Saturday, August 18, 2012

Studying Determining Importance with Growing K-12 Thinkers

Determining Importance Studies

As I read/learn/listen/view, I work to...

      Identify importance striving to grasp the messages, main ideas, themes, and feelings of the text

I talk to myself by saying:

n      “The most important idea here is…”

n       “The message(s) here is...”

n       “The author wants me to learn…”

n       “I know that this is really important  

n       “From the title, the big idea is…”

Studying Why and How to Identify Importance in “Texts

The Self-Talk of Identifying Importance:     

          I learned...

          I was surprised to learn/read...

          The most important thing to remember is...

          The most important ideas here are...

          The message here is...

          The author wants me to learn...

          My reason for reading this piece is...

          I was surprised by/I was surprised to read...

          I learned...

          The most important thing to remember is/are...

          The big ideas here are...

From the title, I know the main idea of this piece is ________ and I will read to find the details...

Prompting for Identifying Importance:

Ø  Tell me what you are thinking.

Ø  What are the big ideas here?

Ø  When I read, I expect to learn something.  What did you learn from this book?

Ø  What is the main idea(s)/messages/theme here/in this text?

Ø  Is this a factual piece or one based on the author’s opinion?  How do you know?

Ø  As I read, I find surprises.  These are usually the places where I learned something new.  Did you find any surprises here?

Ø  How did the graphs/picture/charts/maps/bold print help you understand this piece/text?

Ø  What does the author want us to learn from this piece?

Ø  We are studying how we determine importance as we read.  Take me to a place in your reading where you figured out what is important in this text/ story.  How do you know that?

Mentor Texts for Cultivating Students’ Capacity to Determine Importance:

Ackerman, A. & A.                    Our Mom Has Cancer

Aliki                                          How A Book is Made

Aliki                                          The King’s Day

Angelou, Maya                          I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Barrett, Judi                             A Snake Is Totally Tail

Battle-Lavert, Gwendolyn           Papa’s Mark

Brain, Marshall                         More How Stuff Works

Brown, Margaret Wise               The Importance Book

Bunting, Eve                             Fly Away Home

Bunting, Eve                             Someday A Tree

Bunting, Eve                             The Wall

Bunting, Eve                             Wednesday’s Surprise

Cole, Joanna                             Magic School Bus Series

Crew & Smith                           Troy Thompson’s Excellent Poetry Book

DePaola, Tomie                         Oliver Button Is A Sissy

Ehlert, Lois                               Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Elleman, Barbara                     Tomie dePaola: His Art & His Stories

Fletcher, Ralph                         Writer’s Notebook

Fletcher, Ralph                         Fig Pudding

Fletcher, Ralph                         Marshfield Dreams:  When I Was a Kid

Fox, Mem                                  Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge

Gibbons, Gail                            Monarch Butterflies

Gibbons, Gail                            Trains

Gibbons, Gail                            Up the Skyscraper

Hakim, Joy                                History of Us

Haley, Alex                                Malcolm X

Hawes, Julie                             Fireflies In The Night

Hendershot, Judith                  In Coal County

Hershenhorn, Esther                S is for Story:  A Writer’s Alphabet

Hopkins, Lee Bennett               Been To Yesterdays

Jakes, John                              Susanna of the Alamo:  A True Story

Janeczko, Paul                          The Place My Words Are Looking For

Jenkins, Steve                          Actual Size

Jenkins, Steve                          Just a Second

Johnson, Tony                          It’s About Dogs

Judge, Lita                                One Thousand Tracings

Katz, Bobbi                               We The People

Kitchen, Bert                            Somewhere Today

Kovacs, Deborah                       Very First Things To Know About Bears

Krementz, Jill                           A Very Young Actress

Little, Jean                                Hey World, Here I Am!

Livingston, Myra Cohn             Up In The Air

Lloyd, Pamela                           How Writers Write

Lobel, Arnold                            Fables

Lowry, Lois                               Looking Back:  A Book of Memories

Meyer and Meyer                      Teen Ink:  Our Voices, Our Visions

Miller, William                          Richard Wright and the Library Card

Moutoussamy-Ashe, C.            Daddy and Me

Neuschwander, Cindy              Sir Cumference and the Great Knight Angleland:  A Math Adventure (series)

Nobisso, Josephine                 In English, Of Course

O’Brien, Patrick                        The Bookworm’s Feast

Parring                                     Then and Now

Quackenbush, Robert              Don’t You Dare Shoot That Bear!  A Story of T. Roosevelt

Reynolds, Peter                       The Dot

Ryan, Pam Munoz                   When Marian Sang

Sabuda, Robert                       Tutankhamen’s Gift

Sandin, Joan                           Coyote School News

Scieszka, Jon                          Guys Read

Scieszka, Jon                            Guys Write for Guys Read

Smith, Lane                             Math Curse

Solheim, James                        It’s Disgusting and We Ate It:  True Food

Facts From Around the World and Throughout History

St. George, Judith                    So You Want To Be An Inventor?

St. George, Judith                    So You Want To Be President?

Rylant, Cynthia                        Missing May

Rylant, Cynthia                        Waiting To Waltz

Ueland, Brenda                        If You Want To Write

Verstraete, Stan                       S is for Scientist

Voorhees, Don                          Why Does Popcorn Pop?...and 201 Other

  Fascinating Facts About Food

Weeks, Sarah                            Two eggs, please.

Wood, Jenny                             The Animal Book

Yolen, Jane                               Writing Books for Children

And, first and foremost, PIECES Students HAVE AUTHORED as well as the following texts:

& Biographies/Memoir     

& Brochures            

& Colorado Kids (Denver Post)

& Cookbooks                      

& Internet Texts      

& Mini-Page (Rocky Mountain News)

& Newspaper                     

& React (Denver Post)  

& Reference Texts             

& Scholastic News

& Textbooks

& Time for Kids        

& Travel Logs

& Zillions

Titles are a promise of things to come.

Text Title:

The title of a text usually gives us the main idea or ideas.  Today as you read, collect important words which seem to connect to the title (main idea) of this piece.

Important Words :

Why this word is important:

My one sentence summary of this text (oral and/or written):

Determining the BIG, Important Ideas          As We Read

A few tips about how to figure out what is important as we read:

v The title often gives us the main idea of the piece.

v From the title of your book/text, what do you predict the main idea of this piece will be?

v What words do you expect to read in this piece?

v From reading this piece, craft a few sentences that capture the main idea(s) in your own words (and/or draw pictures of your thinking here).

Determining Importance
© L. Benson

I expect to find surprises when I read nonfiction.
These surprises represent what I am learning as I read a
nonfiction book/text.

Surprises I found in ________________:

Here is a drawing of my learning:

Finding the Big Ideas in Novels
©L. Benson

When I am reading a chapter book, I learn more about the character and problem of the story.  The important ideas I look for are how the character is going to solve the problem. 

The big ideas about the character and problem in this chapter are...

How I determine important ideas:  (Optional notes or thoughts for our Talking Circle)

Bookmark Bites
Thinking Ink
I found a powerful passage as I read/heard/viewed ___________ today:            

I found these surprises as I read ________________ today…

This seemed powerful to    me because...

From these surprises, I learned…

Identifying Importance - Bookmarks
©Laura Benson
Identifying Importance - Bookmarks
©Laura Benson

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