We wrapped up our nonfiction partner reads early last week, and each set of partners got together to chart their learning, and here is what it looked like, broken down by the CCSS:
(CCSS: RI.6.1, 6.2 and 6.3) :
What was the "big idea" of their text?
What were the most important details that they could pull from their research?
(CCSS: R.I.6.7, 6.8):
What nonfiction conventions did the author use in the text?
What information did we learn from these conventions?
How could we connect new learning with existing schema? What questions are we left with?
I think that my kids were pretty much exhausted by the process - this was a nonfiction reading stamina building week. From the conversations we had all week, it was clear that we would need to build upon what we began. I found it really interesting that kids who breeze through a whole period of fiction reading when given the chance, really struggled to maintain the same level of focus on our nonfiction reading days. This was also great practice for efficient note taking - how much is too much? how to really decode what is important information and what are simply interesting details? I relied on Stephanie Harvey's classic Nonfiction Matters for minilesson ideas in these lesson plans, it is such a wonderful resource!
Now we are on to our topic based book clubs. Each group of four or five has their own book (subtopics to the main book club topic), and the aim is to read, determine new and important information about your book, and then share this knowledge with the group to see if larger themes and connections can be discovered.
Our first round on Friday was more successful than I thought it would be...there was so much enthusiasm to share and discover! Here, for instance, is one group discussing their topic: Civil Rights:
I was so impressed with the way in which everyone contributed, and everyone extrapolated from their own schema: other books read, movies they'd seen, things they'd heard about. The goal is to finish our reading next week, and then each group will devise a way in which to teach the rest of the class about their topic. Let's see how it goes!