To prepare the students for today's text, I want them to recall any information on the topic of the text. The passage comes from our reader and is titled "Antelopes." You can use any nonfiction piece with this activity.
To begin, I will have the students complete a KWL (Know, Want to Know, and Learned) about Antelopes. I may provide them with prompts-where they live, what they eat, size, etc. I will have them work on the "what they KNOW and what they WANT to know" columns first. I truly have no idea what their background knowledge is in regards to Antelope, so it will be nice for me to see as well.
Even though the objective isn't to learn about antelope, the comprehension of the text and the objective of making conclusions is dependent on background knowledge. Also, this conversation will hopefully engage my students and provoke their curiosity enough to stay engaged with the text.
I'll allow the students about 3 minutes for each column of the Student KWL. I like to set time limits and encourage them to work that entire time, a lot of times they will want to stop after listing two or three things-never really pushing themselves to think on the topic.
Once time is up, we can put our list on the board or even simply have the students share. I may have them share in using the strategy Rally Robin. In this strategy, the students take turns going back and forth sharing their list until they run out of things to say. This allows each student the chance to share and be heard. It also holds them accountable for their work.
Okay-so today is judgement day! The students have been fine tuning their skills and have demonstrated they are ready to be sent into the battle! They have had a lot of success with making inferences and drawing conclusions over the last few days. Today, I want to push them a little more and really see how they do.
I know once given the information-they can make inferences with little problem. However, they need to push themselves and really engage with the text to locate the information to use to make the inferences. We have worked on it with the smaller passages, now, I want them to try it with a longer, more informational based piece.
After gathering our background knowledge, I will have the students open to the text. I will also use this time to remind them of our non-fiction reading strategies. We practice this every time we have a non-fiction piece in front of us. I have the students go through all the features, read the title, captions, sidebars, subheadings etc to prepare for the reading. This is not a habit they have developed yet-so they often need reminders.
I will give them just a minute to do that then ask them to follow along with me as I read through the text Antelopes one time. I do this to model close reading and multiple readings for meaning. I will read through the text once, then have them read through it again-going back and making their annotations. Again, this is a developing skill and they often need prompting on what to annotate.
I will allow the students time to work on the story and answer the questions that go along with it. I want them to work independently as much as possible, so I can get an assessment of their ability. I could use this time to pull struggling students aside or work with a smaller group as needed. Student Sample
The students will work quietly to reread the story, make annotations, and then answer the questions that go along with it.
I want to push the students a little more today with the closure. I want them to use their skill to develop a response to the reading and overall give me an understanding for their ability to use the skill to comprehend the text.
I will ask the students to write a quick response to the following question. "How can conflict surrounding the possible extinction of antelopes have a positive result?" They will be able to use the text, their background knowledge, to make this inference and demonstrate understanding of the skill.