Reflection: Rigor How Does The Author Tell the Story? Day 1 of 3 - Section 2: Reading the Story


One of the shifts with the CCSS is teaching the students how to critique what they are reading.

There is much going on during this section. I am asking a few text dependent questions with this second read, as well as analyzing a few vocabulary words, and having them illustrate the seasons. I decided to overlap the learning in this way because I wanted to show my students that proficient readers keep all this in mind as they read. I invite you to think about what would work best for your students. I feel my student were ready for the challenge.

With illustrating the seasons, I am basically helping them dissect how the author tells the story. My students did a good job with quickly illustrating and finding words about Autumn. I asked them to write both words: Autumn and Fall. As simple as this may sound, I want my students, largely ELLs, to have a visual of how the seasons change within the story and be familiar with words that are used interchangeably to describe this season.

Next, my text dependent questions were about analyzing specific words to help the conceptual understanding of the story. In looking at the meaning of words, we practiced the strategy of context clues. But we know that not all context clues are equal. And so I asked the students to think about, evaluate whether the author gave us clear clues. This takes practice, patience, and time for my students to do well. To aid this, I created a template for the vocabulary words and then I made sure to model. My students benefit from this scaffold.

In the video, one of the students explains clearly that no the author did not provide clear clues for what the word "drifts" means. So we go digging into the dictionary. Hearing their peers critique the author's vagueness about words and letting the students use a dictionary are powerful visuals and practices for them to later do independently in a confident way.

I took on teaching these different skills because I wanted them to feel the complexity of the text. One reason I did it was because the words in the text itself are easy, but the storyline/content/author's choices are still complex. Another reason, I wanted to challenge them. And, I feel they did well.

One quick note: I would cut back on the time because some students did get tired. Feel free to do one skill at a time and then integrate as you want.

  Rigor: Reading The Story
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How Does The Author Tell the Story? Day 1 of 3

Unit 8: The Tiny Seed
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT ask and answer questions to analyze the structure of a literary text.

Big Idea: A traveling seed, the four seasons, and the sunflower cycle: how does the author put all together?

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