Shhh! We're Reading!!

Michael Kellum
Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  As students become better readers many of them enjoy reading silently.  Silent reading is great, but we must also make sure that we are comprehending what we are reading.  So many students want to be fluent readers but they forget the importance of comprehension.  Students need to be able to interpret what they read either through drawing or writing.  Also students will need to be able to write questions and answer them.

Materials:  copies of Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg; comprehension questions on board; lined paper for each studendt; pencil; white paper to draw on; crayons, markers, colored pencils

Procedure:  1.  Have reading group come to table or place on the floor, or if you are doing it whole group let them all sit on the floor.

2.  Ask the students if they have ever been to the zoo?  Take comments for a while and let them share stories.

3.  Ask the students if they have ever played a board game?  Repeat.

4.  Here's what you say:  "Boys and girls, today we are going to read a story about some very interesting events that take place in two children's lives.  We have progressed as readers this year and we are beginning to do more silent reading.  With silent reading comes independence and responsibility.  What I mean by responsibility is that you are in charge of remembering what you have read and comprehending it.  You need to be able to show that you understand what you have read by either answering questions, writing questions, drawing the events, or even role play."

5.  "Now I am going to ask you to read Jumanji, this is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors.  I think you will enjoy it.  Once you have finished I would like you to answer the comprehension questions on the board and then write three of your own.  Once you have done this try to draw another event in the story, e.g. if the kids would not have finished the game what else might have happened?"

6.  Let students complete tasks.

7.  Share drawings, questions, comments, and related stories.

Assessment:  Collect students sheets and observe responses to check for comprehension.

Students will enjoy getting to draw and tell stories, but be careful not to let them get away from showing their understanding of the text.

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