Summary and Context:
Today I will review the concept of thin and thick questions that we learned in yesterday's lesson. Then, I will engage the students in a close reading of the text, Babu’s Song with text dependent questions. These text dependent questions ask explicitly what the text states to get students to hone in on the key ideas and details of the story. Later, we will ask more evaluative/analytical questions, but, before we do, students need to understand what the text actually says.
As we read, I engage my students in different reading techniques: a whisper read, a cloze read, and a choral read. A whisper read involves the students reading softly to prepare to read aloud. A cloze reading involves the teacher leaving out a word in a sentence for the students to read chorally. A choral read involves a group of students or the whole class reading together with expression. All of these techniques help students be active participants when we read as a group, and they help with fluency, too.
At the end of our discussion, students will have an opportunity to do some independent writing in their response journal.
With the students on the rug, I start by sharing the objective. I introduce the different reading techniques they will be using. I explain all three even though they are already familiar with the choral reading. I dismiss them by asking them to go back to their seats, take out their books, and find Babu's Song. Giving my students specific tasks to do in steps helps them get ready quickly for the next task and minimizes conversations they may want to have along the way to their seats.
I explain to my students that in answering and asking questions, we are going to be engaged in different reading techniques. Reading a text aloud can be nerve wrecking for some students. I work on creating reading situations in which students feel safe and supported to optimize the learning. That is why I am choosing to read interactively with the the cloze reading and choral reading.
Here is an example of a cloze reading: ClozeReading.
Here is an example of a choral reading: ChoralReading.
I like to give my students opportunities to practice their reading before they read aloud. That is why I use the whisper reading method. I believe strongly in having students read aloud. I believe this helps with improving their fluency and expression. It also helps to keep them accountable to the task at hand.
Here is an example of a whisper reading: WhisperRead.
In introducing the whisper reading I show them how to do it and I let them practice it.
Finally, in reading the story, I ask some text dependent questions that ask explicitly what the text states. I am asking only a few questions and the focus of this questions is about what is happening with the characters: Bernardi and Babu.
This is a long story and I invite you to think about possibly dividing this reading into two parts.
I gather my students on the rug and have a short discussion on the text. In later lessons we will discuss our readings in a Socratic Seminar forum, so this informal, quick discussion time helps to set the stage for that routine. I prompt the discussion with the questions:
I have my students pair-share before a few share out loud. I do one question at at time.
I expect them to answer with complete sentences and to give specific details about what is found in the story.
Now my students write in their response journals about what is interesting about the characters. I will walk around to monitor their work and assist those who need support.
I remind them to use their anthology to cite specific details about the characters and to use complete sentences. If the students finish before the allotted time, then they can illustrate. I let them illustrate because it gives me time to work with those students who may need my undivided attention. In this way, I am not interrupted.
Here are a couple of their work samples: