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Reading Orwell

Francis Gilbert, British Library/Guardian Education Centre Reading for pleasure
conference
What I want you to learn about

Learning intentions Success questions
 I intend to learn more about how  Have you learnt more about
and why reviews contain reviews and summaries?
summaries taking a positive
 Have you learnt some more
attitude towards the subject and
teaching strategies regarding
paying close attention to what
summarizing?
other people say...
 I intend to improve my ability to
teach summarizing.
 Set your own learning intentions…
The Reciprocal Teaching cards

 Appoint a teacher in your group who deals the cards, equal numbers to
each person…
 Each person should rank the task/question/activity on the card as to how
useful it might be in assisting with reading a text. Don’t worry too much
about this…
 Now read George Orwell’s review of “WE” by E. I. Zamyatin
 Using the cards, decide upon the activity/task/question from your pile that
would be most useful in helping you understand Orwell’s review…
 Go around the group and do task on the cards.
 What did you learn from doing this? What did you learn about your
learning?
Card games. Some suggestions

 Turn over the cards and perform the task  Ranking games
 Cards are put in pile in the middle of the table,
each player turns over a card and has to perform  Rank the cards before reading
the task. You get a point for doing the task with
real effort and motivation. You lose marks for  Deal the cards, e.g. six cards per player.
groaning/moaning.
Each player has to decide which task/skill is
 Turn over the cards and ask someone else to going to be most useful to read the text
perform the task
BEFORE they’ve read it.
 You turn over a card and choose someone to do
the task in front of you who you think will either a)  When the text is read, and they’ve ranked
do it best or b) do it worst.
them correctly, they get a point.
 Creative Reading Snap
 Rank the cards after reading
 Put the cards in a pile, turn them over in turns, and
say snap when you can justify a connection  This is a speed test; after reading the player
between the cards to do with reading or a reading
skill, who wins is the one that ranks his/her
 e.g. ‘What is the passage about?’ and ‘Ask 5 correctly cards the fastest according to
questions about the text’ are both what is the most useful task to do first.
questions/questioning a text.
Reviewing

 What is a book review?
 Why might you get students to write reviews?
 What strengths and weaknesses do students reveal in book reviews?
Orwell’s review

 Using the ideas on the cards as prompts, summarise the review in any way
you see fit, either by explaining it orally or in writing, or by taking a moment
to think about what the article is saying…
 What strategies did you use to summarise the article? How successful were
they? Would you use them with your students?
Summary strategy Thinking Speaking Writing
Questioning What is the text Reciprocal teaching; Comprehension
about? discussion question

Comparing How is this text similar Dialogic talk Devise a chart?
and different to
pieces I’ve read
before?
Hypothesizing and Predicting what it Discussing your Backing up with
testing might be about predictions & finding evidence…
evidence for them

Editing What can be cut? Short summaries Key words, one
sentence summaries
etc
Visualising Memory palace? Discussing your pictures Drawing, story wheels,
Meditation spider diagrams etc.

Zooming in and Big & small “pictures” Discussing book as a Structuring the review,
zooming out whole; reading a e.g. start big picture
passage together,
Note-taking Taking mental notes, Talking about key points Free writing
getting the gist Mnemonics: RAFT,
DAFOREST, PEE
Evaluating What’s good/bad Debate/arguing Judging, providing
about this? evidence…
What strategies does Orwell use?

 Asking questions
 Comparing
 Editing (shortening)
 Evaluating
 Zooming in and zooming out

 Notetaking? Visualising? Questioning?
Important points…

 Rhoder, C. (2002). Mindful reading: Strategy training that facilitates
transfer. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(6), 498–512.
 All students benefit from strategy instruction. Too many strategies taught in a
short amount of time do not lead to transfer or independent performance of
the strategy because students are not able to practice before applying them to
content. Therefore, students should learn one or two strategies to allow for
transfer.

Students need to learn a reading strategy out of context of the content area in
order to effectively assimilate the strategy. Once students no longer need
scaffolding using the strategy, application to content area is possible.

 The model for strategy instruction is–direct instruction, practice using curriculum-
free materials, and application to curriculum.
Review…

Learning intentions Success questions
 I intend to learn more about how  Have you learnt more about
and why reviews contain reviews and summaries?
summaries taking a positive
 Have you learnt some more
attitude towards the subject and
teaching strategies regarding
paying close attention to what
summarizing?
other people say...
 I intend to improve my ability to
teach summarizing.
 Set your own learning intentions…