What Did I Just Read?
Rationale: The major goal of reading is comprehension. To comprehend meanings of written text, there are certain strategies that students can use. One of the main ones that a student can use is called summarizing. It is important for a child to be able to pull the important points of reading a text in to a summarized format.
Materials: A copy of "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary: Scott Foresman, for each student, paper, pencils
1. First, the teacher will discuss with the students just how important it is to understand what they are reading. "In order to understand what you read, we will use a strategy called summarization, which helps us to find the important parts of what we read.
2. The teacher will now introduce the book "Dear Mr. Henshaw" to the class and have the students read the first page or two to themselves. When they have finished reading that part, there will be a question and answer period about what they had just read. Questions will be in the form of who, what, where, why, and when. In order to show what is important and what is not, the teacher should also ask some questions that are not important, such as, what color was the book the character was reading or so forth.
3. Now the teacher will reread the passage that the student had read to themselves. She will point out the parts that important and those that are not. She will model how to ask the five "w" questions to yourself in order to find out what is important in a passage. "Ask yourselves who the story is about, what is the story about, when does it take place, where does it take place, and why is the story important?" The teacher should then demonstrate by doing the who question with them.
4. Next have the children label their papers with the headings "who, what, where, when, and why." Have the students finish reading the rest of the chapter to themselves. When they have finished reading the chapter, they should be able to fill in the information correctly.
5. For assessment, the teacher will collect all of the studentsâ papers to see that each one was able to pick out the important information in the chapter and correctly summarized the chapter. The teacher will have a checklist that she makes up to see that the children have hit all of the important points.
Reference: 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, 3-32.
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