Thursday

Teach Reading Comprehension While Reading Aloud - Jubal's Wish


I'm back to tutoring this year. Part of the lesson for my 4th grade student is a read aloud with a focus on reading comprehension using advice from 7 Keys to Comprehension. We're starting out with picture books and will move on to chapter books soon.
The advice in 7 Keys to Comprehension suggests to model your own thinking outloud to teach a child the keys to comprehension. I've been modeling my thinking and giving my own three children opportunities to share their thinking when I read to them. I've been successful with my seven year old son! He now enjoys reading chapter books on his own, because he makes pictures in his head. My kids love it when they connnect to background knowledge. A special memory is quickly visited. They are finding more pleasure in reading!

Today I will read aloud Jubal's Wish by Audrey Wood and Don Wood to my 4th grade student. Our focus will be on sensory images, background knowledge, questioning, and drawing inferences.

SENSORY IMAGES -
(He was so happy his feet barely touched the ground.) I will point to the picture and tell my student how I can make a movie in my head of the frog hopping. I see the frog's right foot land for a second. He springs back up in the air with his other leg up. His arms sway back and forth, but I think his body stays straight and his head stays up. Take a minute to let that movie play in your head.






DRAWING INFERENCES -
("A happy sunny day to you, dear friend!" Jubal exclaimed.) I can tell Jubal is happy from the way he is talking. The author used the word exclaimed. This seems like a happy or excited way of talking to me.
("What's so happy about it?" Gerdy snapped.) Now, what way of talking is snapped do you think? ________
BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE -
It makes me think of a snapping turtle. A snapping turtle snaps when he is angry or trying to scare something away.




SENSORY IMAGES -
(Jubal looked up. The sky was blue, and the birds were singing in the trees.) Try to see a blue sky and hear birds singing.
BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE -
(A splendid feeling of wonder moved up from his toes to the tip of his nose.) A wonderful memory just popped in my head. One day I was all alone, the sky was blue, I was lying on my back on the trampoline, a soft breeze blew and made the leaves of the aspen tree flutter above the trampoline. I know I felt a splendid relaxed feeling. I'm not sure I felt a feeling of wonder like Jubal. I'm guessing he's wondering about how nature can be so beautiful, or maybe he's wondering about the next amazing thing he will see or hear.

QUESTIONING -
After reading this page we find out that Captain Dalbert Lizard is not happy. He says his happy days are over.
I know most children stories have a happy ending. I hope the lizard finds a way to be happy. My question is ... Will Captain Dalbert Lizard find a way to be happy? I will keep this question in my mind and look for ways it might happen. I'm also thinking about Gerdy Toad. I want her to be happy too.





SENSORY IMAGES -
Let's think about how some of the words on this page help us create a movie in our minds.

(blinding rain) This let's me know there is a lot of rain. I imagine being there and not being able to see through the rain pounding as I squint my eyes trying to see the person calling my name.
(struggling sailboat bobbed into view) I can see a sailboat coming toward me. The word struggling makes me think it might not make it to me. The word bobbed helps me make a movie of a boat coming on top of a wave and then disappearing.

At the end of the story we will talk about if Captain Dalbert and Gerdy find a way to be happy.

I highly recommend 7 Keys to Comprehension. It gives practical advice to help reading come alive. I did not enjoy reading as a child. I never read for pleasure. I don't think I figured out how to think while reading until my late twenties. This may come natural for some people. Others may need some encouragement and teaching. If you are looking for ways to improve reading comprehension buy this book.
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