Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Get students engaged
Explain the task:
In 2nd grade students who ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding (RL.2.1) tend to be very literal so take the opportunity to ask higher level questions, using "why," "how," etc. Using the illustrations on the cover and in the book is critical to demonstrate and remind students that the pictures are important to understanding (RL.2.7) - experience has shown us that often, students do not utilize the illustrations to gain information from text. This is a great opportunity to informally introduce some vocabulary or review words from first grade (predict, summarize, imagery, infer, connect).
The third I taught this lesson, I really focused on being an active reader and how the kids could also 'earn' their active reader cards. My students really need to improve their focus during silent reading time. I find them glancing around the room, scanning through pages, and not looking at pictures. I'll pull out these cards again and again throughout the year to review that an 'active reader' really looks at pictures, reads the words, and using reading strategies to understand.
Explain the task:
Walk around as students work. Ask them to show you the reading strategy they are using. Talk aloud to show what students are doing - "This student is connecting the pictures in this book to those in a similar story about whales." or "I'm glad to see that he is predicting what will happen to the dog as he meets different animals at the zoo."
Take a look at the post-its and where they fall on the chart. As you compare strategies you may notice more or less post-its on the different strategies. Which reading strategy do the kids use and are more familiar with? Since you'll be covering each strategy in detail later, you will know which strategies are used more frequently and need less practice and those that need more instruction and time spent.
Scaffolding and Special Education- This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
For those who struggle to read, you could either give them an easier book or have them read with a partner. Perhaps suggest 'predicting' or 'connecting', as those seem to be the easier strategies for students to use.
Students with more language ability should be encouraged to read a more difficult book and explain more clearly with evidence - "Tell me how you made that prediction?" or "Show me which words you connected to the other book."