I was in Emily Smith’s Advance Reading Session at the July Reading Institute!!
The topic was Nonfiction Book Clubs, specifically the skills of Synthesis, Comparison and Perspective. Each day, Emily modeled for us through a read-aloud using this book:
Then I was in a book club with 2 others, reading about Earthquakes. My book was:
A very useful tool she modeled during the read-aloud with us was using a Vocabulary Word Bank . It looked like this:
“Turn and tell your club members the meaning of any of the words you know.”
She did a shared reading of one part of the book and asked us to tell our group which are the POP OUT SENTENCE or MAIN IDEA SENTENCE and which seems more DETAIL SENTENCES. As she read, she got us to think about what weather is and if all our book club books are related to weather (the other club topics were tornado, hurricane, and volcanoes). Soon our club figured out together that weather only happens in the air so earthquakes are NOT weather.
The last tool she had us try was to listen to a complicated description from the book. Then liten a 2nd time ans SKETCH it. Because I listened and listened again and visualized a sketch, I really got the part of the book about how the sun interacts with the light and moving air to create weather. Here’s my sketch that I used to teach my club my idea after hearing the passage read twice:
Then Emily sent us off to do this kind of work in our book.
What vocabulary words need to be in a bank to help us talk about our book in our club?
What are the Main Idea Sentences and the Detail Sentences?
What text structure is being used to organize the information?
What parts might a sketch help the reader to hold onto the information to then teach it to their club?
Questions to Think About When Planning a NF Read-aloud:
* Think about the skill you want to model (visualize, synthesis, main idea/detail)?
* What tool might help (vocab word bank / a map / a timeline / a ranking system)?
* What is the teaching point and how will you teach (think-aloud, prompt for turn and talks or stop and jots)?
* When will you have kids have a conversation (w/partner, club or whole group)?
Emily introduced us to the Reading Pathway Learning Progressions. She described them as tiny steps within the skills used to read fiction and nonfiction. The 2 sets of skills are divided into:
1. Literal Comprehension (word work, vocab, fluency, and main idea)
2. Interpretive Comprehension (cross text synthesis / compare and contrast)
3. Analytical Comprehension (perspective / growing ideas)
To get a felt sense of the progression, she prompted me to write a summary.
Then I placed it on the SUMMARY PROGRESSION page:
and my club discussed if it was a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grade summary. We decided mine was a 3rd grade summary because it has a main idea with details but does not use the structure of the piece to grasp the info (4th grade work). Emily pointed out that writing about reading can be annotated using the characteristics stated in the progressions. Time can be spent to revise our written comprehension to lift the level of our reading skills.
These Learning Progressions:
* create a vision for what is possible for teaching as the skills are named, grade by grade
* clearly can see what the next steps are in order to raise the level of a reader’s comprehension
* clearly can see ALL the many skills that go into this task called reading
Synthesis – to create something new, new understanding, from the parts.
Ask – How do these parts fit together?
Emily suggested that we read with a different lens and then discuss our thinking with our book club.
Just as we read fiction by paying attention to characters, setting and theme, she reminded us that we can read nonfiction with these lenses:
* setting (geography)
* events (cause/effect)
* sequence / timeline
I chose SEQUENCE/ TIMELINE and reread my Earthquake book, almost skimming to find DATES and I took notes, adding what I read to a timeline. It looks like this: