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Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 4

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 24, 2016 9:31:01 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here, the second post here, and the third post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. In the first two posts, we looked at how this can work in kindergarten. In the third post, we started to look at second grade, and today I will finish my thoughts about second grade with one last example of how to use a book to develop these skills. Hopefully, this series of posts and example texts have given you some ideas about how to generalize these strategies with leveled readers in your own classroom. 

Today's example text, at guided reading level F, is written slightly under level for second-graders, which makes it accessible to even those students who might be struggling. However, the inference lessons are on standard level for second grade and could apply to even advanced students. Let's take a look at how we use it.

The-Man-Who-Was-Afraid-of-Ants.jpgBook Two: The Man Who Was Afraid Of Ants

The Man Who Was Afraid of Ants by Heather Goodacre is an excellent choice for introducing unknown words, multiple-meaning words and phrases, and changes in a character. Use the front cover to introduce the character of Jake. Prompt the children as they determine the meaning of “afraid of.”

Page 2:

Ask children to discuss why Jake was a fireman.

  • What clue does the author give?
  • Why would Jake want to 'help people'?

Page 3:

After reading this page to the class, ask them to show in actions what the words “itch,” “twitch,” and the phrase “creepy feeling” mean. As you continue to read the story, the children can use the actions for these words each time you read the words.

Pages 4 and 5:

After reading these two pages, guide and prompt the students as they use clues from the story to discuss whom the friends are, where they are, and what is about to happen.

  • How did the illustrations help answer these questions?

Pages 6 and 7:

Study the illustrations and discuss what the students think is happening to Jake.

  • How do you think his friends felt when they saw him act this way? (Accept any logical response.)

Page 8:

  • How does the boy in the picture feel?
  • What words on the page and the picture help you know how he felt?

Page 9:

Ask for one volunteer student to be Jake and another to be the boy. The two students will speak in the same manner as the two characters.

  • How do they know what the boy may have said?
  • If they drew a speech balloon above the boy, what might be in the balloon?

Pages 10 and 11:

  • How are the two pictures different?
  • Does Jake change how he feels? How do we know?
  • When the students come to “itch” and “twitch,” what do they do, or not do?
  • How can they show “a tiny bit creepy”?
  • Do they think Jake is still afraid of ants? Why?
  • What does Jake mean when he says, "I guess"?

After finishing reading the story, ask the children why they think the home of the ants is called a “farm.” What do they usually think of when they see or hear the word “farm”?

Invite the students to draw pictures of things they are afraid of. If they desire, they can write about how these thing make them feel. Ask volunteers to share their fears. The drawings could be included in a class book titled "Things We Fear" and placed in the class library.

Plenty of other books can be used in this way to model, prompt, and provide opportunities for students to infer. As your students progress to other grades, they will use this strategy, and it is part of each year's standards. It becomes an essential skill needed in all subject areas.

This concludes my series of posts on using books to teach inference skills in early grades. To go back to the first post in the series, click here. If you like what you've read here, you can see an archive of my earlier posts here! I contribute fairly frequently, so subscribe to the blog in the upper right sidebar to get my next series of posts delivered directly to your mailbox!

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 3

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 19, 2016 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here and the second post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. In the previous two posts, we looked at how this can work in kindergarten. Today, I will focus on second grade. Let's start by looking at the Common Core Standards for second grade that relate to 

A Look at Grade Two National Standards Connected To Inferences

LITERATURE

  • Ask and answer questions 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', 'why', and 'how' to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.1)
  • Acknowledge the differences in the point of view of characters, including speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.6)
  • Use information gathered from illustrations and words in print to demonstrate understanding of characters, setting, and plot. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade topic or subject area. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.4)
  • Identify the main purpose in a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.6)
  • Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.8)

Now we’ll take a look at some examples of how to use leveled readers to teach these skills and help your students meet the standards.

Book One: Hurricane Dog

hurricane_dog_400.jpgBook one is Hurricane Dog by Sharon Rasmussen Powell. This book can be used as a read-aloud, a guided reading group book for students reading at the level of the book, and a take-home book for those who read it in a guided reading session.

Before reading, share the front cover and guide the students as they discuss what they think is happening in the illustration.

  • What is the dog wondering?
  • Why is he concerned and maybe worried?
  • What do you know when you study the picture of the tree?
  • What do you think a hurricane might be?
  • Why is the book named Hurricane Dog?

Use page 2 to introduce the character of Odie the dog. Remind students that the author will tell them what happened to Odie and how his life changed.

Page 3 has a balloon that tells what Odie remembers about how his life was changed by the hurricane.

  • What does he remember about what a storm called a hurricane did?

Pages 4 and 5 share what happened to Odie's house and his owners' home. Ask children to share questions that are in their minds. List their questions on the board and tell them that as you read the rest of the story, they can listen for answers to their questions.

Pages 6 and 7 show Odie's new home. After reading, wait for reactions and questions from the students. Ask them to determine if any of their questions were answered.

  • Which of your questions did the story answer?
  • Which questions are still unanswered?

Reread the last two sentences on page 6.

  • Why did the owners say good-bye to Odie?
  • Where is Odie?
  • What do the children know about animal shelters?

Reread page 7.

  • What was Odie's wish or dream?
  • What does the word 'nice' mean on this page?

Pages 8–10. Introduce Odie's new family.

  • Why did Odie jump up?
  • Why did the family smile at Odie?
  • What did the author mean when she said "His stay there was done"? (This activity involves a multiple-meaning word, "stay".)
  • How did the family show Odie they liked him? (Answer: illustration)
  • How did Odie show he liked the family?

Pages 11 and 12 tell us how Odie's dream came true.

  • How did this happen?
  • Why does the author tell us to dream 'big'? (Another multiple-meaning word)

Invite the children to share dreams they have after some discussion. Prompt as the students discuss the idea of "having a dream" (multiple meaning word).

  • How is this meaning different from having a dream as we sleep?

Use a writing activity that can further the idea of “having a dream.” Each child can illustrate his/her dream with pictures in a large bubble like the one in the book on page 3. Share that illustration with the children. Suggest that they draw pictures of themselves and place large bubbles over their heads. The bubbles will share their dreams. They can sit in groups of three and study the drawings of each other and predict what the friends 'dreams are. These drawings could be put into book form and placed in the class library. A bulletin board labeled "OUR DREAMS" might be displayed.

I have one more book example to show you, but I'll leave it for Part 4 so this post doesn't get too long!

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Inference Skills

Using Leveled Books to Teach Literature Standards in Second Grade,  Part 2: Informational Text

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Nov 12, 2015 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

To recap from my previous post on literature standards for grade two, the national standards for grade two require the use of the genres of fiction and expository informational texts. In this set of two posts, I use the Story World Real World series: The Lion and the Mouse from Story World and Lions from Real World. The labels before each standard begin with "RL.2." and the number of the standard follow. The "RL.2." part means Reading, Literature, Grade 2. The standards are arranged under designated areas of the uses of literature. The standards in this post are based on informational texts. You can read Part 1, in which I covered the fiction standards, by clicking here.

STANDARDS FOR INFORMATIONAL TEXTS

These ideas for ways to support these standards are based on the informational text Lions.

RL.2.2 Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text, as well as the main focus of a specific paragraph.

Lions:

Several pages of this book (pages 5, 6, and 8) can be used as examples of paragraphs. Ask the students to read these pages and then suggest they be an author and give that page a title. Explain that their title is the main thing the author wanted them to know after they read the paragraph. As teacher, you might model and think aloud with page 5 and then ask the children to work with a partner to decide the focus of page 6. They should then be able to work alone and think about the focus or main idea of page 8. Ask them to share their foci of page 8.

RT L.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in texts relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject.

Lions has a glossary that can be used before, during, and after reading. There is also an index that includes words from the story. Students can be asked to go to the index, find a certain word, and read the page designated and determine its meaning. Suggest they use what they know about sounds of letters, words within words, and meaning as they consider the meaning of the word.

Another source of meaning for certain words is the use of bolding to identify important words. The students can, again, use pictures and other cross checking cues to decide the meaning of the words. There are questions on each page that require the students to think about the vocabulary. They can check their answers in the back of the book in the glossary.

RL.2.5 Know and use various text features to locate key information in a text efficiently.

The previous suggestions for the last standard also touched on in this standard. I suggest using the index to find answers to questions. Suggested questions include these:

  • Why are lions good hunters?
  • What would you call a group of lions?
  • Where would you find a lion?
  • What is one amazing fact about lions?
  • What kind of animal is a lion?
  • On what page can I find the meaning of a word?

The above questions can be shared on a board, a screen, or a worksheet copy given to each child. The child could write his answers in his journal and the group can discuss how they found the answers. Model the first question for the class, sharing aloud the procedure you used to decide which page you went to find your answer. Remind the students that the index is found in the back of the book.

RL.2.6 Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

After reading the book and using it in discussion and writing, the following questions can be answered by the students:

  • What questions and answers did the author give? (Ask the children to share examples.)
  • What is an explanation? What are some things the author explained? (Find an explanation in the book.)
  • What is something the author described? What do you do if you describe something?

RL.2.8 Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

  • How can we can tell the male lion from the female lion?
  • How do we know a pride is large?

What do we know about how lions eat their food? (This question is more difficult, but the answer is in the text.)

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection Series. For more information about the Kaleidoscope Collection Series click HERE to return to our website or click the series highlight page to the left below. For more information on the Story World Real World series featured in this post, click here or click the image to the right below.

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Topics: Common Core, Literature, Real World, Informational Text, Leveled Readers, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Grade Two

Using Leveled Books to Teach Literature Standards in Second Grade,  Part 1: Narrative Text

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Nov 5, 2015 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

The national standards for grade two require the use of the genres of fiction and expository informational texts. In this set of two posts, I use the Story World Real World series, which are paired texts designed for this purpose. The back of each book in the series shows how titles from the series can be paired together to integrate the two types of literature. The purpose of the design of the standards is to develop strategies for reading and scaffolding information from both types of texts. The ability to do this will provide the students with opportunities to develop strategies needed to read and use both fiction and nonfiction as demanded in social studies, science, and other content areas as they study, write, and participate in content subjects in the upper grades.

The two books chosen for this set of posts are The Lion and the Mouse from Story World and Lions from Real World. There are multiple ways to use the books with children with varied independent reading levels.

The labels before each standard begin with "RL.2." and the number of the standard follow. The "RL.2." part means Reading, Literature, Grade 2. The standards are arranged under designated areas of the uses of literature. The standards in this post are based on fiction stories. I’ll go over the informational text standards in Part 2.

KEY IDEAS AND DETAILS

RL.2.1 Ask and answer questions: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW.

The Lion and the Mouse:

  • Who are the characters in the fable?
  • What are some things each character did?
  • What happened to the lion?
  • Where was the lion?
  • When do you think the story happened (daytime, etc.)?
  • Why did the lion change his mind about the mouse?
  • How did the mouse feel when it saw the lion in the net?

Invite children to ask their questions based on the question words. They might quiz each other using questions they write.

RL.2.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning and the ending conclude the action.

The Lion and the Mouse:

Ask the students to read the book title and page 2. Invite them to share questions about what they think will happen in the story. Record these questions for students to review after the story is read. Guide a discussion based on which of their questions were answered by the story. Explain that they used the beginning of the story to ask unanswered questions and after reading they can read/reread the last page to determine the ending of the story. Explain that the story ended, or had a conclusion. What happened between pages 2 and 16 happened between the first and last part of the story.

RL.2.6 Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, concluding by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialog aloud.

The Lion and the Mouse:

Select a subject for which the children can share their points of view. (How they are special? What is their favorite game and why?) Several can share their points of view and the group can talk about how their points of view were different. You can explain that the lion changed his point of view about the mouse. Ask them to think about this as they read. Why did the lion change how he felt about the mouse?

At the beginning of the story (page 2) what point of view did everyone have of the lion? What was the lion's point of view about himself (page 6)? What was baby monkey's point of view about the lion (page 11)? What was the mouse's point of view about himself (page 15)?

After reading, invite the children to reread, speaking as the lion, mouse, or monkey did in the story. What emotions are they sharing as they become one of the animals. How did each animal feel as it spoke?

RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a digital text to demonstrate the understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

This standard is based on use of computer versions of the story, but can also be taught using the illustration of the book. If students are using computers, they can read versions of the story from the web.

The Lion and the Mouse:

CHARACTERS: Discuss the illustrations on pages 2–6. What do these pictures tell us about the lion as the story begins? Study the picture on pages 7–9. What do these pictures tell us? (Elicit several responses for each question.) Study the pictures on pages 10–14. What do these pictures tell us? What do the pictures on the last two pages tell us?

SETTING: Remind the children that the setting includes where and when the story happened. Where does the story take place? Is the time of the setting day or night? What kind of weather do you think the animals are having? Why? Ask the students to write and share sentences about the setting.

RL.2.9 Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story by different authors.

Visit the school library and check out more versions of the fable The Lion and the Mouse. There are also several websites that contain versions of the fable. You might use a read-aloud and ask the children how the two stories were alike or different.

  • Did the stories have the same characters?
  • Did they end in the same way?
  • Which version did they like the best and why?
  • Was their choice of a favorite based on a difference between the two versions?
  • What were the differences?
Several copies of the story versions could be placed in the class library or used in shared reading groups or at computer centers.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection Series. For more information about the Kaleidoscope Collection Series click HERE to return to our website or click the series highlight page to the left below. For more information on the Story World Real World series featured in this post, click here or click the image to the right below.

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Topics: Common Core, Literature, Story World, Narrative Text, Leveled Readers, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Grade Two

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