I chose to do several lessons about choosing a good book because my students tend to just grab a book at the library based on the cover and then find it's too hard to read or that's not something they are really interested in. By using this website and teaching them how to choose a good book at the beginning of the year, my hope is that they'll choose books that are at their reading level and in their interest range throughout the year when we go to the library.
Take a few moments to try out the Book Adventures website. I chose it because it does not require a log-in and password and was easy to use. Once I demonstrated it for my students, they easily maneuvered through it to find a book.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Explain the task
Explain the task
This may prompt a quick discussion on book variety. The Common Core State Standards focus on students reading a ‘broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts’. These should include stories, poetry, and informational text in the grades 2-3 text complexity band with scaffolding a the high end of the range. (RL.2.10, RI.2.10). It is worth discussing with the students the idea of choosing a wider variety of books, such of which are challenging for them.
Model the strategy
I love the ‘genre’ selections in both of these search sections. My students were not very familiar with the term, but it’s a great starting point to later discussions. The Common Core State Standards encourage ‘extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths’ – i.e. a variety of genre.
Explain the task
The kids really liked using this website. The only frustrating part, and this is one of the challenges to using a website, was that the kids did not have immediate access to the books. They liked the technology of this website, however.
I was surprised to see them use the '5 finger rule' right off the bat. Even my lowest readers were honest with themselves and used this rule fairly accurately. I'll need to give them more practice with this.
I would suggest giving the kids a ‘My Wish List’ of books that they found online that they liked. Perhaps is they write down the title and author, they would be able to find them in the school or local library.
Reflect and Discuss
Sum up the lesson
Scaffolding and Special Education - This lesson could be scaffolded for students who are at a variety of reading levels.
For those that struggle, provide books that on the easier end of 2nd grade or possibly at the end of 1st grade. Encourage them to use the 'below level' choice on the website.
For those higher readers, have them choose books that are on the upper end of 2nd grade or possibly 3rd grade. They could use the 'above level' choice on the website.