Tag Archives: informational text

New York – Then and Now: Compare and Contrast #CCSS Lesson Idea


I believe in the power of bundling the CCSS Anchor Standards so I was quite happy to purchase this book at the New York Public Library while in New York for the #TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes.

NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved the content immediately as each page had a picture and a text block.  The organization was also easy as each two page spread had the “then” picture on the left page and the “now”picture directly opposite it on the right page. My mind took me straight to compare and contrast with “visuals” and texts.

We will begin with the front cover.  The book will be displayed via the document camera.  Each partner group will also have the picture.  The partners will have some time to study the picture and record the things that they know and those things that they wonder.  After all groups have had time to talk and record their notes, we will record their thoughts on chart paper or on a google doc on the screen.  Students will be well aware of the power of “…and the evidence of that is. . .?” as they listen, question, and challenge each other’s thinking.  Each partner groups will then develop a draft theory about this book and its contents.

Inquiry will continue with this picture (text folded under at first).

liberty then

 

So, here’s the first draft of my plan for grades 3-5.  We are going to use the “Know” and “Wonder” chart idea from What Readers Really Do especially now that I have met both authors, Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton.  We will begin with the picture only.  Then after all partner groups have several “Knows and Wonders” recorded privately, I will read the text under the picture.  Students will be encouraged to study the text as well.  They will add textual evidence in a different color of ink as the partner groups continue to add to their “Know/ Wonder” thinking.   Before the next picture is added, students will be encouraged to consider whether their draft theory is still holding up or whether it needs to be revised.

 

Similarly, picture 3, partners recording “Know and Wonder”

liberty now

After partner groups have recorded their Know and Wonders from the picture, the text below Lady Liberty, and from class discussion, we will continue to explore whether our theories still hold true.

 

Similar process for another pair of pictures  . . .

square then

square now

 

After working with these two pictures, students will pair square so that each set of two partners will be matched up with another set.  As a group of four, they will discuss their “Knows, Wonders” and patterns and theories.

 

On the next day the quad groups will again discuss whether they have additional “knows and wonders” to add, clarify, or restate.  Time will also be allocated to add, clarify or restate patterns and theories as well.  Partners will be encouraged to take a different set of “then” and “now” photos and continue to test their theories and patterns as well as answer questions that have arisen.

 

How will this work align with the CCSS ELA Reading Anchor Standards ?

The following list of CCSS ELA Anchor Standards could possibly be included in this study.

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3
Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Do you agree with these possible standards? Disagree?  What would you add to this instructional sequence?
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Close Reading Informational Text? Absolutely!


Back in March, I addressed the topic, “How do I choose text for Close Reading?”   After my “close reading” as a part of this blog-a-thon,  I am comforted by the knowledge that my thinking just six short months ago was not “totally wrong!”  However, I continue to admit that my learning experiences at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project have changed many of my perceptions about literacy learning, specifically the grade level expectations for reading and writing under the Common Core/Iowa Core! This is all a work in progress and is often messy!

I believe that students and teachers must use informational text for close reading as described by Chris Lehman in post # 5 here.  The substance of “instruction” for that close reading will depend on the grade level reading standards for informational text.  In other words, the lens for “patterns” could include any of the reading anchor standards, but the ones I am currently considering for lesson development include:  vocabulary (# 4), point of view (# 6), argument (# 7) and multiple texts (# 9).  Are these more important?  No, but they are ones that I feel a need to explore to build my own knowledge and skill via some “extra practice.”

The “evidence” that I am using to support my claim is from the Core documents and includes the percentages of informational  text reading across the day for all grades as well as the percentages of informational/explanatory writing across the day.  Those are detailed in the following two charts.  Do they look familiar?

Range of Text for Reading:

Image

Range of Text for  Writing:

Image

When will students and teachers work on close reading?

It depends. Much of the informational text instruction may begin in ELA, Science and Social Studies (but probably not all) in the upper grades.  Students will benefit from learning from the “content experts” whose expertise will guide the focus to read and understand like scientists and historians. Some districts and staff may find it “easy” to have staff work collaboratively to address close reading in a variety of content areas including “Technical Content.”  However, starting with a small core group studying and considering thoughtful applications of close reading as well as possible pitfalls will help provide coordination for the student learning environment (so students will not be “close reading” every period every day!)

What length of text will be used?

It depends.  Many of the beginning texts will be short pieces.  However, some full texts will be considered through the use of “Know – Wonder” charts like the one used for Because of Winn-Dixie as described by Vicki Vinton here. Longer pieces of informational text will also be considered if they meet the instructional purposes.  Varying lengths of material were supported by Doug Fisher here because they do allow the reader to become the “fifth corner” as proposed by Kate Roberts because the goal is “understanding what the author is saying and then comparing that with our own experiences and beliefs” (p.108).  We also remember that our goal is that our students will BE readers and writers (not just read and write)!

How is text defined?

Text types are evolving.  Texts are no longer limited to passages with words, sentences, and paragraphs.  What are the texts that will be part of “reading” for students for the rest of their lives?  It is hard to predict the “form” for future texts. The following forms will be considered for close reading:  artwork, video, commercials, pictures, signs, songs, magazines, digital sources AND books! (and examples of student and teacher writing)

Does this match your picture of “close reading of informational text?”  What would you do differently?

close reading button

Buyer Beware: Common Core Resources


“CCR.ELA Anchor Standard for Reading Informational Text #9 (K-12)
Analyze how two or more texts address themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.”

“CCR.ELA Anchor Standard for Writing #8 (K-12)
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.”

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When you are looking for resources, how do you determine which resources are relevant, accurate, and appropriate? (And by extension, how do you “teach” those skills to your students?)

Just because the label says “Common Core,” it doesn’t mean that it really is the Common Core.  How do you know?  Check for the icon that represents Common Core.  Check  reputable sources. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!  Be careful out there!

In the beginning, consider these primary sources:

Possible Secondary Sources from ASCD:

10 Additional Resources to Consider

To find out more about what Common Core will mean for your teachers and students, follow these links.  (How will you decide which ones meet your needs?)

  1. The Common Core Standards in kid-friendly terms (handy if you need to post standards or “I can” statements) In English and Spanish from our friends in California.
  2. Common Core Standards AppThis iPhone application (it is also available for Android) lets teachers keep essential information about Common Core at their fingertips.
  3. The Teaching Channel – 100 videos about the Common Core Many are excellent and range from broad topics to specific lesson plans based on standards.
  4. P21 Toolkit for the Common Core  – A Guide for Aligning the CCSS with the Framework for 21st Century Skills is available here.
  5. achieve.org – Additional resources for implementation of the Common Core.
  6. CCSSI WikiOne simple way to learn more about the CCSSI is to visit the program’s Wikipedia page, which is packed with useful information on the subject.
  7. Common Core WorkbookUse this workbook from Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute to help guide the Common Core implementation process at your school.
  8. Bi-Weekly Newsletter from the Chief Council of Officers Useful information about all things Common Core and includes a free tool to evaluate CCSS text (registration required).
  9. Common Core State Standards for School Leaders  A Scoop.it! site that is filled with resources compiled from around the web.
  10. CommonCore.org:  Here you’ll find an organization dedicated to ensuring that the Common Core is about more than just reading and math, instead promoting a well-rounded education that includes reading literature, studying culture, and engaging with the arts. 

The promise of increased student learning through the implementation of the Common Core Standards will depend upon the decisions that you make about the resources that you consult on a regular basis.  

Is the most reliable and valid information available from a Google search?  

What other resources do you use for your information about the Common Core?  

Please comment below if you have additional resources that you believe I should add!

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