Posts tagged ‘earth movements’

107. Volcanoes by Franklyn M. Branley

volcanoes branleyRetell: Branley describes how volcanoes form and how geologists constantly pay attention to their activity.

Topics: volcanoes, eruptions, earthquakes, geologists, earth movements

Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area

Reading Skills: envisionment, monitoring for sense

My Thoughts: While reading this book I was reminded of work I did last year.  Some colleagues and I examined level K and L books in order to investigate why readers struggle at those levels.  We noticed that books at this level usually have illustrations that convey information about part of the text.  Proficient readers understand that the illustration supports what the text says.  Struggling readers will form their mental picture of what’s going on from the illustration and not from the text.   We discovered that it was important to teach readers to not rely completely on the illustration, but to envision what’s not in the illustration.  Volcanoes is a great read aloud for modeling this strategy.  For example, when Branley describes the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the illustration shows the volcano erupting in the background of a lively city; the readers must envision the city being buried.  If we don’t model this thinking during the read aloud, students may miss vital pieces of information.  Prompts I like to use during read aloud to push this thinking are:

  • “What’s missing from the illustration?”
  • “What would you add to the illustration?”
  • “Where would you put that idea in the illustration?”
  • “Paint the illustration in the air.  Think about what you would include.”

October 11, 2009 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

87. How Mountains Are Made by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

how mountains are madeRetell: A group of children climb a nearby mountain.  During the climb they start wondering about how mountains are made.

Topics: mountains, erosion, plate tectonics, earth movements, volcanoes

Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area

Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe

Reading Skills: questioning, determining importance, envisionment

My Thoughts: This is a great read aloud to supplement the fourth grade New York Delta FOSS Kit unit on Earth Movements.  It’s a simple example of how narrative nonfiction and expository nonfiction are often blended together within the same text.  The illustrated characters who narrate the text are a little distracting but you can choose whether or not to read their speech bubbles out loud.

September 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm 1 comment


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