Reflection: Advanced Students UNWRAPPING Text Features - Section 3: Using the UNWRAP Strategy

 

I'm trying to break a habit in what I say to students when they don't immediately get something.  This could be either something that I tell them or something they read.  The instinct is to explain it in different words.  What I've been doing lately, though, is saying, "Just wait.  We'll read it again, and you'll notice something different."

That was important for this article, because it's at a rather difficult reading level (1250 L).  I was surprised by that, because it came from biography.com and I thought the reading level would be lower. The first article I gave students, from history.com, is at a 1230 Lexile level. The third article I'll give them is at a middle school level.

I teach these lessons with my honors students first.  They're about a month ahead of my other classes, but we do the same lessons and activities.  To be clear, I will provide additional scaffolding for my co-taught students.  I won't avoid this article, because I do have students who are reading at a high school level in that class.  This article can provide the challenge they need. With appropriate scaffolds and perseverance, the students who are reading at seventh or eighth grade level can make meaning from this article.  Will I give it to the students who are reading at a second, third, fourth, or fifth grade level?  Probably not.  There are other articles they can read.  Or, they can reread the first source to attain a deeper understanding of it. 

What's that?  How can you find out the Lexile level of a passage? Lexile.com has a handy-dandy Lexile Analyzer!  It's free, but you have to sign up. All you do is upload a document with your passage.  You have to convert a Word document to a plain text format (txt) before you can upload your passage, but that's relatively easy.  Through Internet and data crunching magic, they tell you exactly what the Lexile level is.  I like to save the plain text document with the title and Lexile for easy reference. Otherwise, I would never had been able to pull those numbers in the first paragraph up for you, because my head is filled with other information.

 

  Taking Lexile Level into Consideration
  Advanced Students: Taking Lexile Level into Consideration
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UNWRAPPING Text Features

Unit 9: What Happened to Emmett Till?: Analyzing Multiple Sources to Discover History
Lesson 3 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to analyze how the author organizes a text by UNWRAPPING graphic organizers and headings.

Big Idea: We examine a different author's main ideas to discover what happened to Emmett Till.

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