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Chapter 10: Determining Importance in Text

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Erin Carroll

on 29 July 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 10: Determining Importance in Text

The Link Between the Strategy of Determining Importance and the Genre of Nonfiction
Distilling the Essence of Nonfiction Text
Strategy Lessons
FQR Think Sheets
Building Background Knowledge of Nonfiction Features
Becoming Familiar with the Characteristics of Nonfiction Trade Books
Determining What's Important When Writing Information
Making Students Aware of Primary Sources
Coding Important Information on Unfamiliar as Well as Familiar Topics
Finding Important Information Rather Than Just One Main Idea
Important to Whom?
Sifting the Topic from the Details
Reading Opposing Perspectives to Form an Opinion
Reasoning Through a Piece of Historical Fiction to Determine Importance
Chapter Wrap-Up

Strategy lessons in this chapter are designed to help students make sense of the information they are exposed to everyday, and help them find the important details to arrive at a main idea.
Chapter Overview
Distilling the Essence of Nonfiction Text

Overviewing

Highlighting

Nonfiction Features Signaling Important Text

Purpose:
To build background knowledge of nonfiction features by creating books that illustrate these

Features such as captions, comparisons, and labels will be understood by the students better if they construct their own.

Having students seek their own examples and talk about nonfiction characteristics scaffolds their reading and enhances their understanding of the genre.

The Link Between the Strategy of Determining Importance and the Genre of Nonfiction
Nonfiction Reading is reading to learn

Readers must decide AND remember what is important to learn

In classroom, have wide range of nonfiction at students' disposal:
Newspapers
Young Adult Magazines
Nonfiction Picture Books

"When kids read and understand nonfiction, they build background for the topic and acquire new knowledge. The ability to identify essential ideas and salient information is a prerequisite to developing insight" (Harvey, p. 156).

Sheila W., Maddy B., & Erin C.
Chapter 10: Determining Importance in Text
Strategy Lessons:

Determining Importance in Text
Building Background Knowledge of Nonfiction Features
Purpose:
Acquire information about an interesting topic, ask questions, and design pages based on authentic pages in nonfiction trade books

Have student begin by recording what they already know about a topic
Brainstorm questions to which they want to find answers
List 5 new facts
Add visuals to create a nonfiction page of information

Result:
Students are able to build background knowledge, sift through info, and determine what is important
Becoming Familiar with the Characteristics of Nonfiction Trade Books
Purpose:
Become a specialist on a favorite topic, choose what is important to include in a piece of writing, and write informational teaching books

Students find nonfiction topic in which they are well-versed, then write a teaching book including important information on subject on each different page. Include illustrations

Result:
Students become specialists in an area and are able to teach their peers.

Note:
Share completed student work as examples - better than models from us!
Determining What's Important When Writing Information
Purpose:
Using a narrative to make primary sources more appealing

Illustrations, photos, letters, diary entries, telegrams, passports, etc. all grab the reader
Teach students to notice, think about, and read primary sources
“Makes the time period come alive”
Find quality primary sources for students or have students seek out their own
Encourage sharing, interpreting, discussing, and gaining content knowledge

Making Students Aware of Primary Sources
Purpose:
To teach students to notice new information on both familiar and unfamiliar topics

Background knowledge plays a major role in discerning new information
When students are knowledgeable on a topic, they can pick out new facts and add them to their knowledge base. When a topic is unfamiliar, content can be overwhelming.
Possible coding methods: L = learned something new about a familiar topic
* = important information on an unfamiliar topic
Determining importance is directly related to what a reader already know

Coding Important Information on Unfamiliar as Well as Familiar Topics
Purpose:
To show that nonfiction text may include many important ideas, not just one

May be several important points in lieu of a main idea
Code text using 3 sticky notes marked with an asterisk
Students read text and decide to place their notes on what they determine to be the 3 most important points
Teacher may share their view
Choices are discussed and explained
Helps students form and stand behind opinions


Finding Important Information Rather Than Just One Main Idea
Purpose:
To help students to understand that there is a difference between what they think is important and what the author thinks is important

Response notebooks may be used
Important for the opinion of the student to be valued
Must decide who the information is important to
Background knowledge may influence this
Write what is most important to them, and what they think the author wants them to learn/remember
Thinking while reading is important, but purpose must be acknowledged too
Ability to pick out intended main idea is important for standardized testing

Important to Whom?
Purpose:
discriminating between topics and details:

Two-column note taking sheet with topic in one and details in the other.

Helps children to organize their thinking

One can add a response column for personal reflection; they can record their own thoughts, feelings, and questions.

Sifting the Topic from
the Details
Purpose:
To use careful reading of opposing perspectives in order to
form an opinion

Group discussion/debate encouraged
Note-taking form while reading: Evidence For/Evidence Against/Personal Opinion-Three columns
Helps sort thinking while reading
Allows students to make informed decisions
Practices judging persuasive writing-often a slant
Discussion gives further insight/perspectives and allows for students to rethink their ideas/preconceived notions

Reading Opposing Perspectives to Form an Opinion
Purpose:
Determining importance, asking questions, & responding to historical fiction

3-column notes sheet: f=facts, q= questions, r=response
First column: Have students seek out the important information in the text
Second column: Provide opportunities to ask questions
Third column: Encourage students to think about their reactions, opinions, and feelings regarding the text

Result:
Students tend to read more carefully and in depth.

*FQR Form also encourages further investigation.

Using FQR Think Sheets to Understand Information
Purpose:
using a guided discussion to understand the information

Nothing helps kids more than to talk about the information.

The discussion helps students sift through the details and encourages questions and thoughtful discussion.

Having to reason through the text means students will use guided conversation to come to an understanding of important issues, events, and information.

Reasoning Through a Piece of Historical Fiction to Determine Importance
Reading for Details

Reading for details is just as important as reading for key ideas.

Detail provides much needed clarification in particular instances
Assessing What We've Taught
Determining importance:
Students gain important information from text and visual forms
Students sift and sort the important information from the details and merge them with it.
Students learn to make distinctions between what they think is important and what the author wants them to take away from the text.
Students use text evidence to form an opinion and understand big ideas and issues.
Suggestions for differentiation
* use ?, !,*
*highlights and underline
*sketch pictures
* use ( )
*sticky notes

Overviewing
- skimming/scanning text before reading. *A careful overview saves time!*

Skills to focus on:
Activating prior knowledge
Noting characteristics of text length and structure
Noting important headings and subheadings
Determining what to read and in what order
Determining what to pay careful attention to
Determining what to ignore
Deciding to quit because text contains no relevant information
Deciding if the text is worth a close read or if you should just skim it
Highlighting
- read text, think about it, decide
what is important to know.
*Jot thoughts in margins to remember why you highlighted.*

Remind students to:
Look at first and last line of text - important info here
Highlight only necessary words/phrases, not entire lines
Jot down notes as you go
Don’t get thrown off by details - can obscure important info
Note signal words
Pay attention to nonfiction features that signal importance (see next slide)
Surprising information may mean you’re learning something new
When finished, make sure no more than half paragraph is highlighted

Nonfiction Features that Signal Importance:

Fonts & Effects
- titles, headings, boldface, color print, italics, bullets, captions, labels
Signal Words & Phrases
- Signal words/phrases act like a stop sign, warning readers to halt and pay attention:
For example, For instance, In fact, In conclusion, Most important, But, Therefore, On the other hand, and Such as.
Illustrations & Photographs
Graphics
- Diagrams, graphs, tables, etc.
Text Organizers
- index, preface, table of contents, glossary, and appendix - knowledge of these is crucial for further understanding
Text Structures
- cause & effect, problem & solution, question & answer, comparison & contrast, description & sequence
Full transcript