Now more than ever, we find that we live in a world where teaching students to read involves so much more than letter/sound recognition, site words, fluency practice and literal comprehension. At young ages our students need to be getting much deeper into texts – inferring meaning, relating genres, comparing viewpoints and forming opinions. Here at The Curriculum Corner we have been reading about and trying to provide more resources involving Close Reading strategies to help teachers in this endeavor.
On our 456 site, we recently reviewed a terrific resource for teaching Text-Based Writing provided by Evan-Moor. (If you haven’t seen it, click on the link to jump over to 456 and learn more. There is a free sample of that resource for grades 1-6 available. There are also still a few days left to leave a comment on the post for a chance to win a FREE full copy (print or e-book) of that resource! Contest ends Sunday, February 15, 2015).
Here we have another great resource from Evan-Moor to share with you, a FREE sample and another chance to win a copy of the book! This resource is called Reading Paired Text and we were very impressed, not only by the paired texts provided in the book, but by the depth at which it requires and guides students to look at and relate them to each other.
The paired texts are thematically related, and in most cases contain an informational text and a literary text. One thing we loved about the lessons was that each set of paired texts focused on an Essential Question – which is listed at the tops of both texts to keep it at the forefront of student thinking. It is these Essential Questions that get our students thinking more deeply about what they are reading. Another thing that we thought was so very important was the Oral Close Reading Activity. The questions provided for that activity truly make students get more involved in the texts.
In addition to helpful teacher guides each individual set contains:
- Leveled texts so that teachers can differentiate for individuals or small groups in their classroom
- Paired and thematically related, thought provoking texts pertaining to a single Essential Question (AWESOME mini-books for early readers!)
- An Oral Close Reading Activity that guides students through some Close Reading strategies
- Age-appropriately defined vocabulary words for each text (including pictures for lower grades)
- Some type of vocabulary application (presented differently for various grade levels)
- Text-dependent and developmentally appropriate comprehension questions to assess literal understanding of the texts
- Guided writing activities for primary grades and a graphic organizer for upper grades
- A writing prompt that requires students to apply what they have learned (upper grades)
- A fun and engaging Home/School Connection resource for students to complete with their families
**The resource also provides a Unit Assessment following each pair of texts that is used to prompt discussion of Essential Question and ties everything together by providing questions about both selections. It also contains a final writing graphic organizer and prompt so that teachers can assess how students have learned from and related the paired texts.
We read through and talked about each lesson in the FREE Reading Paired Texts Sampler and thought the writing and resources they contained would be extremely helpful in taking students to the next level in their reading. Lessons are very thorough and could be used in so many ways in the classroom:
- Use the texts and Oral Close Reading Activities with the entire class to facilitate discussion and promote deeper thinking and discussion about the texts.
- Since they are leveled, use them as the base for your small group guided reading plans.
- Use a set of paired texts as a “kick-off” to a class project where students are required to share their thoughts and ideas relating to the Essential Question.
After taking a look at the sampler (and printing the FREE resources!) if you’d like to purchase a specific grade level book, click on the link below which will take you to the 3rd grade resources on Evan-Moor’s site. From there you can find the other grade levels you might need.
Do you have other ideas for how these paired texts can be used in the classroom? Comment below for a chance to win a free copy of the FULL print or e-book from Evan-Moor! Contest ends Sunday, February 22, 2015.)