Dig Deep: Stopping to Think Deeply About Meaning

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT pause to read important passages to grow ideas about the text.

Big Idea

Students make connections between small parts in the story and the theme of the whole story.


5 minutes

In the previous lessons, students learned that sometimes they need to slow down and pay attention to the details they are noticing and why those details might be important. Again, in this lesson, students are going to slow down their reading. Matter of fact, they are going to take moments to stop reading and grow ideas that make sense of the entire story. They may even work on making connections between the smaller, slower parts of the story in order to see the bigger message or theme of the story.

Main Activity

30 minutes

I model how to use slower parts of the text to support theories with the class read aloud. I reread a section of the text and think out loud. "In this section, I pause and think about the bigger idea. Something about this section tells me I should stop and pay attention. The character is making a statement about life. Hmmm...what does this tell me about the big idea?" I can then show how this part matches another part and together help me form a theory about the entire story.

In order for students to practice this strategy before working in their own book club book, I read another passage from our read aloud book and ask them to form their own big idea. I remind them that a book may have many themes so I want them to think of their own. When they are done, they share it with a partner and I call on a few students to share with the class.

Finally, students return to their book club books to practice this skill. They are remind to look for places that stand our and beg them to stop and think. They then try to make connections and form big idea. They can ask themselves, "What does this part tell me about the big idea?" Then they write down some notes to share with their book club later.


5 minutes

After students have taken notes on their book club book, they get a chance to share with their group. Their task is to have a great book club conversation that challenges each other's thinking. They should also find strands that weave through each of their ideas and possibly form even bigger ideas using all of the information that was collected by their peers.