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Determining Importance

Determining Importance

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Determining Importance

Book List for Determining Importance

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes The Big Green Pocketbook by Candice Ransom Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox Rudi’s Pond by Eve Bunting The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy The Empty Pot by Demi Several non-fiction books

Determining Importance in Nonfiction
Anchor Chart of Tips for Reading Nonfiction
 Think of facts, questions and responses.  Reading nonfiction takes time. understand.  Reread so you don’t forget what you are reading.  Reading fiction is like watching a movie. Nonfiction is more like a newscast or watching a slide show.  Stop often and ask yourself if what you are reading makes sense.  Important to abbreviate when you take notes.  Think before you write.  Nonfiction reading is reading to learn something. Write these down as you read. You may have to reread to make sure you

Determining Importance Tips from

Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller
Determining Importance at a Glance What’s Key for Kids  Readers distinguish the differences between fiction and nonfiction.  Readers distinguish important from unimportant information in order to identify key ideas or themes as they read.  Readers use their knowledge of narrative and expository text features to make predictions about text organization and content.  Readers utilize text features to help them distinguish important from unimportant information.  Readers use their knowledge of important and relevant parts of text to answer questions and synthesize text for themselves and others.

Determining Importance Tips from

Strategies That Work by Stephanie Harvey

Chapter 9 Determining Importance in Text:

The Nonfiction Connection

{Throughout Stephanie’s education, teachers had instructed her to highlight the important parts. important. But no one had shown her how. She assumed that if Highlighting is the writers of these massive textbooks had written it down, it must be So she highlighted just about every letter of print. easy; determining what to highlight is the challenge (page 117).| Stephanie Harvey writes, {Determining Importance means picking out the most important information when you read, to highlight essential ideas, to isolate supporting details, and to read for specific information. Teachers need to help readers sift and sort information, and make decisions about what information they need to remember and what information they can disregard (page 117).| {Readers of nonfiction have to decide and remember what is important in the texts they read if they are going to learn anything from them. (page 118)|

Debbie Miller says, {We must teach our students what nonfiction is.

Teaching

our students that expository text has predictable characteristics and features they can count on before they read allows them to construct meaning more easily as they read.|  Nonfiction books are organized around specific topics and main ideas  Nonfiction books give you information that is true.  Nonfiction books try to teach you something.  When readers read nonfiction books they make predictions about the kinds of things they expect to learn.  Nonfiction books have features They activate their schema and the topic and what they know about the type of text they are about to read.

FQR Chart Facts-Question-Response Chart
The strategy emphasis supports students to ask questions, determine importance in the text, and respond, voicing their own opinions and thoughts. Eventually the children will be able to use this response method independently to read for information in text they have chosen at their own reading level. The children record factual information, ask questions, and respond to merge their thinking with the content. When students have the opportunity to share and explain their own thinking about text, they learn and remember important information.
Example: {The Comeback of Humpbacks| National Geographic for Kids (Sept 2000)

Facts
Leaping out of the water is called breaching 30x more than in 1965 Humpbacks were almost gone until a law was created to protect humpbacks

Question
Is all jumping called breaching?

Response

WOW!

That is a lot.

That was a

good comeback. I don’t like the hunters using only one part of the whale. Reminds me of the white men wasting the buffalo.

Reading with Meaning, pages 149-150
Identify what the conventions of nonfiction text are and how they help us as readers. Debbie Miller suggests spending one day on each convention. Then the children look for the It is The teacher should bring in examples of at least five places in nonfiction texts that support that convention. convention and share them with a partner, small group, whole group. how they help us as readers.

not enough to identify the convention and purpose, we must also identify

Conventions
Labels

Purpose
Help the reader identify a picture or photograph and/or its parts.

How they help us as readers

Photographs

Help the reader understand exactly what something looks like.

Captions

Help the reader better understand a picture or photograph.

Comparisons

Help the reader understand the size of one thing by comparing it to the size of something familiar.

Cutaways

Help the reader understand something by looking at it from the inside.

Maps

Help the reader understand where things are in the world.

Types of print Close-Ups Table of Contents

Help the reader by signaling, {Look at me! I’m important!| Help the reader see details in something small. Help the reader identify key topics in the book in the order they are presented.

Index

An alphabetical list of almost everything covered in the text, with page numbers.

Glossary

Helps the reader define words contained in the text.

List of mini lessons for nonfiction texts
 Scanning  Skimming  Accessing the text through the index  Using headings and signposts to the information we want  Strolling through the pictures in order to orientate ourselves to the text  Not reading the text in order

 Accessing the text through the table of contents  Reading the picture captions  Activating prior knowledge or schema  Noting characteristics of text length and structure  Noting what type of organizational pattern the text is using  Determining what to read in what order  Determining what to pay careful attention to  Determining what to ignore  Deciding to quit because the text contains no relevant information  Deciding if text is worth careful reading or just skimming  Pay attention to surprising information. something new. It might mean you are learning

Guided Reading the Four Blocks Way, pages 58-62 {What’s for Reading<|
{You want the children in your classroom to know that they will read something every day during Guided Reading, and as Guided Reading time approaches, you want them to begin asking themselves {What’s for reading<| Then you want them to know they can take a quick peek at the text and see the kinds of reading they can anticipate. {What’s for reading<| is a previewing technique where the children decide what kind of text they are going to read and what special features that text has.|

Reading With Meaning, page 146
Have the students look at nonfiction and fiction texts and determine what are the characteristics of both types of text.

Make a Venn Diagram reflecting what they learned. FICTION BOTH Title Beginning middle end Setting Characters Illustrations Table of contents NONFICTION Bold print Index

Problem Events Resolution

They help you learn Photographs They are fun to read Captions Headings Words Cutaways

Stories

Themes Information Pictures Ideas

Read from front to back

Amazing facts Read in any order

Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller (Pages 150-151)
Wonder Boxes - Throughout the study of questioning and nonfiction, ask the children to place a wonder card or two in a basket. a week, draw one out and search for the answer. research for the answer. Debbie Miller shows them how to think aloud about certain questions:  What do I already know about the topic?  What type of book or other source will help me best?  Where will I find the information?  How is the information organized in the source? locating what I need? How will I go about Two or three days Another option is to

generate wonder questions and have the students choose one, then do

Wonder Question

What I learned…

Source:

After looking through the source of information ask yourself, {What did I learn? How can I synthesize my learning for myself and others?

Strategies That Work, pages 134-137
Sifting the Topic from the Details Topic and details form is effective in allowing for the students to list essential information but lacked a place for their responses. The third column for response allows kids to interact with text personally and ensures that they have a place to record their thoughts, feelings, and questions. Three Column Notes Topic Detail Personal Response

Determining Importance in Non- Fiction Mini- Lessons
Based on Debbie Miller’s Reading With Meaning

Materials Needed: Non-fiction texts about Dinosaurs, Flight, Reptiles, Biographies, Animals, Cars and Trucks, Magazines, Field Guides, First Discovery Books, Newspapers, Maps and Atlases, Big Cats, Disasters, and more. Anchor Charts: My Wonderings (Day 1) T Chart-Nonfiction is not…./Non fiction is….. (Day 2) T Chart-I predict _What’s the thinking behind my prediction< (Day 3&4) / Venn Diagram-Fiction/Nonfiction (Day 5) (pg. 146) Words that Signal I’m Learning Something New What do we know about nonfiction conventions? Background Information: If you have not already spent time learning how readers identify key themes in stories, make predictions about the stories’ organization, sequence, content and characters, then take a day review how readers use features of fiction to distinguish important from unimportant information in stories. Do not assume that just because children know how to read and understand fiction that they can read and understand informational books, too. In these mini-lessons, you will explicitly teach them the difference.

Week 1: Fiction vs. Nonfiction
Day 1 Lay out a sea of nonfiction books about snakes, dolphins, gemstones, sharks, kittens, puppies, wolves, the ocean, shipwrecks, the human body, flowers, space, earthquakes, astronauts, cowboys, ballerinas, dinosaurs, soccer, Tiger Woods, volcanoes, bugs, and big trucks for free exploration and for something to build on when explicit teaching begins. Capitalize on their questions, and have them record them on index cards. Either use individuals Wonder Boxes, or Wonder Envelopes or a class Wonder Jar. You may model how you {skim| through the books to generate a few questions of your own. {Why are some twisters small and other’s big<| {How do wolves catch elk<| {Why is the sky blue<| {Why do dogs have wet noses<| Wrap up this lesson by explaining that one of the main differences between fiction and non-fiction, is that non-fiction books give us information that is true. Day 2 Using the text, Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say, ask {What type of text do you predict this is<| (Fiction) {Knowing that it’s fiction, how might you expect the story to be organized<| Listen for: beginning, middle, end, setting, characters, a problem, events connected to the problem, and a resolution. Ask children to make some predictions about what the story is going to be about. {Just as with narrative text, expository text has predictable characteristics and features you can count on before you read which allows you to construct meaning more easily as you read.| Now hold up, Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Jennifer Dussling. {What do you notice about this text<| Compliment them on noticing that this kind of text is organized differently that fiction. Tell them {you won’t find characters, problems, or resolutions either. Instead, these kinds of books—you already know them as nonfiction—are organized around specific topics and main ideas, and they try to teach you something. Nonfiction writing gives you information that is true. Let’s read it and see what we can learn…|

Day 3 Talk with children about how they can use what they know about this type of text to make predictions about its content—what the text might teach them. Use prior knowledge of fiction story features and fiction content to teach children to make expectations of nonfiction texts as well. {When readers read nonfiction, they make predictions about the text, too. But they don’t make predictions about the kinds of things they will expect to happen, they make predictions about the kinds of kinds things they expect to learn. Use a book about spiders to teach children that when reading nonfiction they will activate their schema and background knowledge to make predictions about what they’ll learn in nonfiction text and what they know about the type of text they are about to read. Day 4 Using two or three other nonfiction texts, make predictions about each story will teach you based on your schema and what you know already, and what’s in your mental files about that topic. {I’m predicting that this story will be about different types of bats in the world, and that maybe I’ll learn where they live, what they eat, their life cycles, and even which ones are dangerous to humans. { Features to point out would be the title, the photographs on the cover, the table of contents, the headings, the index, explaining how these features help me make predictions about the text. Do the same with one other book. Day 5 Ask the students to help you make predictions. Release responsibility by:  Asking children to bring a nonfiction book they haven’t read to the rug, E2E, K2K with a partner, make predictions about what they expect to learn  Spreading fiction and nonfiction materials out on the rug, with a partner, get two or three ask themselves, {Is this fiction or nonfiction and how do we know<|

 Asking children to bring a nonfiction book and a fiction book to the rug, get into pairs and create a Venn Diagram that shows the two books’ differences and similarities. We then create one large diagram that combines everyone’s thinking.

Week 2: Conventions Notebooks
Day 6 Begin the lesson by sharing an interesting article from National Geographic or a book about sharks. Think aloud and share inner voice comments as you read. After reading the interesting facts, verbalize comments such as {Wow!|…. {That’s amazing!… {I never knew that!|… {And get this….|…. {I didn’t know that either.| The point of this lesson is to listen to your inner voice (and outer voice) …these words signal you’re learning something new. Let students try it as they want to discover their inner voice, too. Record the words that help them recognize they’re learning something new on chart paper. Optional: Record new learning on sticky notes as NL an then just writer the most important part. Day 7 Today you will begin Convention Notebooks (CN). For the next 15 days, you will focus on a different feature of nonfiction text. By focusing on teaching the features, the children will determine importance and construct meaning by paying close attention to features such as photographs, diagrams, captions, and comparisons. Each day you will explicitly teach them what nonfiction conventions are, what kinds of information these conventions give us, and how they help us determine what is important in a text. CN will have 12 pieces of blank white paper and you can use the provided cover on cardstock or students may create their own cover with hand printed title with construction paper front and back cover. Today students will get CN and add title. Begin with Comparisons. Search your nonfiction library for 5 or 6 books that make comparisons, flag the pages with sticky notes, locate the comparisons and read the surrounding text aloud. But noticing and naming

nonfiction conventions are not enough, also think aloud about how they help us as readers, think aloud about the purpose of each one. Children can either find examples from the classroom library or create comparisons of their own, and record one in their CN. For the example of each feature, students should record in the CN, write the title of the book where the example is found, and the page number. Daily, share children’s learning in small groups and record on a two column anchor chart headed {What do we know about nonfiction conventions<| Comparisons – Help the reader understand the size of one thing by comparing it to the size of something familiar (a scissor is as big as a child’s hand, p. 153) Day 8 Labels – Help the reader identify a picture or photograph and/or its parts Day 9 Photographs – Help the reader understand exactly what something looks like Day 10 Captions – Help the reader better understand a picture or photograph

Week 3: Convention Notebooks (cont.’d)
Day 11 Cutaways – Help the reader understand something by looking at it from the inside or from a different, sometimes 3-D, perspective Day 12 Maps – Help the reader understand where things are in the world Day 13 Types of Print – Help the reader by signaling, {Look at me! I’m important!|

Day 14 Text Bubbles – Help the reader see what’s important by appearing in a box or bubble. Day 15 Close-ups – Help the reader see details in something small

Week 4: Convention Notebooks (cont.’d)
Day 16 Tables of Contents – Help the reader identify key topics in the book in the order they are presented Day 17 Index – An alphabetical list of almost everything covered in the text, with page numbers Day 18 Glossary – Helps the reader define words contained in the text Day 19 Pronunciation Parentheses – Helps the reader pronounce difficult words that help with understanding of the context of the word. Day 20 Graphs – Help the reader see the important information in a more visually pictorial way instead of reading the information in a paragraph format. Convention notebooks not only build background information for text features that children encounter in their reading, but they also can be used as resources when they synthesize information in order to research questions. The notebooks help children think through which conventions would showcase their information best.

Week 5: Locating Specific Information
Day 21 Throughout this study of questioning and nonfiction, ask children to compile Wonder Cards in their own Wonder Box or the class Wonder Jar. Every week, pull one out and model for students how you would search for the answer. Model what we do when we want to find out specific information. Show them how to think aloud about certain questions:  What do I already know about the topic?  What type of book or other source will help me best?  Where will I find the information?  How is the information organized in the source? How will I go about locating what I need? Then, after I’ve looked through the sources of information:  What did I learn? How can I synthesize my learning for myself and others?

Nonfiction Journal Prompts Directions: Read the assigned selection and write a response. Begin each response with the book title and the date of your journal entry. Example: Book Title Before you read the book . . .    What do you know about the topic before getting started on the book? What do you want to learn? Why did you choose this book? Nov. 2, 2002

While reading the book . . .  What information surprised you?

     

How can you use this information in your life? What information do you question or think might not be correct? How might you check it out? What is the most important thing you have learned? Why? What is the most interesting thing you read? What techniques does the author use to make this information easy to understand? Where do you think you could look for more information on this topic?

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