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56 Synthesizing the Non-Fiction Way Session 3SynthesizingtheNon-Fiction WayIntroduction to Session 3This session will continue to focus on synthesizing through the effective integration of media literacy with reading instruction. The process of synthesizing across texts will be demonstrated first by teacher modelling and second by the deconstruction of four photo essays that utilize a variety of graphic features (i.e., titles, captions, words, photos, colour, composition etc.,) to present big ideas about environmental issues. The characteristics of these four photo essays will form the basis of a rubric that the teacher and students co-create for the culminating task of a unit about The Environment.“An authentic non-fiction media text fuels curiosity and engages the junior learner. When reading media messages such as Public Service Announcements, students are enticed to read more, dig deeper, and search for answers to compelling questions. When students read and understand non-fiction, they build background knowledge for the topic and acquire new knowledge.” (Harvey & Goudvis, 2007, p. 156).56
57 Chatting about Classroom Inquiry Post the artefacts you brought from your classroom inquiry activity around the room.As you do a gallery walk, look for answers to the question:What big ideas about literacy instruction are you synthesizing from this work?Share insights with the other members of your table groupChatting about Classroom InquiryHave participants display around the room the samples of work they collected from the classroom inquiry activity at the end of the previous session.Give participants five minutes to take a gallery walk around the room looking for answers to the question, What big ideas about literacy instruction are you synthesizing from this work?Have participants share their insights with the other members of their table group.High-Yield Strategy: Gallery Walk57
58 Let’s ReviewSynthesizing involves combining information such as details from the text and background knowledge/experience to arrive at new and different thinking.Synthesizing requires one to summarize important information from text.The gradual release of responsibility helps students to effectively learn to synthesize big ideas from text.Let’s ReviewUse the information on this slide to help participants review the information shared in previous sessions.
59 Summarizing or Synthesizing? “While summarizing brings together information from the text, synthesizing involves taking that information and creating newly organized and formed understandings that are different from the text and also different from the reader’s previous understandings.”Fountas and Pinnell, 2000, p. 362Let’s ReviewAsk participants to “say something” to another person at their table about the ideas presented in this quote.Say Something is a co-operative learning strategy (Beers, 2003) that offers opportunities for students to engage in accountable talk and to deepen their understanding of text. Direct participants to find a partner and number themselves One or Two. Provide an interesting, thought-provoking text and think time for participants. Direct Partner One to begin sharing. When Partner One is finished, Partner Two begins.For more information about Say Something, please see pp. 146–147 of A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume One.High-Yield Strategy: Say Something
60 Learning Goals This session is intended to: connect the process of synthesizing to inquiry and report writingdemonstrate the importance of graphic features to the construction of knowledgemodel how media instruction can be incorporated into reading when students deconstruct media texts (i.e., reports and photo essays)introduce high-yield strategies for accountable talkmake connections to professional readingsLearning GoalsReview the learning goals of the session with participants.60
62 Synthesizing and the Model of Inquiry Turn to page 36 of Literacy for LearningWhat are the characteristics of the Model of Inquiry? … Synthesizing?Record your group’s thinking on a Venn DiagramUse the arrow and starburst to record the BIG IDEABIG IDEABefore: Starting the Conversation: Synthesizing Across TextsMaterials Preparation: copies of Literacy for Learning, The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy in Grades 4 to 6 in Ontario for each table, one copy of Teacher Resource 17 for each tableHave participants in their table groups compare and contrast the Inquiry Model found on p. 36 of Literacy for Learning, The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy in Grades 4 to 6 in Ontario and the process of synthesizing using the graphic organizer provided on Teacher Resource 17. Have table groups record their ideas in the appropriate circles on the venn diagram and then arrive at a BIG IDEA that will be recorded in the starburst.Graphic organizers serve to display ideas graphically. For additional information about graphic organizers, please see p. 136 of A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume One.Model of InquirySynthesizingHigh-Yield Strategy: Using graphic organizers
63 Demonstrating Synthesizing through a Culminating Task During guided and independent reading, students have been exploring concerns about the environment.As a culminating task, students will synthesize their ideas in the form of a four-panel photo essay to empower people to be more environmentally conscious.Before: Extending the Conversation – Synthesizing Across TextsUse the information on this slide to describe how a four-panel photo essay will be used as a culminating task for a unit on The Environment. Explain that this culminating activity allows students to synthesize their ideas in an engaging way using digital literacies and technology.
64 PlacematComplete a placemat activity in your table group to answer the question:What aspects of this photo essay demonstrate an understanding of the big idea of environmental stewardship?Before: Extending the Conversation – Synthesizing Across TextsMaterials Preparation: one copy of Teacher Resource 18 for each tableHave participants in their table groups analyze the following four-panel photo essay using a placemat strategy to answer the question: What aspects of this photo essay demonstrate an understanding of the big idea of environmental stewardship? Some possible answers include:choice of photosorganization of photoschoice of titleuse of languagePlacemat is a collaborative learning activity that gives students an opportunity to share their ideas and learn from each other in a small-group setting. For more information about placemats, please see p. 143 of A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume One.High-Yield Strategy: Co-operative Learning
65 Before: Extending the Conversation – Synthesizing Across Texts We the EnvironmentARE
66 What choices have WE made? Before: Extending the Conversation – Synthesizing Across Texts
67 OUR How have our choices impacted world? Before: Extending the Conversation – Synthesizing Across Texts
68 It’s time to make BETTER choices! Before: Extending the Conversation – Synthesizing Across Texts
69 Graphic Features“Non-fiction is full of features, text cues, and structures that signal importance and scaffold understanding for readers. These features, specific to non-fiction, provide explicit cues to help readers sift essential information from less important details when they read expository text.”Harvey and Goudvis, 2007, p. 156During: Understanding Graphic FeaturesMaterials Preparation: chart paper, markersHave participants complete a think-pair-share about this quote with a partner at their table groups.Encourage participants to share their thinking with the larger group.Conclude this discussion by having participants brainstorm a list of possible non-fiction text features. These features may be recorded on chart paper.For more information about think-pair-share, please see p. 153 of A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume One.High-Yield Strategy:Think-pair-share
70 Non-Fiction Text Features Text looks different (i.e., titles, section headers, different fonts and type sizes, bold and italics signal important words)Graphic aids are used (i.e., maps, charts, diagrams, photographs summarize information; captions or labels provide relevant details)Vocabulary is different (more unfamiliar words and technical language)During: Understanding Graphic FeaturesSummarize the discussion by reviewing the features of the non-fiction graphic/media texts listed on this slide.
71 How have our choices impacted our world? What impact does colour type, SIZE, and location of the font have when you read this question?During: Understanding Graphic FeaturesGive participants time to analyze the visual presentation of this slide before clicking the mouse to have the question, What impact does colour, type, size and location of the font have when you read this question? appear on the screen.Encourage participants to come to the computer to manipulate the colour, type, size and location of the font to better illustrate the big idea at work in the slide.Special Note to facilitators: In order to manipulate the features of this slide, you will need to have saved the slide or the slide presentation on your desktop and be in the creation mode as opposed to the presentation mode.Ask participants to think-pair-share what big ideas about non-fiction text features they have synthesized from this activity. Summarize this discussion using the next slide.How have our choices impacted our world?
72 A Big Idea about Non-Fiction Text Features The way information looks can change the meaning that is conveyedDuring: Understanding Graphic FeaturesSummarize the discussion about big ideas using the information provided on this slide.
73 Constructing Understanding of Effective Media Time: 16:19During: Constructing Understanding of Effective MediaMaterials Preparation: one copy of Teacher Resource 19 and Teacher Resource 20 for each participantIntroduce the video clip by saying:“In this whole class lesson, teaching partners work together with the students to co-construct a rubric for the photo essay that will be used as the culminating task of their environmental unit.”Give participants time to read over the lesson plan found on Teacher Resource 19 before showing the video clip.As participants watch the video clip, have them record their thoughts on Teacher Resource 20 about the following question:What knowledge and skills will your students need in order to complete a similar deconstruction of a different media text?”Following the video, have participants pair up with someone at a different table to share their observations and insights.Some possible answers include:Knowledge: Awareness of media studies frameworks (media triangle and five key concepts). If time permits, refer to the language document to highlight OVERALL expectations for Media Literacy.Understanding the purpose of media conventions and techniques to emphasize meaning/send a message (i.e., BOLD font stresses importance; images or graphics in the foreground are more important than those in the background etc…)Skills: Experience deconstructing a variety of media texts.Experience creating media works (i.e., experience using Ministry-licensed software to create slide shows or posters)Experience using and downloading from digital camerasPhoto manipulation and file management.
74 Deconstructing TextAt your table, complete a text deconstruction of the sample photo essay using the rubric and focus questions providedAs you deconstruct the level two media text:(i) look for alignment within the categories on the rubric, and(ii) fill in the appropriate descriptors and qualifiersThe EnvironmentIt’s up to us.After: Extending the Conversation: Deconstructing TextMaterials Preparation: two copies of Teacher Resource 21 for each table, one copy of Teacher Resource 22 and Teacher Resource 23 for each participantReview with participants the nature of the different categories on the rubric template found on Teacher Resource 23. Model how to complete the first category of Knowledge and Understanding on the rubric template using the questions on Teacher Resource 22.Provide time for the participants to complete the rubric template for the level two photo essay found on Teacher Resource 21.Possible answers for the Level 2 photo essay might include:Knowledge and Understanding: Demonstrates some knowledge of the purpose and format of effective photo essays; Some characteristics are evident; Information presented demonstrates some understanding of the chosen issue;Thinking: Research focuses on interesting aspects of issue; Slide layout conveys the theme/synthesis of big ideas; Photos relate to the issue but don’t interest or appeal to the viewer; Titles synthesize some big ideas; Captions summarize some detailsOverall presentation represents an issue; Encourages some reflection from the audienceCommunication: Slide layout conveys the intended message; Consistent use of type, colour, and size of font for titles and captions; Somewhat organized photo using captions size; Language of captions and title is repetitive; Photos utilize some angles and types of shots; some photos demonstrate the difference between foreground and background; Written text is clear; Uses some figurative or persuasive language to maintain interest and synthesize big ideas; Some care and attention to spelling and punctuationApplication: Make obvious connections between environmental issues at school, home and in world situationsHigh-Yield Strategy: Co-constructing Rubrics
75 Exploring Volume Seven – Media Literacy With a partner, complete the scavenger hunt found on Teacher Resource 24 to familiarize yourself with Volume Seven – Media Literacy.After: Starting the Conversation - Exploring Volume Seven – Media LiteracyMaterials Preparation: one copy of Teacher Resource 24; copies of A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume Seven – Media Literacy for each participantAsk participants to work in partners to complete the scavenger hunt on Teacher Resource 24 in order to familiarize themselves with A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume 7. As participants identify key messages for each section of the resource, remind them to think about how they might use this resource in their literacy programs.
76 Exploring Volume Seven - Media Literacy With a partner, read the following sections of Volume Seven – Media Literacy:1) The Five Key Concepts of Media Literacy2) The Media TriangleWhat evidence of these two frameworks do you see in the Media Creation Lesson #4 –Designing A Movie Poster?After: Extending the Conversation – Exploring Volume Seven – Media LiteracyMaterials Preparation: copies of A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume Seven – Media Literacy for each participant, highlighters, Teacher Resource 25Have participants partner up with someone at their table group. Have one partner complete Teacher Resource 25 for the section entitled, “The Five Key Concepts of Media Literacy” while the other partner completes Teacher Resource 25 for the section entitled, “The Media Triangle”.Have the partners read over Media Creation Lesson #4 – Designing A Movie Poster and discuss the question, What evidence of these two frameworks do you see in the Media Creation Lesson #4 – Designing A Movie Poster? Encourage partners to share their thinking with the rest of the group.Synthesize the discussion by pointing out that providing media texts for students to read/deconstruct and create provides engaging opportunities that extend comprehension.
77 Classroom InquiryHow do you plan to use the resources from this module to teach synthesizing in your classroom?Bring an artefact to the next session to illustrate what you learned.Classroom InquiryAt the end of each session, there is time for participants to plan a next step. The purpose of the classroom inquiry exercise is to help participants make the link between the sessions and authentic student learning. Once back in their classrooms, participants are asked to gather evidence in the form of student work, an anchor chart created with the students that demonstrates their thinking, or a sample of assessment information. The gathering of this evidence should not be difficult or time-consuming but rather an authentic example of “life in the classroom”. These artefacts/samples of student learning should be brought to the next session to share with a partner.77
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