Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nonfiction Text: Culminating Lesson

So, this year we've hit nonfiction text hard! My fourth grade students have become experts at identifying text features, and using reading strategies to better understand the text. Our school went through a training on Learning Focused Schools. One of the things we continue to do in our lessons is give the students essential and key questions. This lets my students know what they should be able to do after completing the lesson. Because of this, I created some EQ posters to display in my room as we work through the lessons. Click on the picture below for your free copy. The amazing border is compliments of The 3 AM Teacher.

For the rest of the school year, we'll be reading different nonfiction text to put together some of the reading strategies we've learned this year. I want to show my students that all of our reading strategies flow together to help us understand text, we don't just use them in isolation. To do this I found an amazing graphic organizer from fcrr.org (Florida Center for Reading Research).

This flow chart is really great for showing kids how to find main idea and details, find the most important information, a summarize their findings. We've mostly been using our social studies text to practice our skills as we have such little time left in the year and 5 regions of the United States to discover.

However, I also teach a separate reading clinic during the day where all of our students go into different learning communities to get the specified instruction that best meets their reading ability. I have a group of on level learners that just need some extra practice to hone their skills. I wanted to find another nonfiction resource to help them further practice these skills.
So ... I decided to use Ranger Rick. I LOVE this magazine and have subscribed to it for a few years now. For our first few lessons, I chose an article about different types of bird nests.
The students filled in the title, "Master Builders" in the top circle. Then, they filled in each type of next in the boxes below. 

As small groups, they read about each type of bird nest and recorded the important information.

Tomorrow we will talk together about summarizing what we've learned. We will compare and contrast the types of bird nests to see what they have in common, and where they have differences. Their similarities will help the students decide how to summarize what they've learned about bird nests as a whole. Hopefully these lessons will help solidify the learning we've done this year.

How do you help students navigate nonfiction?

I'm curious if anyone else has ideas on how to sum up reading lessons taught throughout the year.

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