Integrating Engaging Nonfiction

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SWBAT: make connections between nonfiction articles and a fictional book.

Big Idea

Hurricane Katrina though scientific and human interest texts.

Guiding Question

5 minutes

I really want students to keep in mind that any connections they can make while reading is going to deepen their understanding. This, of course, is true for text-to-self connections, text-to-text connections, and text-to-world connections. By asking this Guiding Question, I'm assessing whether or not they are beginning to understand that by connecting to prior knowledge.

Mini Lesson

15 minutes

For the mini-lesson I uploaded two articles on Subtext. The first is called Children's Views of Hurricane Katrina and is basically a list of quotes by children after evacuation of the city. The second article I used is 11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina, which is essentially a fact sheet and gives students quick statistics about the disaster.

Since it's our first time using Subtext, I had to walk students through the procedure. Once they get the hang of it, it will go a lot faster, but expect a lot of questions before they are ready to read.

I instruct them to make text to self connection, text to world connections, and still talk to each other about reactions or ask questions.


Work Time

25 minutes

For the work time, students read on the iPads and make connection to Ninth Ward, to the other article, to each other's comments, or to their own lives. The articles are short--if they were printed and students were merely reading them, it would probably only take about 10 minutes, but I'm asking them to really react to the articles and to each other. Good discourse takes time--which is why they have 25 minutes to read and respond.

As they are reading, I'm on my iPad and I'm doing my best to respond to each student, but it goes REALLY fast. Here's an example of a missed opportunity, or a misconception that was not addressed with one of my students.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

For the Wrap Up, I definitely want them to talk about how their knowledge of Ninth Ward was impacted by reading the nonfiction articles. They use their Reflection stems to show me if they learned anything new (I knew they did, but wanted them to admit it in writing!) Here's a student reflection that shows that this student learned something about a hurricane season.