School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 1. Develop comprehension skills by reading a variety of self-selected and assigned literary texts including print and non-print

Objective b. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of literary forms and genres

Seed

Expose students to a wide range of genres by designating a day to explore multiple examples of a particular genre. Prior to the "genre day" the teacher should select the genre, gather multiple examples of the genre for oral and silent reading, choose a text to read aloud, and organize four to five stations where multiple examples of the same text are available to students. To begin the process, the teacher should read a portion of text from an example of the selected genres. First, the teacher should identify the genre and as the reading continues note particular elements that are indicators of that genre. Once oral reading is complete, each student should begin a learning log recording a general reaction to the selection the teacher read. Next, small groups of students should visit each station, read the text example, and record a general reaction to the text. Once each group of students has visited each station, each student should review his reactions to each of the text examples and draw a conclusion about his/her overall reaction to that particular genre. The activity concludes with the teacher and students sharing reactions to the genre highlighting both positive and negative reactions.

Seed

Before using this activity with students, the teacher should identify a topic for which several different texts each representing a different genre can be found. For example, the teacher might locate a passage of historical fiction, a poem, and a play focusing on the same topic. In addition, the teacher should prepare a series of statements about the three literary works. During a class period or over a series of class periods, student should read each of the literary works. Once students have read all texts, the teacher should organize a Four Corners activity, first by designating each of the four corners of the room as a gathering spot for a degree of thought: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree. Now the teacher should read aloud one of the statements to the class. For example, The playwright gives more specific details about the historical event in … (Include the title of the play.) Each student should go to the corner, which most accurately designates his/her, belief about the statement. Once there, all of the students holding the same beliefs should discuss why and prepare themselves to share their thoughts with the rest of the class. This same activity can continue for several statements.

Seed

After students have self-selected and read a literary work, each student should complete an EXPLORE graphic organizer. Each of the sections of the organizer requires students to consider different elements of the text.

Ex P L
The text is an example of genre, author, style etc… The purpose for reading this text is…. List some key lines directly from the text.

O R E
List some of the organizational features or types in the text. List ways the reader relates to the text. Evaluate the text. What does the text make a reader think about? What questions do I still have?

Once the organizers are completed, the teacher should establish a method and a time for students to share each other's organizers so that they could develop a potential interest in reading a different genre. Extension: This activity can be accomplished with multiple genres, a single genre, emphasis on poetry, a means of gathering background information about a topic before a class assigned single literary work.

Seed

After students have self-selected and read a literary work, each student should complete an Alphabet Summary of the text. The teacher should indicate how many letters from the alphabet and not which letters a student should use to complete the summary. The number of letters should depend upon the age and ability level of students. To complete the summary, the student should choose letters that begin words that are associated with literary elements or ideas in the text. The summary should feature the letter, the word associated with the text, and a textual explanation of the selected word. An example follows…

Letter: A Word: Anger Explanation: The neighbor was angry about the loud noises late at night.

Once the organizers are completed, the teacher should establish a method and a time for students to share each other's organizers so that they could develop a potential interest in reading a different text.

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