Let’s Get to the Point
 

 

Reading to Learn

 

Nicole Stewart

 

 Rationale:  As students read and become better readers, it is important for them to know how to gain meaning and what the story is about.  Comprehension is a difficult task to grasp, because beginning readers are caught up in knowing and understanding what words mean and how to pronounce them correctly.  Comprehension is a strategy that is developed throughout reading.  It is important for students to feel comfortable reading and know how to use decoding strategies in order to build a vocabulary that helps them comprehend what is read.  Comprehension strategies are learned through watching others model and learning through practicing.  Summarizing is also a helpful strategy to gain comprehensive strategies, and through students knowing how to summarize they are learning what the most important information from the reading is.  Through a smaller text students can read through it once and read through it over and over to gain the important information and to understand what is important, and hopefully their reading will become easier. 

 

Materials:

        -Chart paper

- Markers

 
- Copies of short article for each student: Feeling the Heat by: Kathryn R. Satterfield
 
    
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/wr/article/0,27972,157507,00.html (text is provided below
     from this article)

        - Pencils and paper

 

Procedure:

        1) I will begin explaining to the students, “You are going to begin an activity that will help show you how to pick out the important facts from what you read.  Can anyone tell me what the word is that you use when you pick out important information out of the text that you are reading?”  (Summarize/summary)  “Has anyone ever written a summary, or summarized what they had read?”  “Why is summarizing important?” (Helps for us, as readers, to determine what the important information is and what is not important)  “Summarizing what you have read is a technique that will help you to comprehend what has been read?  Summarizing takes a lot of practice and I am going to model for you reading a short paragraph from an article that we are going to look more at a little later, and we are going to think out loud so that everyone can get a good understanding and will feel comfortable when it is your turn to summarize on your own.”
 
        2) I will then go on to read a few paragraphs of the article, and on the chart paper will go back over what I have read and pull out all of the important facts to show the students how to pull out important facts from the text.  By having me write on the chart paper my thoughts, interactive writing will be taking place, to help the students understand my thought process.  As I am writing I will be saying it aloud so that the students are able to understand questions that they should be asking themselves after reading.  “What was the topic that is being discussed within these few paragraphs? Is there a problem in this article that is of importance or any questions that we need to ask to further our knowledge on this particular subject? What information can be tossed out that is irrelevant to my summary?”  These are a few questions I may ask myself in front of the students so that they can get an understanding of what it means to take out important facts/information out from text.  Here is an example from the article:

“Polar bears thrive environments too harsh for most animals. For much of the year, they live and hunt on the frozen Arctic sea ice. Nature has prepared the
    for the harsh conditions. But nothing has prepared the bears for the danger that threatens the only home they know.”

Questions:
                - What type of environments do polar bears live in?
                - Where do they live?  Where do they hunt for food?

 
        3) After I have modeled for the students the way about going through articles, I will pass out an article to each student.  Each student will have a pencil and paper.  I don’t want to hand out highlighters, because the students may get wrapped up in highlighting everything.  The paper and pencil will come in to effect after reading the article a few times.  The first time I am going to have the students read the article out loud as a whole group.  Then I am going to break them up into reading partners and have them partner read to each other.  Finally, they will read the article individually to themselves.  After, reading the article to them, the students will pick out important information from the article and will document their findings on their paper.  The students will then get into their reading partners, and will exchange their important findings from the article.  I also want the students to share their techniques with each other, and the types of questions they asked themselves.  By working in partners, I think that students can share what they believe to be important and what techniques they have found that are most effective.  Students listen to other students, and listen to their words with great value because they can put it into terms and can sometimes explain things that are misunderstood better by discussing with peers.

        4) After the students have met with their partner, they will come and write their findings on a piece of chart paper.  It will be important for the students to read over what previous students have written so that no information is repeated.  By the end, we should have a wonderful summary that the students have created.  By having the students do this together, a community is begin built and the students feel confident sharing their work with others because they are helping each other. 

 
Assessment:  The students could be assessed through taking a test provided on an article that is read.  I could also assess doing individual assessments.  The students could come and read an article, and I could provide oral questions to see if they understand the important information from the text.


References:

 

Redd, Jennifer.  What’s the Point.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/reddrl.html

 

        Satterfield, Kathryn R. Feeling the Heat. Time for Kids. Vol. 12 Iss. 14. January 12,

                2007. 

 

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