#educationlesson - Reading and Annotating a Nonfiction Text
hithertokt said it was a DARE, and I just finished pl*nning, so WHY NOT. Here’s the thing though, I’m not required to type up or turn in formal lesson plans, so here are the bullet points from my pl*nner.
Success Starter: We’re going to listen to a song (probably “I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrandts) and they’re going to write down as many details as they can. We’ll probably listen to it twice so they can write down some more. Our last academic vocabulary word/phrase was supporting details, so this will be a nice connection to last week. Then, they’ll work in their groups of four to agree on the five most important details. This will be our segue into our AV for the day: key details!
(I get my Success Starter and Academic Vocabulary ideas from these awesome books that I am never without!)
Pre-Reading: We’ll take a look at the article we’re going to read and talk about what we notice - title, author, date of publication, skim for types of evidence (numbers, quotes), and discuss what we know about the topic (this week, it’s e-cigarettes).
Reading and Annotating: Then, we’re going to read and annotate the article together (I got it from Kelly Gallagher’s website, which is full of awesome articles!), and they will be instructed to label evidence (that was our AV a couple of weeks ago), key details, important points, and things that confuse them. I like to have them write this at the top of their paper so if they forget they can check there instead of raising their hand and interrupting whatever we’ve moved on to.
The way I do reading in class is I ask for four or five kids to volunteer to read. I list them on the board. The first one starts, reads as long as they want, then stops. Then the next one starts, and so on until we’re done. This way, no one is forced to read aloud (I disagree with the “It’s good for them” philosophy), there’s no anxiety for anyone, and I can focus on modeling. Using the doc cam, I model while they read. Kids who need support in annotating are able to watch and copy, and kids who don’t can focus on their own paper.
This early in the year, I also stop every few paragraphs and explain what we just read. Or I ask clarifying questions, or ask them to share something with their neighbor, or whatever else is needed.
Preparing to Write: When we’re done reading, we will fill out a graphic organizer that will prepare them to write a paragraph response that uses evidence from the article to prove their point. I usually model the first part, then they work on the second part in groups, then they do the last part on their own (Gradual Release of Responsibility, whaaaaaaaaaaat!).
Then they go home and write brilliant paragraph drafts, knowing they’ll have a chance to revise them later.
I’ve taught lessons like this for a while because it’s a main assignment all teachers in my grade level do at my school (in preparation for a common writing assessment), and I love it because it’s scaffolded and differentiated, and leads to high level thinking and writing for students of all ability levels. And the revision opportunity just motivates them so much to do that first draft because they’re less likely to give up because they think they can’t do it.
And it bears mentioning that I follow this same process with poetry later in the year. And when they show they’re able, I start assigning the reading and annotating for homework because that’s what’s expected of them next year.