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How-To: Teach Literacy Instruction and Teacher Collaboration

Non-Fiction Reading: Grade 3
Sarah Picard

Goals:

  • To understand purposes for reading non-fiction: because the reader is curious about learning something new or on a quest to answer a given question
  • To understand how to use the features of non-fiction text (table of contents, index, headings, subheadings)
  • To be able to retell nonfiction text in small chunks
  • To be able to decode and understand new vocabulary from self-selected and guided reading group (or lit circle) non-fiction text

Text to Use:
Time for Kids
articles, Gail Gibbons non-fiction picture books, Ranger Rick Magazine.

Assessments: Running records, conference notes, and jottings that go in reading response notebook.

Part One: Readers are curious

Day 1: Finding non-fiction books: I came to choose this book for my independent reading because I was curious about _________________.

Part Two: When I read non-fiction text I am on a quest to find out the answers to my questions. Then I retell them in small chunks.

Day 2: When I read non-fiction I read it in small chunks and stop often to retell what I am learning to myself.

Day 3: Sometimes I stop and jot what I am learning in the margin or on a post-it note

Day 4: When I stop and jot, I only write down the meat, sometimes just key words.

Part Three: Understanding how the structure of non-fiction text helps you understand and retell what you are reading.

Day 5: (Time for Kids feature articles) Titles and subtitles help you decide where the small chunks start and stop. Make sure you stop and think (jot) at the end of each section that is created by the subtitles.

Day 6: (Gail Gibbons Text) Tables of contents and/or page headings in non-fiction books help you understand where the small chunks start and stop. Make sure you stop and think (jot) at the end of each page break that is created by the subtitles.

Day 7: Writers put information in small chunks called paragraphs. Paragraphs are structured with a main idea and supporting details so you can understand what you are reading. Summarize each paragraph as you read so you can understand what you are reading.

Day 8: Sometimes main ideas support an idea, position, or opinion. Read to find out if the author has an opinion s/he is trying to support.

Part Four: Continuing the conversation about text structure and going back to purpose in Part One.

Day 9: Sometimes when I read about a topic, I start to wonder more about it. I start to ask a lot of questions. I often jot these questions in the margin as I read. Sometimes my questions are answered as I read on, and sometimes they are not.

Day 10: Looking for answers to my question. I search for other text about this topic in the classroom library and in the school library (ask the school librarian to teach card catalog skills, looking text up on the Internet, etc.).

Day 11: When I search for new text about my topic, I often use the index to find out if my questions can be answered.

Day 12: I might need to read a map to find more information about my topic. (Use feature articles in Time for Kids.)

Day 13: Maps (cont.'d) (Use feature articles in Time for Kids.)


Day 14: I might need to read a graph to get more information about my topic. (Use feature articles in Time for Kids.)

Day 15: I read the captions that go with the pictures to get more information about the text. (Use feature articles in Time for Kids.)

Day 16: I use the glossary to find out what tricky words mean.

This could be Part Five: Reading and understanding tricky words.
Guided Groups Focus: non-fiction text is full of words that are tricky to read. It often has lots of nouns (people, places, or things) that we have never heard of and reading them can make non-fiction text hard to understand. When you look for word chunks you know in a word, it will help you read the entire word.

Ex: antennae

Kids will be able to find an, ten, ant. Once you know these parts you can put them together, look at pictures, think about the topic, and figure out the word.

It is a complicated process. Just looking at word parts alone may not be enough for you to figure out the entire word. You probably will have to look at pictures and think about the topic.

 

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