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The Road to Meaning: Teaching Students To Successfully Navigate Nonfiction Texts
To nav·i·gate (návvi gàyt ) Definition: The act or process of moving through a place or towards an identified destination by plotting and following a defined route or course.
“Final Destination” Students will have the ability to construct new understandings by interacting across and within texts, summarizing, analyzing, and evaluating them actively. They must be able to use literacy for creative and critical thinking and for advanced problem solving. Proficient and advanced readers know and apply multiple strategies to text in order to construct meanings from multiple perspectives and understand how their meanings may differ from those of others. NAEP, 2002
Driver Rules and Responsibilities • Know Where You Are Going? (Destination) • Know Why You Are Going? (Purpose) • Know HOW You Are Going to Get There? (Plan) • MUST be ACTIVE,ALERT at ALL TIMES!!
THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE • Where do I want to take kids? • What does independence look like? • How do I as a reader arrive there? • How do I explain that process to students by thinking aloud my “Road to Meaning”? • What task must be shared? • What do I need to do WITH kids to support them toward independence? • What can we work on together to build their confidence and proficiency? • What are/could be bumps in the road? • Where do I need to step in ? • Where/When do I guide their practice? Are we there yet? How will I know? Independent Practice: “Driving Solo!” Guided Practice STUDENT AT THE WHEEL-TEACHER COACHING BESIDE” Shared Instruction: SHARING NAVIGATION W/ TEACHER “AT THE WHEEL” Modeled Instruction: TEACHER DRIVING WHILE EXPLAINING DRIVING DECISIONS
Effective vs. Ineffective Navigation Before Reading the Selection
Effective vs. Ineffective Navigation While Reading the Selection
Effective vs. Ineffective Strategies After Reading the Selection
Elements of Nonfiction Instruction • Genre Awareness • Text Features • Text Structures • Content Specific Understandings (Math, Science, History, etc…) • Challenges: “Road Hazards” Navigating 101
Nonfiction is like an orange… BIG Topic Section Topic Section Topic Because nonfiction is about reading and connecting The sections to the writers whole idea about the topic.
Main Idea Web Topic: Oil Spills
Text organizers Index Preface Table of contents Glossary Appendix Bibliography Footnote Photo Credit Fonts and effects Titles Headings Subheadings Boldface print Italics Bullets Captions Color, Size Labels Font Style Text Features: Signals to the Reader Graphics • Maps, Diagrams • Cutaways • Cross sections • Overlays • Charts and Tables • Graphs • Word bubbles • Timelines Illustrations and Photographs • Illustrations Icons • Photographs Visual Layout
The procedure is actually quite simple. First, you arrange things into different groups. Of course, one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities, that is the next step. It is very important not to overdue things. The whole procedure will at first seem complicated, but soon will become just another fact of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell. After the entire procedure is complete, one arranges the materials onto different groups once again. Then, you are ready to be put items into their proper places. Eventually, they will be used once more, and the whole cycle will have to begin again.
A newspaper is better than a magazine, and on a seashore is a better place than a street. At first, it is better to run than walk. Also, you may have to try several times. It takes some skill but it is fairly easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful , complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. One needs lots of room. Rain soaks fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. If there are no complications, it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.
Poised between going on and back, pulled both ways taut like a tightrope-walker. Fingertips pointing the opposites, now bouncing tiptoe like a dropped ball or a kid skipping rope, come on , come on, Running a scattering of steps sidewise, how he teeters, skitters, tingles, teases, and taunts them. He is only flirting, crowd him, crowd him. Delicate, delicate, delicate, …NOW!
What DO Headings Do? • GIVE THE TOPIC!! • Indicate aspect of the topic • Set up Expectations • Hint about the Main Idea • Help Reader prepare and focus • Provide transition between parts the text • Allow the reader to make more successful connections B, D, and A reading • Provide preview of the entire article
Text Structure: The Roadmap to Meaning • Description • Compare/Contrast • Cause and Effect • Chronology/Sequence • Procedural • Persuasive • Question/Answer • Problem/Solution
“Text-Wiseness” Teaching students how to recognize and represent the organizational patterns commonly used by authors can significantly influence students’ learning and comprehension. Palinstar, Ogle, Carr, 97
Signal Words Point the Way… Text Structure & Signal Words Description/ Hierarchical List Cause & Effect Compare/ Contrast Problem/ Solution Question & Answer Sequence For instance For example Furthermore Such as Also To begin with Most important Also In fact In addition And to illustrate Since Because This led to On account of Due to As a result of For this reason Consequentially Then…so… Therefore thus In like manner Likewise Similar to The difference between As opposed to After all However And yet But Nevertheless On the other hand One reason for the… A solution A problem Where The question is One answer is Recommendations include How When What Next Why Who How many The best estimate It could be that One may conclude Until Before After Finally Lastly First…last… Now…then On (date) At (time) First, second Meanwhile Not long after initially
The fire was started by sparks from a campfire left by a careless camper. Thousands of acres of important watershed burned before the fire was brought under control. As a result of the fire, trees and the grasslands on the slopes of the valley were gone. Smoking black stumps were all that remained of tall pine trees.
Words for Comparison Difference Different Contrast Not Alike Mismatch Does not Match Unequal Separate Opposite Dissimilar Antonym Contrastable Inequality Uneven Irregular Similarity Same compare Alike Match Equal Together Similar Equivalent Synonym Comparative Analogy Equality Even Regular
Content Specific Understanding • Careful reading or skimming • Scanning • Assessing the text through the index • Using heading ,captions, pictures,… • Determining what to read, order of reading • Noting organizational pattern • Deterring what to pay attention to • Determining what to ignore • What information fits with schema, what is new: how to sort it
AREAS OF EXPERTISE • Things readers of science know… • Things readers of literature know… • Things writers know… • Things readers of history know… • Things readers of math know… • Things readers of internet know… • Things readers of_________ know…
Things Readers of Math Know… • Speed Matters-slow down! • Reread CONSTANTLY!!-Deal with mis- understanding right away!! • Every Word Counts!!-Little repetitiveness • Math is not linear-cross check, pause, reread,... • Understand before going on! • Do not skim diagrams! • Word/symbols have specific meanings! • Write/Draw as you read! • Keep Up and DO NOT FALL BEHIND!!
Things Readers of Science Know… • Use and activate prior knowledge • Formulate hypothesis • Establish plans • Evaluating and understanding concepts • Compare/Contrast • Making inferences • Describe and recognize patterns • Determining importance of information • Visuals are critical!
Things Readers of History Know… • History is about the human condition • Must relate to life today! • Reading visual information-critical • Focus on causes and outcomes • Connecting prior understandings and using them for future problems • Inferring concepts/words in sentences and paragraphs… • Special knowledge of dates, symbols, and terminology needed to read, write, and discuss understandings of history in language of historians
Navigating Nonfiction: The BIG Picture