Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Reading Informational Texts Using Folded File Folders: "What Sesame Street Teaches" by Neil Postman - Section 3: Reading Informational Texts Using Folded File Folders: "What Sesame Street Teaches" by Neil Postman

 

I have a tendency to underestimate how much time students need to understand directions and to complete analytical tasks. Since I don't use text books often, students need to get accustomed to more teacher-generated directions as opposed to those written in a text book. I generally put instructions on the board as well as present them verbally. It's important to provide for different learning styles. And it's important to listen to cues: verbal, nonverbal, etc. that signal students' understanding or lack thereof. 

I noticed when I was reading the essay that some students weren't following along, so I stopped and redirected them. At first I thought a couple weren't following because they struggle w/ reading, but then I started chatting with them one-on-one as I milled around the room, and I discovered the essay didn't appeal to as many students as I hoped it would. Maybe it's a bit dated (2005). Television isn't as appealing to many students these days, which isn't to say they avoid screen time. They prefer to use Instagram, play video games they download, create Vines, text their friends, etc. 

Because several students told me the essay didn't interest them, I gave each student a note card and asked them to list topics they do find interesting. I promised to look for informational texts that address topics they like. 

I don't take these issues of taste too seriously as I've learned that even the time of year can change how students perceive texts. That said, I know one way to gain the trust of students is to show I'm interested in what interests them and that I'll do my best to include texts they like in the curriculum. 

 

 

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Reading Informational Texts Using Folded File Folders: "What Sesame Street Teaches" by Neil Postman

Unit 3: Because He Hears a Different Drummer:Various Approaches for Comparing Genres and Analyzing Texts
Lesson 6 of 9

Objective: SWBAT track and discuss their learning about "Sesame Street" after reading Neil Postman's essay "What Sesame Street Teaches."

Big Idea: Beginning with what students know creates a context for reading and understanding challenging informational texts.

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4 teachers like this lesson
Subject(s):
English / Language Arts, poetry (Analysis), Walt Whitman, close reading, John Green
  45 minutes
sesame street theme youtube screen
 
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