Literacy Retreat 2013
Thinking Beyond the Text
Introduce your students to their Reading Voices & Thinking Voices
Introduce your students to their Reading Voices & Thinking Voices using this caricature.
After introducing your students to the “voices” in their heads, consider referencing them during future lesson by holding up the extra-large signs printed on card stock and attached to wooden paint sticks.
RETELLING KEY DETAILS
Target key details with the 5 Ws (Who, Where/When, What, and Why) icon cards with inferential questions on the back. Use the 5Ws of Ideas and Concepts (Smart Board version) to document key details while reading.
Use key words to do retelling. Use the index for informational text or pick key vocabulary words from narrative text. Make instant flashcards at kitzkikz.com so students can sort the words into groups that naturally go together.
Use the retelling gloves as a reminder to prompt students to include all important elements when retelling a passage.
DEFINE CHARACTER FEELINGS AND TRAITS
Manyak created a list of recommended traits to teach at each grade level in elementary school.
Genia Connell blogs about introducing traits to students by brainstorming character traits and applying traits to their own personalities.
Sometimes character traits include vocabulary that is unfamiliar to students. Help them to learn this more sophisticated language of traits by incorporating the Tracking Characters Trait Chart.
Many teachers love Melanie Beaver’s idea of the Crafty Creamer Characters. Melanie had her West Vigo Middle School (Terre Haute, IN) students decorate the outside of the containers to represent the physical descriptions of characters from their texts. Then, in the inside of the containers, they included direct quotes and evidence from the text to define the character traits of each person.
The Character Web also requires students to infer character traits and personality, while citing textual evidence to support their claim.
The Character Change Chart tracks one character’s response to the crisis in the passage. Students think about the lesson learned by the character. View an example of “The Third Wish” Character Change Chart.
Analyze characters from a variety of texts with similar traits.
SCAFFOLD THE INTERPRETATION OF THEME
Since you can’t teach theme with one book alone, build background knowledge of morals or lessons with fables and books used for character traits.
- Aesop’s Fables, J. Pinkney
- The Lion and the Mouse, J. Pinkney
- Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes, M. Palatini
- The Race of the Century, B. Downard
- Too Tall Houses, G. Marino
Make a billboard to reflect the author’s message of the passage. Add a statement, picture, and choose a value (trait) as the message.
Grow a theME board throughout the year highlighting the Author’s Message from significant texts.
If you are a Kindle user, see the most popular highlights for one of your Kindle e-books to determine a theme.
Move up the scaffold of determining the Author’s Message using The Heart of the Story icon.
Students infer the message the author teaches with the theME foldable.
Books used as examples in the session:
Fly Away Home, E. Bunting
Henry’s Freedom Box, E. Levine
Fist Stick Knife Gun, G. Canada
Divergent, V. Roth
Wonder, R. J. Palacio