Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How About Some Fun Informational Text to Use with Struggling Readers in Common Core ELA Lessons:)

As summer fast approaches, teachers will begin the planning for interdisciplinary common core lessons.  It is truly an exciting time to be in education with the US finally creating national standards.  With full support and buy-in from administration, classroom educators, and parents, the ever escalating D/F grades for long term English language learners as well as other struggling students should finally turn around.  The goal is to fully prepare all students for life beyond high school whatever that is---university or global workforce.

So literacy will be the goal in every class across all subject areas.  Students will be reading, writing, and building academic vocabulary all day long in every class/subject in school.   To begin the process of determining meaning from complex informational text for their students, teachers may wish to model the process using material that will be motivating for students to read but not overwhelming in length.

To meet that goal, why not try ...predictions from 1900 on life 100 years from then...?  The text was written John Watkins back in 1900 for Ladies Home Journal.  Writing from the perspective of people from the the beginning of the 20th century, he made predictions about what life in 100 years would be like.  Not only would students have multiple opportunities to explore PREDICTIONS and ACCURACY, but enjoy the process.  The individual predictions could be cut up and assigned to teams to not only pull meaning from but also to identify the accuracy of the prediction.  Students would need to research whether or not that prediction came to be in the 21st century.  Once identified, they would need to justify the accuracy (or not) of the writer's beliefs using concrete details to address the success or failure of his predictions. 

Moving from this fun introduction, students might have an assignment on making their own predictions for the evolution of tech products today to what they might be in 100 years from now.  How successful would students be with this?  They will have fully explored the process with the teacher, the whole class, their partners, and on their own.  They are set up to be successful:)



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