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Literacy Retreat 2015


Achieving Complex Thinking During Reading

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (1997) is broken into four categories. Each of the four levels reflects a different degree of cognitive expectation, or depth of knowledge, required to complete a task.

Chart Sense is a fabulous new resource of reading mini-lessons organized by the standards and each lesson includes a suggested anchor chart.

Here is the video for Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.”

Here are the full lyrics for Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.”

Sort the cut-apart lyrics based on the claim: This song is motivational.

From Glenda Ferguson, fourth grade teacher at Burris Elementary (Mitchell, IN)

“I just finished two days of using the Author’s Evidence lesson plus the evidence bags from the Literacy Conference. Our reading theme was ‘teamwork,’ the target skill was drawing conclusions, and we read several passages. We took the quote from Helen Keller:  ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’

I typed up dialogue and page numbers from the characters in the texts and cut them into strips. Groups of students had several lines of dialogue from one of the characters plus the “Finding Author Evidence” handout (which is so great, by the way) to record the page number, evidence, and explanation of evidence.  We had such great discussions about: Was there enough evidence from the character’s dialogue to proof the quote? We also noticed how the author wrote the dialogue for some of the characters in a ‘non-teamwork’ manner. Thanks again for creating practical and meaningful lessons for my classroom!”

  • [Grades 5-12] Present a variety of evidence gathered through reading and research. This should come in the form of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • For additional resources and strategies tied to citing textual evidence–check out the archived articles in our Idea Library. The most relevant include:
    • Constructed responses require textual evidence.
    • Motivate students to flip/scroll back through the text to find evidence.
    • Brief constructed responses include an inference supported by textual evidence.
    • The Yes MA’AM strategy can be adapted to fit the requirements of an extended reading response, as well.
    • Reveal the five steps to paraphrasing an author’s idea.
    • Return to anticipation guides used before reading and assess what details in the text confirmed or contradicted their initial choices.
  • Retell the actions of a single character in order. Then ask Who am I?
  • Track Character Evolution throughout the text. Here are examples for Mean Jean from The Recess Queen and Vashti from The Dot.
  • Track how inviduals/events/ideas interact with each other with the Interaction Tracker. (There is a two-layer and a three-layer version.) Here’s an example of a HS social studies version that tracked simultaneous events happening in the same time period during the Viet Nam War.
  • For additional resources and strategies tied to tracking interactions across a text–check out the archived articles in our Idea Library. The most relevant include:
    • WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, & WHY: When there are numerous names, dates, and places to sort through, the 5 Ws template can be helpful for nutshell summaries (e.g., significant explorers). For those with interactive whiteboards, here are Notebook versions appropriate for informational text and literature.
    • RELATIONSHIPS: After tracking the 5 Ws of a section in the text, have them determine the connection between the previous section and the next one using this template. (Here is an example based on a textbook chapter on the Middle Colonies.)
    • DIGITAL TIMELINES: Using the myHistro website (or the app), you can combine maps and timelines seamlessly into one great presentation. What a great way for students to mash-up text, video, and photos. (Numerous examples are available on the website.)