Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reading Strategies Book Study - Goal 5


I'm finally joining up with some other great bloggers for the book study of the Reading Strategies book by Jennifer Serravallo!

*Note: this is kind of a long post, but keep reading to the end as I have a related freebie for you!

Goal 5: Supporting Comprehension in Fiction- Understanding Plot and Setting

Why is goal 5 important?
  Jennifer says that it's important so that you can "help students achieve that lost in a book, engaged sort of reading that makes reading enjoyable."  And to do that, "they have to understand what's going on."  
Students who give you too much information with every.single.detail and those who whip through a summary and leave you wondering what the were the important details - are the students that need these strategies.

Three Strategies:

There are so many strategies that Jennifer provides for each goal that it's hard to pick just a few!
I'll focus on 3 for this post, but you'll want to visit other blogger's posts to see which strategies they chose to {HERE} to see who else is participating! 

(The link above will take you to An Apple For The Teacher site and you'll see her review of goal 5, but scroll to the bottom to see the linky to see others participating.)

Retell what's most important by making connections to the problem. 

Focus on this strategy by finding the pages where a problem is happening or the character and try to retell what's happening.  Find the problem and you will be able to tell the solution or resolution.  

Who is it for: reader at K-Z+ Levels
Genre: fiction
The skills used: are summarizing, retelling and determining importance.

Jennifer emphasizes that there is a difference between solutions and resolutions. {I must admit - this was an "aha!" moment for me.  I kind of thought they were the same.}  Getting kids to know the difference and identify whether a problem is solved or resolved is important as well.

Solved = the problem is just solved - over - done.  
Example: a character wants to have a dog.  The character does several things to convince their parents they are responsible and in the end - gets a dog.  The problem has been solved or there is a solution to the problem.

Resolved = the problem itself doesn't necessarily get solved, but the character learns to deal with the situation.  The problem is resolved.
An example: a character with divorcing parents thinks that their life is over and wants their parents to get back together.  At the end of the story, the parents still are divorced but the character has learned ways to accept the divorce.  That's an example of a resolution or how a problem is resolved.

Jennifer writes that books up to approximately levels M/N tend to have:
  •  characters with one main problem
  • problem is generally solved 
Books beyond that M/N have 
  • multiple problems  
  • the problems can be internal or external in nature.  
  •  have a more likelihood of having problems that are resolved not solved. 

Some of the suggested prompts to use when working with students on this are: 
What's the main problem? 
Explain how the story ends up.  
Is it an internal or external problem?
Is the problem solved or resolved?

Summarize Based on What a Character Wants

Focus on what the character really wants.  Think about the one most important event in each chapter that connects to whatever the character really, really wants.  Then summarize by saying the events in order or in sequence.

Who is it for: Levels L-Z+
Genre: Fiction
Skills: Summarizing and determining importance

Students may get confused with chapter books for summarizing because there are so many important events or lots of mini problems throughout the book.

To help students summarize, have them identify and keep in mind what the character wants with each chapter.  

Some suggested prompts to use are: 
  • What does the character want? 
  • Name the main event.
  • What is the main event of this chapter?
  • You are telling me about one chapter- connect all the chapters.
  • Yes, that's what the character wants - is it showing up across the book?

Not Just Page Decorations

Focus on white spaces, dashes, asterisks and symbols that appear on pages or within chapters.  It is an indicator that time is passing or there's a change to the setting.  Students should know that they need to shift the mental picture(s) in their minds to the new time or place.

Who is it for: Levels P-Z+
Genre: Fiction
Skill: Monitoring for Meaning

Jennifer writes that "this strategy can be combined with another one that helps readers to visualize" or "infer how characters get from one place to another" in a book.

Some suggested prompts to use:
Look through the chapter before reading to see if there is going to be any changes.
Ask students how much time has passed and how they know.
Read what came right before the (asterisks, space, dashes etc.)

Don't forget to go see other bloggers thoughts on this goal by clicking {HERE}.   The Teaching Thief is the actual host of this week's goal so be sure to check her post {HERE}.

And now....the freebie!

I've created a few bookmarks that summarizes these skills.  Students could use them when reading to remind them of the strategies.  Teachers could use them to identify prompts when reading aloud to the class or small groups.  

Reading Strategies Bookmark Freebie - Schoolhouse Treasures

For your free copy, click {HERE} to download from Dropbox and enjoy!
Are you reading along with us or have you already read the book?  I'd love to hear your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

1 comment:

  1. Love the bookmark! Thank you for the freebie and for linking up Diane!