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Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction Nell K. Duke Michigan State University Literacy Achievement Research Center IRA Reading Research 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction Nell K. Duke Michigan State University Literacy Achievement Research Center IRA Reading Research 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction Nell K. Duke Michigan State University Literacy Achievement Research Center IRA Reading Research 2007

2 Plan for Talk Why Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction? Why a Talk on Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction? Recommendations for Providing Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction

3 Why Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction? Helps provide a reason for comprehending (i.e., to learn content) Gives readers something to comprehend Builds world knowledge which is good for reading comprehension (e.g., Wilson & Anderson, 1986) which is just good Is found in more effective schools and teachers (Pressley, et al.; Knapp, et al., 1995) Has proven to be effective as tested in some models (see later slides)

4 Why a Talk on Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction? Comprehension instruction, at least in the elementary years, is dominated by narrative text (which can be content-rich, but often is not). Even with informational texts, comprehension instruction is sometimes conducted with content- weak texts. Even content-rich texts are not necessarily treated as such in instruction. Comprehension instruction is often disembedded from rich context (including content). E.g., isolated strategy instruction E.g., conventions notebooks

5 Recommendations for Providing Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction Use content-rich texts Note that content-rich texts come in many genres, Note that content-rich texts come in easy-to-read-fluently forms Note that graphics can be part of the content Use content-rich contexts authenticity world knowledge Use content-focused comprehension instruction approaches e.g., CORI e.g., IDEAS Model e.g., Questioning the Author

6 Recommendations for Providing Content-Rich Comprehension Instruction Be concerned with content in writing too e.g., PABIL Be concerned with the content of the instruction itself the comprehension strategies the vocabulary strategies the textual knowledge, including graphics the enabling skills Tailor the content of the instruction to the learner and learners based on informed observation based on assessment tools based on learner response

7 Use Content-Rich Texts Does it make children think? Are there big ideas or themes? Is there plenty of detail? Can children learn something new from it? Does it raise new questions? Does it make you want to learn more? Remember... content-rich texts come in many genres content-rich texts come in easy-to-read-fluently forms graphics can be part of the content what you do with the texts is part of the content too...

8 Use Content-Rich Contexts: Authenticity Authentic literacy events are those that replicate or reflect reading and writing purposes and texts, specific to the genre, that occur in the world outside of a schooling context. Authentic reading of informational text involves reading for the purpose of obtaining information about the natural or social world that you want or need to know. Authentic writing of informational text involves communicating information about the natural or social world to people who want or need to know it. (Duke, Purcell-Gates, Hall, & Tower, 2006/2007)

9 Some set-ups for authentic reading of informational text in science Discrepant events to generate questions E.g., prisms on the overhead Demonstrations of phenomena to generate questions E.g., volcano, caterpillars Serendipitous events brought from world outside E.g., broken arm Announcing topic and asking for questions E.g., K-W-L charts (topic: sound) (Duke, Purcell-Gates, Hall, & Tower, 2006/2007)

10 Some set-ups for authentic reading and writing in science Literacy in response to a community need E.g., pond brochure Literacy as part of problem-solving E.g.. dying tadpoles (Audience is integral to authentic writing -- audiences include distant readers (e.g., Costa Rican pen pals), within-school audiences, and within-classroom audiences) (Duke, Purcell-Gates, Hall, & Tower, 2006/2007)

11 Support for Authentic Reading and Writing Adults in literacy programs that included more authentic literacy activities: reported reading and writing more out-of-school, reported reading and writing more complex texts, and the longer students were in these programs, the more this was the case (Purcell-Gates, Degener, Jacobson, & Soler, 2002). Children in second and third grade classrooms that included more authentic literacy activities: showed higher growth in informational and procedural science text reading comprehension and writing for 4 of 7 outcome measures, and in interaction with explicit instruction in informational text features for a 5th outcome measure (Purcell-Gates, Duke, & Martineau, 2007) There is additional less direct research support.

12 Use Content-Rich Contexts: World Knowledge Knowledge of the natural world and/or Knowledge of the social world Knowledge thats important and/or Knowledge that is interesting Knowledge that has a presence in standards documents or Not! Remember Not to equate knowledge with trivia That children need to know where knowledge comes from That children need to learn to question what is known

13 Use Content-Focused Comprehension Instruction Approaches: Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) Replaces an hour of the reading/language arts block with instruction focused on conceptual theme in science Engages students in real-world interactions and uses interesting, often student-selected texts Focuses on student goals; includes strategy instruction in the service of conceptual goals Evaluation focuses on conceptual goals, learning goals, and engagement CORI students in grades 3 and 5 do better on reading assessments than students in regular reading/language arts block, and demonstrate greater engagement. See Motivating Reading Comprehension: Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (Guthrie, Wigfield, & Perecevich, Eds., 2004)

14 One Component of CORI: Idea Circles Groups of students meet for in-depth discussion of a text or texts Teacher modeling early in the year, increasingly peer-led Focus on a concept; read a variety of texts related to that concept Have a open-ended, self-determined goals clear to all group members Can be organized in a jigsaw (Aronson, 1978) format See Guthrie & McCann, 1996; see also Duke & Bennett- Armistead, 2003.

15 Use Content-Focused Comprehension Instruction Approaches: the IDEAS Model Reading/language arts instruction replaced with a two-hour daily block devoted to concept-focused science teaching in areas such as processes that shape the earth, and energy, force, and motion The IDEAS block includes: Concept mapping Hands on activities Science process Reading including close reading of text excerpts focused on understanding the concepts through identifying main idea and details Writing science journals writing from concept maps Romance & Vitale, 2001

16 Use Content-Focused Comprehension Instruction Approaches: the IDEAS Model Tested in a series of studies that have included second through fifth graders, including at risk students. Used in middle school settings as well. Resulted in greater improvement on a norm-referenced test of reading achievement than classes that stayed with their normal reading instruction. Students in Science IDEAS classrooms showed more positive attitudes toward reading and more self-confidence as readers. Again, as in year one, teachers reported that they found the IDEAS model, which naturally encompassed reading and language arts within science instruction, easy to implement in comparison to teaching their regular basal programmes in reading, language arts, and science separately (p. 379). Romance & Vitale, 2001

17 Use Content-Focused Comprehension Instruction Approaches: Questioning the Author Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., Hamilton, R. L., & Kucan, L. (1997). Questioning the author: An approach to enhancing student engagement with text. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. See also Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M.G. (2006), Improving comprehension with Questioning the Author: A fresh and expanded view of a powerful approach. New York: Scholastic.

18 Note: The Content Need Not Suffer when Literacy is Included Texts plus hands on activities resulted in greater science learning than hands on activities alone (Anderson & Guthrie, 1999) IDEAS model demonstrates greater science learning as well (Romance & Vitale, 2001) GEMS science kits plus books outperformed GEMs kits alone in science learning (Pearson & Barber, Principal Investigators, seedsofscience.org) Not surprising? Scientists use text extensively in their work Many phenomena are not directly observable or manipulatable by schoolchildren (All this probably applies to social studies as well but I do not know of these kinds of tests of the principle.)

19 Be Concerned With Content In Writing Too: The Project-Based Approach to Building Informational Literacy (PABIL) Select a project focus. This could be: A problem your students have noticed; A focus your students identified; A focus you think would be interesting to your students; or A focus that is part of your content area curricula. NOTE: If you choose this last, make sure appropriate hands-on or other disciplinary activities are included. Select a project product (written). This could be: Something you think of in advance; Something you come up with with students; or A combination of both. TIP: Students can provide input on audiences for the product even if not the product itself. Duke, et al., in preparation

20 PABIL Framework Select informational literacy knowledge and skills to teach in the context of the project. Comprehension strategies (e.g., applying background knowledge) Informational text features (e.g., diagrams, index) Vocabulary knowledge (e.g., characteristics, products) Vocabulary strategies (e.g., generating images of words) Writing strategies (e.g., webbing) Teach knowledge and skills in the service of PABIL projects with: Read Aloud & Teacher Modeling (15+ minutes) Guided and Independent Experiences (20+ minutes) Reflection Time (10+ minutes) Duke, et al., in preparation

21 Example PABIL Project, 2nd Grade FChildren developed informational booklets about Michigan -- a fascinating, important, amazing place worth knowing about! FChildrens focus varied according to their individual interests. Focus topics included: Michigan foods, wildlife, sports, Mackinaw Bridge. FBooklets were sent to elementary students in China (who then worked on booklets about their region to share with MI students) and were shared with parents, siblings, and fellow classmates. FStudents and families celebrated the end of the unit with a Michigan Party complete with food produced in Michigan. Students read and shared their booklets at the celebration. 75% of parents attended the event.

22 Example Writing Strategies Lesson Read Aloud & Teacher Modeling Teacher models reading for information and adding information to a web Guided and Independent Experiences Students create a preliminary web on their project topic Students read for information to add to the web Reflection Students share their webs and what they learned about their topic

23 Example PABIL Project, 2nd Grade Children created posters about microscopic animals, such as head lice and dust mites, including general and public health information about the animal. Different classes wrote for different audiences, such as their school, the local library, a local public health department, and so on.

24 Example Informational Text Features Lesson For Microscopic Animals Posters Project: Read Aloud & Teacher Modeling Teacher explains about diagrams Teacher draws a diagram of a microscopic animal Teacher models how to find a diagram Guided and Independent Experiences Children look through books related to project and mark diagrams with sticky notes Reflection Children share what they learned from the diagrams and about diagrams Children use checklist of literacy learning goals for unit Children write a reflection on diagrams

25 Be Concerned With The Content of the Instruction Itself The comprehension strategies, perhaps: m onitoring and adjusting as needed activating and applying relevant prior knowledge, including predictions questions and questioning attending to and uncovering text structure constructing visual representations (imaging and graphic organizers) summarizing The vocabulary strategies, e.g.: context imaging morphology (partly strategy, partly knowledge) The textual knowledge, including graphics good support for structure instruction (many grades) support for searching instruction (Symons, et al., 2001, 5th grade) other? The enabling skills word recognition decoding (often required in content-rich texts, even for advanced readers) fluency

26 Textual Knowledge: The Example of Features of Science Informational Text Appropriate for Second and Third Grade Students Structure* Opening statement or general classification (e.g., Dragonflies are a type of insect.) General statement or closing (e.g., There is so much to learn about this amazing insect!) Description of attributes or components of the subject (e.g., Dragonflies have six legs and two pair of wings.) Characteristic events (e.g., Dragonflies eat flies and other small insects.) Compare/contrast structures and classifying either within a sentence (e.g., Dragonflies are a type of insect.) or across sentences (e.g., Some dragonflies live in forests near streams. Some dragonflies live in fields near marshes. Some dragonflies live in deserts near pools.). * Features on this and the following lists are from an analysis of science informational texts appropriate for second and third graders to read themselves (Purcell-Gates, Duke, & Martineau, 2007), unless otherwise noted.

27 Textual Knowledge: The Example of Features of Science Informational Text Appropriate for Second and Third Grade Students Structure, cont. Other structures such as problem-solution, cause-effect, and so on (Duke & Kays, 1998; Meyer & Rice, 1984) Prelude (a short narrative or comment designed to capture the readers attention and draw them into the text, such as an anecdote about a sneeze at the outset of a book about germs) (Pappas, 2006)* Afterword (additional information about the topic in a section at the end of the text) (Pappas, 2006) Addendum (such as excerpts of the journal of a beekeeper in an information book about beekeeping) (Pappas, 2006) Historical vignettes (Pappas, 2006) *Pappas (2006) is an analysis of books appropriate to read to primary grade children.

28 Textual Knowledge: The Example of Features of Science Informational Text Appropriate for Second and Third Grade Students Language Frequent repetition of the topical theme of the text (Duke & Kays, 1998) Timeless verb constructions and generic noun constructions (e.g., Dragonflies lay eggs. rather than Daisy Dragonfly laid her eggs.) Denotative rather than connotative language (e.g., Most dragonflies are between one and four inches long. rather than Dragonflies are small creatures.) Specialized or technical vocabulary (e.g., thorax, wingspan, larva) Definitions

29 Textual Knowledge: The Example of Features of Science Informational Text Appropriate for Second and Third Grade Students Navigational Features Index Headings Table of Contents Graphical Features Realistic illustrations or photographs Labels and/or captions Graphical devices such as diagrams, charts, maps, tables, graphs, boldface and italicized vocabulary

30 Tailor the Content of the Instruction to the Learner and Learners Based on informed observation requires knowledge of, among other things, the many different reasons why readers can struggle with comprehension Based on learner response how they respond to instruction what they tell you about their comprehension Based on assessment tools Think alouds or verbal protocols Can be used with a variety of texts Can provide insights into what readers are and are not thinking about when they are reading (e.g., level of activity, strategy use, connections) Suitability for young children still being investigated Procedures, reliability, etc. not entirely established

31 Tailor the Content of the Instruction to the Learner and Learners Summaries or retellings Can provide insights into what children remember and view as important and their structural knowledge A skill in itself Procedures, reliability, etc. not established Informal reading inventories (passages & questions) Can estimate a childs comprehension level; some have expository text passages Can indicate whether children have relatives strengths versus weaknesses in literal versus inferential questions Procedures established but leveling often questionable and reliability usually not established Self-evaluation checklists (e.g., When I read I...) Provide insights into childrens view of their comprehension Depends on childrens judgments Validity and reliability not established

32 Tailor the Content of the Instruction to the Learner and Learners Norm-Referenced Tests of Comprehension Usually do not distinguish informational comprehension from comprehension of other text types Usually cannot fully separate comprehension from word recognition Designed to place students on a normal curve Generally not very diagnostic Procedures and reliability established Concepts of Comprehension Assessment (COCA) and Strategic Cloze Assessment (Cloze) Focus on informational reading comprehension, of texts on life science (COCA) and earth science (Cloze) topics Addresses five dimensions of knowledge & skill that feed into comprehension Procedures and reliability established, some validity established Predictive and several other forms of validity not yet established Others

33 More about the COCA The COCA is designed for first, second, and maybe third graders. The COCA is individually administered. Assessment sessions run about 15 minutes / child. The text is read aloud with book in front of the child. Questions and prompts are scripted to facilitate consistent administration. Student responses are recorded directly on the score sheet to facilitate scoring. The COCA is designed to measure: Comprehension Strategy Use (CS) (Specifically, activating prior knowledge, predicting, inferring, summarizing) Knowledge of Informational Text Features (TF) Comprehension of Graphics in the Context of Text (GCT) Vocabulary Knowledge of high utility science words (VK) Vocabulary Strategies for rarer words (VS)

34 More about the COCA [Sample items from the COCA were shown and read. We expect the COCA to be available for download at msularc.org by the end of Summer, 2007.]

35 Summary There is both research and theory to support providing content-rich comprehension instruction. However, content-rich comprehension instruction is not consistently provided in U.S. classrooms. In providing content-rich comprehension instruction I recommend that you: Use content-rich texts Use content-rich contexts Use content-focused comprehension instruction approaches Be concerned with content in writing too Be concerned with the content of the instruction itself Tailor the content of the instruction to the learner and learners

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