Monday, 8 October 2012

Skeleton Creek & Reading Comprehension

As part of the reading curriculum, we are pursuing this learning goal: identify and use a wide variety of reading comprehension strategies. 

I have posted on the wall a wide variety of reading comprehension strategies. Recently, I added CASI type questions to the list.

On a regular basis, students individually read their chosen novels and then pull out their reader notebooks to try one of these strategies. Then we share and discuss them as a class!

I am so lucky to have a class full of avid readers! They love to read and discuss books, just as I do, so this time of day is pure pleasure. In the context of this discussion, we also typically examine a variety of book covers (as a form of do they promote the book? What inferences can be made about the book based on the images and text on the cover, etc?). The tricky part is knowing when to stop this 'book talk', or we risk running out of time for anything else!

To further model the various comprehension approaches, we are also in the midst of a class read aloud. We are reading SKELETON CREEK, a very spooky mystery story by Patrick Carman that also includes media footage to complement the text (in the form of Sarah's on-line videos that you access via a password protected website).

I read a section aloud and then students again turn to their readers notebooks to try out a strategy. This time we do the same strategy and we again discuss our responses. I complete my version on the board to show, for example, how I might make a prediction, an inference, define and prove character traits, etc. This is a good way for me to model the strategy, so students get a sense of what an effective response looks like.  I often accompany my version with a 'think aloud', sharing my thought process on how I approached the strategy and the text, etc.

To find out more about Skeleton Creek, click HERE.

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