Day 3 * AM Session 10:30-12:00 - Santa Rosa County School District

Participants will increase their knowledge of:
1. the importance of using informational or
nonfiction text in the primary classroom;
2. creating text-based questions;
3. using nonfiction for a read-aloud;
4. the value of close reading;
Nonfiction Text
With the people seated near you,
please discuss:
Why is it important to use
informational text in the primary
Benefits of Nonfiction
• Incorporating informational text in the curriculum in the early years
of school has the potential to increase student motivation, build
important comprehension skills, and lay the groundwork for
students to grow into confident, purposeful readers.
• Reading comprehension and overall academic achievement can be
greatly improved, and learning gaps closed, by systematically
increasing the amount of academic background knowledge students
learn beginning in the elementary grades.
• Students need a broad and rich knowledge base to recognize and
understand the meaning of words and ideas they read throughout
their years in school and beyond.
Authentic Purposes for Reading
Informational Text
Sometimes students in school usually read informational
text to answer questions at the back of the chapter, to
complete a test prep worksheet, or simply because the
teacher said to do so. Some of these activities may be
unavoidable, but we need to create classrooms in
which students read informational text as often as
possible for more compelling purposes. In a recent
study, 2nd and 3rd grade students whose teachers
encouraged more authentic reading and writing of
informational and how-to texts in science showed
higher growth in reading comprehension as well as in
writing (Purcell-Gates & Duke, 2003).
How do we create compelling reasons
to read informational text?
Teachers can set up situations in which students need information,
then encourage students to read to obtain that information.
Students may want to find information about the life cycles of
frogs before setting up a tadpole tank or learn about the needs of
growing things before planting a window box. Teachers can pique
students' curiosity: putting out some earthworms for students to
observe; demonstrating that water left out in a pan on Friday has
“disappeared” on Monday; setting out some magnets with various
materials that the magnets will or will not attract. Students will
read informational books and other print materials on
earthworms, evaporation, and magnetism with
greater interest and purpose after such activities
How do you create authentic
purposes in your classroom for
reading informational text?
(Audience Discussion & Sharing)
Where do we find high quality science
and social studies books?
• The National Council for the Social Studies
Notable Social Studies Books for Young People
• The National Science Teachers Association's
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children
• Content-area teachers will find many
readable, interesting trade books that include
important content to match curriculum
Reading To or With?
Informational text may be portioned into small segments for
reading to or with students.
There is not a plot moving from chapter to chapter with the
reader left dangling at the end of a chapter so they will want
to read on as in a novel.
Readers can dip into nonfiction text, part by part.
The purpose and the structure of the text may determine the
way you read the text. For example:
• in science the priority is process
• in social studies is reading about people, events and their
• In 1st grade classrooms across the nation only 2% of class time is
dedicated to Social Studies (history, civics, geography and
economics) and 4% to Science.
In third grade, students are taught Social Studies 5% of the time
and Science is also taught 5% of the time.
Compare the percentages to Reading/Language Arts which is taught
62% of the time in first grade and 47% of the time in 3rd grade.
Text Based Questions
What are they?
Why are they so important?
(Shoulder partner/Triad Discussion)
Text Based Questions
• The goal is to develop the students’ prowess at
drawing knowledge from the text itself.
• Students use evidence from the text to support a
claim about the text; thus knowledge is linked
directly to the text.
• The questions draw a close connection between
comprehension of the text and acquisition of
High-quality sequences of textdependent questions…
• Elicit sustained attention to the specifics of the text and their
• Cultivates student mastery of specific ideas and illuminating
particulars of the text;
• Moves students beyond what is directly stated to require
students to make nontrivial inferences based on evidence
from the text.
• Demand attention to the text to answer fully.
• May begin with relatively simple questions requiring attention
to specific words, details, and arguments and then move on to
explore the impact of those specifics on the text as a whole.
Text Dependent Questions
• Linger over specific phrases and sentences to
ensure careful comprehension and to promote
thinking and substantive analysis of the text.
• Build on each other to ensure students learn
to stay focused on the text so they can learn
fully from it.
You have an excerpt from
the text in your hand-outs.
You will discuss a series of
high quality text-dependent
questions in groups of four.
Hold each other
accountable to citing
evidence as you discuss
these questions.
In the first two paragraphs, two sentences let us know the
author is questioning the wolf’s reputation.
Identify the sentences and discuss what about those
sentences helps readers know the author’s intent?
In paragraphs 3-5, what
sentence confirmed for you
your prediction about the
author’s intent?
What is there about the
author’s choice of words
that helps readers know his
What are the positive
qualities of a wolf?
(Remember to cite specific
Why does the author
contrast people loving dogs
but disliking wolves?
What argument is the author making?
The word “adaptable” means able to
change to fit different circumstances.
How does the writer show us the
wolf’s adaptability?
Now, in your teacher role, go back into
the text and look for concepts your
students will not understand and
identify how you would scaffold for
those concepts; be prepared to be
called upon to share your ideas.
Using the text The Brain, by Seymour Simon,
work with a partner to develop a sequence of
text dependent questions. Be prepared to be
called upon to share your questions.
Cell Body
Neuron’s cell
bodies, dendrites,
and axons are
revealed in these
highly magnified
scanning electron
microscope SEMS.
Above are
neurons (grayish
white) and glial
cells (red-orange),
magnified over
20,000 times.
Examples of Text Based Questions
• How does the use of comparison help the reader understand the
parts of the nervous system?
• What is the purpose for nerves branching out to other parts of
the body?
• What functions do neurons have in the brain?
• How do the functions of neurons and glials vary? Provide text
support for your answer.
• Using the second paragraph on page 8, what words create a
mental image of a nerve cell?
• How does the author support the statement “nerves are the
bodies wiring?”
• In the Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow frequently states, “if I only had
a brain!” Use text evidence to show why the scarecrow needs a
• Please hold up your text dependent questions,
with your name on them, so the facilitator can
come and get them.
We’ll read your text dependent questions from
the microphone and return them to you.
Thank you
Thank you for coming to this session.
Further Questions?
Call or write:
Katie Moeller
[email protected]

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