by Jessica, Astute Hoot
Wondering how to integrate multiple strategies within context of authentic literature? Are you overwhelmed at thought of planning a comprehensive literature study? At last, the secret to successful literature studies is revealed in 5 simple steps. Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
Literature Studies Made Easy
1. Choose a high-quality anchor text for the literature study.
Use Common Core exemplar list, authentic literature or district-prescribed basal reader as the anchor text for the study.
2. Select focus strategies.
Use data to determine students’ instructional needs and appropriate strategies to build decoding skills and strengthen comprehension. Plan to read the text at least three different times, each which a different strategy and purpose. For the first read, focus on overall comprehension and retell of the literary elements. During the second read, focus on a specific skill such as character analysis or cause and effect. After the third read, prompt students to make inferences and make connections. These bookmarks provide great visual cues for decoding and comprehension strategies for students.
3. Prepare text-dependent questions and select targeted academic vocabulary.
Pre-read to prepare text-dependent questions that encourage students to use evidence to generate their responses. For each subsequent reading, questions should increase in complexity starting with basic comprehension and then gradually increasing to analyze, evaluate and create arguments. Depending on your grade level, select 4-10 academic vocabulary terms to focus on during your literature unit. Script questions that incorporate key vocabulary and encourage students to use academic vocabulary in their responses.
4. Create reading response journals for each student.
It is important for students to respond to text in writing using textual evidence to form opinions, support arguments, make connections and inferences, and determine author’s purpose. Either use open-ended journals, selected graphic organizers or pre-made reading response journals. Check out these ready-to-use Reading Comprehension Journals that can be used with any text.
5. Incorporate assessment tools to monitor student progress.
Analyze student work samples to determine student growth and points of misunderstanding. Rubrics and anecdotal notes can also be used to assess growth.
Take a look at how we’ve created integrated, comprehensive literature studies here. Need suggestions or ideas on creating a literature unit for your class? Email [email protected]. I would love to help you.