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ELA G3:M1:U1:L4

Choosing a Book That Interests Me: Seeking the Superhero Reader in Me

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The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can choose texts that interest me. (RL.3.11a)
  • I can effectively participate in a conversation with my peers and adults. (SL.3.1)
  • I can speak in complete sentences with appropriate detail. (SL.3.6)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can select a “power book” that I want to read.
  • I can talk with a small group about why I chose my power book.
  • I can speak in complete sentences when I participate in group discussions.
  • Book selection
  • Conversation Criteria checklist

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Books: We Seek the Power to Read (10 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Search of Classroom Library (20 minutes)

B.  Building on Class Norms for Discussion: Fishbowl Protocol (15 minutes)

C.  Small Group Discussion: Why I Chose this Book (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Take the Selecting a “Power Book” That I Want to Read recording form home. Write down the name of the book you chose as your “power book” for independent reading. Tell an adult at home why you chose it. Start reading this book!

  • In advance:Ensure that the classroom library is stocked with many of the books in the Recommended Texts for Unit 1, as well as other books from a variety of genres. Stock the library with some “in demand” books that are “stretch” texts a bit above most students’ reading levels, but for which they will want to reach.
  • In this lesson, students begin to explicitly focus on their ability to engage in collaborative discussions, which will be formally assessed during Lessons 6 and 7.
  • Review the Fishbowl protocol (Appendix 1).

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

discuss, norms, fishbowl, genre, fiction, fantasy, series, nonfiction

  • Personal challenging book that belongs to the teacher
  • Bins of classroom or library books (including the books on the Recommended Texts list for Unit 1)
  • Class Norms for Discussion anchor chart (new;  teacher-created)
  • Conversation Criteria Checklist (for teacher use)
  • Selecting a “Power Book” That I Want to Read recording form (one per student)

Opening

Opening

A. Books: We Seek the Power to Read (10 minutes)

  • Remind students of the story Rain School. Ask them to turn for a moment to someone nearby and share one thing the children in the story had to do that shows how they went to great lengths to seek the power of education and reading. Have two or three students share their ideas aloud with the whole group.
  • Explain “We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by books. We don’t have to build our own school every year, but in a different way, we too have to seek the power of education and reading.”
  • Show students a book that takes considerable reading power (because it is so long, or the vocabulary is complicated, or because of time constraints). Share how reading this book presents a challenge, and how someone would have to seek some power in order to complete it. Discuss how the classroom library is full of wonderful books like that one that may take some additional power to read.
  • Tell them that today during class, they will be choosing a book for independent reading: a book that interests them and that will also challenge them as readers. Their homework tonight will be to write about why they chose that book, and to start reading!
  • Introduce the first learning target: “I can select a ‘power book’ that I want to read.” Share ideas about what “power book” might mean. This should include how they will need to seek some power to be able to read it as well as how reading it will give them some power. Remind students of one of the guiding questions for the module: “What is the power of education and reading?”
  • Reread the target, quickly thinking aloud about the word select: “I can select a ‘power book’ that I want to read this year. I think select must be like choose or find. I can choose a ‘power book’ that I want to read. I can find a ‘power book’ that I want to read. Yes, select must mean choose or find.” Explain that today they will be spending some time finding their own personal power book.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Search of Classroom Library (20 minutes)

  • Introduce genre-related vocabulary as it relates to materials in the classroom library. Such vocabulary might include series, fantasy, mysteries, how-to books, informational books, science books, etc. Remind students that they should search for a book that not only interests them, but that will help them build their reading power.
  • Point out to students that in the classroom library are many books that relate directly to the topic they are studying: how and why people work so hard to access education, reading, and books.
  • As students comb through the bins of classroom library books, circulate and ask them to give reasons for why they are choosing certain books. As needed, offer suggestions that will support effective decisions.
  • As students narrow down their selections, have them settle on one and write a quick note on an index card naming why they chose it. They will bring this note to the conversation later in this lesson.
  • Consider having the books spread around the classroom in bins to make searching easier. Or perhaps bring the students to the library for this portion of the lesson.

B. Building on Class Norms for Discussion: Fishbowl Protocol (15 minutes)

  • Introduce the learning targets: “I can talk with a small group about why I chose my power book” and “I can speak in complete sentences when I participate in group discussions.” Explain that in order to be successful with these targets, it is helpful to know what such a talk might look and sound like. Share that a few people will model this using a “fishbowl” technique: “We will be watching from the outside, and seeing and listening to what people in the fishbowl are doing and saying.”
  • Choose from these options for the fishbowl:

*    Choose three to five students who can serve as strong models of speaking and listening.

*    Invite students from an older grade to choose and bring their own “power books” to share. These students should be able to serve as strong models of speaking and listening.

*    Invite several teachers or adult volunteers to choose and bring their own “power books” to share and discuss.

  • The Fishbowl participants sit together in a circle in the middle of the group and discuss the books they chose and why. Observers in the outside circle should look for qualities of conversation. After the discussion, invite the observers to share both the positive and negative aspects of the discussion. Begin a Class Norms for Discussion anchor chart. If necessary, lead students toward some key norms (such as everyone having a chance to speak and participants asking questions of one another to extend conversation).  Tell them that you will be listening to how well they work with each other in their groups. (See the Conversation Criteria checklist and adapt to suit personal preferences.)

C. Small Group Discussion: Why I Chose This Book (10 minutes)

  • Students now have the opportunity to put the discussion norms into practice.  Place them in groups of four to five. Review the norms, reminding students to refer to the anchor chart: Class Norms for Discussion that they have been practicing in Lessons 1–3 as they have talked with each other about books.
  • Remind students that writing in preparation for conversation is a useful speaking skill they will continue to use this year, so it will be helpful to have their notes from their search of the classroom library for their small group discussion.
  • Post the question: “Why did you choose this book?” As students discuss this topic, collect data on students’ mastery of discussion skills on the ongoing Conversation Criteria checklist.
  • Discussion groups should be large enough to provide a diversity of perspectives but small enough to encourage all students to participate.
  • Posting the discussion question is helpful to students and groups who may veer off course or forget the topic. Consider also adding a subset of related questions for groups who may struggle with extending conversation independently.
  • Consider providing sentence starters for ELLs if they struggle to participate in discussions. For example: “I picked this book because . . .”

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief (5 minutes)

  • Gather students back together in a whole group. Debrief the class norms for discussion:

*    “What went well in your groups?”

*    “What do we need to work on more?” Invite several teachers or adult volunteers to choose and bring their own “power books” to share and discuss.

  • Add to the Class Norms for Discussion anchor chart as needed.

Assessment

None

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Take the Selecting a “Power Book” That I Want to Read recording form home. Write down the name of the book you chose as your “power book” for independent reading. Tell an adult at home why you chose it. Start reading this book!

 

Note: Each unit in this module is accompanied by an extensive list of books at a variety of reading levels. Students should use the library to obtain book(s) about the topics under study at their independent reading level. These books should be used in a variety of ways—as independent and partner reading in the classroom whenever time allows, as read-alouds by the teacher to entice students into new books, and as an ongoing homework expectation.

  • Students who cannot yet read independently will benefit from hearing books read to them, either by a caregiver or through audio recordings.
  • In addition, the site www.novelnewyork.org has a free, searchable database of content-related texts that can be played as audio files on a home or library computer. Texts on this website can also be translated into many languages. Use the database to provide at-home reading of related texts to ELLs and their families in their native languages.

Supporting Materials

None

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