Cassidy Maxwell
Reading to Learn
Rationale: In order for children to become good skilled readers and be able to comprehend what they read they need to understand a story's structure. Children need to be able to create a mental picture in their head of the things going on in the book. They also need to be able to understand who the characters are, the plot, conflicts,and the resolution. It is also important for children to be able to generate questions concerning the story, and in turn also be able to answer questions about the story. Creating a visual image helps children to remember what they have read.
Materials: (1) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, (2) question sheet for each child, (3) blank piece of paper for each child, (4) lined paper for each child, and (5) colored pencils, markers, and crayons.
1. Children, today we are going to talk about the reading comprehension. It is important when reading a story that you try to create a mental image in your head of what is going on in the book. Let's try this situation. I want you all to close your eyes and listen to my voice and create a picture in your mind. Pretend you are at the beach on a hot summer day watching the waves roll in and building a sand castle. Think about what is going on around you, how you are feeling, and use your senses to create a visual image. Okay, did everyone have an image in his or her head? Excellent. Now lets talk about generating good questions.
2. It is extremely important that you ask questions when you are confused about something in the book. We also need to remember the main events in the story and how the problem is solved. You must pay attention to the major topics of each story and form a visualization to help you understand if you are confused as to what is happening.
3.  Now you are going to read the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I want you to think about some questions to ask yourself as you read. (Who is the main character?, What happens to him/her?, How does this story end?) Teacher will ask the students to respond to these questions as they read. We will also talk about creating that picture in their head by listening to key descriptions and forming their own idea about what is going on in the story.
Now that we have finished reading the story I would like you to get out the lined paper I gave you and I would like you to write a brief summarization of what happened in this story.
When you have finished with that I would like you to draw a picture of some of the mental images you pictured in your head. Share the results with the class and model your picture and summarization. Explain to the students that all ideas will not be exactly the same.
             Finally I am going to test your knowledge about this story. (Teacher will then ask a few general questions about the topic and events the main character experienced. This will help the students to retain their visual images and comprehend the story much easier)
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