Summary and Context
Today, we reread the article, Their Native Tongue. This time I dive in deeper with more text dependent questions that analyze why the author wrote this article. We will identify the main idea and details that support it. To help them understand why authors write, we will have a discussion of why authors write.
I start with students on the rug. I ask them to pair share, “Why do authors write?” (Pair-share is a technique in which all students get to talk and share their ideas, thoughts about topics we are discussing. They turn to face one another and it’s a quick technique.) After a few share out loud. I transcribe their responses on a chart:
Before we reread the article, I introduce three posters about why authors write.
I let them know that after we finish reading with the text dependent questions, we will state why the author wrote the article.
As I read with them, I use a cloze reading technique. This means as I read, I intentionally leave out a word for the students to read chorally. In this way, the reading progresses at a steady pace.
It was good to reread the story again and to go ask more text dependent questions. My students struggled with completely knowing the why. And that is what I developed so many of them. I made sure to give them plenty of time to answer. I gave them wait time. I waited 5 seconds before I asked if I could ask another student. This wait for my English Language Learners is critical. I feel it is very important to give them time to think so that they are able to express their thoughts.
I did have to help them express their thoughts. For example, when I asked them the first questions: Why does the Freedom School sound different when the students start?
I let them know that they could answer in this way:
The Freedom School sounds different because____________.
I need to offer these linguistic stems as a scaffold for some of them. They benefit all because even though those students with more literacy knowledge still require the support.
Taking the time to reread helped my students have a deeper understand of the lives of students at the Akwesasne Freedom School. Rereading and repetition are strategies that served my students well.
After reading the article and figuring out why the author wrote the article, I give my students a brain break. This means I get up from their chairs and get them moving with different brains dance movements. I am attaching a small poster so that you can choose which movements to do with your students:
On the white board I write:
I open it up for discussion. Then one of students shares her thoughts:
Together we form the main idea and locate a couple of details that support it:
After we identify the main idea, I ask my students to write it in their journals. We identify one details and then they identify the rest of the details. I walk around and offer support. Some students will need some more guidance as to where the details can be found. Other will need me to remind them of the task and to stay on task.
Here are some of their work samples:
I gather the students on the rug to debrief the lesson. I ask them what they learned about the lesson. I have a few share out loud. Then, I ask them whether we met our objective and I bring closure to the lesson.