Today we begin to compare & contrast the overall structure of 2 or more texts. I begin with concrete practice using pictures so that scholars can gain practice with easier text and focus on skill practice before applying the skill to complex text.
I show scholars two pictures. Picture 1- tornado map is an image of the path a tornado took in Hallam, NE. The overall structure of the picture is sequence. The purpose of the image is to show where the tornado traveled in time order. The second picture - tornado picture is a picture of how a tornado forms. The overall structure is description. It describes a tornado and names all of the important parts of a tornado.
I ask scholars to look at & read both images. I ask them to think about what the overall structure of each image is. I remind them that a great question to ask yourself is, "What does the author of these images want to teach me? What information is he/she trying to share? Therefore, how does he/she structure the image in a way that best teaches me?"
I give scholars 2 minutes to read the images and jot down their ideas about how they are each structured. Then, I explain that we are going to do something new today. Now that we have an idea about how each of the images are structured, we're going to think about how the structure of the images are the same, different and why that might be the case. I first think aloud about how I might do this. My think aloud may sound like, "Hmm, I know I'm getting ready to compare & contrast two things. This makes me think about that graphic organizer that helps me compare/contrast. What is that?" Here I may pause and see if the scholars can jump in and tell me which graphic organizer I should use. Then, I model how to create a venn diagram. Using details from each of the images that relate to text structure, I write 1 thing on the venn diagram. For example, I might write that the topic or both images is tornadoes. One picture has dates and times and one does not.
Then, I give scholars 3 minutes to complete their own venn diagram with their table partner. After the 3 minutes, I ask scholars to do a Stand Up, Pair Up, Share to share answers. Lastly, I take 2 friends from my cup and select 1 volunteer to share how the overall structure of the images was the same and different.
I explain that today we're going to re-read Eye of the Storm. When we re-read today, we're going to think about how the overall text structure of Eye of the Storm is the same or different than the storm chaser video from National Geographic and the two images of tornadoes that we used in our cue set.
As we read, we will use yellow post-it notes to mark the place in the text where we find evidence to support our answers. Also, we will record our thinking in our graphic organizer that we started yesterday.
We do a cloze reading beginning on page 62. I read until page 64. As I read, I model how to think aloud about how the structure of Eye of the Storm compares & contrasts with some of the multi media elements that we've discussed as we've learned about storm chasers and tornadoes.
During the guided practice, scholars split into heterogeneous partnerships. Above grade level readers read with grade level readers, grade level readers read with below grade level readers. I do not pair above with below as that can be very frustrating for both scholars. Scholars are able to get up and move to a comfy place in the classroom so that they can stretch a bit and change scenery. This enhances engagement and can inspire creativity.
Scholars complete reading the text and continue to jot down thinking on their note taking template and mark books with yellow post-it notes. I pull a small group of my ELL scholars who need more support accessing the text and comparing & contrasting the overall text structure. Click here to see scholars hard at work.
Scholars should complete the graphic organizer at this time. All evidence & a written response to question #4 should be complete at the end of this 20 minutes so that scholars are prepared for the seminar.
This time is the actual seminar. There are two circles (one inside of another larger circle). Scholars who are participating in the discussion are in the inner circle. Scholars who are watching/listening and evaluating the discussion sit on the outside of the circle. Three scholars in the outer circle have special jobs. 1 scholar is the tallier - this person tallies each time each person in the discussion group speaks. The second job is the final commenter. This person gives the LAST comment to wrap up the discussion and give their final input. I pull from my cup to make sure these two jobs are assigned equitably.
We also have a "hot seat." This hot seat is for anyone in the outer circle who wishes to add a comment during the discussion. We only allow 1 turn in the hot seat per discussion and three turns in general otherwise they tend to monopolize the hot seat!
Scholars in the inner circle discuss the following questions:
1. What is the overall structure of this text?
2. How does the structure of this text compare and contrast with other multi-media that we viewed?
As the discussion happens, scholars in the outer circle give an individual rating to their partner (determined by the color and number on their post-its on their desks) and an overall rating for the group. Scholars & the group are rated on 5 characteristics: participation, discussion remains on topic, participants respectfully agree/disagree, discussion is high quality,and participants remain attentive. They use this Rating Scale to record scores.
We will do three discussions each lasting 7 minutes so that each group of scholars have an opportunity to discuss. As scholars discuss, they can continue to take notes on their note taking template. Completed note taking templates are a part of their checklist items for the week. Also, we will debrief each discussion for 3 minutes before we switch to the next one.