This week, I worked with one of my guided reading groups on using nonfiction conventions to support comprehension of informational text. I began by assigning the text Why Animals Live in Hives, which can be found and assigned to students on Big Universe Learning’s website. The students in this group were able to read the text prior to our group meeting date, and become familiar with the content.
Once we met as a group, we began to dissect the informational text and analyze the various features. During a pre-assessment opportunity, I became aware that these students were not strong in using section headings, table of contents, and the glossary to support their comprehension of the text. Throughout the lesson, we examined the informational text and discussed these specific features.
After our initial discussion, the students began working in pairs on specific activities related to nonfiction conventions.
- Creating questions based on the table of contents.
- Determine the main idea and supporting detail of each section.
- Locate the definition of the important vocabulary related to the topic as found in the glossary.
- Answer literal comprehension questions, which required locating specific information/ facts in the text.
- Reflective questions, which asked the student to determine the most important fact in the text and provide reasons why they determine it to be the most important.
Once the students are finished with their partner activity, we will discuss their answers, and discuss how using nonfiction conventions can support comprehension.
The final application of their learning will be in the form of an independent study project. Students will determine a topic of interest, create six questions related to the topic (teacher support and guidance), and then obtain informational text related to their topic. From this point, they will determine the answers to their questions from the informational text. Students will then display their learning through a technological program of their choice and present to the group.
Note: www.biguniverse.com has many informational text titles to choose from when planning for your guided reading groups. It is very simply to assign the text to the whole class, or a specific group of students.