minutes to copy/assemble packets. Group desks into groups of
4 and label each desk with a 1, 2, 3, & 4.
set of 5 new sample “texts”,
including a map, a diagram, a chart of scientific data, and a
history article. Assemble these into packets. Sticky notes labeled
1, 2, 3, & 4.
this final lesson for week 1, students should have
a rudimentary arsenal of reading strategies
that will help them become more proficient readers.
This lesson will allow students to look at documents
not commonly thought of as “texts”, but
which nevertheless contain readable information, which
they need to be able to process. Students will have
the opportunity to apply what they have leaned in the
previous week to these new documents and explore how
the same strategies might be used with these new “texts”.
Purpose – This lesson is designed to allow
students to apply the reading strategies they have
in a slightly different context.
Students will be able to:
1. Interpret a map, a diagram, a scientific chart,
and a historical text.
2. Identify reading strategies used to interpret
National English Education Standard
Students apply a wide
range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate,
and appreciate texts. They draw upon their prior experience,
their interactions with other readers and writers, their
knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word
identification strategies, and also their understanding
of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence,
sentence structure, context, graphics).
See Reading for Understanding
Related and Resource Websites
See the following websites for sample “texts” that
can be used with this lesson:
A map – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/maps/
A diagram – http://www.origami.com/pdf/mushroom.pdf
A scientific chart – http://www.ilog.com/products/jviews/charts/scientific.htm or
A historical article – http://www.history-magazine.com/arsenic.html
1. Before students arrive, write the question of the
day on the board: “What is a text”? When students arrive,
give them a few minutes to think about and write down an answer
to this question, encouraging them to be as detailed as possible.
When everyone has finished, ask for some students to share
their ideas. Some might say, “Anything with words” or “A
thing you can read”, which are both good answers. Explain
to the class that a text is a general term for anything that
communicates using written language.
2. Point out a map in the classroom or in their packets, and
ask the whole class, “Would you normally call this document
a text?” Most will probably respond “no”.
Ask them “What is this traditionally called”? Explain
to the class that even though the document is a map, in many
ways it can be read like a book. For instance, just as you
read the title of a chapter, you will need to read the map
heading or title to know what location it is referencing. Just
as you might come across unfamiliar vocabulary in a newspaper
article, you may need to look up unfamiliar words used on a
map. Tell the class that each one of the documents they will
be looking at today can be considered a kind of text and can
be read successfully using the same reading strategies that
are used for understanding traditional texts.
3. Have students break into groups of 4 and explain to them
that they are going to practice using reading strategies in
a slightly different context today. Once students are separated
into groups, tell them to find the sticky note attached to
their desk with a number on it. These numbers correspond to
their various roles within their groups (groups of three will
have a team member who assumes two roles):
- 1’s will help their teammates observe
and identify familiar
parts of the text.
- 2’s will help their teammates ask
questions about the
- 3’s will help their teammates clarify
answers to the
questions that have been raised.
- 4’s will help their teammates summarize the group’s
team members will have a minute to look at each
text before assuming their roles and facilitating
in the discussions
number order, 1’s first, 2’s second, etc.). Emphasize
to the students that each role is a facilitative one; meaning
that they must encourage all their team members to participate.
A student in the number 1 role might ask each team member: “What
do you notice about this text? Are there any parts that look
familiar to you?” A student in the number 2 role might
ask each team member: “What questions do you have about
this text? Is there anything that you see that is confusing
to you?” A student in the number 3 role might ask: “Can
you answer any of the questions we have posed so far? How can
we find answers to our questions?” Allow each group about
8 minutes to examine and analyze each document. The summarizers
will also act as recorders, jotting down notes about their
4. After the class has spent about 8 minutes
on a document, stop the analysis and have
their group’s findings and interpretation
of the information in the document to the
whole class. Allow perhaps 2 minutes
for each group to present their summaries,
and then move on to the next document.
This cycle should take about 45-50 minutes,
so groups will have to work quickly. If
necessary the lesson
may be wrapped up on a second day.
Come back together as a whole class to identify and discuss
the reading strategies most commonly used to comprehend each
of the texts examined in groups. A list of these common strategies
might be written on the board to reinforce these concepts.
write one or two paragraphs comparing and contrasting the strategies
needed to comprehend a scientific chart versus a literary text.
Students may be assessed during their group work and presentations.
Since the goal of this lesson is to apply some of the reading
strategies they have learned, remind students to look back
at their notes taken the previous day. Be sure that all students
are attempting to use strategies such as observation, chunking,
questioning, and clarifying.