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Carol Eisenbeis EDU 536 Adolescent Literacy ­ Summer 2005 Lesson Plan Lesson Focus: Determining Importance (Reading/Listening Comprehension) Purpose of Lesson: To help students realize that readers have differing purposes when they read; we read differently and seek out various types of information depending on those purposes. Research Base: J.W. Prichert and R.C. Anderson ("Taking Different Perspectives on Story." Journal of Educational Psychology 69:309-315) found that readers determine what is important based on their purpose for reading, so we need to teach students why and how to establish a purpose. Reading comprehension researcher Jan Dole (Public Education and Business Coalition Reading Comprehension Workshop, Denver, CO, April 1997) found that focusing lessons on determining what to pay careful attention to can save time for struggling readers and impact comprehension. Materials: One copy of "The House" from Cris Tovani's I Read It, But I Don't Get It text, p. 25 Overhead copy of "The House" Two different colored overhead markers Role cards for each student (or an additional adult to convey directions to half of the class in a secret "huddle" fashion) Paper and pencil for each student Four large pieces of chart paper Four broad-tipped markers A complete, multi-sectioned newspaper for each student

Procedure: Ask students to listen carefully as you read "The House" aloud. When finished, direct students to take out a piece of paper and jot down just a couple of the things that they thought were most important. Allow them to list several items and take a minute to pair share and compare. Ask students if it was hard for them to decide what was important or if they and their partner listed the same items. Let them know that this activity likely was a little difficult because you didn't provide them with a specific purpose for reading. Distribute role cards to each student without verbalizing the instructions or making them known to the entire class. Students on one side of the classroom should receive "secret direction" cards that say, "Jot down everything that would be important to know if you worked for a security company and were looking for things that you'd want to alert the owner's attention to in order to minimize potential burglaries." Students on the other side of the room should receive "secret direction" cards that say, "Jot down everything that would be important to know (both pros and cons) if you were thinking about purchasing this home and you were planning to go back and report the information to the rest of your family." As an alternative to distributing role cards, you could gather the class into two separate huddles and provide secret directions to each group. This works especially well if an additional adult is available for the activity. Read the story again, requesting each student to follow the directions on their role card (or according to directions received in their huddle) and compile a list as you read. Invite individuals from each group share some of the items on their list, but do not allow them to share the directions on their role cards. Form four groups of students according to the two types of role cards (i.e. two groups with the security purpose and two groups whose purpose was to analyze the home for a possible purchase). Direct students to work in groups to decide on all the things that belong in their list and create a chart of these items. They should work quietly

so no one can overhear the secret, specific purpose for their group. (Charting the response is optional and could take place during the next day's class session if time is limited.) Have the groups share and compare their lists. Pay special attention to items that appeared on all lists (since there will be some overlap). Invite the groups to guess the purpose for each listing. If time allows, display an overhead copy of the story and use different colors to mark items important to the different groups, making note of differences and similarities. Articulate the purpose of this lesson for the students. Demonstrate how you use the determining importance strategy when reading the newspaper (i.e. looking for a car, a job, travel options, movie, sports scores, obituary). Distribute newspapers to students and direct them to establish a purpose before reading. Or, provide several specific purposes and direct students to find that information in their paper. (Students might have fairly recent newspapers from different dates, or, if available, they can all use newspapers from the same day.) Invite the students to go back to their groups to share what was important to them as they read the newspaper. Remind students that while purposes may vary, it's important to know your specific purpose before reading in order to best understand what you're reading. Assessment to Inform Ongoing Instruction: Informal observation and "listening in" on student comments in response to the directions given will provide information for further instruction.

Lesson plan created by Carol Eisenbeis as an adaptation of a lesson described by Cris Tovani in I Read It, But I Don't Get It (2000).


Carol Eisenbeis

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