Guided reading lesson: level Q/level 26+

This guided reading lesson will require students to read a non-fiction text. The text provides opportunities for:

  • paraphrasing
  • summarising the text
  • answering evaluative questions

It is assumed that whole class learning of these strategies will complement the focused learning in small group guided reading.

Text

 HeroRats, Author Jenny Feely, Program Flying Start to Literacy
Published by Eleanor Curtain Publishing Pty Ltd
© EC Licensing Pty Ltd. Reproduced by permission.

Text overview

This non-fiction text is about African giant-pouched rats who are trained to smell and identify TNT explosives in landmines or tuberculosis in lung fluid samples. Surprisingly, rats are much more efficient than humans at both jobs. The rats are trained and cared for by their handlers. After the rats finish their working life they are retired where they are looked after comfortably until they die.

Paraphrasing

Links to curriculum

  • Victorian Curriculum (English), Reading and Viewing, Literacy: Interpreting, analysing, evaluating
  • Level four: Read different types of texts for specific purposes by combining phonic, semantic, contextual and grammatical knowledge using text processing strategies, including monitoring meaning, skimming, scanning and reviewing (Content description VCELY287)
  • Level four: Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (Content description VCELY288)

Learning intention

We are learning to paraphrase to help us understand what we have read.

Success criteria

  • I can think about what I have read and put it into my own words.
  • I can use my own words to tell someone else about what I have read.

Lesson sequence

  1. Hand out individual copies of the text HeroRATs by Jenny Feely (Flying Start to Literacy, Eleanor Curtain Publishing, 2018). Give students a nutshell statement about the text (see Text Overview above).
  2. Introduce the learning intention. We are learning to put what we have read and understood into our own words. This is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is a strategy that helps us to understand what we read. I am going to show you how to do this by using an example from page 18 of the text we are reading today.

    Read the first sentence: "Today, HeroRATs are working in countries in Africa and Asia". I am going to put that into my own words. HeroRats work in Africa and Asia.

    I am going to keep reading. "Each morning, before it is too hot, the handler takes the HeroRAT to the area that needs to be cleared of landmines. The rat works for 20 minutes, sniffing all over the area." I am going to put that in my own words. The HeroRat works for 20 minutes at a time sniffing for landmines in areas where landmines are likely to be found.

    Continue reading. "When a rat finds a mine, it digs into the dirt and the handler places a flag to mark the spot". Ask students to select the key words or phrases in this sentence. How can they use this information to paraphrase? Encourage more than one student to paraphrase this sentence into their own words. Remind students that they can return to the page several times to check they have included the detail.
  3. Introduce the success criteria. As you read the Introduction and Chapter 1 today I want you to stop at the end of each page and go back and try and paraphrase what you have read. You might start by paraphrasing each sentence and then move on to paraphrasing a paragraph. Do this quietly to yourself. Afterwards you will have an opportunity to paraphrase part of the text to the other group members.
  4. Students read the text quietly to themselves. During this time the teacher hears each child in the group read individually. The teacher selects prompts to scaffold each student based on the learning intention.

    What key words and ideas are the most important in this sentence? How might you say it in your own words?

    Can you go back and reread this paragraph? What is it telling you? How do you know? Can you say it in your own words?

  5. After reading, check for understanding.
  6. Return to the introduction on pages 4 and 5. Ask individual students to volunteer reading a paragraph and then paraphrasing in their own words. What key words, phrases or ideas were important? Support as appropriate.
  7. Return to the success criteria. Check which students felt confident about putting what they read into their own words. Additionally, check which group members felt confident paraphrasing what they had read for someone else. Record student responses for future learning opportunities.

Summarising

Links to curriculum

Victorian Curriculum (English), Reading and Viewing, Literacy: Interpreting, analysing, evaluating

Level four: Read different types of texts for specific purposes by combining phonic, semantic, contextual and grammatical knowledge using text processing strategies, including monitoring meaning, skimming, scanning and reviewing (Content description VCELY287)

Level four: Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (Content description VCELY288)

Learning intention

We are learning to summarise a paragraph to help us understand what we read.

Success criteria

  • I can identify the sentence which contains the most important idea and mark with a sticky note.
  • I can write down key words on a sticky note.
  • I can put both together to make a summary.

Lesson sequence

  1. Hand out individual copies of the text HeroRATs by Jenny Feely (Flying Start to Literacy, Eleanor Curtain Publishing, 2018). Give students a nutshell statement about the text (see Text overview above).
  2. Introduce the learning intention. We are learning to summarise. Summarising is important because it helps us to understand what we read.  To summarise we must think about what we are reading and pick out the most important ideas. We should list these ideas and then put them together to make a summary. Because a summary only contains the main ideas and not the details, it is shorter than the original version. Today as we read, I want you to choose one paragraph to summarise. Pick out the most important idea or sentence and list key words on a sticky note. We will share these ideas with others after we have all finished reading to make a summary.
  3. Model finding the most important ideas on page 8 'The problem of landmines'. Use the think aloud strategy so students can hear how to pick out the main ideas.

    I think the first sentence contains important information because it gives you a definition of a landmine and where they are found.  Key words in the rest of the paragraph are 'during wars', 'stepping', 'driving' and 'deadly explosion'. I can use all this information to make my summary (e.g. Landmines are underground bombs. If people stand on them or drive over them they explode and can kill. They are used during wartime.)

  4. Students read the text quietly to themselves. During this time the teacher hears each child in the group read individually. The teacher selects prompts to scaffold each student based on the learning intention.

    Which paragraph are you going to summarise? What ideas are the most important? Is there a sentence that contains the main idea? Can you mark it with a sticky note?

    What key words did you find/list on your sticky note?

    Can you put the ideas and key words together to make a summary?

  5. After reading, check for overall understanding.
  6. During the after reading discussion ask students to share their summaries from their chosen paragraph.  Encourage students to use the think aloud strategy to explain how they got to their summary.
  7. Return to the success criteria. Check to see whether students had marked their important ideas and key words with sticky notes. Check to see whether they could make a summary.

Answering evaluative questions

Links to curriculum

  • Victorian Curriculum (English), Reading and Viewing, Literacy: Interpreting, analysing, evaluating
  • Level four: Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (Content description VCELY288
  • Victorian Curriculum (English), Speaking and Listening, Literature: Responding to Literature
  • Level four: Discuss literary experiences with others, sharing responses and expressing a point of view (Content description VCELT306)

Learning intention

We are learning to answer an evaluative question.

Success criteria

  • I can answer an evaluative question by thinking about how the ideas generated from the text fit with what I believe or think about a topic.
  • I can give reasons to justify my point of view.

Lesson sequence

  1. Hand out individual copies of the text HeroRATs by Jenny Feely (Flying Start to Literacy, Eleanor Curtain Publishing, 2018). Give students a nutshell statement about the text (see Text Overview above).
  2. Introduce the learning intention. We are learning to answer evaluative questions. Evaluative questions require the reader to go beyond the text and think about the bigger picture. The reader considers what they believe about a topic and whether that fits with the ideas generated from the text. As you are reading today I want you to be thinking about the big ideas coming from this text. After we have read this text we are going to answer some evaluative questions.
  3. Students read the text quietly to themselves. During this time the teacher hears each child in the group read individually. The teacher selects prompts to scaffold each student based on the learning intention.
  4. After reading, check for overall understanding.
  5. Have some evaluative questions prepared for discussion by the students (see evaluative question stems for assistance) Some examples might be:

    What is your opinion on animals being used for dangerous jobs like looking for landmines or testing for tuberculosis?
    How do you feel about people that use landmines?
    What other types of jobs could rats be trained for?
    Why do you think people like Bart Weetjens want to make the world a better place?

    Encourage students to justify their thinking as they answer the questions.
  6. Return to the success criteria. Check with students whether they could link the ideas generated from the text with their own beliefs or ideas. Additionally, when answering questions could they give reasons/justify why they thought the way they do.