Out of the Dust; Novel Study and Extensions
Comprehension is the goal (and the most mysterious part) of reading. Research shows that readers must use a number of cognitive strategies in order to process what they’ve read.
These strategies include visualizing, questioning, retelling or synthesizing, determining a reader’s purpose for reading and fix-up strategies.
The introductory lesson and questions I’ve written for Out of the Dust address a number of these concerns. They also allow you to differentiate by asking struggling students to address the comprehension and application questions and fluent students to focus on evaluation and synthesis questions.
You will also receive;
• pre-reading activities
• identifying genre and historical context w/visuals
• sensory maps
• interview with Karen Hesse
• photos of the author
• Hesse; in her own words
• a bibliography
• suggested foci and questions for each “chapter”
• extensions; creative writing, Madame Butterfly, On Flanders Field enrichment, Dionne Quints photos/article/discussion web, investigations (grasshoppers, cereus plants)
• Making Inferences graphic organizers
• a generic organizer for all “chapters”
A few thoughts about the art of questioning:
• Remember wait-time, it takes a moment to respond to a “higher-level” question.
• Ask your children if they agree with the decisions/actions of main characters. Have them explain their POV.
• Disagree with student’s POV for the sake of disagreeing. A child should be able to defend his opinion.
• Let your students assume the role of questioners. The ability to ask a question requires understanding of the text.
• Invite children to “unpack” their thinking. Sometimes the process involved is more revealing than the actual response.
• If you are reading with a group, ask students to think-pair-share. Then have them share their partner’s response. That will promote active listening and give everyone a chance to speak.