Devon M. Shaw
Reading to Learn

My Special Reading Notebook

Rationale:  To improve comprehension, children need to understand the many different parts of reading a written piece of text.  Many of these Îpartsâ of reading include: story grammar, summarization, story structure, and vocabulary.  When children read, it is important that they understand what it is that they are reading.  This lesson is designed to address all of the mentioned aspects of reading written text to help improve comprehension.

Materials:  dry erase board, dry erase markers, paper notebooks with pages inserted that read Îseedsâ, vocabulary, chapter summaries, ÎWOWâ words, character web, and story structure questions (enough for every child to have one), paper, pencil, and an age-appropriate chapter book (one per child)

1. ãToday we are going to begin a new chapter book titled, The Hot and Cold Summer by Johanna Hurwitz.  We are going to read it silently and then come together as a group and do some activities with it.  Then later on, you will do the activities on your own.  Before we begin reading, lets talk about some great things that we can do to improve our understanding of what we are reading.  Some things that I thought might help us are vocabulary words, chapter summaries of what we read, and maybe answering some questions about what we read.  Can any of you think of anything else that might help?ä Children respond. ãYes, quizzes and drawing pictures might help too.  Good thinking!ä Teacher writes suggestions on the board as the class discusses the terms.
2. Teacher passes out notebooks (one per child) and proceeds to take the children on a ãpictureä walk through the notebook.  ãThe Îseedsâ page is for when you read and you have questions about what you are reading, but you donât want to stop reading to look for the answer.  These are also good questions for us to talk about as a class (this builds a classroom community).  The vocabulary page is for you to write down any words that you come across in your reading that you arenât familiar with.  The chapter summary page is for just what it says, to write a summary, or short version of the main events of the chapter, down. The page with the questions is to help us to write summaries and to understand what we are reading.  The questions read: 1) Who is the main character?  2) Where and when did the story take place?  3) What did the main characters do?  4) How did the story end? 5) How did the main character feel?ä
3. Next, read a short story to model for the children on how to fill out their notebooks.
4. Next, the students will read the first chapter of The Hot and Cold Summer silently.  As they read, they will be filling out as much of the notebook as they feel necessary. After they finish reading, the teacher needs to bring them back together as a group to discuss the chapter and the notebook.  ãWho put any words on the vocabulary page?ä Children raise hands and tell what word.  Teacher directs them toward the dictionary and they read the definition to the class. ãWhat about the Îseedsâ page?  Did anyone have any questions about the chapter?ä Children respond and class discusses.  ãWho would like to volunteer to read their chapter summary?ä Good!  Class listens as a few children read their summaries. ãEveryone has done a great job with the chapter and the notebook.  Letâs work together as a class to answer the story questions in the back of the notebookä Teacher lists the 5 questions on the board. (1) Who is the main character?  2) Where and when did the story take place?  3) What did the main characters do?  4) How did the story end? 5) How did the main character feel?ä) The class discusses the questions and their answers.
5. Continue this process until all of the chapters in the book have been read.
6. For assessment, create a book test with questions that the children should be able to answer after reading the entire book.  The questions should come from every chapter to give a good variety.

Dr. Susan Villume. CTRD 3700. Reading Logs. Fall Semester 2001.

Delpit. Story Grammar.

Pressley, M., Johnson, C.J., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J. A. , & Kurity, J. A. (1989). Strategies that improve childrenâs memory and comprehension of text.  The Elementary School Journal, 90, 13.

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