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It's time for our next Rich Mentor Text (the boys are really enjoying these books we read and dissect together). This one's about illiteracy, and although the language is simple, the undercurrents are strong: With well-framed follow-up questions, it provides a great starting point for intermediate students to consider purpose and author's intended message.
BEFORE - Anticipation Guide
Before reading the book aloud for the first time, have students respond to the following statements, indicating whether they agree or disagree (they will revisit these statements after reading and discussing the text):
DURING - First Read Aloud
As you read the book aloud for the first time, stop periodically to model think-alouds, focusing on "Check for Understanding" and/or "Asking Questions", two comprehension strategies in the Literacy CAFE menu. A few suggested stopping points are below:
AFTER - Second Read Aloud (a few days later)
- Share the following questions with students, then re-read the text, giving students time to consider possible responses: i) On page 11, Jeremiah says, "But I can be even better" -- why does he think that learning to read will make him better? Do you agree? Why or why not? ii) What words would you use to describe Jeremiah? Use examples from the text and your own ideas to explain your thinking. iii) What are some of the things Jeremiah taught to others? Use specific examples from the text. iv) Why do you think Jeremiah chose a book of poems to read aloud to his wife the first time? What would YOU choose to read to someone special? Why? v) Why do you think the author wrote this story? What was her intended message? Use examples from the text and your own ideas to justify your answer.
- Give students time to respond in writing to their choice of three questions.
- Have students share some of their responses, discuss as a group.
- Revisit the anticipation guide from the pre-reading phase of the lesson.
- Post a photocopy of the front cover on your "rich mentor text wall", along with a student-generated main idea or "big message".