During this brief three week unit, students will be reading informational texts in class and at home. I will encourage them to continue reading literature books to maintain a high volume of reading in just right books. This is important because most of the informational texts they will be choosing from the classroom library are not leveled. It is clear that the single most important factor in moving students up levels of complexity is to maintain a high volume of reading in just right books.
My goals for this unit include: Students will read faster, smoother, and with absorption- while also learning from their texts (CCS- RF5.4-Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.)
Students will continue to track their reading in their reading logs and to use post-its to capture main ideas, key details, what they notice about the text structure (CCS RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.)
The first week will start with a review of text features, followed by a focus on determining the meaning of new vocabulary (CCS RF5.4c- Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. identifying main and supporting details, and summarizing texts. I will point out that noticing the text structure helps with summarizing, but will not explicitly teach text structure until week two. Text structures students will look for are compare and contrast, problem and solution, chronological order, asking and answering questions, cause and effect (CCS RI5.5- Compare and contrast the overall structure of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.). Students will pick books that have overlapping topics. This will set them up to compare and contrast text structures between and across books during week three.
The third week will also focus on making inferences and building theories about what the texts suggest within and between texts on the same topic but in different genres.
"Today is a special day because we will be adding another genre to our in class and at home reading. Today I want you to browse the informational book bins in the non-fiction library and select books on topics that you already know a lot about. Pick books that you are an expert on. Pick books that are on topics that matter to you. You may pick books that are on specific topics- like sharks, or tigers or biographies-books on important people that you are interested in. Once you have your book baggies filled you will talk with classmates at your table about why you care about theses topics. I want tables 1 and 2 to start shopping in the bins on the rug. So you will stay here.
While the rest of you are waiting for your turn to shop, you will be at your desk. Your job is to look through your reading response notebooks and find post-its you have written about characters and the theories you have grown about them during the last week of reading literature. You will then place two or more of your best post-its on a lined sheet of paper. Next to the post-it please write a short reflection about it. Some ideas to explain why you wrote are: I was envisioning a scene so I could understand better, or I was growing a theory about a character, or I was capturing who and what. Please explain so I can understand your thinking about your post-its. Look at the screen and I will show you what I mean. Watch me look through my RRN. Here is a post-it that is one of my best. I am going to take it out of my RRN and place it on this page. I will write a heading that says My Best Post-its, then I'll write my name and today's date. My post-it says...'I'm learning Uncle Potluck is smart because he refers to florescent light bulb as a distinguished veteran and he talks about having a proper burial for it because the bulb gave its life in the service of the illumination of youth. Next to this post-it I will write, ' It is one of my best post-its because it shows how the author writes dialogue to reveal information about the character. Also it is one of my best post-its because it captures figurative language . Figurative language is so important to understand when you are reading books because it makes you infer what the author/character really means by the statement.
Does everyone understand what to do when you go back to your seat? Ok, good. You may quietly walk back to your seats and get started right away looking through your notebooks.
Tables 1 and 2 you may start shopping in the Informational Library."
During independent reading I will be circulating between the kids on the rug who are shopping for topics they care about and the students at their seats who are reviewing their notebooks for their best post-its from unit one. After about 10 minutes, I will send tables 1 and 2 back to their seats to review their notebooks and I will call up two more tables of students to shop. I will continue this until all students have shopped and finished their post-it job. This is another opportunity to assess the goals of unit one- making inferences about characters based on evidence from the text.
One thing I should point out is, some of my below grade level readers have not been writing post-its to grow theories about characters. Their post-its have been more of what I am picturing, questions I have about... Tricky words, Who and what.
Partner share will be fun today. Students will talk at their tables about the topics they selected with each other. I will point out that by listening to their table partners, they can consider new topics they can read about in the future.