Anytime group work is involved I feel like I have to be the broke record, and give my students directions over and over again. Restating the expectations and making sure before they begin they are clear on all of the steps.
To begin, I want students to understand why I am choosing to do our reading this way. There is a lot of text to cover in the section, but is broken up in repetitive parts. The sections are on the different regions of the United States, and each region contains the same sections: land, climate, plants, animals, and industry. To keep from taking an hour of time dully reading each section, we are going to make each student an expert and teacher of a particular region of America.
Each student will get a section of the text that they will become the expert on. They will be given two sticky notes to track what they feel the class needs to know about each of the subheadings. I now walk around the room giving each student a page number and the title of the section they will be becoming the expert on.
I then model how their note collection will work. I show them how I first focus on the subheadings of climate, land, plants, animals, and industry. I then show how I would read a section carefully and decide what I think they class might need to know to understand the region better. I write this down so I can share it with the class. I do this on a sticky note like they will do and then move to the next section of the reading.
They can always have more stickies if needed. If you give two, then they won't be inclined to copy straight from the text. I go over putting writing in our own words and how I might choose an important detail.
Now that each student has a part it is now time for them to read and write notes. I hand out at least two sticky notes to each student. I remind them that their notes should be in their own words and not copied from the book. As they read they need to think about whether or not it is important enough for the whole class to know.
As they read, I walk around the room listening to reading and checking in on my students who are focusing on animals and plants. I found I had to offer more support to how to find the animals and plants but once they knew where to look. It was really amazing to see them take off and feel good about what they were working on.
They are now ready to teach their classmates. Each student has a section and subheading to present. They will bring their sticky notes to the front of the room and share them their notes on what was important in their section of the reading. As they teach, the class will use their textbooks to follow along and see if they can find where the student found their information. It would be similar to play "I Spy" but in this case they have to listen and find their classmates facts.
Presenting to the class will take some time, but because of the content each student should only be presenting for no more than a minute. If we have extra time, I will have students ask questions to their peers to check for listening and understanding. I will take over the questioning to pace the presentations if needed. I have podium and set the history book on it, in case they need it to help their peers find their facts.
When they are finished with the sticky notes they will add them to a worksheet that I copied from our Arizona History series. They will be able to use their sticky notes to fill in the information that related to the section they read. The sticky note then serves a dual purpose. It helps them present and also to retain the needed information to complete the worksheet. This helps students with special needs have a method for retaining and locating needed information to help them complete an assessment piece or worksheet.