The lesson below explains an instructional strategy that I’ve used with narratives in our first unit for secondary intervention students. This engages student thinking to make predictions, guide reading, and sustain interest in the story. This strategy also offers space for front-loading important and unfamiliar vocabulary. As students read, they gather evidence to make adjustments to their original predictions. “Fragments from the story, in the form of clue words and phrases (context clues), enable readers to form an overall impression of how the characters and events interact in the story” (Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz). Variations of this strategy can be found in a variety of resources. Here you can see how it connects to a standard and specific targets (Marzano) in our Strategic Reading curriculum.
Activate prior knowledge specific to the text to determine the purpose for reading. Use text and text features to develop logical predictions. Monitor the accuracy of the predictions, analyze textual evidence to adjust.
- adjust predictions based on textual evidence.
- monitor the accuracy of predictions based on textual evidence.
- use the text features and context clues to develop logical predictions.
- Students will receive a list of clue words “selected directly from the story and sequenced with arrows or lines to form a descriptive chain”(Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz). These words are chosen from a text that challenges but doesn’t frustrate students.
- Engage students in an effective strategy for exploring the unfamiliar vocabulary that is essential to the theme of the story.
- After unfamiliar words have been explored and the Story Impression process has been modeled (the first time), students will use the clue words to write a story prediction for the short story or chapter they are about to read. Students must use all of the words in the story chain. Using all the terms requires students to predict the possible connections between the words and concepts.
- Students share their ideas in pairs and volunteers share out. If time allows, the teacher may facilitate quick discussion about how evidence fueled the predictions.
- Students will read the text using a process chosen by the teacher. (Even a version reciprocal teaching could be used here.) The teacher may identify stopping points for students to discuss adjustments and the evidence that supports them.
- During the reading process, the teacher can monitor conversations or conference with students about the applications of the target skills.
Prediction, adjust, context, text features, textual evidence
- Written story impression using all of the terms/concepts provided.
- Exit Slip/Quick Write – How did the story differ from your prediction? Provide evidence from the text to show the differences.
- Student-teacher conferencing throughout the process.