Before reading the first chapter in Seedfolks, I want the students to have an understanding for how we mark up the text. It is important for students to be able to know how to work with text. Up to this point, I have called it "Marking Up the Text". Now, I am going to introduce the students to the term annotating text. Now that they now how to do it, I feel comfortable using the actual term. Marking up the text makes sense to them-especially when we first begin. I have found the word annotating can be intimidating.
I will ask the students to review with their shoulder partners what details we need to underline and highlight as we are reading. I will call the class together and compile a list of their responses so we have a reference sheet to refer back to when reading. I will have the students copy this sheet into their spiral to use a reference for annotating. Annotation Tips
Now that we have some background for the book as well as knowledge on our first character's culture, we are ready to read the first chapter.
I will read the chapter aloud, to direct discussion and check for understanding. I want to model for the students how to work with the complex text, and because it is a longer piece, I want to refresh with them how to use the reading strategies to make predictions, connections, inferences, to ask questions and to analyze as we read. This is something I am going to require them to do on their own, but want to model if for the first chapter.
I will project the chapter onto my Smartboard using the ELMO so all the students can see how I interact with the text. I will explain my markings as I am reading and working with the text. I underline character traits; direct and indirect, conflict, text that demonstrates inferences I am making as I read. I will write my questions and thoughts in the margins. I have the students do the same, using post-it notes on their novels.
This skill is extremely important for the students to develop. I do not expect them to master it at this point. It is a skill that will develop over time and with text.
To get the students analyzing the text, applying the skills to book, I will have them work on a couple of different handouts. To do this, we will begin our literature circle groups. The students will work in their lit groups to discuss and analyze the story for the elements of fiction we have been working on in class.
I have the students move into their reading groups. I have them sitting in mixed ability groups normally, but for the Literature Circles, I am going to move them into homogenous groups. This will allow the students to work with others of their reading ability. It will also allow me to work one on one with my struggling learners.
I will allow the students about 20 minutes to work with their groups and discuss the questions.
Because this is our first time working in Literature Circle Groups, I will model how I want the groups to look. I will review our rules for discussion and the expectations for group work. I will also demonstrate how to use the Discussion Guide to guide the conversation. In the beginning, I will assign each student a question or questions. Once they become more comfortable with the process, I will let it flow more naturally. I will have the students take turns being the recorder, so every student can grasp an understanding for how it feels and the expectation of that role. I will also have them practice being the discussion leader. I will use a Round Robin and a Round Table to practice these skills.
I will also pass out the Seedfolks Character Analysis handout. This handout will be completed at the start of every literature circle group. This is basic information on the characters we read. It is important for understanding and comprehension.
As the students are working, I will monitor for understanding and guide discussion.
To help the students process what we learned today as well as give me an assessment on their skills, I will have the students complete a Closure Slip. I asked the students "What do we underline when we are reading?" I wanted the students to be able to explain to me what should be annotated, what text is important for our understanding? I am expecting the students to do fairly well with this and hopefully identify character traits, events, loaded language, etc.