Structured Choice

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SWBAT select a book from a collection of fiction and nonfiction titles to learn about the time period of the American Revolution using everything they have learned previously about note taking and annotating the text.

Big Idea

Making a good decision when picking a book to read and capturing their thinking and lingering questions.


15 minutes

Book intros:  Students today you will be picking a book from our classroom collection to learn about the people, events, and places in the 13 colonies in the 1700s.  I will introduce a few books to you.

As you can see you have lots of books to chose from. 

(I will select a variety of books from class collection and include different reading levels and fiction and nonfiction to briefly describe to the students.  At this time of the year, most of my students have a good idea of the kinds of books they like to read, so I will keep this brief.)

Example intros:  

This one is called George VS George:  I really like this one because it has a compare and contrast structure.  As you read this book, you will learn about George Washington the leader of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States.  You will also learn about George III the king of England, who was the ruler of the 13 colonies.  This will be a great resource for you when you are researching topics for your report.  This book has lots of information about the American Revolution from both viewpoints.  You can learn about the British Soldiers and and American Soldiers. You might choose to use Venn Diagrams to collect your notes as you read about topics in this book.

This is a nonfiction book about the life of  Abigail Adams.  It tells facts about her life and important things she did.  A timeline is a great way to organize important events from this book as well as picking one event and focusing on how that impacted history.  

Here is a narrative nonfiction book on Paul Revere!  Read this book if you want to learn about an exciting event at the start of the Revolutionary War.

Our collection has Historical Fiction, Non-fiction, and Narrative Nonfiction books for you to choose from. 

 Most of the books are marked with the reading level on the outside.  Use your reading level and your interests to pick a book that is a good fit. Here are some tips for picking a good fit book:

Look at the cover, read the blurb on the back, think about yourself as a reader. Ask yourself, "Do I like to learn about a time period by reading a story or do I like to learn about people, places and events in a nonfiction format?"  You decide.  Then, use the clipboard and write the title of your book next to your name.  


Independent Reading

40 minutes

I called tables one at a time to check out books from the collection.  As students selected books, I conferred with them at their tables about their book choice.  I rotated between circulating in the classroom and being up at the rug to help kids with their book choice.

Once all students had selected a book and were seated, I directed them to set up a tab in their Reading Response Notebook and label it American Revolution.  Then, I modeled in my notebook how to title a new page with book title and date to capture my thinking about the book.

After this interruption, I quieted the class and observed students as they continued their reading.  I was watching for students who were not in a good fit book.  I jotted their names down on a conferring form,  so I could meet with them on the following day to support them with the book they had chosen, help them switch to a different book, or to pair them up with a partner.

I was also looking for students who were jotting their thinking in their notebook, so I could use this as a share out to close today's lesson.

Share Out

5 minutes

Close to the end of the period I quietly asked several students if they would share the title of their book and their Reading Response Notebook with the class.

They came up to the document camera and held up their book, told what they like about it, and shared their notes under the doc cam.

This is a great way to allow students to share their thinking and to support other students with the task of capturing their thinking.