Summary and Context:
My students continue to explore biographies. As I expand their knowledge of this genre I deepen their comprehension of informational text by having them take time to identify text features respective to the book they choose before they read it. I like to teach skills in isolation and in context and that is why I am engaging my students in this lesson.
Once they are done exploring and recording the front and back cover information, they will spend time reading their biography of choice. The question they need to keep in mind is: "How has this person changed the world?" After they are done with the reading, I am engaging them in understanding the text features of table of contexts, glossary, and index more deeply.
Then they will have an opportunity to share with the whole group about their famous person, and we will also have a discussion about what they discovered about text features.
I share the objective. Then, I review text features by asking them, what text features have we learned about in past lessons. I have them pair share and then a few share out loud. I name the text features so that we all understand what is that we are doing. After, I explain how they will be using the graphic organizer to explore some of the text features of informational text.
Also, I ask what a biography is and provide a definition for them on a poster.
My students need much practice with text features, and they need to build sophisticated knowledge of informational text. Therefore, I designed this task to help them notice the front and back cover of informational text and the text features that are found in the text. Not all informational text have the same text features, and this is a conversation worth having before students get started.
Proficient readers are savvy at understanding and using informational text. To get my students to that point, it is necessary to provide them with different types of experiences deciphering informational text.
Here are examples of their work:
My students now turn their attention to reading the biographies. They sit around the room to do so. I walk around and monitor their reading. Students need practice with reading text at their level, this is a demand of the CCSS. I made sure to gather different titles with different reading levels. Some students are reading about the same person, yet the content often differs.
For this to happen, I helped students make book choices according to their reading capacity. Some I challenged and then I let some of them choose a new title when their first choice turned out to be too hard.
Some of my students benefit from reading with a group and I let them since I know it helps build their confidence.
They are reading with the purpose of answering, "How did your person change the world?"
I gather students at their desks for their next task. In addition to being able to notice the features of a front cover and a back cover, now I ask the students to locate three text features in their books. I review the features with them. I explain where they can look in their books to find them.
They will record certain information on a template I created. Not all the books will have those features and that is ok. It is something I want them to to notice and for us to have a conversation about it.
Therefore, as I walk around, I make sure to remind them of this. Others will need help with support as to where the glossary can be found. With others, I simply ask about what the task is so that I know they know what they need to do.
Here are samples of their work:
I gather the students back on the rug. I ask them what they learned and noticed about text features in information text. First, they share with a partner and then with the whole group. I ask them if we met our goal, and I bring closure to the lesson.