Rationale: As our grade 8 students prepare to transition into highschool, we have been working collectively to improve student independence, especially with regards to language arts, specifically, reading comprehension strategies. Several of our students read with a high rate of accuracy, but with limited comprehension. While Britteny’s comprehension is relatively average (actually a strength for her), her focus is lacking. This technique of teaching in an I do- we do- you do format, seems to be helpful in keeping her focused and on task, as it allows her to assume a leadership role.
Topic: Applying Reading Comprehension Strategies to Short Stories
Time: 60 mins
Materials: Short Story: Beyond the Tower Walls by Marci Redenda-Wentern, Task cards, student scripts for peer teaching
ILOs: Students will apply four comprehension strategies to the given passage. (Predict, Question, ...view middle of the document...
Predict: What do you think will happen next?
6. Why do you think so?
7. Summarize: What was the main idea of this part of the story?
8. What were the three most important things that happened?
Read part two of the story and repeat the above questions. Repeat again if necessary, until you feel confident that students understand the process. Explain that these strategies are used by good readers to help them understand what they read to the greatest extent possible.
Divide whatever remains of the story into 5 logical parts. Choose ten students as “readers” and provide them with their script, explaining that each of them will be responsible for reading half of their given part. The remaining students will be divided into four groups by randomly handing out task cards (card stock with the 4 focused comprehension strategies written on them). Each task card will have a number that corresponds with the reading parts of the other students (#1-5). Students take turns reading, and then the student with the corresponding card for that part ( i.e. predicting #1) would answer the question for that part of the story. Allow students to discuss answers and agree or disagree. This transfers the responsibility to the students after modeling the process, through co-operative learning. Eventually, the students will lead the process and the discussion around the material, with the teacher supporting only as needed, redirecting as necessary, or guiding students towards difficult answers.
Complete the lesson with a final recap of the full story. Have students volunteer to be “leaders” in each of the four comprehension categories. Have them answer the scripted questions for the story as a whole. Finally, have a brief discussion about informed learning. How did they use and apply the scaffolded technique to help them understand the story? Did they find it useful or detrimental to be put in the role of a teacher?
Assessment: During the independent, student-led part of the lesson, circulate through the room and look for evidence of students applying the questioning strategies and metacognition. Are they thinking about why they are using each strategy? Are they connecting the strategies to becoming a better reader? Are they on task? Engaged?