Monday, April 2, 2012

Comparisons, Writing About Our Reading, & Students as Teachers!

Our mini-lesson in reading today was how comparisons are used in many non-fiction texts to help us visualize something by comparing it to a familiar object. One sign that you might find a comparison is when you see a picture of something in a text that, at first glance, seems really out of place. Chances are the author is going to use a comparison to help you understand at a deeper level! I copied two samples from Zoobook magazines to use as my mentor texts for this lesson. I recorded the non-fiction topic, the comparison language, and the familiar object.
 For guided practice, I copied another page from a Zoobook magazine on kangaroos that had a comparison. Students recorded the non-fiction topic, the comparison language, and the familiar object in the genre learning tab of their Thoughtful Logs. In the guided practice text below, you'll see that one kangaroo jumped 44 feet which is almost the length of a school bus!
Guided practice allows all students to practice the strategy in a close proximity to a teacher.
Students returned to their desks to do a little more independent work with comparisons. I handed out a Zoobook magazine to each student and told them to skim and scan for more comparisons and to record examples they found. This student scanned his magazine on deer and thought that a man with big muscles seemed kind out of place, so he knew the author was probably making a comparison!

Here is what he recorded in his Thoughtful Log as proof that he could independently identify a comparison in a non-fiction text.

Did you know tigers' faces are like our fingerprints? No two tiger faces are identical, just like no two fingerprints are exactly the same!

We also read the book Hungry, Hungry Sharks as a mentor text for comparisons. Students glued the following chart into their Thoughtful Logs to anchor their learning.

 As students listened, they recorded the comparisons they heard!
Here are some examples of comparisons this reader found during independent reading:
 Here are more comparisons one reader found in a variety of Zoobook magazines!

In one of our guided reading groups, we have been discussing how we can learn important lessons from characters in texts we read. Today was Phase 2 for one of my groups. In Phase 2, students respond in writing to a deeper-level prompt using the text we read the day before.

We learn that providing evidence from the text is an effective way to support your answer. I love it when I see students doing exactly what Natasha is doing below!

Here is what one student wrote in response to the writing prompt:
Here is what another student wrote:
Last week in Social Studies, I decided to flip flop roles with my students. I made THEM the teachers! I divided Chapter 1 of our immigrant textbook into 8 sections and created graphic organizers for each of the 8 sections to help guide students to pull out the most important information. After reading their assigned pages, they were to fill out their graphic organizer overhead to communicate what they learned. (It's amazing what a transparency and Vis a Vis marker can do to motivate kids!) Students had to share writing responsibilities, in addition to assigning which member of the group would 'teach' each piece of information to the class. Here are a few examples of some of the overheads. I encouraged students to refer to page numbers in our text as they presented to help give us visuals to deepen our understanding!

 Today it was time for students to teach the important information they read. I gave each group member a pointer to use, too, so they would feel even more like teachers!
After each group presented, we created an anchor chart of our learning. We discussed who immigrants were, where they came from, and why they wanted to come to America! In this activity, students were definitely in charge of their own learning.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to say that its very good informative post...Its really help for students and teachers...This is very good eduction for graphic organizers...Thanks for this blog...
    Graphic Organizers