Saturday, August 18, 2012


Activating, Utilizing, and Building Background Knowledge/Schema

As I read, I work to...

*   Use my experiences and knowledge of the world and reading to understand the text;

*   Connect what I know to what I am learning

I talk to myself by saying:

n This reminds me of...”  

n  “This is like/feels like…”

n  “This seems like…”

n  “This is like…and/but not like…”      

n  “This makes me think about…”

Connecting By Drawing

On Our Schema

Self-Talk for Accessing Background Knowledge:

The language I want to model and cultivate in my students to help them be mindful readers using their background knowledge includes:

          This reminds me of....

          This is just like...

          A connection I made to this piece is...

          A book brother for this book is...

Prompting Background Knowledge:

I listen for the self-talk of each strategy and prompt it if I don’t hear talk which will lead the child to understanding - or if I want to strengthen a child’s disposition to use a strategy.  My goal is to help each child be a mindful reader - aware of their own thinking as well as understanding the piece being read or written by the child. 

         What did this story/book/piece remind you of?  Why?

As you watched me during the modeled reading today, I constantly think to myself, “This reminds me of...”  Show we a place in the text where you found a "reminds me of..." connection.

We have been talking about making connections as we read.  Tell me about the connections you are making as you read this book/text.

How is this book like...the book we read yesterday?...the video we saw?...a book you read before?

Books To Model and Practice Using Schema:

  • Amber On The Mountain by Tony Johnson
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip Stead
  • Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
  • Best Class Picture Ever, The  by Denis Roche
  • Best Place to Read, The by Debbie Bertram
  • Best Wishes by Cynthia Rylant
  • Buster by Denise Fleming
  • Chicken Feet in Your Soup by Tomie dePaola
  • City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
  • Day In The Life of Murphy, A by Alice Provensen
  • Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
  • Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
  • Door Rang, The by Molly Bang
  • Drawing Lessons from a Bear by David McPhail
  • Extra Innings by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Grapes of Math, The by Greg Tang
  • Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher
  • How My Parents Learned To Eat by Ina Friedman
  • How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor
  • If there would be no light by Sahara Sunday Spain
  • If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff (series)
  • Ira Sleep Over by Bernard Waber
  • It’s Not My Fault by Nancy Carlson
  • Jessica by Kevin Henkes
  • Kid In the Red Jacket, The by Barbara Park
  • Kids From Room 402 by Betty Paraskevas
  • Life Size Zoo by Kristin Earhart (series)
  • Lion and the Mouse, The by Jerry Pinkney
  • Little Dog Poems by Kristin O’Connell George
  • Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  • Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy
  • Mark Twain?  What Kind of Name Is That? by Robert Quackenbush
  • Memory String, The by Eve Bunting
  • My Life In Dog Years by Gary Paulsen
  • Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
  • Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson
  • Nick Plays Baseball by Rachel Isadora
  • No More Dead Dogs by Gorman Korman
  • Oh, Tucker! by Steven Kroll
  • Oliver Button Is A Sissy by Tomie dePaola
  • Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson
  • Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
  • Piece, Part, Portion:  Fractions = Decimals = Percentages by Scott Gifford
  • Puddles by Jonathan London
  • Reading Grows by Ellen Senisi
  • School Mouse, The by Dick King-Smith
  • Show Me a Story by Leonard Marcus
  • Sick Day for Amos McGee, A by Philip Stead
  • Skinny Bones by Barbara Parker
  • Some Frog by Eve Bunting
  • Spectacular Science by Lee Bennett Hopkins (poetry)
  • Staying Nine by Pam Conrad
  • Tom by Tomie dePaola
  • Tomas and The Library Lady by Pat Mora
  • The Twelve Days of Kindergarten:  A Counting Book by Deborah Lee Rose
  • Throw Your Tooth From the Roof:  Traditions from Around the World
  • Twenty-Six Fairmont Avenue by Tomie dePaola
  • Wanted…Mud Blossom by Betsy Byars
  • Week In The Woods, A by Andrew Clements
  • When The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
  • With a Dog Like That, a Kid Like Me… by Michael Rosen
  • Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? By Lauren Child
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
& Read books by authors who write from their background knowledge vividly: 

                    -Sandra Cisneros

                    -Donald Crews

                    -Tomie DePaola

                    -Katherine Paterson

                    -Cynthia Rylant

                    -Gary Soto

                    -Jane Yolen

& Texts which reflect authors’ use of their own background knowledge such as autobiography, biography, personal narrative, memoir, scrapbooks.

& Texts set in schools and/or about school life.

& Books in a series are an excellent way to encourage children to use their background knowledge.  The reoccurring characters and themes of books in a series give growing readers great success in being more aware of using their background knowledge and, thus, comprehending these stories.

& Read books with a “variation of a theme”; Reading different versions of folk tales and fairy tales is a motivating way to involve children in shared and independent readings (i.e.:  Compare Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs with The Three Javelinas or Goldilocks and The Three Bears with Somebody and the Three Blairs and Goldilocks and The Three Dinosaurs).

Need to BUILD students' SCHEMA?  Check out Crash Course on You Tube as a way to provide students' with key background knowledge...

...And consider utilizing ye olde Read Alouds often...Big kids are not too big for picture books...In fact, many picture books are authored for older audiences.
...And give this year's students content area writing/self-generated texts from last year's students...
...And let's keep giving students tons of experiences outside of schools (Yep, field trips, outdoor education, community service projects...You, know outside of the box experiences and life experiences too many of our kids are missing.).

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