Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop
New Literacies of the Internet Put It Into Practice | New Literacies of the Internet
In this section, you will build on what you have learned and develop strategies you can use in your classroom. The following activities are designed to assist you in integrating new technologies into your existing curriculum. Choose one or both of the activities from the list below.
Activity 1 –Research an Author
In this activity, you will develop a lesson that guides your students to use the Internet to find out information about an author whose work they are reading in class.
Activity 2 –Develop Background Knowledge
In this activity, you will determine the background knowledge that is required to enhance students’ understanding of a novel you teach in your literacy program.
Research an Author
Teachers often give students background information about an author before reading a book. In addition to providing interesting information for the reader, this knowledge often helps the reader understand the author’s purpose in writing.
In this activity, you will help your students gain knowledge about an author by using the Internet. To develop this activity, use the following steps. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assigment.
- Think about what you want your students to know about the author. Use the following ideas as a guide:
- Consider what is interesting and unusual about this author’s life.
- Decide which events in the author’s life affected his/her writing.
- Think about the number and type(s) of books the author has written.
- Consider the audience(s) of the books this author writes.
- Has the author won any prizes? What does that tell you about the book/the author?
- What is the relationship between the author and his/her illustrator, if there is one? How was that illustrator chosen?
- Develop a broad question to guide students’ inquiry.
- Find several Web sites about the author.
- Develop specific questions that will help students access the important ideas on the Web sites provided.
For example, for the author Cynthia Rylant:
- General question: How did Cynthia Rylant’s childhood and young adult experiences influence her writing?
- Here are several URLs with information on Cynthia Rylant:
- As you search for information on the experiences that influenced Cynthia Rylant’s writing, use the following questions tguide your inquiry:
- Where and when was she born?
- Where did she live growing up?
- With whom did she live during her childhood?
- When did she decide to become an author?
- What kinds of books has she written?
Develop Background Knowledge
Many intermediate-grade novels are set in a time and/or a place that may be unfamiliar to students. For example, a story may take place on a Navajo reservation (Annie and the Old One), in Europe during World War II (Number the Stars), in the 1950s before the Civil Rights movement (The Gold Cadillac, Leon’s Story), or during the Great Depression in America (Bud, Not Buddy; Out of the Dust).
In this activity, you will identify the background information your students need to understand a novel they will read. Think about a favorite book that you teach with a setting that requires more background knowledge in order to understand and identify with the characters and story events. Then plan a two- to three-day lesson in which students will use the Internet to gather information about the setting of the story. Use these steps in designing your lesson:
- Consider the important concepts or characteristics that define the setting and will enhance students’ understanding when they read.
- Develop an overarching question that will guide students in their learning about this information.
- Identify specific vocabulary words in the story that could be used as key words during the search.
- Search the Internet to discover Web sites that will be useful to your students.
- Develop several additional questions related to the major question to clarify the search.
- Prepare a worksheet for students to complete as they search the Internet and gain new information.
- Plan a specific time for students to share what they have learned with the whole class or in small groups.
A sample lesson plan follows.
Using the Internet to Build Background Before Reading Lesson to Prepare for Bud, Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis
Setting: 1930s Depression Era in the Mid-west
Important concepts: poverty, homelessness, food lines, soup kitchens, jazz, blues
Overarching question: How did the hardships of the Great Depression affect people’s lives?
Key words for searching the Internet: Great Depression, drifters, Hoovervilles, railroads in the 1930s, Flint, Michigan
Possible Web sites: http://www.history.com/topics/great-depression
- What was the role of the railroads during the Great Depression?
- How did the U.S. government help people during the Great Depression?
- How did the music of the Great Depression reflect the times?
Sample student worksheet:
Question Web Site What I Learned New Questions
Sharing ideas: whole class or small groups; record new information on charts to be used during reading of book
After you have taught this lesson, consider the following questions:
- Did the Internet search help students to understand the important concepts related to the setting of the story?
- How did you support your struggling readers in using the Internet to answer the questions?
- What was most difficult for your students in searching Web sites related to your questions?
- What might you do differently the next time you use the Internet to prepare students for reading?
5.2 Analyze the Video | New Literacies of the Internet
Watch the video, "New Literacies of the Internet," taking notes as you watch. After you watch, jot down your answers to the questions below. If you prefer to watch the video in segments, pause the video when you see the next chapter heading.
Workshop 1 Creating Contexts for Learning
This session examines how classroom organization, routines, and grouping practices can enhance literacy skills in the middle grades. Literacy expert Jeanne Paratore discusses teaching strategies that foster reading and writing skills. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 2 Fluency and Word Study
This session focuses on how students in the middle grades develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Literacy expert Richard Allington discusses specific teaching strategies that help build fluency and vocabulary, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 3 Building Comprehension
Comprehending text is one of the main goals of reading. In this session, literacy expert Nell Duke discusses what good readers do and strategies teachers can use to help students build comprehension skills. Classroom footage provides examples of comprehension strategies.
Workshop 4 Writing
This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing in the middle grades. Literacy expert Nadeen Ruiz discusses the connections, conventions, and inventions that provide a framework for teaching writing, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 5 New Literacies of the Internet
This workshop focuses on the evolving use of networked technology in education. Literacy expert Donald Leu discusses strategies that help students effectively read, write, and communicate on the Internet. Classroom examples illustrate strategies for using Internet resources in the classroom.
Workshop 6 Teaching English Language Learners
Changing classroom demographics call for a range or teaching strategies. In this session, literacy expert Robert Jim�nez discusses strategies teachers can use to create a successful learning environment for all students, while supporting English language learners. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 7 Teaching Diverse Learners
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how teachers can meet the diverse needs of readers and writers in their classrooms. Classroom examples and teaching strategies address different aspects of diversity, including culture, language, background, ability, and learning approaches.
Workshop 8 Assessment and Accountability
This session explores assessment, standards, and outcomes. Literacy expert Kathy Au discusses the strategies teachers can use to assess students' understanding in reading and writing. Classroom examples illustrate how students can participate in their own assessment.
Supplementary Workshop 6 - Teaching English Language Learners
Professional Development Workshop Guide