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Age Range: Grade 9 through grade 12 (High School)
Rationale: To become effective readers' students need to establish a purpose for reading before they start reading. This will help students make connections with what they are reading and gain the ability to evaluate the importance of the information that they read.
Blank overhead sheet
Literary Elements packet
Class copies of Stargirl
One piece of paper for students to write their book numbers on
Vocabulary for this lesson:
Purpose question (PQ): a broad question designed to guide reading towards a specific purpose.
Nonconformity: refusal or failure to conform to accepted standards, conventions, rules, or laws.
Yogi Berra once said "If you don't know where you're going you might end up someplace else." Reading is kind of like that. If you don't know why you are reading or what you are really reading about then you are more likely to not remember what you just read. When you read something for pleasure or information it's important to have a purpose for reading it. Today we are going to start reading Stargirl and we are going to start by developing a purpose question to guide us through our reading.
Hand out Stargirl to all students and start passing out the book sign-out sheet.
Now, let's say that you were picking this book up from a shelf in the library or a book store. What would be the first thing that you would do? Direct the students to think of the different parts of the book and what information is there.
Guide them towards the author (Jerry Spinelli), the title (Stargirl), the back cover (synopsis of the story). Questions: has anyone read other books by this author? If so, what were they like? What might the title mean? What information do we learn from the back cover?
Ask the students if they are starting to have questions about what the book might be about. As they say their ideas write them on the overhead (with the overhead powered off).
Develop the class purpose question by turning on the overhead with all of their ideas written up there. An example of a purpose question might be: Who is Stargirl and what did she do that made people not like her?
Assessment: I will assess the students understanding of this by having them repeat their purpose question. Additionally they will have a quiz the next day with one question being "what answer have you found for the purpose question so far?"
Reflection and Revision: The concept of purpose questions needs some remediation and further explanation. I may have to adjust the questions so that they guide students towards being able to develop purpose questions. Questions are going to start off as skinny questions and as we move through the semester the questions will gain more weight. At the end of the unit students should be able to provide the types of purpose questions that I am asking for. In reflection I have noticed that I tend to talk with big words, oftentimes these words are too big for the students to understand. I need to be able to offer students the definitions of these words or possibly use simpler words for convey my message to the students. It might be a good idea to make sure that the students understand what is expected of them in class, but I do not want them to get by with remedial vocabulary skills.
Accommodations: Assignments are going to be given 2 days before they are due to ensure students have enough time to get the reading done. Most of the reading will be done in class and no student will be forced to read aloud. There are some students who are not able to remain in class because of their behavioral problems; they will be provided space in their case manager's rooms if they require it.