There are so many problems and issues in today's society, and secondary students have the energy, creativity, and desire to solve them. Through this strategy, students will read about other young people who are bringing about change in the world. With these young people as inspiration, students will identify problems at home, at school, or in the community that they would like to solve, and they will design and implement plans to solve them.
In order to be critical readers of complex texts, students must be able to analyze authors' argumentative techniques. Through this strategy, students will read an argumentative text and identify the author's claim, the reasons that the author gives to support the claim, and the evidence for those reasons. Students will review logos, ethos, and pathos and will look for examples of each in argumentative texts. They will reflect on how authors use a combination of techniques to support their arguments and will determine the strength and effectiveness of arguments that they read. Students may then analyze their own writing and make revisions to enhance the effectiveness of their arguments.
Through this strategy, students pay attention to what they notice, what they wonder about, and how they connect to an article as they read. Doing so makes students active readers who can comprehend so much more about what they read. After engaging in this strategy, students are prepared for a discussion about the text, a written response to the text, or other extension activities.
Before reading a novel, students will read Newsela articles that relate to the theme(s) of or topics in the novel to provide them with necessary background knowledge. Newsela has a vast library of Text Sets for many popular novels that teachers may use or edit for their selected novel, or teachers may choose to create their own. Students will keep track of the information that they learn from the articles, and they will share what they learn with their classmates. Building background knowledge about a topic or theme before reading a novel has a significant positive impact on student engagement and comprehension of the novel.
Summarizing is an important skill that students need in order to demonstrate their reading comprehension. The 5Ws and How Summary strategy provides students with a format to focus on the key ideas from an article that should be included in a summary, and then incorporate those ideas into a written summary of the text. The strategy applies to all content areas, and once students learn how to use it, it is natural for students to transfer the skill to other classes and contents.