Throughout this unit, students have been paying attention to details about characters, setting, and things that happened in the books they are reading. In this lesson, they will continue to pay attention but this time, pay attention to what those things they are noticing say about them, the reader. Readers notice different details as they read because they have had different life experiences that help them connect to characters, plot, and setting in a specific way. For example, if a character just lost a soccer game and you've haven't played soccer, you would probably think differently about the character than someone who does often play soccer games. Its not only important to notice the details but to think about what it says about the reader.
Before I model this for students, I ask them to try out a small task. They are to close their eyes as I describe a scene of a lunchroom during the younger grades lunch. I asked to to think about what they see, hear, smell, etc. When they are done, they are to write down thier ideas. Students share what they saw and why they saw those details. For example, some students saw students sharing food and noticed what they were sharing. They noticed that detail because they often share food during lunch, typically veggies for sweets. Another student noticed gossiping because she often engages in gossiping during lunch.
Now, I read the class read aloud and ask them to do the same thing. Pay attention to the details and wonder about what it says about them as readers. As I read, students take notes. Then they discuss with a partner or their table group, especially paying attention when someone noticed something different than another student.
Finally, students do the activity again in their book club book. They read and take notes about what the noticed.
For the closing, I share some of the students' observations and perspectives. Mostly, I want to emphasize students who not only made very strong connections but focused on the details that other may not have noticed because their perspective is different. When they look deeper and notice mroe, they can form strong theories about the themes and messages the author is trying to get across and be able to pick up more of the details that support that theory as they read on.