Pre-reading strategies are so important to understanding what we read I make sure we practice one before every story. Earlier we read about Paul Bunyan in a poem and practiced compare and contrast and breaking a poem apart. I start a discussion bring up this poem and having the students recall information from it.
I explain that this is how we activate our prior knowledge and get ready to read. I have to steer the class toward remembering the exaggerations of the poem. I have students recall what we remember about how Paul was exaggerated. I complete our discussion by asking why they think the author used exaggeration to tell the story. I also try to link to the lesson about Dustylocks and figurative language. This helps students focus their thinking on figurative language and its uses.
We briefly do a look at the text features of the story we are bout to read. We read the title and sub-titles to help us pre-read further. I then explain that as I read I am going to make sure to pay attention to when the author uses exaggerated or figurative language.
I start by reading to the class and stop when I feel that the author used one of these writing types. I make a statement that it would be way easier to remember what I read to share if I wrote it down somewhere. I take out my large sticky notes and explain that I think I write a few down as I read. I ask them why I might want to record what I think is figurative or exaggerated language. I want them to see that sometimes it is hard to understand why the author used it and what they are trying to explain.
I read another paragraph and model writing down a tricky set of writing that could be figurative. I want to share them with the class later so we can decide what the author might have meant by using these particular words.
Now it the students turn to track their reading. They are going to read the story and while they read they are going to "keep tracks." They will use a sticky note to track all the examples they can find of figurative or exaggerated language. We can then use these sticky notes as examples to work with as a whole class. We can decide what the author was trying to tell us, and how did it help tell the story.