It’s a Hunt!

 

Brittney Garnett

Reading to Learn

Rationale: Comprehension is the key to reading. Young students should be taught at an early age what it means to read. It is not just reading words, it’s the concept of what a story, newspaper, magazine, or journal is telling about. There are so many fun and knowledgeable activities that are used every day to teach young students how to comprehend what they are reading about. One of those great activities that students can do while reading and/or after they have read silently is respond to questions that will help them understand what the story is about such as asking what, how, and why. This is what I call going on a hunt. Students must know when completing this activity they must hunt for facts that are most important from the story. They should learn to skip the extras and get to the main idea of the story. It’s like hunting for that big buck (the big idea).

 

Materials: From Tadpole to Frog (Lifecycles) by: David Evelyn Stewart, 1998; paper; pencils, dry-erase board, dry-erase markers, pictures of a frog lifecycle:  http://www.hometrainingtools.com/misc/FrogLifeCycle.jpg , and http://letzhop.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/02920life20cycle20of20a20frog.jpg


Procedure:

1. Today class we are going to learn how to ask questions as we read. Does anybody know what it means to ask a question? It means a request for information. So when we ask questions today during our reading and after we will be looking for information from the book to help us learn about frogs. Ask something like, “what are frogs called when they are babies?” or “how does the lifecycle of a frog work?” Questions will start with “what”, “how”, and “why.” I would like for you to start silently reading From Tadpole to Frog (Lifecycles). As you read ask yourself what is this story about, how is it going to end, and why are things happening the way they are happening. These questions will help you comprehend the story you are reading about.


2. Explain that when you ask questions you want to pick out the facts that are important to the text and find the main idea of what you have read. Go over the questioning rules:
1. Find the important events in the story and use keywords to help you remember them.
2. Get rid of information that is not important such as things that could be left out of the story.
3. List events in order of which they took place.
4. Sum up the story in one topic sentence.
Now that you know some of the questioning rules, we are going to read a paragraph together and come up with some questions that will help us to learn what we just read.
Now on your own read silently, come up with questions to summarize your hunt of what you read. Remember use your questioning rules.


3. After students have read go over some things with them on the board and maybe show them a picture or two about a frog’s lifecycle that will also help them to remember what the story was about. Visualization is also a key to reading especially with young children. I would start by looking for the most important ideas from the book. Use a sample passage, read it to them, and summarize it out loud for them to hear. Then, by using the book as a guide, I would go back and write down all of the important ideas that I found.


4.  A very good strategy for helping you to answer questions is using a KWL chart that compares what you know, what you want to know, and what you have learned.  Draw a KWL chart on the board and model how, for example, complete the first column with students asking them what they already know about frogs. Then, complete the second column asking students what they want to know about frogs. Finally, complete the last column answering what they have learned from reading the book. Then ask them to come up with their own KWL chart after they have read another passage. Then, have them write down a summary of what they have read.


5. Assessment: Collect both the KWL charts and the summaries and check to see that they have used both the KWL chart and the passage to write their summary. Also you can use one of the picture sheets that were used earlier in the lesson to show the lifecycle of a frog. You can white out the answers of the terms used and test the student’s knowledge of what they read in the book you can have them fill in the missing steps to a lifecycle of a frog. I would prefer the picture,
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/misc/FrogLifeCycle.jpg.


References:
Pressley, M., Johnson, C.J., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J.A., & Kurity, J.A. (1989). Strategies that improve childrens memory and comprehension of text. The Elementary School Journal, 90, 3-32.
Holt Science. Rinehart and Winston, Inc. 1989.

Brewer, Blair. “Summarize This!”
http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/insights/brewerrl.html

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