Reading to Learn
by Jennifer Ames
Did you hear me?

Rationale: Silent reading enables the student to be able to comprehend more information at a faster rate. Once a student reads silently, they must now learn what the text is saying. They must now be able to understand what the author is trying to say. This lesson will review silent reading strategies and also teach the student how to read for information.

Materials: pencil, copy of Time for Kids for each student, vocabulary book (listing of words to know from the reading), response journals for each student

    1-Introduce the lesson by reminding the students the key points on reading silently. “Can anyone tell me how to read silently? Right! It is picking up a book and reading the words in your head. We do not talk out loud so that way we will not disturb our neighbor. Watch as I read this paragraph. (read silently) My eyes followed each word but my mouth did not say anything.”

    2-”Once we are able to read to ourselves, we must now learn what the author is now trying to tell us. If we do not understand this, then we do not understand what we are reading. When we understand , we can share with others what we learned about and they can do the same for us.”

    3-Pass out Time for Kids to everyone and have a controversial of discussion topic picked out from an article. Have the students read that article silently.

    4-When the students have read the article silently, have them take out their pencil and vocabulary books and write down any words that they did not know. have some key words on the board that you have picked out. Write student’s words on board as well and let class help each other figure them out. This is also a great time to review cover up strategies of taking your hand and covering up a chuck of the word to help you figure it out. Choose 5 words in all that are great vocabulary words for the children to define and learn.

    5-Have the students take out response journals and write about the article. If the article is controversial, then let them choose a side and write about why they feel the way that they do. If you picked a topic that was hinted on from the article have them write about that.

    6-”In order to explain to someone what the article is saying, we need to tell it to them in our own words instead of reading them the article. We call this summarizing. What we do is take the general underlying idea and explain it to our friend. If I were to summarize the article we are reading for today, I would explain it this way. (summarize article) Notice how I only took a few sentences to tell you what this is about and look at how many sentences are in the article. Did I tell you about the article? We all know that there is more said in the article but you have the general idea. I want you to now summarize the article we just read. Write it  on the back of your response page.”

    7-Have a couple students share summary with the class and write one summary on the board with the help of the class so everyone can see how it is done.

    8-Horse Shoe Discussion
 After reading a controversial topic and writing about it, the students are going to want to share their opinions. The activity will allow the teacher to guide the discussion and allow the students to voice their opinions freely. Two opposing sides face each other and the neutral side is at one end making the horseshoe. There will be a talking stick and it will only allow the person holding it to talk. After someone has spoken, they must pass it to another member on another side who has their hand raised. Encourage the students to move to a different side during the discussion of they change their mind. When the teacher feels that the same aspect of the discussion is being repeated she may speak up and ask a new “thinking” question or offer a new side to the discussion. The teacher can see from this discussion if they understood what they read. If the student has clearly not read, they will fell left out of the discussion  because they would not have read the information that the students are talking about and next time they will be sure to read so they can join in.

-Mrs. Brandt, 4th Grade, Wrights Mill Road Elementary.
-Pressley, M. Johnson, C.J., et al. “Strategies that improve children’s memory and comprehension of text”. The Elementary School Journal. 90, 3-32.

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