the author’s words…
Should the ant get squished? Should the ant go free?
Teacher “What do you think will happen next?” Why do you think that?”
The students reflected and shared their ideas with each other. We had two groups share the different perspectives.
Teacher “Now that you have heard different perspectives, would you change your mind? Why?
We were not surprised to see some of the students change their mind after hearing the different perspectives!
How can we use our 5 senses to activate our prior knowledge?
Activate Prior Knowledge: Activate Your 5 Senses
We used the picture book ‘Seashore’ by to help us explore this strategy.
‘The Seashore Book’ written by Charlotte Zolotow, and illustrated by Wendell Minor shares a story about a young boy, who has never seen the sea. The child asks his mother to describe the sea. The author carefully chooses her words to create a poem full of the colours, sounds, and sights of a day at the beach.
First, we looked at the cover, the title and wondered what we already know about the seashore. Then, we used a graphic organiser to help us record our thoughts. The 5 senses chart helped us organise our ideas into groups.
Next, the students referred to their 5 senses task and contributed to create a web of information about the topic.
This strategy helped students understand how thinking about the topic and their 5 senses before reading helps them understand the text and makes the text a more enriching read.
When we listened to the story, we began to create an image in our mind. We wondered what we could visualise while we read/listened to the story. We thought about our senses and how we connect with the story.
What we we see when we close our eyes?
The students drew a picture of the image they had in their mind. They recorded their own thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Through this task the students had opportunities to:
A Text–to-Self connection occurs when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
A student chose the picture book ‘Night of the Veggie Monster’ by George McClements as a class read aloud.
As we always do, we read the title, the back blurb and took a closer look at the image on the front cover. We were curious, excited, and eager to dive right into the text. By the second page, we began to make connections with the images and the fonts in the text. The text features included all capitals, bold print and speech bubbles!
We noticed that the story included real images AND drawings (with interesting facial expressions!). Some words were coloured, bigger, slanted and crafted in interesting ways. The students wondered if this book was nonfiction or a fictional text.
The story is about a little boy who does not particularly like eating vegetables. The students were quick to make personal connections as each page was turned. They told their own stories as they gasped at the images and ideas in the book.
They connected with the character and his dislike for certain foods, sharing reasons and experiences with the class. We hope that this funny story might inspire a few veggie monsters to give peas (and other vegetables) a chance!
We read the beautiful picture book ‘A Sick Day for Amos McGee’ by Philip C.Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
In this story, Amos McGee is a friendly zookeeper who always makes time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. While reading the story, we:
took time to notice and talk about the way messages are shared through illustrations
wondered why the author chose to include the animals in the story
made personal connections with the text
discussed the message the author wished to convey through the story
The students wondered:
what a uniform was
if the man was rich
why the owl was scared of the dark
why Amos kept his shoes in his wardrobe
how the animals knew where Amos lived
After the read-aloud, the students were introduced to the ‘Literature Circle’ role ‘The Artful Artist’. The job of the Artful Artist is to draw something about the story that interested them and explain why it was chosen. This could be about…
a prediction of what will happen next.
In the next few weeks, the students will be introduced to other Literature Circles roles to help them think and connect deeply with the texts they read.
Approaches to Learning (ATL’s):
understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas
speak and express ideas clearly and logically in small and large groups
state opinions clearly, logically and respectfully
We decided to collect our thinking and suggestions on paper. We first discussed the word structure. “What IS a structure?”
Students: A hotel, restaurant, tower, apartment…
We wrote these as labels on post-its and included them in our brainstorm. Then, we wondered why we NEED these structures.
The students shared their views about the ‘PURPOSE’ of a structure.
A restaurant – for people to go out and eat together
A waterfall (man-made) – to make a place look nice
A field – for people to run and exercise
A pool – for people to swim
The discussion led to the decision to sort the different structures into categories.
structures that are needed for everyday life
structures that are needed for specific purposes but not everyday life
structures that fit both these categories
The students decided that some structures:
were created to make a place look beautiful
were created by the natural world
could fit into both man-made or natural (caves)
Next, the students listed different materials that are used to create structures. Again, they decided the materials could be sorted into three categories:
Then, the students were invited choose and read a unit related text from EPIC. They needed to look for information about the materials used to create the structure, the purpose and any other information they deemed important.
As the students shared the information they had uncovered, we documented their ideas on chart paper.
Finally, the students were excited to learn about roads, dams, bridges, towers and other interesting structures. They spoke in detail about the concepts, purpose, materials, design, plan, models and function.
We have begun to wonder how scientific principles help us problem solve and design structures. (causation)
Approaches to lLearning (ATL’s)
Critical thinking – Analysing and evaluating issues and ideas, and forming decisions
Take knowledge or ideas apart by separating them into component parts.
Consider ideas from multiple perspectives.
Synthesize new understandings by finding unique characteristics; seeing relationships and connections.
For thousands of years people have wanted to fly. We read the non-fiction narrative text ‘How People Learned to Fly’ by Fran Hodgkins, illustrated by True Kelly. There were many failed attempts and different inventions along the way and this book describes the history of flying and explains the scientific principles that make it possible for people to fly.
People discovered gravity, air and drag. By studying these principles and the flight of birds, people designed wings and built gliders. Finally, in 1903, the Wright Brothers figured out how to combine well designed wings with an engine to invent an airplane.
By asking questions about the world around us, people are able to invent wonderful things. Thinking like a scientist can help you come up with interesting ways to solve problems. The illustrations in this book helped us explore and learn more about scientific principles such as gravity and lift.
While reading the text, we discussed the illustrations and concepts included. We asked questions, before, during and after reading. We focused on developing the following strategies throughout the activity.
The students then documented their own ideas about flight, gravity and lift.
We wondered how the concepts of ‘change‘, ‘technology‘, ‘connection‘ and ‘transformation‘ have impacted flight.
When students listen to or read text, they can create pictures in their mind or make a mind movie. When readers visualize what is happening in the story, they remember more of what they read or hear.
To help us practice this strategy, we used the text ‘Cactus Hotel‘ by Brenda Z. Guiberson.
First, we thought about the TITLE. What images come to mind when we think of ‘Cactus Hotel’? (for the purpose of the activity, they did not see the book, text and images from the story)
The students transferred their image into a picture on a whiteboard. Then, they shared their ideas.
We discussed how images correspond to information.
While listening to the read-aloud, the students created their own images that represent information. We drew these images as sketches on paper.
Here are some of the images that tell a story.
Why Children Need This Strategy:Making a picture or mental image assists readers in understanding what they read by creating images in their mind, based on the details in the text and their prior knowledge.
At the second grade level, nonfiction texts might focus on a single topic, or on a larger topic with subtopics. Topics and ideas are familiar, authentic, and relevant to children’s lives, with a few topics that may go beyond children’s immediate experiences. We began by identifying the different features of nonfiction texts.
We discussed the topic, subtopic, language and illustrations.
We looked for key words that help us understand the text as we look for facts.
The students worked in groups to sort and identify the different features we discussed.
How might we know if a text is fiction or nonfiction?
We discussed and sorted the different Features of Fiction and Nonfiction Texts
Then, we took a closer look at nonfiction texts to see if we can identify some of the terms related to nonfiction texts.
We identified these features in different texts.
We continue to wonder about nonfiction texts and the information they convey. How do nonfiction texts help us?
How might we know if a text is fiction or nonfiction? We discussed and sorted the different Features of Fiction and Nonfiction Texts.
Then, we took a closer look at nonfiction texts to see if we can identify some of the terms related to nonfiction texts. We identified these features in different texts.
We have been sorting through the books in our classroom library, organizing the texts and deciding how we want to group them together.
We know that readers of nonfiction books do an extra-brainy, intense kind of thinking. Readers pay attention to details and think, “How can I put together what I am seeing, to grow ‘knowledge’ of this topic?”
As readers, we don’t just grab on to one detail that we notice. We look at all the different parts of the page, and the text, as we try to put what we are learning together in our minds.
Here is a page from ‘Knights in Shining Armor’ by Gail Gibbons
First, we took a quick glance at the diagram. It’s a castle! Does that deepen our knowledge?
Then, we took a closer, deeper look. We paid attention to details and put the parts of the text together in our mind. The water around the castle, the towers.
The big thing we are learning is that castles are built to protect people. Instead of glancing at the diagram we need to look closely at the details. Then, put what we know together to build a deeper understanding about castles.
Here are some ways to talk about our thinking: Reading Strategy: Ask questions to engage with the text. We can engage our minds by asking questions as we read. When reading fiction, we might ask, “What comes next? Why did the character do that?” When reading nonfiction, we might ask questions about the topic, “How do I know?”
When we ask and answer questions while we read, we know our minds are turned on to a book, this means we are coming to the text with curiosity. It can feel like we are having a conversation with ourselves as we question and inquire, wondering what will come next. We can read on to answer our questions.
The Main Idea and Supporting Details: After reading a section or whole book, we can start by saying what the whole book is mostly about. Then, we can ask ourselves, “How do we know?”. We can go back to the text to find the facts that are most connected to the idea.
Readers pay attention to details and think, “How can I put together what I’m seeing to grow knowledge about this topic?
We read a book about worms to practice these strategies. Then, we decided what the main idea and supporting details were. We looked for key words in the text that provide details about the topic. As we discussed the text, we asked and answered questions that helped us develop a deeper understanding about the topic.
We have been exploring ‘how our choices affect our interactions‘. We decided to read ‘When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry…‘ by Molly Bang.’
We first read the Title and the Back Blurb.
How does THIS book want to be read? What does the author want us to feel? How might the author want us to connect with the story? We reflected on a few different feelings/emotions.
We used paper and markers to document our thoughts and ideas as we read the story. What do the characters feel? What choices do they make? How do their choices affect their interactions? Were they choices that help people feel/stay safe?
Then, we cut up our sketched emotions and assembled them on a Story Mountain/Story Arc. We talked about the Beginning, middle, problem, resolution and end. The students talked about the different zones (Zones of Regulation) the character may be in. The students connected with the story, sharing personal experiences of when they felt like Sophie.
Next, we retold the story in our own words, using the story planner. We reflected on the Choices and Interactions the characters experienced in the story.
How do YOUR ‘CHOICES’ affect your INTERACTIONS? We wonder…
The students were invited to discuss this further. If we want to stay healthy and help our bodies grow, we need to provide our bodies with nourishment, eat healthy food, drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep. In Second Grade, we know that we get better at reading, when we read, read and read!
But how do we become better readers? How do we develop our comprehension, accuracy and fluency while expanding our vocabulary?
We used the mentor text ‘Katie Woo Has the Flu‘ by Fran Manushkin, to help us learn more about developing as readers.
First, we had to decide ‘How the book wanted to be read‘.
We looked at the cover, the image, read the title, and discussed what we noticed. How should we read this book? Can we make any personal connections with the image on the cover? What emotions does the image and the title evoke? We discussed our prior knowledge and wondered how we might read this story.
Next, we read the ‘Back Blurb‘. Were there any clues about the story? How did the author and illustrator want THISbook to be read?
Then, we read the ‘Table of Contents’. We discussed the title of each chapter, and the emotions and feelings these titles evoked. We decided how we wanted to read the book.
Then, we began to read the story…
As we read a few pages, we thought about the different strategies we had practiced during ‘Readers Workshop‘. We focused on our COMPREHENSION, and revisited three strategies that help us understand what we read.
Next, we used post-it notes to tag a page that we wanted to share with the class during our ‘SHARE’, at the end of the lesson.
Here is Ms. Shemo’s Favourite page!
“This is my favourite page because…this picture reminds me of a time when I told the children that they won’t melt if they get caught in a slight drizzle!”
It was time to practice our strategies!!
We chose ‘Just Right Books‘ from our book tubs to practice our strategy. We know that reading books that are too hard does not help us develop and practice our reading.
We partnered up and reminded ourselves of the different behaviours when ‘Partner Reading’.
Reading Partners Work Together
we work as a team, sit side by side with a book in the middle, we take turns to read
we build good habits together by taking sneak peaks at the books and rereading books together
we may choral read or seesaw read
we give each other reminders about the different strategies we can use/try
we grow together through discussion
we provide book introductions
we don’t just tell – we HELP!
we can do something at the end – reread, retell or share ideas
Finally, the students gathered at the meeting area to share their favourite pages, pictures or parts of the story they were reading.
We continue to become better readers by practicing our reading!
We read the story ‘Cleversticks’ by Bernard Ashley, illustrated by Derek Brazell.
This is a story about a little boy, Ling Sung, who hates going to school. There are too many things the other kids can do that he can’t. When he discovers everyone admires his ability to use chopsticks, Ling Sung is empowered.
The illustrations and story encourage the reader to reflect on feelings of helplessness, pride, discouragement and joy. The students retold the story using picture clues. We made a list of the characters in the story and discussed the setting (where the story takes place).
We talked about the beginning, middle and end of the story as well as the problem and the resolution (how the problem was solved). We created a ‘Story Mountain‘ to help us visualise and document our thinking.
We used a graphic organiser to document key details from the text.
This story encourages us to think about about how ‘Our choices affect our interactions with others.’
To explore this further, we discussed the different characters in the story. We wondered what message the author wanted to convey through this story.
I think the authors message is…
… we know that some people know some things and some people know other things. – Kavel
… everybody needs to be united. Friendship. Help each other. Learn from other’s strengths. – Sam
… do not laugh when someone can’t do something. Be kind. Be caring. – Sky
… letting us try things.- Hannah
… be helpful. – Miranda
… play kindly with friends. – Eunseong
… know different feelings and learn things. – Carlotta
… if you don’t know something you can keep on practicing and you will get better at it. – Elena
… nobody can do everything. – Ryder
… some people are good at writing and anyone can help to do writing. – Dohoon
… we also need friends. – Stella
… work at whatever you want. – Chanwoong
Next, the students used a thinking routine ‘I Used to Think… Now I Think…’ to document their initial ideas about the word ‘EMPATHY’.
What do you do when you feel sad or when something terrible happens? What would you do if you notice someone else feeling sad?
We listened to a story ‘The Rabbit Listened’ by Cori Doerrfeld
In this story, something terrible happens to Taylor. While he is trying to manage his feelings, his friends try to give him some solutions. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to work out his feelings, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives and something wonderful happens…
After listening to the story, the students documented their thinking, reflecting on how and why their thinking changed.
I used to think ‘EMPATHY’ was…NOW I think ‘EMPATHY’ is…
The students were introduced to their ‘Writer’s Workshop‘ folder. The folder will be used to store pieces of writing at different stages of the writing process. The folder includes a laminated copy of the Word Wall Words and letter sounds we use when writing.
What shall we write about?
We began by generating and collecting ideas to write about.
what are we passionate about?
what do we know a lot about?
What events and memories can we capture in our writing?
The students documented their ideas.
We wonder how authors and illustrators hook their readers. What are some of the strategies and techniques they use to capture the attention of their readers?
We used a mentor text to see what we could learn. We read ‘Shortcut’ by Donald Crews. This is a story about 7 children who decide to take the shortcut home, along the train tracks. They know they should always take the road. It is an exciting story that keeps the children at the edge of their seats. The author uses multiple strategies to hook the reader and keep them in suspense.
First, we talked about the cover, title, picture/illustration on the cover, authors name and spine of the book. We read the blurb at the back of the book, which helps us learn more about the story. We noted the author’s dedication.
As we read the book, we noticed and discussed strategies the author/illustrator used to make this story more interesting to the reader. We wondered how we might use these techniques (that Donald Crews uses) when creating our own stories.
We created an Anchor Chart to help us document what we have noticed. How might WE craft powerful small moments?
We will continue to explore different techniques authors and illustrators use, to make our own stories more interesting to our readers.
The students wanted to write their own stories about personal experiences that were significant or memorable to them. To learn more about how authors create these stories, we read ‘The Roller Coaster’.
Have You ever been on a roller coaster? What did it feel like?
Get ready to experience the thrill of riding a roller coaster for the very first time in this vibrant new adventure from acclaimed picture book by Marla Frazee.
We wonder how this story might inspire us to create our own small moment story…
Strategy: Read Appropriate-Level Texts That Are a Good Fit.
Why Children Need This Strategy: “In order to read fluently, all readers need texts that they can read with a high degree of accuracy and automaticity. When readers are provided with texts that are too difficult, fluent reading is impossible” ( Allington 2009a, 26).
Next, we created two anchor charts to help us make good choices.
‘3 Ways to Read a Book’
During our time in the Library this morning, we provided students with time to find ‘good fit’ books.
We encouraged the students to reflect on the information we shared during our group discussion. Our goal is to encourage the students to makes these choices independently.
We talked about a perfect reading spot. What might this look like? We created a choice board to help us stay focused as we read each day.
Students were introduced to their R.E.D. Log Book. They will use this book to record and reflect on their daily reading each day.
Their R.E.D. Book Log needs to come into school each morning.
Each day, we practice reading in the classroom. We understand that the best way to become a better reader is ‘to read‘. We know that reading can be fun and exciting!
We Identified the behaviours of ‘Read to Self‘ and created a chart to help us become more independent with our reading.
What are some of YOUR favourite books? What reading strategies work for you?