Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Reading Nonfiction Notice and Note Stance Signposts and Strategies
Last school year I used these stance bookmarks with my 6th grade students. We concentrated mostly on What Surprised Me? as we read nonfiction. It was a real discussion starter my students enjoyed. I look forward to going further with this during the coming school year.
Nonfiction requires a skeptical stance as nonfiction invades our world and our thoughts and perceptions.
The big questions above can help our students to think more deeply about the nonfiction they read and read it with a critical eye.
What Surprised You?
Have students mark passages that surprise them
Students reflect on how this question affected their thinking
What Seems Wrong?
What Makes Me Want to Know More?
What Did the Author Think I Already Knew?
Looking closely at What did the author think I already knew? can benefit my students in a big way. This question reminds students that when they don't get something, they must look for answers themselves. This empowers our students to be independent learners. Students learn what they are missing and how to acquire the prior knowledge on their own. They have a plethora of resources available, and we can empower them to research and learn what they need to understand in order to understand what they are reading. As teachers, we can lead our students to find the answers themselves by focusing them on this question when they don't get it or feel confused. They can learn to think about what they do not get, and why they don't get it.
What Challenged, Changed, or Confirmed What I Already Knew?
We read nonfiction to learn something
Learning involves changing the way we think about an idea or issue
We can change in several ways:
Confirm what we thought
Modify our thinking
Change our mind completely
This seems to really hit the bias and argument piece of our curriculum. It gives students a new lense as a reader. I see these 3 questions being impactful to begin our reading of nonfiction.
One question I have is how do you balance nonfiction with fiction in your classroom? Do you have weekly expectations for nonfiction or choice selections of nonfiction within a given month? Daily assignments? I am rethinking how I present our nonfiction this year and want to allow more choice for my students, but still have discussions, etc. Ideas?