Past Lessons

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week 18 - Period 9

  • Do Now
  • Entry Title: Introduction to Unit on CLOSE READING
  •           Close reading is a set of skills used develop excellent reading habits.  There are 5. Today, you will learn about using questions to examine a text's topic, information and structure.

  • Learning Targets: 1) To develop an analogy between Close Reading and Crime Scene Investigation to better understand how to use Guiding Questions. 2) To introduce the different documents we will use as "text investigators".

  • Mini-Lesson: Comparing the process of Close Reading to Crime Scene investigation by showing this video CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Virtual Lab Tour.  Effective readers use guiding questions like those used by CS Investigators to help them look for evidence(clues) in a text.

  • Guided Practice: Close reading is like... worksheet.

  • Connection: Reading Closely for Details Guiding Questions Handout.  This handout is a like a set of CSI tools (see above worksheet) that help you "investigate" texts.

  • The texts we will be investigating are on the Reading Closely Unit Texts Handout.  There are many connections between these texts that we will explore in this unit.

  • Previewing the ChecklistsReading Closely for Details Checklist and Text-Centered Discussions Checklist

  • Assessment: Ticket out the Door: On a half sheet of paper, answer the following question...
  •         How is Close Reading like Crime Scene Investigating?


  • Do Now - Copy
  • Entry Title:  Vocabulary List VI
  • Note to students:  Please be sure to set aside three blank pages for new vocabulary words.
  • 1.  Yonder (no word family) - a place only a small distance away.
  • 2.  Fleecy (fleece, fleeced) - the wool obtained from a sheep.
  • 3.  Luminous (illuminate, luminously) - shining brightly or reflecting light.
  • 4.  Placid - (placidly) - pleasantly calm or peaceful; undisturbed waters.
  • 5.  Innate (innately) - a natural ability, skill or process.

  • Learning Target: Introduce the first five words of Vocabulary List VI.

  • Using index cards, create Vocabulary Flash Cards for your first 5 words of List VI.

  • HW - On a separate sheet of loose leaf paper, write a sentence for each word.  Be sure to refer to your composition book for tips on how to write good vocabulary sentences.  This is a homework grade due tomorrow. 


  • Do Now - Think
  • Entry Title: What Do You Notice?

  •       Directions:  List as many objects as you can notice in the picture below.  You may come up to the SB in order to see more details. 

  • Get Out the Guiding Questions Handout (GQH) from yesterday for the next activity...

  • Today's Learning Target: How well can you notice details?

  • Mini-Lesson: Examining details is the basis for good criminal investigation and the basis for Close Reading.  Today we will start improving our skills of noticing details by using pictures. 

  • The Procedure is as follows....
  1. Start a New Entry Titled: Classroom Pictures
  2. Mr. DeGrandis will display two pics one at a time.
  3. In groups or alone, examine each image (there are 2), noticing all the details.
  4. Have one person write down all your group's observations.
  5. Stuck?  Use the GQH to ask yourself questions that will help you notice more details.
  6. Discuss the details your group notices and write down any new questions you may have as result of your discussion.
  7. Answer the following guiding questions:
  8.       -  What is this text (photo) mainly about?
  9.       -  What stands out to me as I examine this text?
  10. Answer the following text-specific questions:
  11.       -  What are some things you notice about the people in each picture?
  12.       -  What is significant about the way the students are dressed?
  13. Be ready to share out what you or your group discussed.
  • Class Discussion
  •    What did you notice? Each group or individual shares their responses.
  •     List three details you think are "key" for understanding something that is going on in one of the images.
  • Note:  Questions such as these can lead to a greater understanding of the image.

  • Assessment: Ticket out the door: What are some things you learned today about noticing details.


  • Do Now - THINK
  • Entry Title:  Why Independent Reading is Important

  •      While you hear this article being read, think about some of the ways you might like to improve your reading skills!

  • After article is read: How do you feel about independent reading in class?

  • Think About Question During Reading: What information or ideas does this text present?

  • Independently read your novel for 10 minutes.

  • Answer Reader Response - 5 minutes
  •      Select one of the following reading strategies and respond...
  •       - Make a connection (text to text, text to self, text to world)
  •       - Visualize a part of your novel and describe using imagery.
  •       - Ask a question to clarify your understanding of a part of your novel.
  •       - Determine/Explain why a part of your novel is important.
  •       - Make an Inference (logical conclusion) or a Prediction about your novel.
  •      -  Synthesize (put it together)several ideas to create an original idea about your novel.

  • Be prepared to share you reader response for a ticket for the next raffle and a participation grade.


  • Do Now - THINK
  • Entry Title: Teachers from My Past
  •        What are some things you have appreciated about the any teacher(s) you have ever had?

  • Note:  Get out your Guided Questions Handout from yesterday.

  • Learning Target: Practice Using Guiding Questions for Close Reading

  • Mini-Lesson: Review of the purpose and focus of the GQH and highlight Topic, Information and Idea section.

  • What is is like to be deaf?  What is it like to blind?

  • RA/TA - The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

  •        What are some of the ideas or information that this text presents? (record your answers in today's Do Now)

  • Look at the GQH under "Language".  What words or phrases stand out to you as I read?

  • Re-read the text independently and highlight any details you notice.

  • Class Discussion
  •    - What details did you notice?
  •    -  What do these details suggest to you? (Think synthesis.)

  • Quick Review: What is paraphrasing? (Putting something into your own words.)

  • You Try: In your composition book, paraphrase one of the details that stands out to you and be prepared to share it with the class.

  • Assessment: Ticket out the door: What does Keller mean by, "When she came, everything about me breathed of love and joy and was full of meaning"?  What details help you understand this?

  • No Do Now - Gather all class materials as usual. That's all.

  • Learning Target: You will use the GQH to look closely for details in a multi-media text.

  • View the Video, Changing Paradigms by Ken Robinson.
  •    While viewing keep the following question in mind:
  •                What ideas are presented in this text?
  • Class Discussion
  •      -  What are your initial observations?
  • Craft a Question:  Let's create a new guiding question as we review the video a second time.

  • New Entry Titled: Changing Paradigms

  • Review the video a second time, filling in your table.

  • Small Groups: Discuss the details you selected with your group.
  •     1.  Write one thing you learned from the video.
  •     2.   Volunteers from each group read their sentences to the class.

  • Assessment:  The Reading Closely Checklist
  •     Using the checklist, reflect on your experience of watching the video.  Ask yourself:  1) How good am I at knowing how to Read Closely.  2) Where might you need to improve as a reader?

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