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Reading for Key Ideas and Details Reading Informational Text * From Pathways to the Common Core Harrison English * Nora Moulton.

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Presentation on theme: "Reading for Key Ideas and Details Reading Informational Text * From Pathways to the Common Core Harrison English * Nora Moulton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reading for Key Ideas and Details Reading Informational Text * From Pathways to the Common Core Harrison English * Nora Moulton

2 Anchor Standard 1: Reading closely and making logical inferences Keep in mind that the first three anchor standards for reading informational texts are the foundation for the rest of the reading work the CCS ask readers to do. Harrison English * Nora Moulton The work of anchor standard 1 is to say back what the text has taught you so far. This anchor standard asks readers to “read closely to determine what the text says explicitly.”

3 The CCS don’t concern themselves with what you already know, or think you know, or how you feel about the topic. They require textual analysis, not personal response. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

4 Unless you’ve chosen a long text, you can probably put anchor standard 1 to work after you have read just the first paragraph or two. Let’s look at the first paragraph of our article, “Shoot-Out.” Harrison English * Nora Moulton

5 Killer, the last-man-standing game of water pistol ambush, has become a key-end-of-the-year-ritual in several New York City high schools. At St. Ann’s, a private school in Brooklyn Heights, the game lasts two and a half weeks and is especially ferocious. Over the years, students there have developed a seventeen-point rule book, a map of the safe zones around the school, an entry fee (currently twenty dollars per team; it goes into the winners’ pot), and a nonplaying senior-class “judge,” to arbitrate disputed kills and rule violations. The judge also makes a pie chart of death – the order of killing assignments, which he or she then distributes to squads shortly before opening day. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

6 When you read this, you may find yourselves remembering other role-playing games, wondering if only private school kids play this, or worrying if virtual violence is becoming the new norm for young people. STOP! This activity is meant to be an exercise in Common Core reading, and for now, our job is to read in such a way that we “get” the text. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

7 We should be able to turn around and teach someone else everything we have learned so far. Try it! Do not look at the text, and tell a neighbor everything you have learned so far. 30 seconds So far, what do we know? Harrison English * Nora Moulton

8 Chances are, just to restate the contents of the first few paragraphs, you will find yourself peeking at the text again or reminding one another of details. It’s surprisingly challenging to actually restate what the article said. That’s because of two factors: 1. You haven’t read enough yet to determine the significant ideas, so you’re trying to hold onto a lot of details in case they turn out to be important. 2. This is a relatively complex text, which conveys a lot of information very quickly. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

9 Anchor Standard 2: Reading to determine central ideas and themes Let’s read another chunk of the text in the service of this second standard. The second anchor standard asks readers to determine central ideas and to summarize the text, linking key ideas and details. Hint: This is very difficult if you didn't do standard 1 well, so if you’re not satisfied that you’ve grasped the text, go back, reread, and try retelling what the text said in a more coherent, structured manner. Determining the central idea is also going to be hard if you’re waiting for a bold subheading to steer you. You have to read carefully for what the text suggests, for the ideas it forwards. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

10 Questions to ask Try asking the same questions of this informational text that you ask of literature: What is this story starting to be about?  What is this article starting to be about? Then as you notice ideas emerging in the text, gather up some of the information in the text as evidence for those ideas. In “Shoot-Out,” when we read just a few more paragraphs from where we stopped, we find out more: Harrison English * Nora Moulton

11 “I’m looking for some good massacres early,” this year’s judge said as the competition began, the second week in May. (Summoning what his classmates referred to as his “inner lawyer,” he asked that his name not be used.) “I’ve arranged at least one boyfriend-girlfriend kill that should be interesting.” Initially, each team of up to four students is given only the identities of its immediate prey. All the other players are anonymous, so that in the days leading up to the game the school becomes a souk of intelligence-gathering and disinformation. In 2007, Jake Protell, a freshman, distinguished himself by ferreting out the itinerary of a field trip that two targets were taking to Tel Aviv. Protell took a car to Newark Airport, found the victims before they passed through security, and dispatched them using two bathtub “squirt fish.” “I had to get special permission from the judge for the squirt fish, because I didn’t want to take my gun anywhere near an El Al counter,” Protell, now a junior, recalled, as he paced Pierrepont Street, three water guns shoved inside the pocket of a hoodie. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

12 Complex texts are about more than one main idea. STOP the personal responses to this text! Do not detour into your lives and opinions, diverting your focus from this text. Ask yourself, “What is this text starting to be about?” For this second anchor standard, you should launch a few main ideas that you can continue to investigate. By now, what central idea has appeared? Turn to your partner and discuss this. - About kids? About engagement in the game? About kids’ independence in their actions? Harrison English * Nora Moulton Anchor Standard 2: Reading to determine central ideas and themes

13 You need textual evidence Once you have stated some central ideas, you need to fill in some information from the text that supports those ideas. Go back and identify the details that bolster your ideas. Notice how we point to specific details to support ideas? This is what anchor standard 1 describes as citing specific textual evidence, and standard 2 describes as determining central ideas and supporting details. To meet standard 2, you incorporate the work you did with standard 1 in support. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

14 Focus on close analysis of the text, not on your feelings. Remember that your work right now is to analyze the article’s central idea, not your own. Hold yourself to what the article actually says and suggests. The article does not say that the young people take this game extremely seriously or that they work with ingenuity, but the article absolutely suggests this. (If you are reading a different article, what does your article say and suggest?) Harrison English * Nora Moulton

15 Did you speak of your feelings about these kids? Your judgments of the game? And/or your own associations? If so, you have gone away from close analysis of the text, and away from the standards. Stay within the corners of the text to do this Common Core type of close reading. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

16 Warning: In order to keep working, you need to keep doing all of the work we have already done as you read on, and as you try to practice the rest of the Common Core reading standards for informational texts. For instance, you must make sure you are clear on what the text actually says explicitly as you keep going. You’ll also need to keep asking, “Is the idea that I thought was central to this text turning out to still be central? Is the article forwarding other ideas more strongly?” Harrison English * Nora Moulton

17 Anchor Standard 3: Reading to analyze how individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text Anchor standard 3 becomes increasingly important as you move along in the text and keep tracing central ideas. Standard 3 asks readers to analyze how “individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of the text.” Readers, therefore, need to notice the sequence of events, analyze relationships and connections, and discern cause and effect. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

18 Let’s read another five or six paragraphs. Follow the stories of a variety of interrelated individuals. - Willis Cohen, the stake out - Jake Protell - Paulie Lowther - Protell-Lowther team Analyze these individuals and events, making sure you see how they are related. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

19 Anchor standards 1, 2, and 3 Try to restate, locate ideas, and support them with related details. With this article, notice that the details in the article lead you to begin to conclude that these kids not only show ingenuity, but also show incredible confidence – hacking computers, moving across the city, roaming from backyards to outer boroughs and beyond. Or you might spotlight the fact that the game leads kids to become strategic. You might claim that Protell’s moving through protocols to attain his squirt fish, for example, shows not only ingenuity but also foresight and strategy. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

20 Reading for Craft and Structure (Anchor Standards 4-6) Anchor standards 4, 5, and 6 invite you to look at how a text is written – its craft and structure, and how the craft and structure affect your understanding. Anchor 4: Reading to interpret the language used in the text This standard asks readers to interpret the technical, connotative, and figurative meanings of words, and how the specific language shapes meaning. To do this analysis, look back, asking if some words seem more important or suggestive than others, or if some words seem surprising or symbolic. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

21 Look over the article to find words used to describe the game. Circle the words. Discuss these examples with your partner. Military connotations: kills, targets, dispatches, massacres, intelligence gathering, pie chart of death What is the purpose of this type of language? Discuss this with your partner. On one hand, it is a language of violence that intends to shock, to compel the reader to visualize kids practicing the art of assassination. The tone of the language also makes the article sound like a dispatch from the front – it has the rather analytical tone of an embedded reporter. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

22 Yet at the same time, the warlike language is set against the language of childhood – examples? The squirt fish, the water guns tucked into a hoodie, the sudden reference to the mom who had been tipped off. The language of childhood colors the rest of the article. How does this affect the militaristic tone? This makes the article funny and interesting; this is how the text stirs up multiple emotions. What adjectives describe the kids’ skills (hacking, intelligence gathering)? What does the connotation of this language suggest? Harrison English * Nora Moulton Remember, you may have opinions that are different than the author’s, but anchor standard 4 asks you to study how this text’s craft conveys meaning.

23 Any text you’re reading will reveal its stance through the language choices the author makes. Start by looking at the words in your text more closely, noticing if some words seem more important than others, and if there are categories or kinds of words used (as there were in our text). If this work is new, you might try it out on a few texts, because it’s often easier to see language choice when you compare the different kinds of language that authors choose. Notice if the words are Biblical, apocalyptic, or poetic: Do they stir up dread, or sympathy, or distaste, or religious zeal? Think, for instance, of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which begins: Harrison English * Nora Moulton

24 The Gettysburg Address Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

25 Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. Harrison English * Nora Moulton Lincoln’s language conveys that this mission is a sacred one, even before he quotes God’s will later in the text. It is also a language that conveys a sense of destiny – the nation that was conceived, dedicated, and consecrated. Readers are moved by the religiosity of the language in this excerpt.

26 Think about the language in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and how he makes the reference to this country having written a “bad check,” in that it has not lived up to its democratic covenant of equal rights for all. Where Lincoln used religious language to stir up emotions, What kind of language does Dr. King evoke? Harrison English * Nora Moulton In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds." “I Have a Dream” Now that you’re alerted through CCS to study the language as well as the ideas, you’ll see how these language choices are so fascinating. These word choices, as they pile up, convey figurative meanings.

27 Anchor standard 5 moves the reader to also pay attention to how the text is structured. Let’s finish the text in order to really analyze how the structure leads the reader into meaning. We only have two more paragraphs. Here we find that the Protell-Lowther team wins the game, and they celebrate with a spaghetti dinner. The closing paragraph states: In the late innings of Killer season, some kids occasionally sleep in the deeper recesses of St. Ann’s itself. The games valedictory message is built into its architecture: school is the safe ground. And, keen as the graduating seniors may be to leave, the game tells them that the world outside is not. Harrison English * Nora Moulton Anchor Standard 5: Reading to analyze the structure of a text

28 Take a moment to reconvene and reconsider the central ideas now that you’ve finished reading the article. How did you adjust your ideas? Killer teaches the kids that the world may be dangerous, but they are ready for it. How does the structure of the text lead us to adjust our thinking? Look back over the text, and ask yourself if you could divide it into parts. Look at the text as if you were in a plane, flying above it. Instead of seeing fields divided by a ribbon of roads, you see paragraphs. Think about the meanings in those paragraphs, about the different sort of work that is being done in one part of the text, another, and another. Ask what work each part does. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

29 Structure of “Shoot-Out” Harrison English * Nora Moulton 1.How does the article begin? 2.In what tone is the information presented? 3.Then how does the text shift? 4.What is the purpose of the anecdotes about the key players? 5.At the end of the game, how does the tone and structure change? 6.How does the text end? 7.What new meaning does the author state? 8.How does the structure of this new idea intersect with the dominant earlier ones? 9.To what claim does the text lead?

30 The informational text begins with a kind of mini-lecture or explanatory paragraph, which gives facts in an objective tone. The text then lays out anecdotes about a few key players, one alongside the next. Each is interrupted so that we don’t find out who is winning. Instead, the anecdotes stir up sympathy for certain players and invest the reader in the game. The anecdotes also give more evidence of the lengths kids go to in the game. The tone is slightly admiring, full of precise adjectives that elevate the kids’ ingenuity. Then the tone and structure change at the end of the game, and the text ends with the author speaking to the reader. He explicitly states a new meaning: that this game teaches children that the world outside is not safe. This new idea is structured to intersect with the dominant earlier ideas – that kids are ingenious, determined, and independent. The two ideas converge to form the claim that while the world outside is not safe, kids are ready for it. The structure of the text leads the reader to this claim. Harrison English * Nora Moulton 1.How does the article begin? 2.In what tone is the information presented? 3.Then how does the text shift? 4.What is the purpose of the anecdotes about the key players? 5.At the end of the game, how does the tone and structure change? 6.How does the text end? 7.What new meaning does the author state? 8.How does the structure of this new idea intersect with the dominant earlier ones? 9.To what claim does the text lead?

31 Anchor standard 6: Reading to assess the author’s point of view and how it shapes the text This anchor standard asks readers to assess how the author’s point of view/purpose shapes the content and style of the text. This work stands on the shoulders of anchor standards 4 and 5. To do this analysis, look back at the language choices in the text you are reading. Ask: How does the choice of words, the tone of the language, illuminate the author’s point of view on the topic? In “Shoot-Out” we discern the author’s purpose from both the author’s explicit statement at the end along with the admiring language he uses to describe the students’ game. Although he may end by stating that the world outside the boundaries of the school is not safe, it is clear based on the language used throughout the text that he believes that these children are learning to handle the world around them. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

32 This purpose/point of view – that children can prepare for an unstable environment – shapes the entire text. The author chooses to include examples that are consistent with this stance. He carefully chooses the language that will best convey the message he wants his readers to accept. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

33 Anchor standards 7-9: Reading to integrate knowledge and ideas and think across informational texts To take anchor standards 7-9, you need to read a text that is in some way related to the first text. Anchor standard 7 asks us to integrate and evaluate content in a different media. You might, for instance, research variations of Killer. Over 6 million viewers recently watched “The Great Office War,” a video of a Nerf gun assassination game. Link: Compare the message to that of “Shoot-Out.” We could compare the tone. You see the same arch tone, sudden violence, intense participation, and inner choreography. We could discuss how the video makes the game seem more playful, whereas the article makes the game seem more serious, but how both seem to mock the death throes of the players. There are Protell-, Cohen-, and Lowther-like characters in the adult office war as well, which might lead us to rethink these characters as archetypes – the unlikely hero, the unlikely villain. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

34 The point is that you’ll come to a more nuanced understanding of the article by comparing it with that of another media. You’ll know more about the topic because you will have more information, but more importantly, you will see more because of the comparison. Harrison English * Nora Moulton

35 Anchor standard 8 If you read a different article, try anchor standard 8. Try the within- text analysis (intratext) as well as cross-text (intertextual) analysis. Anchor standard 8 is easier to do when you are comparing texts, especially primary documents. It asks readers to evaluate the evidence that the text lays out, weighing the validity of the author’s claims based on the sufficiency and soundness of the evidence and reasoning. Essentially, it asks students to analyze the trustworthiness of the supports that the author provides for his/her claims, and the soundness of the logic that links the supports to the claims. If you want to do this by thinking about one text alone, it helps to remember what you noticed about the craft and structure and to try to capture how the author persuaded you. Harrison English * Nora Moulton RI Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

36 Think to yourself that you are assessing texts just as you might pick up two peaches and assess their weight, ripeness and freshness. As you compare two or more texts, you are also doing the work of anchor standard 9, which asks readers to compare two texts on the same subject, looking specifically at the ways those texts develop similar claims. Harrison English * Nora Moulton Anchor standard 9 RI Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.

37 Consider what this implies for developing our own reading practices, as well as for the teaching of nonfiction reading. Common Core reading standards can deepen students’ reading of nonfiction as well as deepen the reading skills of adults. For our students to read this way, we need to read this way. Harrison English * Nora Moulton There is some work here that has the potential to take teachers as well as students to new places. That’s an exiting thought, and one that can inspire us to want to give school-wide attention to informational reading.


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